Ah the beloved hope chest. It is like a treasure chest for a young lady, a place where she can store items for her future home. While she carefully adds items in her hope chest, she dreams of her future life with her husband, children, and home to care for.


I have fond memories of collecting items for my hope chest. When I was 16 I used some inheritance money from grandparents and commissioned an Amish man to make me a hope chest, which I still have today. It’s nothing fancy, but I like it.

After my sister and I both were married, we have sat and talked about our hope chests. Were they really useful and will we encourage our daughters to have a hope chest? My answer is a hesitant yes.

When a young girl starts gathering items at the age of 13-15 (normally around the time a lot of girls start), she still does not have a mature perspective over how she will want her house to look. The colors she likes at 16 might very well not be the colors she likes at the age of 24 when she is getting married.

Also keep in mind that most brides are blessed with at least one bridal shower. They probably did not have this tradition when hope chests were popular, and they were put together out of great necessity as well as the enjoyment of it. So many of the items that are found in a young girl’s chest might be gifted to her at her shower.

I was blessed to be married at 19, but my sister was 31 when she was finally married. She has told me that she ended up using very little home decor items that she had gathered along the way as it just wasn’t her style by the time she was married.

If your daughter has her heart set on collecting items for the future, here is a list of items that are practical and generic that I would suggest purchasing as money allows:

Click here to read the rest over at Raising Homemakers…

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