Decluttering plant stuff

As I wrote in my post on December 7, “Ok, I’m doing it,” I’m getting serious about decluttering my home and my life, and I’m going to blog about some of this.

For the past two week, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time collecting, sorting, and weeding out my houseplant supplies.


I had pots, tools, and soil stashed in the garage, the basement, the back entryway, a large pantry drawer, and the shelves and two built-in storage chests in the alcove off our dining room. My first step was to bring everything together into one place. My husband wasn’t too happy about my taking over the dining room, but it was the logical place: plenty of flat surfaces to use (bookshelves, large dining room table, a smaller table, chair seats, the surface of the window seat in the bay window, and the alcove storage areas I mentioned). It seemed overwhelming, at first. I hadn’t realized how much there was, until I got it all in one room.

Plant pots on dining room table

Plant pots on dining room table


Once I got everything together, I took stock:

  • 20 tiny seedling pots
  • More than a dozen 3-inch pots
  • Similar numbers of 4-inch, 5-inch, 6-inch, 8-inch, and 10-inch pots
  • At least two dozen larger pots: 12-inch, 15-inch and 18-inch.
  • A bunch of special orchid pots of various sizes
  • Twice as many ceramic and plastic saucers as there were pots
  • Bags of different kinds of potting soil, gravel for crocking, sphagnum moss, clippers, trowels, stakes, twine, measuring cups, and old mugs for rooting cuttings.


 Weeding out/discarding

I gave away the seedling pots, and all the huge 18-inch and larger pots. I’ve kept four of each other size of pot. That’s all. I won’t be doing wholesale propagation from cuttings, again, especially not if it involves moving up to pots I can no longer lift when they’re full of crocking, soil and large, heavy plants. For every size above 8 inches, I gave away all the heavy terra cotta pots and kept a couple of sturdy and attractive plastic pots. Below 8 inches, I’m keeping only four or five nice plastic pots, and several lovely glazed ceramic pots. The plain terra cotta pots and accompanying saucers, and the rest of the glazed pots will be given to friends or donated, except for a few that will be busted up for new crocking.

The soil and additives are being stored on shelves in the garage, except for some I’ve mixed in the proportions I use for particular types of plants that I expect to repot over the winter (orchids, christmas cactus, phylodendron, a rubber plant) and sealed in containers that weigh no more than 10 pounds—the maximum I can wield with comfort. I’ve also weeded out the tools: one trowel, a pair of garden shears, a small plant clipper, a measuring cup, a pair of work gloves, a watering can.

The rest is gone. What I’ve kept (less than a third of the original pile) is now neatly stored in one cupboard, one storage chest, and two shelves—much more manageable!


About Kat

Cat lover, singer, early music addict, reads a lot. Former R&D chemist with an obsessive need for variety. Now active as a freelance technical writer and editor, web designer, photographer, computer coach, and trainer. Owner, MasterWork Consulting (
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