Decluttering an inherited liquor cabinet

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Naomi Seldin writes an online blog called "Simpler Living" for the Albany (NY) newspaper, the Times Union. One of her readers posed this question, which she passed along to me:

"How do you declutter a liquor cabinet full of oddball stuff you don’t drink?

"Over the years I’ve somehow acquired lots of bottles (some only part full) of liqueurs (pear brandy, pineapple liqueur, kirsch, a ton of amaretto) and other bottles of booze I don’t really drink (vermouth). Some things were bought to use in a recipe, some were acquired when my father sold his house. I brought back a bottle of mead from England as a novelty souvenir and never really wanted to drink it.

"I suppose the easiest thing would be to toss the contents down the drain and recycle the bottles. Yet some of this stuff would be of value to other people, but you can’t offer alcohol on Freecycle.

"We’re talking about hundreds of dollars worth of alcohol. Maybe I should just circulate a list among my friends? How do other people deal with this? Booze & wine can take up a lot of space in a small home, especially if it’s stuff you don’t even like."

A very good question, and perhaps of interest to more and more people as our population continues to grow older and more people have to break up households.

I recently went through the same process ("Four Roses a memorable bouquet") and found a few gems. But I also found a lot of junk I personally never would have purchased.

That may be the simplest and best starting point: Sorting bottles into (A.) things you like and would drink, and (B.) everything else.

What to do with Group B? It's illegal for you to sell the items, and giving them away presents certain logistical and perhaps even legal problems. So, go the direct route: Throw a de-cluttering party.

If there are enough bottles, invite a few friends over to sample your inherited wares. Make sure you have plenty of fresh ice, mixers and fruits so they can fool around with various cocktail recipes. It's a great way to use up spirits that don't interest you in the first place while entertaining friends.

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1 comment:

William M. Dowd said...

The party gambit would be the best solution, but provide a DD to ferry everyone home, and to be on the nice side, pick them up too.