Yesterday, after reading Mrs. E's post, I did go back and look at that cabinet with a different perspective. Did I really need to hold on to all that tea that I've had for months or years and haven't even touched? No. Out it went. I did save my favorites that I know we'll drink and a few other varieties that guests might enjoy while visiting.
I looked through the coffee cups, and since I never drink coffee, I put in the yard sale box the ones that I know Brad will never use. I'm not sure why I was holding on to those. My cabinet is much more spacious now, and I feel much better about that.
I'm not much for collecting things anyway. If it's not practical or being used, I'd just assume let it go. The only collection that I can note that I have is a collection of old tea cups that Brad's grandmother passed down to us when she downsized to an apartment a few years ago. These stay in my china cabinet, and the girls love to choose one to drink out of whenever we have tea. I'm certainly not fond of collections that can't be touched or must stay behind glass so that little fingers can't touch them, and we definitely use these. Amelia dropped one and broke it the other night, but those things happen. I really wasn't bothered. It's just a tea cup.
Cari has received several of the collectible holiday Barbies over the years, and I always allow her to take those out of the box and play with them. Sure, they usually end up in the donation box a few months later when the hair is all tangled up and the clothes are missing, but at least she enjoyed playing with them. Maybe in 100 years these would have been worth something, but have you ever tried to sell one on EBay? I didn't have much luck.
We were visiting a home the other day that had various collections in every room. In a basement room was a wall of bookshelves that had nothing but Barbies, dolls, and other collectible toys still in the box. My second thought was "What a waste!" Of course, my first thought was "some of these would do great on EBay!" This lady has a child my daughter's age, and I couldn't help but wonder what her daughter thought. This woman had more toys than her child did! I guess some people do it for the pure enjoyment of collecting, but all I can think of is how much unnecessary space they are taking up and how much extra dusting is required, etc., etc.
Anyway, I'm glad I read her post at the beginning of decluttering and not the end. It's given me a totally different perspective on the whole issue.
As for the cabinets, this one was my next project:
This one really wasn't that bad. I found a few things that needed to be thrown out, and mostly the cabinets needed cleaning from some honey that had dripped on the shelves. The spices were an issue also. Whenever I'm making a new recipe, I have to sort through all the spices (41 jars) to see if I have what I need. My solution was to print out in alphabetical order a list of all the spices that I have on hand, and I taped this list to the inside of the cabinet door for quick reference. I can add/subtract as necessary. Here's the finished product: