Works For Me: Backwards Edition!

Today is Works-For-Me Wednesday: The Backwards Edition.  That simply means that instead of offering a tip, you ask for one, posting a question that has had you stumped, letting your readers offer advice.

Now, I need your advice.

Lately, I’ve de-stuff-ifying.  De-cluttering.  Getting rid of the extras.  Simplifying

It feels good.  Except when it doesn’t, because sometimes it’s confusing.

Here’s the dilemma:

For some convoluted reason, we registered for fine china when we got married, nearly 14 years ago.  We received ten complete place settings of Lenox Solitaire–it’s a very formal ivory pattern with a wide silver band around it. 

That lovely silver band that makes it so pretty?  It also makes it so I can’t put it in the dishwasher

I DON’T DO THINGS THAT CAN’T GO IN THE DISHWASHER.  (Interesting side note:  I even put my Pampered Chef baking stone in the dishwasher, a confession which has caused many a Pampered Chef consultant to gasp in horror.  Evidently, this is grounds for public flogging at the Pampered Chef Headquarters.  But I’ve been plopping the SAME stone in the dishwasher for 10 years, without it cracking or warping or coming out tasting like soap.  Let the flogging begin.)

Anyway, back to the china.

It’s beautiful, but it’s formal.  We don’t use it.  We never have.  We never will.  We love having people over, but we cook burgers and put them on paper plates.  It’s just who we are.  And no, I’m not the bring-it-out-for-special-occasions type of girl.  When Hubs and I have a quiet evening of romance, I don’t want to sit at my kitchen table (which is permanently sticky, by the way), eating by candlelight off of plates I’m going to have to handwash later.  On occasions like that, we just go out.

But y’all, these plates are like new.  They still have the Dillard’s price tags on the bottom of each piece.  It’s kind of sad to think that all that money was spent on us for wedding gifts, when we should’ve just asked for Wal Mart gift cards instead.  That would’ve bought a lot of Hamburger Helper, which is what we existed on our first year of marriage.

I promise, this is coming to a point.

It seems terribly wasteful to keep dishes we’ll never use.  They take up a lot of space in my dining room cabinet.  We checked into selling them back to a dealer, but the whole set was going to bring in something crazy like $200.  Ebay didn’t look much more promising.

So here’s my question.  What should I do with the china?  Get rid of it?  Sell it for pennies on the dollar?  Store it in the attic in case my daughter wants it someday?  Burn off a little PMS energy and smash them in the floor? (I’m kidding, Mom, I won’t do thatProbably.)

What do you think I should do with it?  How can I be sensible and generous and practical with a cabinet full of unused, expensive china?

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235 thoughts on “Works For Me: Backwards Edition!

  1. Angie @ Many Little Blessings says:

    I might be apt to sell them, personally. The way I look at it, even $200 is better than having things sit around that you have no use for.
    If you just can’t abide by that (LOL), then I would store them in the attic. Maybe they’ll increase in value over time or they might be nice to hand down to someone (as you said).
    Good luck!

  2. Jill says:

    We didn’t register for china for the exact same reason. Those ladies at the registry try to strong arm you into doing so and then look at you like you have just lit a baby on fire when you say you don’t want to. Anyway, I vote for sell it. Honestly what else are you going to do with it.
    That being said, my mom just passed down her china to me and I love it. I got it out for Thanksgiving and was so excited to use it. Then again, it is dishwasher safe (or at least I put it in there) so I will use it occasionally. I am with you on not using something I can’t stick in there. Why on God’s green earth would I wash something by hand when there is a perfectly good machine to do that for me. That would be like crawling around the floor picking up crumbs with my hands.
    This comment is way too long, but apparently fine china is something I have a lot of opinions about. Who knew?

  3. Lori ~ Simple Life at Home says:

    After agonizing over this very issue for years, last year I decided to sell it. Yes, it was for pennies on the dollar. But I was free of it! It feels good not to have it here – making me feel like a failure for not using it more often, taking up space and not contributing one blessed thing to my life. I say get rid of it!
    Seriously, someone should tell brides-to-be to forgo the china and ask for something more practical, like a year’s supply of babysitting once babies come along!

  4. Rookie Mom 101 says:

    No problemo…I would go to Bed Bath and Beyond with the 20% coupon of course and buy the storage containers for china. Lillian also has them for about $20 – $30. Then I would just put them up in the attic for either a Really BIG PMS day or of course saving them for your daughter is a great idea. Our China has been hibernating in the attic nicely since 2001!

  5. Vickie@PursuingSimplicity says:

    I am in the same position in regards to beautiful, only used once china from 1980! What do I do with it? I have researched a few places to sell it at here in Oklahoma. One place that maybe you have not checked out online is Replacements.LTD. They buy and sell out of circulation china. You might go to their website and look around and see what your china is selling for on their site.
    I feel your pain. I hate to part with it but only two place settings have seen any action at all in 28 years! I’m sorry I can’t be of more help but truly check out Replacements Limited.

  6. Lady Why says:

    You could give it all to me!
    No, seriously, I would save it for your daughter. Those things are so much more important and precious as a daughter gets older. It could be a coveted heirloom for her. Take it from me… a mom whose oldest girl is turning 18 next week. ~sniff, sniff~

  7. Alana says:

    I like using my China, but, then again I can put it into the dishwasher.
    It’s hard for me to tell you to sell it – and I believe in getting rid of just about everything not being used. I am also not sentimental, but there’s something about China. You may won’t to pass it down one day.
    I’m not sure what your decorating style/taste is, but maybe you could get those inexpensive plate hangers and create a little collection – not in the attic though.

  8. Proverbs31 says:

    Here’s one suggestion. If you aren’t interested in making money off of them but you just can’t stand to sell them for less than they are worth – you could consider donating them. Obviously these are not the kind of thing you can donate to Good Will.. but there has got to be some place that needs nice dishes for special occasions.. A church, some kind of local community group that holds banquest, a home for unwed mothers? Who knows? Granted it would be easier with everyday china, but it might be possible for fine china. The thing that appeals to me about that suggestion is that you’re not only de-cluttering, but you are helping someone else out. And if you want to, you could write up a donation slip for a tax write off so that you and hubs at least benefit in some small way from a gift that was intended to benefit you instead of sitting in a cabinet. Thoughts?

  9. Christy says:

    I’m a super sentimental type. I would keep it in the hutch, or put it in storage in the attic. As soon as my kiddo is big enough to eat off of good plates (you know, the kind that smashes) we will get ours back out. I love using mine.

  10. Amber says:

    I kind of wish my mom had china to hand down. So…my vote is to put it in the attic! And, the first thing I would do is TRY A PIECE IN the DISHWASHER! πŸ™‚ See what happens – maybe like the stone, it will be just fine! I hear that the more you use china, the stronger it gets!

  11. Carol ~ I Throw Like A Girl says:

    I am a firm believer that no one should be allowed to pick out china when they are 21 years old. Get married – yes. Pick out china – no. I picked an ugly contemporary pattern that I ended up hating and never using. So, I sold it on Ebay as individual place settings. I figured someone might want to add to their collection or replace a broken piece. I am not a saver, so it didn’t make sense to save an ugly china pattern for my daughter and take up all that space in the attic. Your china sounds lovely, though, but I still vote for sell. It fits in with your de-cluttering mode.

