Finding Order In the Florals: De-Cluttering Your Vase Collection

Today I’m back with another special de-cluttering edition of Live Simply.

As I’ve alluded in previous posts, (Too Much of a Good Thing: Supply Smackdown Edition and Writing the Wrongs: De-Cluttering Pens and Pencils) there are certain items which have a higher than normal propensity to become sources of clutter. Today we broach the subject of vases.

Most people will have whole cupboards full of flower vases. Crammed onto shelves in no particular order are a vast array of vases, few of which were purchased expressly, and the majority of which were inherited from florists the world over; you receive a lovely bouquet from a lover, a house guest, a significant other trying to inch his way out of the dog house by way of long stem roses, and it comes handily, considerately, in a cheap but totally-fits-the-bill vase. When, after your flowers have wilted and the water has taken on that horribly offensive odor, you rinse out the vase- you may even run it through the dishwasher!- and, without so much as a moment’s hesitation, add it to the bulging collection on your shelf.


I suspect it may be that “good thing” trap that I’ve discussed before; “It’s a perfectly good vase, I can’t just throw it out!”

I have said it in regards to bags and boxes and pens and pencils and I shall say it again here and now: Yes. You. Can.

Unless you are planning an overly massive harvesting season from your little backyard garden, I highly doubt you need those twenty-five vases.

In order to take control of this vase situation, use my two rules of thumb for de-cluttering collections:

1. The “At Any Given Time” Rule (How many vases will you ever need to use at any one given time?)

2. Space Rule (Allocate a certain amount of space- proportionate to the size of your home- for your vases. Keep as many as will fit within those limitations and no more.)

[Consult the Too Much of A Good Thing: Supply Smackdown Edition for more detailed explanations on these rules]

As far as vases go, you can also weed out the unnecessary by taking into consideration the solid vase collection essentials:

1. Kate Spade pink vase, 2. Z Gallerie cylindrical vase, 3. Darlington Crystal Co. Posy vase, 4. Kate Spade Pleasant Hill Globe Vase, 5. Medium Madagascar Vase, 6. Moooi Container Vase

The Breakdown:

1. The Bud- petite vase suited for just one or two blooms.

2. The Cylindrical- tall, skinny vases; work well as centerpieces

3. The Posy- Just slightly larger than a bud vase, recognizable by their bottleneck or wide top lip; perfect for stuffing full of freshly picked flowers and featuring on your dinner table.

4. The Globe (also: the fish bowl)- A happy home for short, exceptionally thirsty flower types and/or floating arrangements.

5. The Mid-Size- exactly what it sounds like. Extremely versatile in terms of placement.

6. The Big Papi- read: massive bouquets.

Okay my little buds, it’s time to blossom! (aka embark on mission vase-de-clutter). Snap to it!

Image credits: Free People Blog, West Elm, Martha Stewart



  1. Love this piece you wrote! Its so true. I wrote a piece on “collections” a while back and a good rule of thumb is no more than 10 of the same item/object to prevent the collection from taking over!

  2. what a great tutorial! i totally fell into this trap, worst part being all the vases were roughly the same shape and size b/c the mr. has a fave florist he always orders from. we recently got rid of the extras and the extra shelf space is amazing. btw – your bargain shopping post inspired me to unsubscribe from the plethora of retail marketing e-mails i get. xo

    • haha lovee this comment!! So happy to hear you cleared out the extras and are left with more shelf space! But even more THRILLED to hear that my bargain shopping post hit home with you and that you unsubscribed from so many of these “tempting offers.” A topic I definitely feel strongly about, as you can tell ;)

  3. This is such a great post! I feel like every time I decide to do a Goodwill run, I find at least one more vase that needs to go – it’s like they multiply and you really only need a few!

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