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The China dishes.


Ginevra
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I'm ruminating about my china dishes as I'm writing a book about decluttering.

 

Like many, I received pieces of china when I got married. Like many, I rarely use them. Part of the problem is that I only have six dinner sets, though I have more teacups and many more crystal glasses. I am a believer in using things if you go to the trouble of owning them, but the china dishes are nearly never sensible to use. Rarely, if we have another couple over for dinner, I will use the china, since I only have six sets of plates. But I can't use the china for the majority of dinners we have, because we nearly always have more guests than that.

 

Even on the rare occasions that we do use the china for guests, it ends up annoying me because it needs to be hand-washed and then the guests always feel obligated to help wash and dry the dishes. This is only polite, of course, but I don't want my guests to worry about my dishes; I want them to have a nice time and forget about the damn dishes. :tongue_smilie:

 

I keep thinking I should just get rid of those dishes so I can stop being nagged about it. I bought nice-ish dinnerware a few years ago (Correll) in a pattern I like, with settings for 20 people - all dishwasher-safe and totally useful. Nevertheless, it's hard to get rid of the china. Seems like sacrilege. I also am probably too lazy to try and sell it; it's not worth much and I don't care enough. I see china all the time at Goodwill. Probably all the women in my exact shoes.

 

To cap it all, my grandmother specifically gave me the sugar bowl and creamer that goes with the set and this - I truly never, ever use. It has got to be the most useless thing I own. But I'm touchy about it because my grandmother gave it to me and was so pleased with herself for buying something so special. :tongue_smilie:

 

Do I get rid of the china? The sugar bowl and creamer set also? All? None? Give away? Ignore it? Has anyone here actually gotten rid of their china?

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I love my china, but I vote to keep it if you have a daughter who might want it one day. My mom is like you, not a china person, but I have some pieces from my grandmother and great-grandmother that I treasure. They are not at all valuable, and were probably dime store stuff when new, but I love them and think of their original owners every time I pull them out.

 

So that is my vote: hold onto it for your daughter, if you have one.

 

 

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I would get rid of it all.

 

Mind you I'm the person who doesn't even own china. I specifically asked for no china or anything equally useless. I warned people if you give me something I will either use it or loose it.

 

I attach little to no sentimental value to almost all material things.

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I would get rid of it all.

 

Mind you I'm the person who doesn't even own china. I specifically asked for no china or anything equally useless. I warned people if you give me something I will either use it or loose it.

 

I attach little to no sentimental value to almost all material things.

 

 

I wish I had had that foresight 18 years ago.

 

I generally don't attach sentimental value to material things, either. I just know some people would be horrified to learn that I got rid of it. (My mom, i.e.)

 

P.S. My mom told me a few years ago that she plans to will her crystal punch bowl to me. I wanted to scream WWWWWHYYYYY???? :laugh: That's another thing I see at Goodwill all the time.

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Well, I have never gotten rid of China. However, that is because I have never owned China. When I have a lot of company over, that is when I particularly want to use my dishwasher, so I wouldn't want to use the China. My extended family is large, so when we have company, it is often a large number of people, and we actually usually used paper. We are in formal people, I can't imagine us hosting a formal affair of any sort. We did host Thanksgiving dinner, which was traditional, but we used paper plates for that. There were 20+ people, no one wanted to deal with all those dishes. I suppose I can't tell you that you need to get rid of your China, but I can tell you that I have never missed not having any.

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I'm not particularly sentimental, but I have a soft spot for the important females in my life.

 

I'd ditch the china. If not donated, then sell it on Craigslist to buy more Corelle or any other service items you'll actually love and use when you're hosting. Oops, re-read and see you're too lazy to sell. (Hey, my kind of lady!) Put it out on your curb, donate it, or see if anyone you know has a young girl who might enjoy it as a tea set. My daughter's tea set was gifted to her by a woman my brother works with, who was in your situation LOL. She loves it.

 

But I'd keep grandma's gift. It might be useless now, but maybe not later. (Maybe you can use the sugar bowl in the bathroom to hold cotton balls, and the creamer as a small vase, e.g.) But even if it never earns its keep in your collection, it is allowed to stay because it makes you smile. A horde of useless things is a problem; one or two, even to the anti-sentimental, is forgiveable.

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China is important to me but then I use it. I have a complete 12 place setting. It is a nice pattern that looks good, in my opinion, for any social occasion (ie. they aren't Christmas themed, for instance). If you don't use it, you don't have to save it. If you are crafty and really wanted to commemorate your wedding china, you could smash some pieces and put them in concrete to make a little stepping stone for your garden.

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Some dishwashers now have a china setting, extra pieces of china make great gifts for birthdays or Christmas. If you want to you use it make it known that you would like pieces of it as gifts and then put it in the dishwasher and don't worry about it. If you don't think you can do that keep the 1 or 2 pieces that you really like and get rid of the rest.

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I would keep the creamer and sugar bowl to display somewhere and ditch the rest. Someone else can be blessed by the china (and handwash it all!).

 

I gave away an entire 12 piece place setting years ago. It was given to me and had no sentimental value...we toted it around in boxes for 4 or 5 years and never once used it so I decided to ditch it all. I've not once regretted it.

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why are you keeping the china? do you feel obligated? if you had more settings would you use it? one thing I've also seen done is mixing plates from different services. can you stack your pile of dishes in a sink of soapy water so the guests don't feel obligated to help wash? purchase some that is dishwasher safe? (I ended up with my sil's service for family thanksgiving dinner. it doesn't do anything for me - but it was free, and is dishwasher safe)

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http://www.replacements.com/faq.htm

 

They buy from individuals. This is a reputable company. I have purchased pieces from them.

 

I do use my china because I share your all's posted viewpoint that possessions are to be used! :001_smile: . . . I have our wedding china, as well as sets inherited from mother and from a great aunt. I don't mind the handwashing. In general, I think of china as fine art objects.

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I decided to use my nice dishes every day and guess what? In the past 4 years we have only broken 2 (and yes, they go through the dishwasher). It is so much more durable and beautiful than my everyday set was.

 

So... either use it or dump it. BUT If you are willing to dump it, why not just allow yourself to enjoy it for as long as it lasts?

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Send it to me! :D

 

I love, love, love china and use it every day. If I had more spare money I'd collect it as a hobby.

 

If I were you I'd pack it in an out-of-the-way spot and save it for daughters/granddaughters. It's totally fine to be a minimalist, but your heirs might really appreciate it some day.

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Mercy child, where were you raised? 8) You do not get rid. of. the. china. Granted, you have one dd so you can't threaten to give it all to her sister, but you could always bring up this or that niece, or maybe a future dil?

 

My oldest dd is the oldest granddaughter, she just got her grandmother's gorgeous china tea set. Yes, SCORE!!!

 

(Grandmother is still with us, btw)

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We use our vintage china fairly often. But we have enough of it to use and we need to use it anytime we have guests as we presently only have 4 place settings of what we use everyday (fiestaware).

 

Shhhh...I stick it in the dishwasher all the time. Never lost anything.

 

I wouldn't hesitate to dump it if I were in your shoes though.

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No dishwasher. Please. Read up about crazing and you'll feel better about washing fine china by hand. My mother's Wedgwood Queensware is 80% unusable for eating because she put hers through dishwashers. There may be a "china cycle" on today's higher-end models; however, I'm highly skeptical of its safety. Also, any metal gilding (gold, platinum) will be ruined.

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Keep the tea/coffee cups, the smallest side-plates, a serving plate and the cream/sugar. Try your best to use them as a tea service, even if it means putting them in the dishwasher on china setting.

 

This is what I was going to suggest. If you have the matching teapot or coffeepot, keep enough cups and saucers to make a set and donate the rest. Then maybe give yourself a year to use it. If you don't, get rid of it too (after asking your kids if they would like it one day). I have my mother's china and love it. My DD wants it one day. Of course, we collect tea sets and cups too, so we may just be born china lovers. :D

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Hmm.. my MIL is trying to pass off some china my way... and at first I thought, well what would it hurt. Then I realized, we will never have the kind of company that requires nice (even though these aren't so elegant) pretty dishes.

 

Then I find myself fantasizing about this gorgeous China at the Elder Beerman home store.. and I remind myself that I will never use them.

 

Conclusion, if I hate it.. I wont use it. If I LOVE it.. I wont use it (for fear of something happening to it.)

 

If its taking up space, and annoying you... get rid of it. If you have a dd to pass it on to, that may be sweet. Then again, she may find herself in the same position as you :) Its so hard to maintain a clutter free home or to downsize (Im trying to right now and its nervewracking) if there is something you wouldn't mind to see go, then get it gone!

 

Dont be a slave to your material possessions ;)

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When I got married I received the china from when my parents married, my great grandmothers china, my mother in laws as well as some pieces from my grandma. I saved my favorites and a couple that had sentimental value and gave the rest away. I then told my family that if they wanted to give me pretty dishes then please give fiesta ware. I love my fiesta ware. Its pretty, practical and difficult to destroy :) If you are not finding joy in your china then why keep it? If you love it then let it have space in your life otherwise it is only a burden that steals time and space from things you want or love.

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Keep the sugar bowl and creamer since they are special to you.

Give away or sell the rest. I sent the china I inherited from my mother to my sister, who had much stronger feelings about it than I ever did. I hate using china for all the same reasons that you do - washing, storage and rarely used.

 

But I have a whole collection of teapots inherited from my mother and grandmother that I am definitely keeping although I never use them. They hold a special place in my heart, so they get storage space.

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I have lots of china - a full set of beautiful white Haviland with gold, and lots of lovely serving pieces. I love setting a beautiful table, partly because everything I set belonged to my grandmother, great grandmother, or great great aunt. I also have their silver and crystal. It gives me pleasure to know the pleasure they would take in seeing me use it.

 

I also have china I registered for upon marriage. I rarely use it. I only have eight place settings and need 11 for a family event. I have thought about selling it, but it is nice china so maybe a grand daughter will like it. It would help if I had better storage in the dining room.

 

We hand wash everything which is a pain. I don't worry that much about breaks. I am clumsy but have never broken a single piece - I guess when it is in my hands I am careful.

 

Anyway, I say store and save. You have daughters, right? Perhaps it will mean something to them.

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About the dishwasher - I'm not going to do it. My dishwasher has a setting, but I don't trust that. My SIL ruined the gilded edging on her crystal this way and she has very high-end appliances. My crystal and my china has a gilded edge.

 

About planning to give it to my dd one day - I can't imagine she would care. She has an even more practical streak than I do. As it is, I stand to inherit some dishes and other stuff from my mom one day and I pretty much dread it. I don't want more fancy plates, bowls, pitchers and candy dishes to feel guilty about. I already have my mom's wedding gown; I have no idea what to do with it, either, except keep it in a closet for no good reason.

 

I have made up my mind that I'm keeping the sugar bowl and creamer, whatever I do with the rest.

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I have a set of sterling flatware from my grandmother's household. One receives very little of the resale value when selling sterling, so I'm keeping it as "family history". (All my children are big on family history, so someone is going to want it some day.) I never shall use this flatware because I feel weird eating with something that seems like, essentially, jewelry. Fine china is (or can be) practical; sterling flatware is not.

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It sounds like you are keeping it out of guilt over not really wanting it. Let it go. It will be liberating. Rather than donate it, you could offer it to a pack rat relative or just pack it totally away to clear up kitchen space. A few china holders in the attic or a closet shelf could be a middle ground.

 

Of course I am the person who got rid of my mother's wedding dress. No regrets.

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I have a set of sterling flatware from my grandmother's household. One receives very little of the resale value when selling sterling, so I'm keeping it as "family history". (All my children are big on family history, so someone is going to want it some day.) I never shall use this flatware because I feel weird eating with something that seems like, essentially, jewelry. Fine china is (or can be) practical; sterling flatware is not.

 

What? Why? I love using sterling and find it more user friendly than china, because it doesn't break. And if you use and wash it often, it doesn't need polishing much.