  12. fern says:

    If you love it, store it away for the future. Your kids are young now, but someday it will be different. We only use our china once a year, for the Jewish High Holidays. When my kids were little, they ate off of regular plates while the adults ate with the china. As soon as I thought they were old enough not to wreck it, I let them eat off of the china, too. It made them feel so important–and they understood that it was an important occasion. I have to hand wash it, too–but it is only once a year. When we eat in the dining room, especially with the china–my kids stay at the table longer and talk with us. That is so worth the handwashing.
    That being said–my mom puts her very good china in the dishwasher–she does not handwash anything. It is lenox from the days before dishwashers. It has been turning out fine since she got her first dishwasher about 40 years ago.
    So, my second suggestion is this–if you would only get $200 for the china (granted, that is a lot of money, but probably will not make the difference if your kids go to college or not, and if you think you might like to eat off of the china–throw it in the dishwasher. What have you got to lose? If it turns out fine, you get nice china that goes in the dishwasher. If it doesn’t, so what! It is only dishes.

  13. Lisa@Take90West says:

    Hooray! Thanks for letting me know I am not alone in putting the PC stonewear in the dishwasher. Mine always comes out fine, too! But I have made many consultants hearts flutter at parties :).
    I would save the china for your daughter or even one of your future daughter in laws who might want it. I know it is impractical, and goes against the whole declutter/live simply mentality, but it is a memory and you may feel sorry years from now that you got rid of it. Pack it in the attic and forget about it…your kids may be happy to find it someday!

  14. Jennifer in OR says:

    For Heaven’s sake, keep the china! You have daughters! Store it away, this will be priceless to your child. I’m very big on decluttering as well, but this doesn’t fit the bill. πŸ™‚

  15. karla ~ looking towards heaven says:

    I registered for some really nice Wedgewood china and only received a coffee cup, saucer and dessert plate (one of each!) At the time, I was saddened by this. But I praise the Lord often for the lack of china.
    Cause I’d never use it either.
    There is an awesome post on Blissfully Domestic (a new site I am managing editor for) that shows beautiful places to think about hanging plates in around your home. Maybe this would be a great way to enjoy them and yet preserve them for your children and grandchildren. My grandmother did this with her too and I always though it was stunning!!
    Here is the link:
    and the link for the main site is :

  16. The (Almost) Amazing Mommarino says:

    Hysterical! I am SO with you on not doing anything that can’t go in the dishwasher. I will spend 20 minutes rearranging/cramming everything into my dishwasher so I won’t have to handwash a single dish.
    Hmmmm…if you don’t love and use these dishes, why does it matter how you get rid of them? Yes, they’re worth a lot, but how valuable are they really if they’re just gathering dust? You could bless a struggling young couple with them. You could save them for your daughter (but will she even KNOW how to handwash dishes after having been brought up in a domestically challenged home?) Or, you could just sell them for however much you can and buy a WHOLE BUNCH of paper plates! (;
    Expensive wedding china…$1500
    Therapy to get over guilt caused by getting rid of expensive wedding china…$2000
    Freedom from the tyranny of fancy-schmancy china that begs to be used (and laboriously handwashed…priceless!

  17. Savannah says:

    Sell it on ebay or craig’s list. But, put it as local pick up only. I had to return two customers’ money when they received pieces of plates rather than whole plates.
    You never know what you’ll get for them!

  18. Maria says:

    I am a big believer in purging all the extra junk in our lives. But the china? I would keep it in the attic. Get some of those storgae containers like Rookie Mom suggested and put it in the attic. You can always get rid of it later if you change your mind. Keep in mind this is coming from someone who: a. Didn’t register for china when I got married. b. Is mad that my brother got my grandma’s china. c. Is mad that my sister got my other grandma’s china :o)

  19. Roy says:

    I can’t believe this guy is commenting on a gal’s list re china, but…
    The ladies recommending trying the dishwasher get my agreement. As an extra encouragment, Shannon, my wife and I have silver ringed Lennox settings that have proven themselves dishwasher safe. We’ve enjoyed the china for 40 yrs, and use it on special occassions. (Our ‘everyday’ dishes came from soap boxes and were collected by my wife’s dad. But we appreciate paper plates and hamburger, too!)

  20. Karen@FamilyBriefs says:

    I have a love/hate relationship with ebay. I hate going through the trouble of listing stuff (i.e. I’d purge better if I didn’t have to store it in the attic before listing it on ebay to earn a few extra dollars), but I love it when I earn extra cash for stuff I could’ve just tossed out!
    Of course, I have 5 sets of dishes. I put them all in the dishwasher whether they have a gold or silver rim or not (let the china flogging begin). But if they’re not for you, then I say PURGE! Or find a friend who wants them and will supply you with paper plates for the next 10 years in exchange πŸ™‚

  21. Pamela says:

    Hmmmm, reminds me of a story.
    My really good friend, who didn’t have many friends here when she got married and was pretty much responsible for paying for the whole wedding, had always wanted fine china when she got married but couldn’t afford it.
    My other good friend, had a big beautiful wedding that her parents paid for and got every piece of expensive china that she registered for.
    One day, the second friend called the first friend and said, “Guess what? When I woke up this morning, God told me to give you my wedding china.” And she did. Even though her mother gasped!
    The first friend was amazed to find that God really does give us the desires of our heart. And the second friend felt very honored to be used by Him to bless someone! “It’s just stuff,” she thought.
    I have three daughters so I would probably either give it away or save a setting for each daughter so she can display it however she wants. Sometimes it’s less complicated to look at things than to actually use them.

  22. Org Junkie says:

    Oh the china question. I get this a lot. You are absolutely right it is a terrible waste of space to keep this dishes if you don’t use it. You don’t love them so they impact you negatively every time you see them.
    They definitely need to go.
    Doesn’t matter so much how they go, just that they do. Whatever you do, do NOT save them for your daughter. She would definitely never forgive you πŸ™‚
    Good for you recognizing that there is no joy in surrounding ourselves with things we don’t love.
    You go girl!

  23. JanMary, N Ireland says:

    My instinct was to say ebay it – but then I realised I still have mine, and I am not sure I could sell ours – so that is a bit hypocritical!
    Ours is boxed up and in the attic – so at least it is not taking up room downstairs. We moved 4 years ago, and never unpacked it or the crystal glasses. I don’t want it, but I want to keep it too! No logic – but then, I am a woman.
    On a slight aside, before we got married and “chose” our dinner service pattern there was much deliberating – my dh to be did remark that I had spent longer choosing the china than I did in choosing our first home….he had a point!

  24. phyllis says:

    just lose the guilt, my friend. don’t agonize, just decide and do it – sell it or donate it, but don’t keep it if it’s going to stress you out. or box it all up and put it in the basement/attic until you can make a non-guilt-ridden decision. but don’t agonize…just move on. they’re just dishes…in the grand scheme of things, you’ll be fine whatever you do!

