Too Good to Use

Too good to use – are you hoarding stuff you’ll never use? Have you inherited family treasures that are too good to use so you’re storing them for a rainy day?

You don’t have to keep gifts you don’t need or want just because they are freebies.

Saving Things That are Too Good to Use

A house cleaner who was trying to help a customer go through a bunch of stuff ran across a peculiar problem. The customer was saving a bunch of things that are too good to use, what do you do with those things?

Too Good to Use, Box of Toys

The truth is, most of us are guilty of having things that are too good to use. If you come to my house right now, I have four sets of dishes. I have a set of fine China that is too good to use. We only use it at Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s too good to use for the rest of the year. Don’t ask me why, it just is.

I Have Too Many Dishes

The second set of dishes that I have were my husband’s dishes when he was a bachelor. Then when we got married, we bought our own set of dishes. At the time, I didn’t have the money for a fancy wedding reception, so I was going to have an open house inside my house.

Grief Hoarding to Shoebox Memories, Holding a Shoebox

In order to rent the dishes, they were going to be a dollar a piece or if I broke them, I had to replace them at a dollar a piece. I bought them for the same price. So, we retired the set of dishes that my husband had when he was a bachelor.

We Have Glass and Plastic Dishes Too

Now those are too good to use because these other dishes are just clear glass. They’re great for holidays, birthdays, every day, whatever. They’re just glass plates, they’re awesome. They’ve got a little decoration in them and they’re fancy and whatever. Those have become our main plates.

Grief Hoarding to Shoebox Memories, Strips of Lace

Then when I have the nieces and nephews come over, I have a whole set of plastic dishes. That way if they drop on the floor they don’t shutter and break. We can eat outside and have picnics and stuff like that. So, I’ve got four sets of dishes. Two of them are too nice to use.

Expensive China Cabinets

In all my house cleaning years, I’ve run into tons of people who have expensive China cabinets. Inside the China cabinets are things they consider too good to use. It’s fancy China, silver, little goblets and candle sticks and serving spoons.

Grief Hoarding to Shoebox Memories, Woman Knitting

They’ve got these big ornate boxes that the silverware goes in, just all kinds of things that you have to clean. Then every year near Thanksgiving or Christmas, you’ve got to pull all the stuff out and wash it again.

We All Have Stuff That’s Too Good to Use

Most of us have stuff that is just too good to use. For some, it’s even the house itself. They’ve got runners on the carpet so you won’t get the carpets dirty underneath.

Grief Hoarding to Shoebox Memories, Woman Teaching Little Girl to Knit.35-min

They have covers over their sofas and their chairs, so that if you sit on them, you’re not going to get them dirty. Who are the special people that are going to come use this stuff?

We’re All Guilty of Too Good to Use

A lot of us are guilty of this. We have stuff that’s too good to use. Now when I got married, my sister, bless her heart, she crocheted. She crocheted me an enormous tablecloth. My first instinct was, well, don’t put that on the table because it’s too good to use.

Grief Hoarding to Shoebox Memories, Little Girl Crocheting

In all the years I’ve been married, I’ve never had a table big enough for that tablecloth. Today, it’s still in a tight gallon Ziploc bag folded up because, well, it’s too nice to use. Now I have to find someone with a nice table that can honor this tablecloth that my sister spent hours creating.

The Tablecloth Still Goes Unused

I didn’t want to spill any food on it, I didn’t want to ruin it, it was so nice. I was going to save it for special occasions and for the time when I got the great big oak dining room table.

Grief Hoarding to Shoebox Memories, Crocheting

You know, that never happened, the table we have is a round top and it will hold four or five people and that’s about it. We never did get the table and I’ve never used the table cloth. It’s too nice to use and I don’t want to ruin it.

Assess Your Belongings

What do you have in your house? What do you have that you’re hanging onto that’s too nice to use? Is it some particular clothing that you’re saving? We’re all guilty of having stuff that’s too good to use.

Grief Hoarding to Shoebox Memories, Woman On Phone

We’re saving it for some imaginary special occasion or person who’s coming to visit. Then we’re going to pull out our finest and then what, they’re going to get it dirty, like what is that?

Start Using Your Too Good to Use Stuff

My little sister Julie had this great idea a couple of years ago. She simply started using all the stuff that was too good to use. She started wearing the fancy jeans and the nice purse even for everyday activities. It brought her a lot of joy to say, “I’m the person that’s special enough. Today I’m alive, and today is the special occasion.”

Grief Hoarding to Shoebox Memories Making Lace

I bet there’s probably something you can throw away with no regrets too. The regrets are hanging onto things and paying for storage. These things are going to get passed on down to our kids that we have never used, so to our kids they have no value.

Your Stuff Should Have Value

The stuff has no value to us or our kids because we never used it. We never created an anchor for them. Instead, they’ll think “It wasn’t important to my mom, she never used it. It was too good for her, she never used it.” It just causes generations of hoarders.

Grief Hoarding to Shoebox Memories, Sad Woman Opening Box

The reality is this, if you have stuff that’s too nice to use, you’re good enough. Pull it out and use it today. If you’re not going to use it, find a new home for it. Sell it, give it away or donate it, because right now we’re in a place where we all have too much stuff.

Get Rid of Stuff You Don’t Use

If you look at the storage units around me, oh my goodness, they’re popping up like wild fire. They’re everywhere now. People are buying and renting these storage units so they can store all the stuff they inherited.

Grief Hoarding to Shoebox Memories, Man Talking to Camera

I promise it doesn’t mean anything from here through the future. They’ve moved on enough to take the stuff and put it in a storage unit. If you’re going to put it in storage unit, take a picture of it, hang onto the picture of it and let go of the stuff.

Permission to Move On

There’s no sense in us hoarding stuff and hanging onto stuff because stuff is too good to use. If you’re not going to use it, get rid of it. My suggestion in the vein of organization, tidying up, cleaning up, it may spark joy, but if all it is a spark, let it go. It’s either a part of your life or it’s not.

Grief Hoarding to Shoebox Memories, Man Holding Typewriter

If it’s not part of it, move on, because as you’re evolving, we all evolve every day, we become new people. As you move forward, you’re not looking at stuff that’s in the back, we’re not looking at stuff behind you. That stuff had meaning 20 years ago, it may not have meaning now, so give yourself permission to move on.

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