Sunday, October 28, 2012

Caring for My Curio Cabinets

Garrett Glass Cabinet, from Pottery Barn

Most of the material objects that are very sentimental to me are housed in my two curio cabinets. Antique dishes passed down from my great grandmothers, family goblets we drank milk out of at the dinner table growing up, and the martini glasses I use to make memorable parties for my friends are all in here. I need to treat my ancestors' valued possessions with care just as they did, but I also use them weekly. I wouldn't want them to be wasted sitting gathering dust because I was too afraid to use them. I'd rather enjoy them carefully and hope they don't break.


  • Finalize Halloween costumes, put up decorations, or clean up after any parties you threw today or yesterday.

  • Spot-clean your kitchen and bathroom floors as needed. Or just use a few cleaning wipes on them. This will make them shine and make your weekend cleanup go faster.

  • Done with the weekend's laundry? It's folded and put away? Bed linens changed?

  • Make meal plans for the week ahead; create grocery list; shop as needed

  • Is there room in your coat closet for actual coats? See if you need to de-clutter, get rid of unused coats, or move cluttery vacuums and brooms to a different closet.

  • Use your fragrance oil infuser, burn a candle, or spray your favorite home fragrance to make your home smell lovely today.

TODAY'S PROJECT: Curio Cabinets

Rojo Tall Cabinet, at Crate and Barrel

I own two curio cabinets. In each, I store wine glasses, martini glasses, teacups, dishes and keepsakes. Today I'm sorting out both cabinets and dusting. I generally do this twice a year - in Spring and in Fall. (I should dust them more often than that though!)

I'll remove everything, including the glass shelves, and wash all the dishes and stemware - they're all murky and dusty. I have to wash them by hand as they're antiques or fragile fancy martini glasses, so they don't ever go near a dishwasher. At a recent Family Night I used an entire set of blue goblets, so they've been recently washed and shined - I can skip that part of my task!

I can't move the curio cabinets by myself to vacuum under them, but I will reach as far behind them as I can with my vacuum attachment. I'll clean the cobwebby walls behind the cabinets as far as I can reach, too.

In Spring I got rid of anything I could possibly get rid of, as each cabinet was looking cluttered. At this point I think everything in these cabinets is something I either use frequently for entertaining, or keepsakes I'm too sentimental about (like my great-aunt's ivory toothpicks she brought back from Africa in the 1940s). I'm thinking though it's time to admit I do not need 24 mini colorful shotglasses, since most of my friends have newborns and we're not drinking aperitifs or cocktails as much anymore. It might be time to give up and sell those on ebay just to get rid of them.

Metallic Blue-Green Stemware, at Pier 1

In the living room cabinet I have martini glasses, wine glasses, a china figurine of a witch I've had since I was a little girl, three or four amethyst glass vases, pink Depression glass dessert dishes, an unusual art glass bowl I use to serve M&Ms or peanuts, and a few other miscellaneous pieces of glassware. Almost all need to be washed as dusting alone won't help them. The glass shelves will be washed too, as well as the glass in the doors.

I expect the project to take around an hour per cabinet. I'll turn on the news in the kitchen so I can get updated from the nearby dining room. When I move to the living room, I'll put on "The Nightmare Before Christmas" to sing along with while I work.

LOVELY BLOGS: The Baker Chick

Audra, an actress, documents her baking efforts from her New York City home. Recent posts I've enjoyed include Flaky Mini Biscuits with Spiced Pumpkin Butter; Pink Velvet Cupcakes for Breast Cancer; and pumpkin-filled snickerdoodle cookies. I love that the current recipes she shares here are filled with seasonal flavors.


Glowing Severed Hand Halloween Punch (CHOW)

Make Your Bash a Graveyard Smash (Bon Appetit)

Stormy Weather: Prep Your Kitchen for Hurricane Sandy (Bon Appetit)

The Woman Who Invented the Kitchen Couldn't Cook (Slate)


Lori said...

Glad to see you're still posting, at least for now! :-) I seriously need to go through my kitchen stuff too, I know I have things I don't use enough to justify keeping. Of course, the second I give something away, I want to use it. Such is life!

Carrie said...

Lori, thanks for your comment as always! I had actually already written this post and scheduled it to automatically post this morning. I'm glad I did that, as I had four little surprise visitors today to feed and play board games with, so no blogging time! :)