  25. Briggie says:

    I know you don’t think so now, but one day you’ll be glad you have that china. Buy a nice storage kit and put it away for now. As the kids get older there will come a day when you will want to get out the nice china. Why don’t you start a tradition and break it out for your anniversay and have a nice dinner with you and the hubby. One day you can bless your daughter with it if you still feel this way when she gets married.

  26. margalit says:

    Being a good, Kosher Jewish girl, I have more china than you can ever believe possible. I’ve got the good meat, the good dairy, the Passover meat, the Passover dairy, and then everyday dishes. Since I do not use my good china often, I keep it in those round padded containers. They fit in my sideboard and are all nicely tucked away for those times when we do use it. Ditto for the passover china, which is used for 8 days/year and then put away for the following year.
    My thoughts are, that as you get “more Mature” (ahem) you might have more formal dinners. Like the “meet the potential inlaws” dinner, where you’re gonna want to impress. I’d put my good dishes in the attic, carefully packed away in those padded thingys, and forget it exists until you need it. Nothing is worse that an occasion where you DO need it and don’t have it.

  27. Steph. says:

    I have the same issue only my china has a gold rim to it. Mine looks great in my china cabinet, and never gets used. And, I feel as bad about this as I do that I drive a gas-guzzling SUV. I’m getting to where I hate waste. I look forward to reading everyone’s suggestions on this!
    And, dang…I had no IDEA it wouldn’t destroy the Pampered Chef stoneware to put it in the dish washer. This fact opens up a whole new world of simplicity for ME!

  28. Stacy says:

    I would go ahead and just give it away, I’m too lazy to sell it on ebay. If you donate it to a charity thrift store you might get more to deduct from next years taxes than you would be able to sell it on ebay, plus you don’t have to worry about shipping, etc. But that’s just me.
    Also – what did you did you help your daughter over her fear of public toilets. That’s my question on todays WFMW post.

  29. jenny says:

    p.s. I put all of my PC stones in the dishwasher and haven’t had a lick of trouble. As far as I can tell the biggest difference is that mine are smooth but still stone colored, where as my friends who don’t put theirs in the dishwasher have really dark colored stones.

  30. Mrs. Brownstone @ XBOX Wife says:

    You could alway sell it to a dealer and then donate the money to Compassion, or another favorite charity. There is a great dealer in my area – you can email me if you would like the information.
    You could also host some sort of auction on eBay (or another place of your choice) and donate the money to charity.
    Depending on how sentimental you are regarding the china, you could save a place setting for each of your children, and then do the above for the rest of it. You mentioned the space it is taking up in your cabinet. Three place settings or partial settings would take up far less space.
    Hope that helps some!

  31. Andrea says:

    I like the selling and then donating idea. As a daughter, I’m not a huge fan of my mom’s china, so one place setting would be more than enough for me to keep as a memory. If you are super creative and have the time…you could break it all and make a mosaic table top!

  32. Kristy says:

    Do you know someone who would really love it and use it (and put up with washing it)? I would consider giving it as a gift, or just go ahead and sell it.
    Some daughters might like it – personally, I’m not even sure where my mom’s china is (I haven’t seen it in years), but even if she offered it, I wouldn’t want it. If you don’t use it, your daughter isn’t necessarily going to have memories associated with it that would make it valuable to her.

  33. Karen (Simply A Musing Blog) says:

    Check with They may be able to offer you more money, depending on the pieces. My mom has a serving for 12 (that will be mine someday) of dishes she purchased at a garage sale for $40 and when we contacted Replacements, we were shocked to discover they were manufactured in Occupied Germany during WWII and are quite valuable.

  34. Dana says:

    I’ve been married 18 years, have 4 kids and use my china every Sunday. Call me kooky.
    But we’re not talking about me, we’re talking about you. So here’s my (possibly overpriced) two cents’ worth:
    Donate. The Pregnancy Resource Center where I volunteer holds luncheons, teas and other gatherings where we use “good” dishes, one pattern per table. We’ve received two donations of china, safely stored in padded containers, which we use on many occasions throughout the year. We have a monthly tea where expectant moms are celebrated, given gifts and encouraged to choose life for their preborn children. Then there are the fundraising luncheons and adoption celebrations…to name a few. I even use a china plate as an illustration in my introductory parenting class.
    And, here’s the deal: if the local charity of your choice truly has no use for the dishes, or space to store them, they can be auctioned to raise funds and will probably bring more than the $200 you could get for them.

  35. Stretch Mark Mama says:

    PURGE! Get the monkey off your back! (Since I hear you are an expert at that anyway.)
    Your daughter probably wouldn’t see it as a sentimental gift since you never use it.
    I like the ideas of running some kind of charity contest.

  36. Marcia Francois says:

    I feel for you – I have a set of china left to me by my grandmother (but I keep it in my mother’s house) πŸ™‚
    Reading through the comments, I’ve received some good ideas – I really, really love the ideas about donating them to a charity that hosts nice dinners.
    I think I’ll do that and maybe keep one piece, just to remember her by.
    In fact, she always said, Marcia, when I die, you’re getting the china. And I’d say, Ma!!!!!!!!! I don’t want your china – I want YOU!!!
    *sigh* I still miss her so much

  37. Suzanne says:

    Sell it. I stand to be burden with FIVE sets of hoarded China. I’m going to sell it all. Send the money to your Compassion kids.
    And the Pizza Stone? You are not alone.
    Now that your candidate has conceded, I respectfully invite you to look into Ron Paul; he is such an honorable man.

  38. jamie says:

    I just dont understand why in the world someone would hold on to plates for 20 years just in case their daughter might want some fancy plates. But then again I dont understand why somebody would spend that much money on fancy plates to begin with. I thought 200 bucks sounded good to me. So I say sell them. Let your daughter pick out her own dishes. Maybe she’ll be like me and think that a hutch and china are for old people with too much space in their house. Doesn’t a big huge peice of furniture set aside just to hold spare dishes sound excessive to anybody else? If you have that many dishes that you have to buy a hutch to store them, then seriously, it’s time to give some stuff away. Hope that helps. -Jamie

  39. Alice says:

    I didn’t read all the other comments..
    But I vote with “get rid of it”. Personally, I’d maybe make a quick effort to sell it and take whatever I could get. If I couldn’t sell it I would just give it away.
    Some ideas:
    Craigslist if you have it in your area is a great way to sell stuff.
    Freecycle if you have it in your area is a great way to give away stuff.
    Or donate it to Goodwill or another such organization…you will make someone really happy.

  40. hogphan says:

    Store it in the attic. It’ll be an heirloom that someone in your family will cherish someday. (Think how much you love having Gally’s Blue Danube even though you don’t use them!) I’m saving lots of stuff to pass down to you and your brother!!!!

