so, remember how my family are messy, clutter-addicts? well, a major problem still plaguing the household is that there is so much kitchen stuff everywhere. appliances, an assortment of non-matching cups and bowls and silverware.
you say, “oh SimpleGirl, that is not a big deal at all!” but it is, my friends. it is.
a kitchen is the domestic goddess’ training room, where she creates sumptuous feasts to the delight of her man. you want the space around you to be inviting so you will want to cook, wash dishes and other labors of love, day in and day out. so it is a big deal.
first of all, appliances take up counter space, creating an inefficient workspace. counter space is worth gold. protect it! only use appliances you really need – that means register and buy stuff you really need.
second of all, non-matching stuff inevitably means disorganization, because if things don’t nestle in each other, then you have to spread the mess around. this is not to say you can only have one set of mixing bowls. it is to say that you should have a purpose for having something in your domestic goddess training area. having so many different types of the same thing is utter redundancy.
when i open my kitchen cabinets, i take much delight in my kitchen goods, that they are simple and wonderful to look at (like a kitchen catalog). each tool was carefully selected to be a part of my goddess training room. it’s clean and organized and actually inspires me to be in the kitchen (which can be a pain in the butt after a long day of working) so it is a big deal.
if you are a recovering mess-addict like me, a marriage is a good time to start afresh. it means you can have a clean start if done right. use your registry as a way to practice your new beautifully simple life.
to ensure that the stuff you register for will last for a long time, you want to have vision. my philosophy is know what you love and find it. know what works for you and adopt it. register for things and in the back of your mind, know what you want to hold onto for your starter studio apartment or home.
1. register for stuff you really need. make sure that especially for major things, like dishes and a comforter, that you really love the items and are committed to them. if you don’t need something, don’t register for it. this rule especially applies to stuff that you will use every day.
2. send thank you cards to people after the wedding. it’s a card in a stamped envelope but it is the right thing to do and scores you major considerateness points!
3. return anything that you don’t need or want. be ruthless. some people say, “oh, but my aunt dinah gave me that platter and she will want me to use it when she comes over.” most likely, that is actually not the case. if you have relatives who are dictator-like, who will come over to make sure you using their stuff, then i guess keep that stuff in your closet. but most people will not check up on you to see if you’re still using the mixing bowls they gave you. you will likely get several sets of mixing bowls and reasonable people know this happens. don’t feel obligated to keep stuff no matter who gave the gift. they would rather have you buy a useful gift with store credit than have a gift you never use.
on the other hand, people give great gifts you may not have thought of that you should probably keep.
example: we got a cooler for our wedding gift. SimpleGuy said keep it and i didn’t really want to. but we’ve now moved four (almost five) times in the past two years and have used the cooler to store fridged goods while on the road. sheer brilliance. it was a gift that keeps on giving!
tip 1: plan out color schemes. this may seem a little insane, but i have planned out my color schemes for my kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms. though i will not be a homeowner for another five years i know that the stuff i registered and got will be used for another good ten years. choose classic styles and colors you like to decorate in.
tip 2: don’t worry too much about the color of your towels and sheets. those things are easily worn and easily replaced. they are wear-items. for everything else, plan for it to last. so, unless you have rich daddy warbucks as part of your family, you will likely not get silver and all-clad pans from the wedding. but that doesn’t mean that you should register for crap. get things that really work and are meant to last. brands like oxo are great because even though some stuff might wear out, they have a satisfaction guarantee for all products. brands like that score an a plus in my gradebook. seek out good brands using customer reviews online.
for the towel problem, it worked out that we got plenty of them as gifts and couldn’t return any of them. (in fact, if you don’t care about the color scheme of your bathroom, i’d say, don’t register for towels. wait to see if you get some and then buy the cheapest, best deals if you are not gifted any.) i saved those random towels just for guests so that when family come to visit, they get towels that are less worn.
use the store credit you receive from your returns. we had one year’s worth of gift cards to walmart and bbb. it was simply awesome.
p.s. do some research about target registry before going that route. last i checked, you must have gift receipts for returns and people don’t always give you the gift receipts with gifts!
so, tell me, what was the most useful thing, registered or not, that you got from your wedding?