When I got married almost five years ago, I had a vague idea of what we might need for our home and registered accordingly. However, after several years, I have a much more realistic sense of the things we need and don't need. Since our wedding, we moved three times and these moves (and all that packing and unpacking) has helped discern between what we really use and things that have stayed in boxes from our previous places and went straight into our closets or attic. Here are the wedding gifts that we have put to good use, and ones that barely see the light of day.
Dutch Oven: I registered for this on a whim, hoping that new culinary exploits were in my future. I'm happy to report that I cook now more than ever, and have turned to the dutch oven again and again for stews and braised meats. It's heavy and it takes a certain amount of maintenance, but it's perfect for slow cooking over low heat and there is assurance in knowing that it will last forever. So far, it's perfect for anything braised (short ribs!), cornbread, crusty bread, and it's my go-to pot for beef bourguignon.
Knife Block: This stays on our kitchen counter and probably gets the most use out of anything else in the kitchen, mostly because it is just so convenient. It has a variety of knifes for different kitchen uses, including kitchen scissors that I use all the time.
Garbage Can: Before getting a really nice one, I didn't think it was necessary to invest in a garbage can, but this truly ends up being one of the workhorses in our kitchen. Having a large, heavy-duty garbage can, one where I don't have to worry about leaks and spillage and bad smells (it's really easy to clean), makes our kitchen that much more pleasant.
Large Serving Platter: This is ones of those things that I probably wouldn't have ever bought for myself, but it has ended being something that I use all the time. I pull this out when have dinner parties or we have a group of friends over to hang out. It has held salad, pasta, muffins, and selection of fruits. I also love the white, modern and clean appearance of this platter!
Deep Fryer: My husband put this on the registry because the thought of being able to deep-fry anything to his heart's content was all too tempting. However, we have used this only once and it has not seen the light of day since. No surprise here: we don't eat deep-fried food regularly, hardly ever actually, and the production of using all that oil never seemed appealing after the first go around.
Paper Shredder: This came in handy for a few months once we got in the habit of regularly going through our mail and shredding unwanted documents. However, these days, most of the documents that we might shred (like bank statements, loan statements, bills or car payments, etc.) have been converted to electronic mail and transactions, so the paper shredder has sat in the closet, getting dusty.
Margarita Maker: I am a big fan of cocktails and the idea of being able to make big batches of margarita seemed like an ingenious one, but sadly, this got absolutely zero use. It's one of those items that seems nifty for a particular use, but in fact, your blender will do the job just as well and it won't take up the extra counter space.
Photo Frame: This, and a wedding photo album, are things that we didn't register for but got anyways. I am resolved to try scrapbooking one of these days, but when I do, I know I will be particular about the style of album that I use and the ones we were gifted don't fit my personal style. I'm also not one to put framed photos around the house, so these items have gone unused.
As a last note, here are some of the things that, in hindsight, I wish we had included on the registry:
- Nice linens: I am just now starting to appreciate the value of really nice bedsheets and pillow cases (and also having one or two backups), and wish I had put some nice ones on our registry.
- Oven-to-table bakeware: When we have guests over or when I am bringing a dish to a potluck, I often wish I had one of those lovely ceramic casserole dishes or pie pan that I could take from the oven straight to the table.
- Cordless drill: This didn't even cross my mind when I was registering, but it's one of those tools that is so convenient to have as a homeowner (or even as a renter who needs to do small projects), and it would have been a great addition to our new home.
- Storage bins: You cannot have enough storage bins! I'm always on the lookout for deals on woven baskets, because I love using them for stylish storage options for every room in the house.
What's proved its worth from your registry?
(Image credits: Kathryn Bacalis; Christine Lu)