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China is important to me but then I use it. I have a complete 12 place setting. It is a nice pattern that looks good, in my opinion, for any social occasion (ie. they aren't Christmas themed, for instance). If you don't use it, you don't have to save it. If you are crafty and really wanted to commemorate your wedding china, you could smash some pieces and put them in concrete to make a little stepping stone for your garden.

 

Jean, you are the best.

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I like china, silverware, crystal, etc. I don't think I could ever get rid of ours. I argue with my dh over using it because his family was less formal. We were fortunate in that we were given enough to use with our family plus a few guests. I also recently inherited a china cabinet to display it in.

 

If you don't decide to keep the china, I think you should definitely keep the creamer and sugar bowl. If you don't have a special place to display them, you could use them like they are everyday-ware.

 

www.replacements.com is great. They are very picky, though. My mom and my brother's ex-girlfriend tried to take some pieces to them that the girlfriend had purchased at several estate sales. The store was extremely picky, which is great for buyers! Maybe not so much for sellers.

 

If you do sell it all, keep the make and name of the pattern. You might change your mind or have a sentimental granddaughter one day! :)

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We just use it everyday, and I put it in the dishwasher. I figure there is no reason to get rid of perfectly good dishes, so I might as well use them. So far only a few chips in the 4 years since we started using them nearly daily and running them through the dishwasher.

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I already have my mom's wedding gown; I have no idea what to do with it, either, except keep it in a closet for no good reason.

 

 

 

This made me laugh. I am pro-china but anti-wedding gown. I do not even have my own wedding gown. Funny how women are so pro- or anti-china. I am unsentimental and practical to an extreme except for china.

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It sounds like you are keeping it out of guilt over not really wanting it. Let it go. It will be liberating. Rather than donate it, you could offer it to a pack rat relative or just pack it totally away to clear up kitchen space. A few china holders in the attic or a closet shelf could be a middle ground.

 

Of course I am the person who got rid of my mother's wedding dress. No regrets.

 

 

True.

 

In terms of space, it doesn't really matter if I keep it or not. I have a built-in china cabinet in my dining room. The glass portion contains my crystal and the lower cabinets hold the dishes with no problem. It's just that philosophically, I think it is silly to keep stuff you don't care about and don't enjoy using. The crystal - I enjoy. When I serve guests wine, I'm happy to serve it in the crystal glasses. I don't even mind the hand-washing. But the dishes bother me. Maybe it has something to do with all the years of dinners at my MIL's where 30-some pieces of china always had to be washed and dried by us (the females). It just strikes me as needless work. (Understand - it never bothered me to help wash my MIL's dishes, but I don't want my own guests to feel this obligation.)

 

My mom's wedding dress: she would freakin' die if she found out that dress was no longer somewhere in my house! That dress really poses a difficulty. It was not preserved and could not be worn as-is, even if someone, somewhere along the line really wanted to wear it. It got stink-bug poo on it in my closet a few years ago. I can't decide whether to take it to the cleaners to attempt to remove the poo or don't attempt it because it's too fragile. But leaving the dress with the poo on it makes it even less likely it can ever be used by anyone, even if that was remotely likely. Meanwhile, in it's unpreserved state, it's big and full and takes up more space than I want it to. *sigh* I hate STUFF. I hate sentimental stuff and obligatory stuff the most.

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True.

 

In terms of space, it doesn't really matter if I keep it or not. I have a built-in china cabinet in my dining room. The glass portion contains my crystal and the lower cabinets hold the dishes with no problem. It's just that philosophically, I think it is silly to keep stuff you don't care about and don't enjoy using. The crystal - I enjoy. When I serve guests wine, I'm happy to serve it in the crystal glasses. I don't even mind the hand-washing. But the dishes bother me. Maybe it has something to do with all the years of dinners at my MIL's where 30-some pieces of china always had to be washed and dried by us (the females). It just strikes me as needless work. (Understand - it never bothered me to help wash my MIL's dishes, but I don't want my own guests to feel this obligation.)

