Hoarding: Buried In Dishes & Decor

Hi! My name is Alycia, and I’m a dishaholic.
An organized one, but a dishaholic just the same.
(Disclaimer: These photos were taken while Christmas decorating when everything was in relative disarray. I promise you…my OCD behavior includes neatness!)

www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.comI’m just going to come out with it: I LIKE STUFF!!!!!! I like dishes and stemware and flatware and linens and all the accessories that can dress up a table, and I like to be able to shop my own home for it when I need it. I’m not ashamed of it…although perhaps I should be. 😉

When I owned my fine rentals business there was no shortage of available space to store all my pretty things. Back then I didn’t have dishes, but there was PLENTY of other “stuff.” In addition to basement and attic storage in my shop, I had warehouse space the size of 5 single-car garages. Any overflow was kept at our home.

Well, now I am retired. I sold a lot of the rentals in a huge, frenzied sale. Of course, I kept a serious stash for myself, and that stash has to be kept somewhere! Several readers, including Paula B., Marchita S., and Jackie H., recently asked where on earth I keep it all, so I dedicate this very photo-intensive post to them! 🙂

www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.comReady to see where I keep it all? Hold on to your hats…it’s going to be like walking through a Coney Island carnival fun house! Let’s start on the main floor of the house…

www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.comOK…not too bad. This is a logical place for dishes: the china cabinet in the dining room. The 3 little drawers on the bottom contain place card holders. But I have 83 styles/patterns of dishes…where are the rest?

www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.comThen there are the 8 drawers of the dining room buffet loaded with flatware, serving utensils, placemats and specialty napkins. Still not too bad. Let’s move into the foyer.

www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.comThe drawers of this apothecary chest in the foyer hold about half of my 76 sets of napkin rings (that help jazz up 90 different styles of napkins!). Let’s step over into the library….

Our reproduction Louis XVI vitrine houses crystal, silver and about half of the 24 sets of flatware in my collection. Moving on to the family room area….

The bar in the family room displays a few stemware sets and stores several pitchers down below. I have 84 different sets/styles of glasses and stemware, although I tend to use 5 or 6 favorites over and over.

Four 2-shelf cabinets under the family room bookcases store most of my 41 sets of chargers. And we’re walking, we’re walking…….


www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.comSeveral cupboards in the kitchen serve as storage for dishes and stemware as well as a modest collection of salt & pepper shakers. There are only 2 shelves dedicated to our “everyday” dishes and drinking vessels. How much lip do you think I get from my husband for THAT? 😉

What is supposed to be a broom closet right off the kitchen stores another round of china as well as teapots and serving dishes. I’m bored with this floor. Let’s move down to the lower level.

There’s just no way to photograph the entire storage area in a single photo, so Sheri did the best she could. We still didn’t get a photo of the 40+ Rubbermaid tubs stacked ceiling high on the east wall in this room.

www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.comMy husband and I put in pegboards that work pretty well for a lot of things. More wreaths are stored on hooks in the sump pump room.

www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.comSmaller see-through storage containers hold little stuff that can get away from me in a hurry if I’m not careful.

Did I mention that I have a LOT of candles (LED and natural wax)…and ribbon??? Most of the ribbon hangs here, but there is additional curling ribbon in a Rubbermaid box that couldn’t fit on the wall.

I love these stackable drawers! I have several of these in the storage room filled with about half of the 45 different kinds of votive holders I have collected over the years. I usually buy votive holders in quantities of at least 12 per, but I have basic ones that come in quantities of 50-75+. I’m getting claustrophobic! Let’s get out of this room and move into the downstairs living space.

This case is filled with all my dishes and stemware with Mexican flair.

The downstairs bar area has 9 cabinets and multiple drawers, all filled with dishes (mostly melamine), stemware, casual flatware, and serving bowls & platters.

Two closets on the lower level, including the sump pump closet, store Rubbermaid boxes of decorative supplies. OK….let’s make that long trek up to the top floor!

Another apothecary chest in the hallway on the top level of the house stores more napkin rings and place card holders. I corral the napkin rings in Ziploc bags to keep them from getting all jumbled.

I can’t even begin to show all the storage nooks in my office/studio, but here are a couple…

www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.comA corner curio holds a stash of some of my larger pieces of crystal, while the adjacent closet has 5 multi-drawer cabinets filled with invitation and menu-making supplies and sewing supplies that are rarely used due to my complete lack of hand/eye coordination. 🙂

Several otherwise unused closets in the house, like this one in the guest bedroom, are great for storage. I currently have about 150 linens, many of which are tagged, bagged, and hung in this closet according to color. The shelves and floor are used to store various tabletop accessories, an actual tabletop, and boxed stemware.

Another case filled with dishes.

And, of course, the obligatory underbed storage (under every bed!) for more linens, napkins and 56 sets of placemats.

www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.comA bank of cupboards in an adjacent room holds yet more stemware and dishes. Let’s step across the hallway…

Wait! I’ve changed my mind!!! Are you sure you want to come in here??? I don’t know…it’s pretty crazy!!! Well, OK…here we go! Don’t say I didn’t warn you!!!

This is where I do floral arranging with faux flowers for some of my posts when my money’s so funny it has its own sitcom. 😉 I couldn’t get a shot of the area where I arrange the flowers, but the faux florals are mostly stored in here along with lots of silver candelabra and floral vessels like the one Linda of A Toile Tale won back in October. Oh…did I mention I’ll be giving another one of those away soon? Stay tuned!

The clothes closet in the master suite is a great place for storing stuff including stackable drawers of cloth napkins. My husband reinforced the brackets for the overhead storage on both sides to prevent an avalanche.

The pass-through area between the bedroom and my dressing room has lots of storage opportunities with these great built-ins! (My poor husband!)

Now let’s enter another crudely built little storage closet we had built into empty attic space a few years ago. The sign says it all!

www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.comThis room stores many of the things I would have a COW over if they were to get broken. I know it looks a little messy in this photo (I was in the midst of Christmas decorating, remember!), but believe me…it is incredibly well-organized!!! Most boxes are stored two deep and as high as the pitched ceiling will allow.

And just how, you are asking yourself, does this weird woman keep up with all of this? The answer is quite simple: FlipAlbum!!! (And the fact that I have an uncanny ability to remember exactly where I store things!)

 FlipAlbum is a customizable computer catalog that looks and works just like a real book! I use the Vista Pro edition (currently selling online for $159.95), but there is a free version, as well. It took me awhile to initially set it up with everything I had, but now I easily maintain it by simply making entries each time I return from shopping! I’m up to 2269 pages…and counting!!!

Everything is organized by both automatically generated Index and Contents sections (where you can just click on the line to go directly to a page!)…

…as well as a convenient thumbnail overview section! (The thumbnail section is generated automatically with each page you create, and you can flip directly to a page just by clicking on a thumbnail!)

You can create chapters! (I currently have 39 color-coded chapters ranging from dishes to floral vessels to baskets and beyond!)

You can create pages within the chapters with as many or as few photos as you like! I photograph things as I bring them home and add a brief description along with the quantity in stock as well as, when necessary, dimensions.

So….if your eyeballs haven’t popped completely out of your head by now, that’s my pitiful little story! What’s yours?

 Don’t forget to join the arguably much more sane tablescapers and me for this week’s Tablescape Thursday!