  41. Michelle says:

    I don’t have all the answers — honestly, I’m in the exact same position. My china has that gold band around it that “prevents” it from being put in the dishwasher. But, as I was reading through the comments above, a thought occurred to me: what if I just used my china, enjoyed it, and put it in the dishwasher? So the gold band might fade over time. At least I’m using dishes that otherwise wouldn’t see any action at all. It’s hard to resell china (particularly gold banded china because of the dishwasher issue). So, maybe the answer lies in just using it and enjoying it, instead of putting so many “rules” around its use. Then, if you do pass on the dishes, they’ll also have that lightly used vintage “grandmotherly” feel. πŸ™‚

  42. citystreams says:

    So put it in the dishwasher and use it! That’s what I’ve been doing. I still only use it maybe four times a year. You cannot microwave it – you’ll get a fire. But the dishwasher most likely won’t really hurt it.
    I like to invite friends over for dinner and pull out the china. It makes them feel special. Little do they know that I’m just going to stickit in the dishwasher when they leave!

  43. Lynn from says:

    Hi again, I just re-read your post and realized I was responding more to some of the great comments than to your sentiments! Sorry!
    I agree with the other commenters who suggest you may use the china as the kids get older and occasions for celebration change.
    AND, I say, if you hate doing hand dishes, why not ask hubby to do them? The kids can help!! It will give you a few minutes to remember what it was like to be the princess on your wedding day!

  44. My Quotidian Mysteries says:

    I say: dishwasher away! But, if you still feel weird about it, I wonder if there is a young couple in your church that would love to receive the full set. There might be another place/person to donate it to. You’d feel great giving it away, I bet. $200 doesn’t seem worth it.

  45. Shalee says:

    Okay, here’s my question: Why can’t you wash it in the dishwasher. I have china and when we use ours (for special or non-special days) I always throw it in the dishwasher. Just as you’ve never broken your Pampered Chef, I’ve broken nary a plate.
    I say use it, put in the dishwasher and let God decide if you’re gonna keep it or not. Of course, I say use it anyway because I’m of the opinion that you don’t save the special plates for special occasions; everyday should be special like that.
    All else fails: store them for Corrie. She may want them. If not, your son’s wives may. I happen to have my mother-in-awe’s set which was HER mother-in-law’s set. Guess who I plan on passing it on to when the time comes…

  46. Edi says:

    We don’t have room in our house for things we don’t get much use out of – so if it was me I’d be listing it on
    I’ve sold stuff on eBay before – but I hate selling dishes…you spend so much time packaging them up and then have to worry about whether or not they arrive in more pieces then you sent!
    You could donate them to a charity thrift store and get some of your money back via tax donations.
    Also list them in your local newspaper classified adds. But one thing – if you really want to get rid of them, then don’t ask an astronomical price for them. Sure you want some money out of it – but something is better than nothing.
    If you can’t sell them for a decent amount – I would be tempted to store them in the attic (if you have space)…

  47. Jacki says:

    I second the women ahead of me that have suggested donating to a local homeless or womens’ shelter. Especially since the set isn’t worth a ton of money.
    For example, the homeless shelter in our town also operates what they call a “transitional housing” program. Once the residents of the homeless shelter get (and keep) a job, they move into the transitional housing, and of course they need all kinds of housewares to set up their new house.
    I think that would be a perfect solution…you would be getting rid of something you don’t need and helping someone in need.

  48. TracyMichele says:

    I would love to provide a solution but my head is still spinning from learning you put your stoneware in the dishwasher! *gasp*
    Kidding. I am not one to hang on to ANYthing but in this case I would suggest holding onto it and giving it to your daughter as a wedding gift (many, many, MANY years from now). Or if they still sell the pattern, buy 2 more sets and give a 4-place setting to each child when they marry?

  49. Momala says:

    I have the same problem, but it’s with my Grandmother’s china. I have it in storage because I can’t bear to get rid of it. BTW, she did put it in the dishwasher and a lot of the pieces have to gold worn off.

  50. Niki@RuralWritings says:

    I’m a china junkie. If I could I would have a china room with complete services for 12 in al my favourite paterns. That’s just who I am. My point is, your daughter might turn out to be a china junkie too, who knows???? Stash the set away in the attic, one day someone will love them, guaranteed.

  51. spence says:

    The real question is what time do I have to get up to beat the other 120 people in front of me to be the first post on WFMW? wow!

  52. Kristen M. says:

    Growing up my parents were missionaries who could never have afforded to purchase a set of nice China. One day a box from an anonymous person showed up. Inside was a beautiful set of China. We never found out where it came from but someone decided to bless my mom with gorgeous dishes that she never would have imagined owning.

  53. Jen says:

    FYI–the dishwasher rule isn’t so much about the worry of china breaking in the dishwasher (though that can certainly happen with very fragile types). The larger concern is that china, specifically china with metal engravings or decoration, may leech toxins into the serviceware when exposed to the high temps of a dishwasher. Most brands really are safe, but because they cannot guarantee that safety, they caution against placing items in the dishwasher. Antique dishes (before 1972) often contain lead and that lead can seep into foods placed on the plates causing lead poisoning.
    If you choose to donate the plates, I would donate them to someone who understands why the plates need to be handwashed. Perhaps there is a family in your community who has lost their home or something who would be blessed to pieces with something impractical like fine china:)

  54. Mary B says:

    My mom died when I was 7 months old. I have her I, that was the early 60’s. It is now valued at a huge price but I don’t use it. Because I had it I never registered for china.
    In conclusion(sorry for my rambling), I would sell it. Unless it really has special meaning.

  55. Kerry says:

    I think you should find someone to give it to. We have a saying at our house; If everyone gave away the things they don’t need, everyone would have the things that they do need.
    We find that the karma( for lack of a better word) of giving things away is amazing. Right after we give away something we receive something that we needed or desired. It really is crazy great how it works. People tell me all the time that our family is super generous, but we have been given FAR more (so it seems to us) than we give!

  56. Mary B says:

    Oops, something must have gotten deleted from my post, I have her china. My parents used it alot, but that was in the early 60’s.

  57. Karol says:

    If you feel ready to get rid of it, you might want to check at to see about selling it to them. I live close to their headquarters and you can find literally every pattern and design there.
    If you are truly undecided, I say package it well and put it in the attic.

  58. Tina says:

    Ebay. Craigslist. SELL IT! No sense hanging on, literally or figuratively, to something that is just wasting space.

  59. Jenn says:

    I would say keep it – your daughter might just want it…of course this is coming from someone who only has boys! Do you know someone getting married soon? This might be a huge blessing to someone else…you could just give it to them.

  60. Marianne says:

    I totally feel you on this: my husband and I never even registered for “nice” stuff when we got married 13 years ago because we knew we’d be moving A LOT (he was a Navy Officer).
    But I still got some china and crystal from well-intended family. And I’ve never used it. Not once.
    If selling it doesn’t feel right, the only idea I have is find a worthy place to donate it. But who would need china? Hmmm…could your church use it? For some sort of “Date Night Ministry” with a nice church supper, babysitting by the Youth Group? (Brainstorming here…)
    Or, is there a local women’s shelter who might find it wonderful to have such nice stuff for a change rather than cracked hand-me-downs?
    Just throwing out ideas…
    Good luck. I’m with you on this; here at Casa de Monkeys, all “stuff” must have functionality — being pretty just isn’t enough!

