How did they get to be in such a state? Napkins and placemats generally start out as "sets" of 4, 6, or 8. Then someone needs only 3 or 5 and you have some left over if you agree to "break the set" and sell to them just what they need. Now I know that some retailers NEVER do this, but we almost always do. It just seems better this way - the customers get what they need, and I get to keep some of my favorites. I know --- once again, that isn't what I am supposed to be doing. So, one of my resolutions this year is to just do it right. And in order to keep up with that, I am going to go back and get all this stuff under control so I won't want to fall back on bad habits.
I am really enjoying searching through all these wonderful things here. I think that I really got started when the dreaded "inventory count" started. You really get up close to your stuff when you have to count every single thing in sight (and some that are in hiding!). With over 5,000 single items living in this store, you can well imagine the relief I will feel when I can let go of some of them. So, I am gathering up the orphans, the pieces that manufacturers no longer produce (which makes ordering replacements or add-ons for customers impossible), things I am just plain tired of moving around and displaying, and some special pieces and putting them up for sale at http://www.fantasticgaragesale.blogspot.com/ so someone can rescue them. Hopefully in the quite near future you will be able to see a shop all pristine, neat, tidy, and full of new exciting displays.