 

My mom's wedding dress: she would freakin' die if she found out that dress was no longer somewhere in my house! That dress really poses a difficulty. It was not preserved and could not be worn as-is, even if someone, somewhere along the line really wanted to wear it. It got stink-bug poo on it in my closet a few years ago. I can't decide whether to take it to the cleaners to attempt to remove the poo or don't attempt it because it's too fragile. But leaving the dress with the poo on it makes it even less likely it can ever be used by anyone, even if that was remotely likely. Meanwhile, in it's unpreserved state, it's big and full and takes up more space than I want it to. *sigh* I hate STUFF. I hate sentimental stuff and obligatory stuff the most.

 

 

Perhaps in the future it could be cut into christening gowns for new babies?

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I'm not particularly sentimental, but I have a soft spot for the important females in my life.

 

I'd ditch the china. If not donated, then sell it on Craigslist to buy more Corelle or any other service items you'll actually love and use when you're hosting. Oops, re-read and see you're too lazy to sell. (Hey, my kind of lady!) Put it out on your curb, donate it, or see if anyone you know has a young girl who might enjoy it as a tea set. My daughter's tea set was gifted to her by a woman my brother works with, who was in your situation LOL. She loves it.

 

But I'd keep grandma's gift. It might be useless now, but maybe not later. (Maybe you can use the sugar bowl in the bathroom to hold cotton balls, and the creamer as a small vase, e.g.) But even if it never earns its keep in your collection, it is allowed to stay because it makes you smile. A horde of useless things is a problem; one or two, even to the anti-sentimental, is forgiveable.

 

 

This --totally agree. I'd even try to put grandma's gift somewhere to display it and remind you of her.

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Option 1: Put the pieces that your grandmother gave you on display somewhere in your home. Sounds like it might look nice sitting on a shelf in the dining room. Then use the rest of your pieces for every day and put them in your dishwasher. Who cares if the gilded edge comes off? You were going to throw the pieces out or give them to Goodwill anyway.

 

Option 2: Try to find the rest of your set somewhere. Is the pattern still available? Can you find it on Replacements.com? If so, have people give you pieces for every birthday and Christmas until you complete your set.

 

Option 3: Find a nice set that compliments the set you already have. It's very sheik now to mix and match china patterns. The gilded edges you already have might look fabulous with some gold plates or a colored pattern. Then mix and match each place setting at your table. There are some teas I've been to whereby several people were responsible for bringing china to the event. All the sets get mixed and matched and the tables are gorgeous.

 

Option 4: Keep the pieces your grandmother gave you on a nightstand in your bedroom. Take a photo of the rest. Then use the 6 plates as dishes to mix paint in for art projects. You could also have your kiddos paint them and hang them as art. I did this with some digital photography. I printed out a photo I had placed a watercolor filter on. I tore the edges of the photo and glued it to the plate. The remainder of the plate was then painted, a couple of jewels glued to it, and other decorations were added. It was a gorgeous art piece which I placed in a bathroom.

 

Option 5: Save them for breaking one day when you determine you are the angriest you will ever be for the rest of your life. It feels good to throw a piece of china every once in a while.

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Well, I inherited my mom's 20 place setting b/c sis didn't want it. I moved it across the nation and then couldn't fit it in our 900sqft place. We had to put it in storage with other stuff. After 8 years I never used it. I do love the idea of nice meals with china, but it's just not our life.

I looked at replacements.com - my set was very common and it wasn't really a good deal.

I overheard a lady at a hs group saying how she was so thrilled to pick up china at the thrift store.

The next day I took it to the Goodwill. I did pull out a few pieces to save.

I don't regret it. I think of the lady I overheard and I think my mom would have loved it that someone who would appreciate it now has her china. That's the kind of lady she was - very thoughtful and wanted to bless others.

 

michele

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Use it.

 

I take mine out and use them at least once a month, and I love them more because I made that decision. If I buy it, if I inherit it, I use it. That's how we keep loving them.

 

We just had a first communion this past weekend and I broke out the china. I'll break it out on mother's day and father's day. I made a choice to start using it.

 

It is a wonderful 'gift' to give your family, to celebrate their day with something that's reserved for special occasions. It truly makes it special. It's not just special because we say so...break out the china.