  61. kristin says:

    Sell the china! You are trying to raise your children to live simply. They probably won’t stray too far from your lessons. And why burden your daughter with stuff even you don’t want?

  62. mom2fur says:

    Wow, 70 comments already! I’m sure others have said this, but I’ll say it, too–save it for your daughter. Or for a future daughter-in-law! You never know, but she might be the type who likes to entertain formally once in a while. As long as you can pack it and it doesn’t take up a big chunk of your attic, why not put it away for the future?

  63. mom2fur says:

    PS–my mother’s bone china set, sterling silver and crystal are all going to my older sister. I can’t even imagine the monetary value. But I’m not jealous about the sentimental value. My sister entertains and sets a nice table. Me–I’m partially with you. I’m not big on paper plates, but I sure want my dishes to go into the dishwasher!

  64. mireille says:

    Fine, I’ll take the china…the things I do in the name of peace and freindship in blog world!!! And to think, not one of your previous 70 commentators were willing to sacrifice for you…pity.

  65. Llama Momma says:

    Shannon — I’ve got the same problem! Just yesterday I was on ebay, wondering if I should sell it all.
    I will definitely be reading through these comments…

  66. Nonnie says:

    I know the point to good china is to keep it nice, but really, if you won’t use it because you want to keep it nice, you’ve just added to your baggage ~ both emotional and physical.
    I grew up with a grandmother who kept this for “special” occasions. It never got used, and when she passed, many of those “special” items went for pennies at garage sales or were donated, just to get rid of them.
    Rather than worrying that the silver rim will flake off in the dishwasher, I’d use them to enjoy them, and stick them in the dishwasher ~ because that would be part of enjoying them. You received the dishes with (I assume) the hopes that you’d enjoy them, and you’re not. Any day can be special, and really, they’re just dishes. If the silver flecks off, is it any worse than having them hiding and never seeing the light of day? At least you’d get some enjoyment out of them…

  67. Tara says:

    I didn’t register for china or silver. I had one lady actually ask me where she could find my registry for the silver. I had to scrape her up off the floor when I told her Target (I’d registered for silverware). Oh well. THat said, I don’t know what to do with your china. I still have my wedding dress sitting around in a cardboard box untouched and uncleaned from after the wedding. That was 9 years ago. What do I do with my wedding dress from 9 years ago???

  68. Trixie says:

    I would look for someone that you know that would treasure a set of real china. Yes, people like that do exist:) Even though the set was a lovely gift (and expensive) — you do not enjoy it and someone else that cannot afford something so nice would get a lot of happiness out of the dishes.
    Take Care,

  69. Charity says:

    I think it is a lovely idea to save it for your daughter. She might be the type to love that sort of thing and she would forever treasure the gift.
    If she is not, you can sell them then. Will they really be in the way if you store them in the attic?

  70. Linda Sue says:

    Echoing the sentiments of so many practical minded people – get rid of the dishes in a way that blesses someone else. I think selling them and taking a tax deduction for a charitable contribution might sound crass – but it is fully legitimate and fair. $200 doesn’t sound like nearly enough – you could do better online – have an auction to raise money for Compassion (maybe enough to sponsor one of those fabulous Leadership Training People) – you know how folks love an auction online – we could all get the Uganda bloggers to mention it and drive up the price! Sorry – I get enthused easily and I haven’t ever gushed over how much I appreciate you, Shannon – but a godly, witty, honest woman is a blessing to us all – whew – don’t expect that kind of emotion from me often. Bless you in your search for a simpler life – it is a good thing.

  71. Ames says:

    I would vote for ebay or saving it for someone else. Though, I would say to sell it a place setting at a time on ebay, you might be able to get more. Actually, I’d probably take the $200, it’s not like you can go back in time and change the fact that you have it and it’s not like $200 is useless. Besides, if you save it, you run the risk of the person who gets it not liking the pattern or the lack of dishwasher compatibility too…is that angst something you want to pass on to someone else?

  72. Andrea says:

    Get rid of it. Even $200 is worth it if you never ever use it & never ever will. It’s worth nothing sitting in the boxes! Or, if you know someone who would love it, give it to them- even better!

  73. The Happy Housewife says:

    I would get rid of it. I don’t keep things if they aren’t practical. Could you possible sell them on ebay piece by piece. Sometimes that will get you more money.
    Just a thought.

  74. Tami says:

    I’m very sentimental so I’d probably store them. I have inherited china and my grandma gave me a big glass cabinet (not quite a china cabinet) when she went to live in the nursing home. All of my china is there and it only takes up two shelves because I have it stacked. It does look pretty but we never use it. Maybe one day my daughter will use it.

  75. Robin (PENSIEVE) says:

    Here are some unfiltered thoughts (bless your heart, you may have already heard this w/so many comments, but just in case…here I go):
    IMHO, it’s INSANE to keep china for your children that they haven’t grown up eating on! It’s insane to store it “just because”. A large part of the beauty in passing down “lovies” from generation to generation is the memory attached to the item. This china means nothing or little to you, why should it carry significance to your children (outside the value of “fine china”)?
    I, too, believe as long as you’re not using it, you should get rid of most of it; I’d still keep enough place settings for your immediate family and lose the additional four place settings; at a minimum, I’d keep two for you and your husband, to enjoy for a romantic dinner when your kids are up and out. The idea of displaying it or hanging it on your wall is nice, too, but a part of me wonders if even that is little more than a monument to excess, because you “hoarded” it without using it (NOT a statement of judgment!! πŸ™‚ I HOPE you hear my heart!!).
    THAT BEING SAID, EAT ON IT, SHANNON! Not often, but DO IT! Although your children are younger than mine (and really, that DOES factor in), for their birthdays and other special times during the year, we DO eat on ours…it’s worth the bit of extra effort. As seldom as you’d find yourself using it, wash it in your dishwasher on the most gentle setting and don’t worry about it.
    As a last note, I’ve gotta tell ya–I inherited my mother’s china (she died when I was just nine). I don’t remember her ever using it, and when I got married, I thought it was beautiful, but I had no real thoughts of how I’d use it. Now, whenever I do, it’s like a part of her is here with me. This kind of contradicts what I said about about it not having significance for your children if you don’t use it, BUT, for me, it does tie me to her…it IS meaningful (b/c I’d like to think she used it and I’ve just forgotten) :).
    Ok…done w/my dissertation :).

  76. oh amanda says:

    WOW. Sounds like your comments are split 50/50. I’m in the same boat. My china is plain, which I wanted, so I could do the whole colored charger thing. But I just don’t LOVE it anymore AND I’ve only used it 3 times in 10 years. And that’s only the place settings. I have TONS of extras that have never been out of the box. I’ve been debating selling it and buying some smaller cute Christmas dishes or something. That’s the only time i use it anyway.
    I don’t want to hand it down to my daughter–we never use it. What kind of memories are those?!
    I just don’t know WHERE I can get the best price for it…sell it individually on ebay? the whole set?
    blah…blah…I’ll be back to read all the comments…please let me know what you do!

