What's the best way for a single young lady to prepare her future home, when she doesn't yet know when or where it will be? In my opinion, it's a hope chest.
I was given a beautiful handmade hope chest when I was about 17/18 years old. Since then, I've worked faithfully to fill it- so faithfully it's now overflowed into my walk-in closet and under my bed! It may have started out as just odds and ends, a collection of mix matched dishes and some items with sentimental value, but now my hope chest is practically a new home in a box kit. I've even had to create an inventory list so that I don't buy duplicates of items I already have, because I've bought or received so many things for it, I can't hardly keep track of them all anymore.
My kitchen will be well stocked, thanks to my mom. She's always thinking of things I will need or would be helpful for my kitchen, plus a ton of little things that are just for fun. My mini doughnut maker, mini pie maker and Hot Shot water heater will get much use, Mom, I promise you. There's my everyday dishes, my flatware, my many casserole dishes, my beautiful glass mixing bowl set... These are the things I'll use daily. And then there's the linens for my kitchen. I love crocheting pot holders, so I've probably got a dozen in all different colors and types, and keep adding to it when I need to use up scrap yarn (Did I mention I collect crocheted pot holders?).
Then there's my doily collection, my 'pretties'... The things I'll use to dress up my home. Antiques make me happy, so I've got a few almost antique items that I hope will become family heirlooms. My family Bible and my little library of books will have a special place in my future home, as will the few pieces of furniture I've got or received especially for my own home.
And of course, I've got a few things put away for any children I might be blessed with. Baby blankets, booties, hats, quilts... I've put a little of everything away for my children. I want them to know their mother thought and prayed for them long before they were even born, just like my mother did.
I didn't forget recipes and information. I've got a stock of home remedy books, emergency medical manuals and a recipe box that will help me keep my family healthy and full.
One of my most treasured items in my hope chest is my collection of letters and books of letters written to my future husband. I've been writing to him (though I've yet to find out who he is) since I was 16 years old. As you can guess, I've got a stack of books and a fat envelope of letters piled up by now.
My friends also contribute a lot of things for my hope chest, be that actual items or ideas. My friend Priscilla has given my many ideas for things I never thought of. My friend Bethany made me think about putting away things for my future husband.
I've seen a lot of lists online about what should go in a hope chest. Some of them make good suggestions, but I'd say this is an individual decision. Fill your hope chest with what you want in it, with what you find useful or necessary. Young ladies, watch your mom's kitchen. What does she use, what do you use? Put those things away.
And young men, it doesn't hurt for you to have a hope chest (of sorts) either. Tools, things you want for your future home... Just saying, us ladies aren't the only ones who can put things away for our future homes 😉
What are your feelings and thoughts and ideas for a hope chest? I'd love to hear them!