Has this ever been you? You are having guests for dinner and you are doing everything last minute because you are rushed for time? You can’t find 8 matching cloth napkins that aren’t stained and you aren’t using your beautiful white tablecloth because you don’t have time to iron it. You only have five wine glasses without chips and two candlestick stubs to put in your candlesticks. So now, you are regretting inviting your friends for dinner in the first place. UGH!!!! If only you were more organized!!!! It’s important to know what you have, what you need and where you have it! That’s the job of a Tableware Inventory! This is one must-read post!
Today we are talking about DECORATING YOUR DINING ROOM TABLE. Not decorating it for a season or holiday but decorating it for every day! What do you put on the big expanse of your dining room table to make it add to the beauty of your room and your home. We have lots to say about this and lots of laughs too!
You can listen to episode #118 below…
And make sure to listen to any or all episodes of DTT HERE.
Today is PRACTICALLY SPEAKING! You and I talk honestly about all things home and I often share ideas to make the art of homemaking smarter, better and more sensible! Let’s love our homes and love taking care of it!
Many of us are hosting Thanksgiving dinner so we want to be ready without any surprises!!!!
Now let’s talk about creating a tableware inventory. I’m posting this with Thanksgiving in mind. But an inventory is useful 365 days of the year! This idea is really brilliant if you waste time looking for things you are not able to put your hands on!!!!
I look at a tableware inventory as a way to know what I have, know what I need and know what I would like to have for my table. And most importantly for me, to know where what I have is!
I used to put every piece of tableware I owned on 5 x 7 cards, but I lost the cards so they weren’t much use. Then I went to 3 x 5 cards which I put in a file box with dividers. That worked great!!!! But I was always carrying around a box.
Then I moved my inventory to a google doc which worked pretty good and now I use my smartphone. It’s so much easier to snap a picture of what I have and keep lists of things for my table in Evernote (a free app). I carry my phone everywhere so I have my inventory and images when I need them.
Not only do I have a list of what I have and what I need and what I would like to have I also have images of everything I need to set a table and I can start selecting what I’ll put on the table before I even take out one thing to set it!
Really it does not matter how you organize and know what you have and what you need and where it all is. You can go high tech or write your inventory with pen and paper! It’s all about what you will use!
My tableware inventory will be different than yours. An inventory is a very personal thing and reflects who you are and your style.
Here’s a glimpse of the categories in my tableware inventory…
- dinner plates
- salad/dessert plates
- soup/small bowls
- small plates
- individual tureens
- water glasses
- wine glasses
- serving pieces
- serving bowls
- serving platters
- bread baskets
- other/serving pieces
- salt and pepper
- creamer and sugar
- salad bowl
- dessert bowls
- punch bowl
- individual vases/containers
Here’s how I inventory my candlesticks
What I have…
- 4 tall wooden, natural candlesticks
- 2 small wooden, natural candlesticks
- 2 wooden, tall candlesticks painted white
- 2 white wooden base with galvanized metal tops
- 2 white wooden base with metal covered burlap tops
- 8 mercury glass, chunky candlesticks
- 4 mercury glass, taper candlesticks
- 1 natural brown turned pedestal candle holder
- 4 glass candlesticks
- 4 Waterford crystal candlesticks
- 1 sterling silver candelabra
- 2 sterling silver 2 candle twisted candelabra
- 8 mercury glass votives holders
- 8 clear votives holders
- 6 Wm-Sonoma glass leaf candlesticks
- 4 mason jar candle holders with twisted metal handles
What I need…
(nothing for Thanksgiving)
What I want…
- 4 tortoise votive candle holders
- gilded glass votives- future DIY project
I take a pictures of all my candlesticks and keep them on my smartphone.
Right now I am working on putting all my candlesticks together on a shelf in the basement. So I know just where they are!
You might think this is a little bit of organizing overkill, but nothing makes me crazier than not being able to find what I need. So knowing that I have 8 mercury glass chunky candlesticks down on the candlestick shelf in the basement is freeing and wonderful and makes my life so so easy!
Because this is a big part of what I do every day for a living and because I find immense satisfaction setting a lovely table this inventory system a real gem! And it will work for you too!
A little word to the wise when creating a tableware inventory… this is a great time to purge! Curate your collection of dishes and tableware. Only keep what you love! Throw out or give away things you have not used in a few years and make this an ongoing process.
Start your inventory now and by Thanksgiving, you just might know where the gravy boat is or your squirrel salt and pepper shakers are stored away!
If you are enjoying my Practically Speaking series please let me know so I will continue it. Thanks!