  77. Barbara H. says:

    If you itemize your taxes, you could donate them to a charitable organization and get a receipt for a tax deduction. That way you recoup something from it plus it benefits the organization when they sell it.

  78. Barbara H. says:

    A P.S. to my comment above about tax deductions — you can usually claim much more than you can get for the same items via yard sale. The IRS web site has a page about what you can claim for various items. We almost always go that route rather than yard sales.
    Another note about saving them for your daughter — you might then be passing this dilemma on to her in 20 years with an extra heaping of guilt because the dishes came from her mother and were saved for her. πŸ™‚

  79. Fern Green says:

    My advice? Learn to wash your china in the sink. Come on, sister, get off your high horse and do it. It’s not so bad.
    Some of us don’t even own a dishwasher, and we survive just fine… in fact, you might find that your dishes come out cleaner when you wash them with your own hands.

  80. Jacquelyn@Because I Said So! says:

    Gosh, I wish I had an attic! My 12 5-piece settings of Wedgwood are sitting in my mother’s basement, never used in 19 years of marriage, and that ended 3 years ago! But my daughter, 16, says she’ll treasure it always, and so it sits waiting for her.

  81. Michelle says:

    You should look at giving it to a charity that could auction it off. Like Give Kids the World or the Shriners. I know that my old college, North Carolina State University, has a red and white ball every where where items are auctioned off for the Special Olympics. Any kind of charity like that would probably be able to raise more than 200 dollars at an auction because usually the people bidding are mostly bidding to help the kids/cause more than to get the item, and yours being a nice item Im sure someone will want it for themselves or a child getting married, ect. You wouldn’t get any money from it; however, you aren’t getting any money from it collecting dust in your cabinet either AND you would benefit by giving it to someone/something that could really use the help.
    Also, I got some really great china from Bed, Bath and Beyond that can go in the dishwasher. I never registered for it; I got a coupon in the mail and went to look around during one of their major clearance sales. The china being on 75% clearance along with my 1/2 off coupon got me a set of 12 place settings, white with gold colored trim (and Ive been washing it in the dish washer for 5 years now) for only 26.00. I use them all the time and if any break,it’s no big deal since I have so many back up and they were so cheap. Keep your eyes out for any of those sales, and coupons, they are great and powerful together!

  82. Annette says:

    if you don’t need the cash…and it’s something you just don’t need. I’d donate it to a worthy person. Someone who just needs something to eat off of. Not everyone has or wants a dishwasher, but some folks just need some dishes to eat off of, fancy or not.

  83. Kristin says:

    I am a massive declutterer, but after 2 grandmothers died I have become sentimental. I say store it and give it to your daughter when she gets married. If she decides to sell it – it won’t break your heart, you’ll know she inherited your practicality : )

  84. jen says:

    Whatever you do, don’t just keep it and not using it…unless you can see a day in the future when you will be hosting family meals and wanting to use it (like Thanksgiving and Christmas). Otherwise sell it, give it away, or decide to use it. Don’t keep it for no reason.
    I was in the same boat and decided to USE mine. I pull it out for every shower and party and dinner I can! I have been glad to use it, and I always think, “I’d rather it get broken using it than safe in the cabinet!”

  85. Marian says:

    Yeah, our beautiful set of crystal goblets languish in my cabinet, too. 23 year olds wont to BELIEVE the registry people that they’re going to have a lifestyle in which they will need such things…
    I wouldn’t saddle your daughter with the dishes or the somehow implied expectations of using and treasuring them. You didn’t, and she, for similar reasons, likely won’t either. The nice thing about handing things like that down is the sentimentality of keeping something that has been used and loved by mom, you know? Otherwise it’s just stuff in the cupboard that you didn’t even choose and don’t necessarily like, yet feel obligated to keep.
    If you don’t want to store them or sell them to someone you don’t know, try to find someone who might have reason to use them to bless others, or who would just really enjoy such things. Is there an older woman in your church, for example, who loves to bless and minister to others with hospitality in her home? Teas, luncheons? I don’t know… But if you can personally find someone who WOULD use and enjoy them, I can tell you that being able to directly bless someone else is much better than $200. =)

  86. Megan says:

    You won’t like my answer probably, but I’ll post it anyway. *grin*
    We, also, weren’t using our expensive Noritake Halls of Ivy and yep, many of our pieces still have the price tags on them also. Mine arent’ supposed to go in the dishwasher either which is troublesome for me. Or was.
    We decided we either needed to use them consistently or get rid of them. We began the practice of observing a weekly 24 hour Sabbath which includes unplugging from all gadgets and technology, and (here’s where you aren’t going to like it) having a big fancy meal. Preparing the meal is a LOT of work, but it really sets us up well for a genuine time of rest and reflection. After the work of the meal, we work hard to clean it up, including handwashing the dishes (which by that time, there isn’t room in the dishwasher for everything, so something has to be handwashed – on Saturdays it is the china). My husband always does this with me and the girls help clean up too. Once the work of cleaning up is over, we’re ready for the break and we truly take one.
    It’s been a great thing for our family. Might not exactly work for you, but wanted to share it anyway. Our girls feel really special that we pull out the china and crystal just for them.
    I no longer feel guilty about having a collection of dishes I don’t use. I use them once a week now!!
    On the other hand, I did have another entire set of china handed down to me by my grandma. I knew I wouldn’t use two sets, so I gave that set to my sister, so it stayed in the family…

  87. Sonshine says:

    I would get rid of them, it would be one less thing taking up space in your house. Rather than just sending them to Goodwill or trying Ebay, I would try selling it on Craiglist. You could get closer to the dollar value that you think is best for them.

  88. daycare girl says:

    Haven’t read all the comments, so I’m probably repeating…
    My feeling is that your daughter probably won’t be as interested in it if she hasn’t seen you using it. It’ll be “more junk from Mom’s attic” rather than “oh, those special dishes we used to eat Christmas dinner on” or whatever.
    I bet there’s somebody out there who’d really like it though. If you’re really not going to use it, a couple hundred dollars is better than nothing.

  89. Kristin says:

    The very first thing that popped into my head when I read your question was to donate your china to a place that is taking things for a silent auction to raise money – maybe your local PBS station for their auction – donate it to a culinary school, anyplace that could resell it or use it.
    The beauty with donation is that you can write off the donation on your taxes – it isn’t cash in hand but it is value later.
    I wouldn’t save it for your children just because I hated being burdened with the things that my family thought I should have. I then was not able to part with it because it was handed down. It is quite a burden to carry as a kid.
    I haven’t read the other comments, so I’m sure you have heard this already. LOL
    I love taking things that I love or used to love and giving it away. It seriously makes my heart free.

  90. A&EMom says:

    Like others, I didn’t read all the comments so I’m terribly sorry if this is a repeat…
    If you truly don’t feel the money is worth the trouble, bless the socks off some newlyweds that can’t afford a dishwasher.

