As I continue to declutter my house in my efforts to embrace a minimalist lifestyle, I find my self asking new questions frequently. Decluttering the living room leads to questions such as, “What to do with the books that won’t fit into my bookcases?” Decluttering the bedroom prompts questions such as “How many clothes are enough?”
Decluttering the kitchen quite naturally leads to the question “How many dinner plates do I need?”
An online search didn’t help much in answering that question as the answers I found varied greatly and ranged from, “one plate per person” to “12 sets of formal dinnerware and 8 sets of casual dinnerware” to “we have 160 white plates (…) best decision ever”.
I’m on neither end of the extreme. Though owning 160 dinner plates would likely end up in me having a nice dinner plate fight with friends and family, owning just one dinner plate per person seems a little too minimal.
So I guess I’ll have to find my own answer. I decided to get all my dinner plates out on the table. How many dinner plates do I currently own?
So here goes: I’ve got 12 dinner plates for everyday use, 4 dinner plates for our Shabbat dinners, and 10 dinner plates for Pesach. At first sight, that doesn’t seem too extravagant, does it? And yet it feels like too much.
We’re a family of four, and although we do like to have guests over for dinner, we never entertain on a grand scale. It’s usually just one or two guests for dinner. And yes, sometimes even four, but I honestly can’t remember when last we had more than four people over for dinner.
So maybe 8 dinner plates would serve us quite nicely? Both for formal use and everyday use, because whoever said I can’t have nice dinnerware for everyday use? And then maybe I’d be fine with just 8 dinner plates for Pesach as well? Or should I simply decide that it’s been enough, and I don’t really need a complete set of everything for cooking and eating just for Pesach? After all, isn’t it at least stretching the imagination a little bit to assume that our ancestors back in Biblical times owned all that much stuff?
How cool would it be to own just 8 dinner plates? And then just 8 breakfast/dessert plates as well? And 8 soup/pudding bowls, 8 cups (with or without saucers) and 8 “all-purpose” glasses, that would not just be good to serve water, juice or squash, but also wine?
I might just do that.