Has this ever been you? You are having guests for dinner and you are doing everything last minute because you are rushed for time? And 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. There are only 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 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!
Some of us are hosting Thanksgiving dinner so we want to be ready without any surprises!!!! And even if you are not hosting Thanksgiving this post is so relevant because you probably will have some sort of get-together in the future and you will want to be super organized! Organizing = less stress.
The best way to be organized is to know what you have and where it is. Also, you want to know what you don’t have and need to buy or borrow! That’s why a Tableware Inventory is so important!
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 and a TABLEWARE INVENTORY.
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 and an updated list 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!
A picture is amazing to have but sometimes I often can’t tell how many pieces of an item I have from a picture. With my inventory sheets, I know exactly! I love that. The pics on my smartphone plus the Inventory sheets keep me on top of my table, so to speak! LOL!
A TABLEWARE INVENTORY PRINTABLE
I keep my Tableware Inventory in my “housekeeping” binder. I’ll share about that soon!
You can get this free TABLEWARE INVENTORY printable below…
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! I do both! And this system has really tamed the tableware beast in my life!
My tableware inventory will be different than yours. An inventory is a very personal thing and reflects who you are and your style.
HOW I ORGANIZE MY INVENTORY
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
- bigger bowls
- bread baskets
- other/serving pieces
- salt and pepper
- creamer and sugar
- salad bowl
- dessert bowls
- punch bowl
- individual vases/containers
- log slices
MORE TABLEWARE EXAMPLES
Here’s how I inventory my candlesticks. I use the printable inventory sheets above!
What I have…
- 4 tall wooden, natural candlesticks
- 2 small wooden, natural candlesticks
- 4 wooden, tall candlesticks painted white
- 1 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
- 6 white frosted votive holders
From my inventory and my pictures, I see there is nothing I need for Thanksgiving. But looking forward to Christmas I need more white plates and large soup bowls.
- 4 tortoise votive candle holders
- gilded glass votives- future DIY project
- 8 plain white dishes that work with my other white dishes
- 12 large soup bowls (white)
I take pictures of all my candlesticks and keep them on my smartphone in my Tableware Inventory file.
Right now I am working on putting all my candlesticks together on a shelf in the basement. So I know just where they are!
PURGE AND ORGANIZE
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!