  91. Jessica says:

    You could keep one place setting for “sentimental” reasons and then EBAY. Don’t let the china bog you down.
    There were people that were OFFENDED that I didn’t register for china when we got married and I have never regretted for even a moment.
    We have some friends who kept one place setting of their china and then over the years they inherited 3 more sets (1 more on the way in a few years) and kept 1 place setting from each set. They store each setting with a small frame with a picture of the relative it belonged to in the dining room hutch. Nice and simple without being callous and dumping the whole set.

  92. Jessica says:

    You could keep one place setting for “sentimental” reasons and then EBAY. Don’t let the china bog you down.
    There were people that were OFFENDED that I didn’t register for china when we got married and I have never regretted for even a moment.
    We have some friends who kept one place setting of their china and then over the years they inherited 3 more sets (1 more on the way in a few years) and kept 1 place setting from each set. They store each setting with a small frame with a picture of the relative it belonged to in the dining room hutch. Nice and simple without being callous and dumping the whole set.

  93. Jen says:

    I discovered that the antique china my grandmother gave to me is not dishwasher safe either. It has gold etchings all over it. I’ve never had the occasion to use it until this past Thanksgiving. I spent all day cooking, and then had dish duty when it was all over. Not Fun, but I survived. If you think they’ll gain in value, you could store them in the attic and keep checking the value of them periodically. Your daughter might not want them for the exact reason you’re discussing right now, so the $200 sounds pretty good to me. Good Luck!

  94. Jane says:

    I was in a similar situation over some china that I inherited. It was so lovely, so antique, such a space hog and so fragile. I live in a small apartment in an earthquake zone! So, I spent $100 to have UPS pack and send it to my mother for Christmas this year. She loves to entertain, she has a hutch, it was her aunt’s china.
    Do you have a family member who would enjoy it now?
    Or, since you do have an attic, you could save it up there. You may find you enjoy it more after the kids are grown.

  95. Niki says:

    I generally do not advocate hanging on to stuff you won’t use, but in this case I say put it away in a nice case for your daughter for her to have when she gets married.

  96. jenni at talking hairdryer says:

    I’m a sentimental fool, but I would pack it up and store it in the attic. Maybe your daughter, daughter-in-laws,or grandaughters will want it. I would love it if one of my grandmothers had 10 sets of china that they wanted to pass down to me. I might have even chosen my pattern to compliment theirs if I knew I was going to get it. But I love that kind of stuff. I’m pretty sure that no one will keep themselves from coming home to visit if you don’t have china to give them.

  97. Jeanette says:

    My mom saved my Grandmother’s china for me. I do not like the pattern, I don’t use good china anyway, and I now have the guilt that I can not get rid of it. Why pass down guilt! It is not sentimental.
    I like the idea of selling it piece by piece on ebay. You will probably make more money that way.

  98. Penny Raine says:

    most of our wedding gift dishes and crystal never got used (didn’t want to break them) and then like most young couples we often moved the first few years and most of them got broken during moves,
    either use them, or give them, don’t just let them sit
    blessings, Penny Raine

  99. rebekah says:

    USE IT! one thing my mother taught me is that if something isn’t good enough for your family, it’s not good enough for anyone. it may take a few extra minutes, but use the dishes once a month after church, or whenever you have a family get together. china really is a wonderful thing, it makes any meal special (my mom has served beans and franks on china before, mac and cheese, etc… but using the china is what makes that meal set apart. hmmm… I think I’ll have to discuss this flaw with our generation on my blog this week.. maybe tomorrow.

  100. Meshellyn says:

    Shannon, we didn’t register for china because I didn’t think it would be practical in our position. We were broke and in college and I figured that I’d rather somebody buy us everyday dishes we could eat off of every single day.
    However, I have eyed china sets at auctions and antique stores thinking someday I’ll buy a set to store in a hutch, break out on occasion, and give to my daughter so that she won’t need to take up space on her own registry. I’d save it for your daughter if you think it’s pretty and don’t truly need the cash it will bring.

  101. Brea in Texas says:

    I say if you’ve got the room, save if for your daughter. Who knows, maybe she’ll end up getting some use for it. Or when your kids get older, if they ever want to use it, let them, with the fore-knowledge that they’ll be the ones cleaning it. (And it won’t be the end of the world if/when one of the pieces breaks!)
    Or you could always gift it, if you know a younger couple that’s getting married and doesn’t have a money tree growing out front, and china seems like the kind of thing she’d enjoy. Good luck with whatever you decide!
    ~Brea in Texas

  102. Mom of 2 says:

    Keep it for your daughter!!!! She will cherish it in her grown-up years, even if she never uses it.

  103. Erin K says:

    I agree with everyone who has suggested to give it away. I love the idea of finding a woman who loves to entertain (in a fancy way) but doesn’t have enough money for something like China. Or to give it to a women’s crisis center. What could be better than freeing yourself from some “stuff” and blessing someone else in the process?
    And, I’m glad I never registered for China!!

  104. Jackie says:

    Please look at My friend sold some to them and she was pleased with the dollar figure. That way people who are looking for your pattern can find it at replacements. And someone else who loves that pattern will get to use it. The second thought is save it for your daughter. It is one of the only things my mom saved and I am so grateful. I am unlike my mom and sister and love to bring out the special china, so maybe your daughter will be like that too one day. She might also be really glad you saved it.

  105. Jeremy says:

    My wife and I have only been married for 3 years, and our china is still sitting upstairs in a storage closet. But I think once we actually get a cabinet or something to display it in we’ll get it out of the boxes… Or at least I’ll keep telling myself that for another few years!

  106. Cris says:

    Display a piece- so you can look at it and smile to yourself about how silly it was to list it.
    Save some – to give to your daughters to display one day so they can smile at the silliness that is superfine china that mom didn’t let us use.
    Sell the rest for pennies to the $.
    Yes, it’s just stuff but stuff is part of what memories are made of. It’s can be a symbol a reminder of the frivolous things that we once thought were important but now we know are not. Livin’ and learnin’ baby!

  107. Holly @aiminghigh says:

    What does the Flylady say?…(I think it’s the Flylady.)
    Ask yourself two questions:
    Do I love it?
    Does it bless our home?
    If you can’t answer ‘yes’ to one or both of these questions…get rid of it.
    (My addition…if you can get a little money for it, all the better.)

  108. Mrs. Troop says:

    Have you checked on Replacements Ltd? Then you can use the money for something you would use!
    Also, my mother’s china is older, but a similar pattern and we always put it in the dishwasher – it’s been fine!
    When I was picking out my china, I wasn’t thinking of real life with eight kids! HA!

  109. Kate says:

    I say keep it! Like others have suggested, try it in the dishwasher and see how it goes…it will probably be fine. Then, you could try using it once a month or so. It’s great for kids to learn how to behave at a “fancy” meal. They might even enjoy or look forward to the fancy times!
    And finally, please keep it for your daugher (or daughters-in-law). One of them may have a different entertaining style than you and might LOVE having nice china to use (even if they have to hand wash it).

