How much is too much?

 “Who wants tea?” is generally shouted at some point after dinner, as all four of us partake in our nightly ritual.  I like a decaf chai or chamomile, Paul likes peach, Luke likes berry, and Karl is up for anything. I do like a nice peppermint tea in the afternoon though, and then there are all the seasonal teas I get so excited about. What’s a girl to do? Tea is to the kitchen cabinet as shoes are to the bedroom closet.

For sure, this takes up too much space in my cabinet.

     My cabinet had looked like this. A jumble of different boxes, the top box hitting me in the head when I would go to retrieve the bottom box. Once again, too much chaos and there are much better uses for that space than taking it up with all those packages.

     This also leads me to the question, how much is too much? Do we really need thamany choices? By all means, choices are good, but not to the point that clutter starts to take over because we have way too many options. If it can happen with teas, then it can happen with coffees, cookies, bbq sauces…you get the drift. We may have the tendency to over do it, even in the kitchen. What happens next is that cabinets are stuffed full, we don’t see how much we really have, and sometimes items can remain there, spoiling because they get pushed to the back. In essence, too much and too many is not always the best choice.

     My daughter’s notebooks are another shining example. Karlie loves to write and draw, and hence, is always either choosing or being gifted with sketch books, notebooks, diaries…you name it. I too, have to be careful of falling into the notebook abyss. Recently I was in Barnes and Noble and they had the cutest lock and key diary with pictures of trailblazing women on it. It was adorned with little cartoon drawings of heros like Amelia Earhart and Frida Khalo. It was absolutely adorable and I wanted Karlie to have this book so badly. (Hmmm, or maybe I actually wanted the book?) The kicker was that it was 60% off! I stood there staring at that darn thing in my hand for quite a bit. And then I took a deep breath, put it back down, and walked away.Trust me, the girl did not need another.

     There are times when we really just need to breathe and say, I have everything I need, more than enough really, and I do not need anything more. Period. The thrill of getting something new wears off rather quickly, and then we are left with the clutter and stagnant energy of something that probably won’t even get used because you won’t notice it among the rest of its kind. Our wallets appreciate us when we say no, as well.

I can also easily pull this out of the cabinet and offer a visual of what is available.
Look how much more space I have!

     Are you wondering if I still buy a plethora of teas? Here is my solution to the abundance of tea boxes in my cabinet. We still like to have our own preferences and choices, but I never go beyond what can fit in this awesome tea stand I found on Amazon. It is called YouCopia Tea Stand and it holds 100 tea bags, on both front and back. We aim to use all the tea bags before adding more to the collection. This stands vertically in the cabinet, and as you can see from the picture, takes up so much less space than all the boxes did, and even saves space as compared to the horizontal tea boxes we usually see. I had to switch cabinets because the stand was too tall to fit in its original place, but it still opened up a whole bunch of new space for me. I also had to make sure that I purchased individually wrapped tea bags. Yogi, Bigelow, Trader Joe’s, Twining, and Simply Balanced are brands that all fit well. 

     The bottom line is that I no longer get sucked into buying what looks yummy or what is on sale, only to then mindlessly stuff boxes into the cabinet. After all, it would be ridiculous to try to pour 10 ounces of water in an 8 ounce cup, so why do we overstuff our cabinets and houses? Buy what we need, use what we have, splurge once in a while, and life is good.

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