 

I have a 12 place setting, I have a 16 French white place setting and I need to get another one that matches the first so that when my kids get older and bring SOs, I have plates for them, too.

 

Don't think that this cost a lot of $. I spent a total of 30 dollars on BOTH, and I have *gorgeous* cut crystal glasses for every course that I spent a whopping 10 dollars on.

 

My nana's blue willoware that I inherited is hanging on my kitchen walls. That is just beyond precious to me, and i love having china in a kitchen.

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Option 1: Put the pieces that your grandmother gave you on display somewhere in your home. Sounds like it might look nice sitting on a shelf in the dining room. Then use the rest of your pieces for every day and put them in your dishwasher. Who cares if the gilded edge comes off? You were going to throw the pieces out or give them to Goodwill anyway.

 

Option 2: Try to find the rest of your set somewhere. Is the pattern still available? Can you find it on Replacements.com? If so, have people give you pieces for every birthday and Christmas until you complete your set.

 

Option 3: Find a nice set that compliments the set you already have. It's very sheik now to mix and match china patterns. The gilded edges you already have might look fabulous with some gold plates or a colored pattern. Then mix and match each place setting at your table. There are some teas I've been to whereby several people were responsible for bringing china to the event. All the sets get mixed and matched and the tables are gorgeous.

 

Option 4: Keep the pieces your grandmother gave you on a nightstand in your bedroom. Take a photo of the rest. Then use the 6 plates as dishes to mix paint in for art projects. You could also have your kiddos paint them and hang them as art. I did this with some digital photography. I printed out a photo I had placed a watercolor filter on. I tore the edges of the photo and glued it to the plate. The remainder of the plate was then painted, a couple of jewels glued to it, and other decorations were added. It was a gorgeous art piece which I placed in a bathroom.

 

Option 5: Save them for breaking one day when you determine you are the angriest you will ever be for the rest of your life. It feels good to throw a piece of china every once in a while.

 

 

 

The only thing I would add

Is if there are any sets on replacment china site, sell it so other china lovers can complete their incomplete sets.

 

And I saw a wall on Pinterest that had made a very pretty wall display by randomly placing plates on it, maybe that would work

 

 

Otherwise I saw use it and don't worry about the washing. For the special pieces put them out around the house..... Use them for containers, put a plant in them, find a place to put them.

 

I am a huge believer in use it or toss it. Don't feel guilty about it.

 

 

 

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I gave away a large set of expensive dishes (most were wedding gifts) to a relative who loves them and uses them every day. I've never experienced a moment of regret. I don't think I'd feel the same way if I had just taken them to Goodwill. Emotionally, I like knowing that they went to someone who really appreciates them.

 

I love my Corelle. I never worry about them, and if I need to replace a piece, it's cheap and easy.

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Oooooh!

 

A fight!

 

Orthodox handwasher vs. agnostic dishwasher-er!

 

This should be good! Popcorn at the ready?

 

LOL! I'm kidding, btw.

 

 

LOL, myself ! You must be really bored this morning! Now fold in that I won't dine with my sterling flatware because it feels like eating with jewelry (as posted earlier), and we'll have a kerpuffle even more rousing! :D

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You don't enjoy it so I vote you get rid of it. I would keep Grandma's gift because it does not take up a lot of room and it made her so happy to give to you. This is coming from the woman who sold her grandmother's sterling silver so I could buy the sterling I liked. I don't think my dh ever recovered from my non-sentimental thoughts on that sterling set. It was very ornate (so not my style) and she had everything-right down to the grapefruit spoons. I kept a few of the serving pieces and sold the rest knowing she would want me to have sterling I enjoyed.

 

To paraphrase Tim Gunn-Why is it in your closet if it doesn't make you feel good?

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Perhaps in the future it could be cut into christening gowns for new babies?

 

Would you believe...she also gave me the christening gown? :lol: It's true, but I have to laugh at the absurdity of it all!

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This --totally agree. I'd even try to put grandma's gift somewhere to display it and remind you of her.

 

 

Yes - it's visible now, through the glass of my built-in china cabinet. I can see it and it does make me smile.

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