This weekend we went through all our kitchen and dining room cabinets to do an inventory (insurance purposes) and were surprised to discover we own eight sets of salt/pepper shakers. I had no idea we owned so many. I assure you I/we do not collect the durned things - I'm aware some people do collect them - and see that most of the shakers were inherited from or given to us by family members at various intervals. We actually use only two sets on a daily basis: one next to the kitchen table and another next to the spice cabinet (it's perhaps a misnomer to call the spice cabinet one a 'set' as they are a mismatched wooden salt shaker and large porcelain pepper grinder). We have another set, a 1980's vintage set of crystal shakers that are used only two or three times a year for formal dining events like Thanksgiving or Christmas feasts. The remainder are never used and pretty much fall squarely into the 'curio/dust collector' category e.g. a pair of cactus and windmill shakers, or a 1960's pastel-colored plastic tupperware set intended to be used outdoors for picnics.
Do you know how many sets of salt/pepper shakers are taking up space in your house? Any interesting or entertaining designs, like the tchotchkes one picks up to commemorate a family vacation to Niagara Falls or the St. Louis arch?