Goods Step Two: Make a List of Everything You Have

Goods Step 2 is the second step in a step-by-step guide to acquiring what you need to set up housekeeping. You can find the series overview (with all published posts) here.

This step is to keep you from buying (or registering for) things you already own. It will also help you understand what you own and how well they suit your purposes.

The Goods Steps ~ Step 2: Make a List of Everything You Have

Here’s How It Works

You each make a list of everything you each already own that you will use to set up housekeeping and establish your new home, just like you did with the “need” list. Then combine your lists, as before.

What To Include On Your “Everything I Have List”

List everything that is directly related to setting up housekeeping, such as kitchen equipment, bed and bath linens, furniture, and laundering items.

This means books, tools, and anything else that:

1) Both of you might have but you don’t want duplicates of,

2) You consider essential or very desirable for setting up housekeeping (i.e., anything that is on your need list), and,

3) You think someone might give as a wedding or shower gift.

Don’t list items that are obvious. Both I and my future husband would be aware, for example, that I own a personal computer, and no one who doesn’t know I own one would even consider buying me one as a wedding gift. Therefore, writing down “computer” would be a waste of time for me.

Don’t list items that are irrelevant. For example, I wouldn’t list things like how-to-write books, personal journals, sewing patterns for clothing (although I might list patterns for household items), photographs and keepsakes, personal care items that only I would use, clothing, etc (I would, however, consider clothing and other personal items while preparing my trousseau, so I would list them, but maybe not at the same time ~ depending on what was most convenient~ and they would not show up on my final pre-consolidation list).

Only list items that will outlast your engagement. Most food, cleaning supplies, and disposable items, for example, won’t even be around by the time you get married.

How detailed should my list be?

That depends on how detailed you need it to be. It needs to make sense to you! For example, if you’re listing bath towels, are their sizes, colors, and thicknesses going to matter later on in the “goods steps”? If not, then just list the total number of bath towels you have.

Whether your list looks like:

Bath towels, 2


White towels, 5
Colored towels, 2


Small bath towels: 2
Large bath towels: 2
Bath sheets: 1

Or even:

Bath sets: 4

. . . depends entirely on your needs.

List dishes by sets (but note contents and numbers). List sheets by size and numbers, and by type and color only if you need to.

Be as detailed as you need to be, but not more detailed than you need to be. Doing otherwise, in either case, will only waste your time now or later!

How Can I Do This Without Going Crazy?

Be a list-maker! Oh, wait. That might not be an option for everyone. 😉 If you don’t find list-making fun and satisfying, try these tips.

Break the job down into bite-size pieces. Firstly, list items as you come to them. For example:

  • Your bathroom
  • Your closet
  • Under your bed
  • Your desk
  • Your dresser or chest of drawers
  • Your bookcase
  • Around your room
  • Each box (individually) in storage

If you live on your own:

  • Your kitchen
    • Upper cabinets
    • Lower cabinets’
    • Pantry
    • Etc.
  • Your laundry area
  • Your living room
  • Your garage
  • Etc.

This way, you will only have to look through each area or box ONCE and you won’t have to entrust everything to your memory!

Secondly, categorize your items the same way you categorized items on your “What We Need” list.

This list, compared with your Need list, will tell you what you need to acquire.

On to Step Three!


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