  110. Michelle- this Ones for the Girls says:

    Alright- as a fellow “put the Pampered Chef stoneware in the dishwasher because nothing’s worth having if you can’t put it in the dishwashwer” kind of gal- I can totally relate to your problem.
    However, you are a Southern gal and it is one of Southern Gal Ten Commandments to own 10 place settings of china.
    Get a china cabinet and display it proudly, pass it on to your daughter, use it for Christmas breakfast each year and call it good. And don’t you have a fine china setting on your dishwasher? There’s gotta be a way around this. πŸ™‚

  111. kel says:

    If it’s a pattern that stores still sell, I’d see if you can quietly return (the ones that have truly never been used anyway) for at least store credit. I returned some Christmas plates that were a couple years old. The store still carried the same line, so they didn’t think it was weird that I had received them as a gift. I didn’t have a receipt, so I only got store credit, but that was fine with me! I just kept the details of my unwanted gift to myself!

  112. Holly @aiminghigh says:

    I was thinking about the suggestion to store it and save it for your daughter. This may be a good idea, but….
    What makes a family heirloom is MEMORIES. If your family has not ever used it, then your daughter doesn’t have any connection to it. You will simply be putting this “what-do-I-do-with-these” decision on her instead of you. :>) Give, or sell, them to someone who will love them, use them, and allow them to bless their home.

  113. Deb Capone says:

    I agree with the folks that suggest you use what you have. When I was married, I saved our ‘good’ stuff for special occassions until someone suggested that I use it. It sounded like a good idea to me and I have used it every since-I got custody of the fine china and waterford. One compromise i did make was to throw it in the dishwasher-some of the pieces got chipped, but that was a small price to pay for the enjoyment I got out of it.

  114. Ashbark says:

    KEEP IT FOR YOUR DAUGHTER!!You can always get rid of it later if she doesn’t want it. If you don’t guilt her into keeping it,(which I don’t think you will) she can get rid of it and keep the money. My mother recently died and I have nothing of keepsake value to pass down to my daughters and I really wish I did. Put it in the attic and let her decide if she wants it or not when she’s older.

  115. Momandmore says:

    I actually love my china but have no china cabinet in which to display it. So, I do get it out very occasionally like for my husband’s family because my mother-in-law really likes a formal setting. I enjoy creating a beautiful table but not if my guests don’t appreciate it (like my family – not so into it). But it is also nice to have some fine china for showers.
    Here’s an idea – do you have a friend or relative that you could “loan” it to who would actually use it? And then, when you might want to give it to your daughter some day it would be available.
    One more thought. If you keep it and use it for special occasions like family dinners or a shower, just make sure you have plenty of help doing the dishes. When I’ve used mine I think I usually don’t even have a chance to wash it before someone else has taken over the task for me! And sometimes doing dishes can be a good memory – a chance to have a nice visit with a family member in the kitchen away from the party.
    So I say “don’t throw the dishes out with the dishwater!” πŸ™‚
    Michelle in Oklahoma

  116. HeresTheDiehl says:

    I would definitely sell it, just to get it out of your home. I agree with Holly…it’s not an heirloom if your daughter hasn’t used it with you. I love getting stuff out of my house that I don’t need, so I wouldn’t store it…contact that replacements website or go on ebay!

  117. Sarah says:

    Okay, I would love to have that set of china πŸ™‚ We do not have a dishwasher unless DH and I count. We have a porcelain sink with a plastic tub for doing dishes. I have no idea who decided a one sided sink for a house was a good idea, but I digress. I would either sell it, try craigslist or I would put in my daughter’s hope chest even if you have used it I think it still is considered an heirloom.

  118. Laura says:

    Save it for your daughter! My mom is gone,
    and oh how I wish I had something, anything, that she had kept stored away just for me- it will mean more to her when she has her married life and children than anything the money spent on it could ever bring. Think of your mother’s birthday gift to you- your grandmothers half finished towels- and I think you can imagine what the china will mean someday!

  119. Jenny says:

    GET OUT! You’ve been putting the PC stone in your dishwasher?! I am a dishwasher-lover and yes, my wedding china DOES go in the washer (something I made sure of before registering).
    THANK YOU for giving me the green light. I will gladly stand with you for the flogging.

  120. Laura says:

    Save it for your daughter! My mom is gone,
    and oh how I wish I had something, anything, that she had kept stored away just for me- it will mean more to her when she has her married life and children than anything the money spent on it could ever bring. Think of your mother’s birthday gift to you- your grandmothers half finished towels- and I think you can imagine what the china will mean someday!

  121. Deb Capone says:

    I forgot to ask my question for backward wfmw….
    I now have three dogs (I know, shoot me)and one is an escape artist. As soon as I plug up his escape route, he figures a way out-he is a very determined guy. Does anyone have any inexpensive solutions.

  122. Stefanie says:

    Too darn funny about the dishwasher rule. Same rule we have here. Everything goes in the dishwasher, including my pampered chef baking stone. Well, it did until last week. It rolled out of the cupboard and fell on the wood floor and broke in half last week. But, hey, it lasted 13 good years!!
    As for the china, can’t help you there. We don’t have any….didn’t want any for that reason. Here’s a funny from my end: We have a formal dining room and had been looking for a huge oak table to go in it (we have 6 kidlets). After being in our house for a year we finally found one and it came with a matching china cabinet. Well, I have no china, so it was empty for 2 years. Last garage sale season I bought some canning jars that were in a couple boxes marked canning jars. I spent $3. Never opened them until 2 days after so I could figure out what I spent per jar. Well, much to my surprise there were 7 canning jars and a whole set of fancy glassware. Wine glasses, tumblers, glasses, bowls, candlesticks, salt and pepper shakers, the works. FOR $3!! I couldn’t for the life of me have found the house where I bought the stuff since we went to like 60 places that day. Lucky for me I had an empty china cabinet……and these pieces go in the dishwasher!! Good luck!!

  123. Heather G says:

    Why do you say it can’t go in the dishwasher? I have Lenox Solitare and I wash it all the time! The back even says “dishwasher safe.” Mine is almost 8 years old and still looks as good as the day I got it.
    From Lenox’s website “All Lenox fine china is dishwasher-safe. When washing Lenox china in the dishwasher, use a mild liquid or powder detergent. Load china securely on racks so that the pieces do not touch, and so they won’t be dislodged by water action. Ensure that the dishwasher is in good working condition and has no exposed metal racks. Also ensure that metal objects (pots, pans, utensils) do not come in contact with the china. Use a mild wash cycle, and let pieces cool before removing. ”

  124. Kelly @ Love Well says:

    You’ve got tons of great advice here, but I just have to comment for the sentimentalists: Remember, your child may not be as sentimental as you. If you’re keeping hoards of items that are special to you with the hopes that they will be equally special and treasured by your child, be prepared for that NOT to happen.
    My husband and I are not sentimental and we’re big into simplifying at this point. Almost everything that’s been handed down to us in recent years has gone into the trash, been sold on eBay or Craig’s List or donated to the Salvation Army. I feel vaguely guilty, but not guilty enough to keep stuff just because it was important to someone higher up in the family line. If I can make money off it and donate it to a good cause, I’d much rather do that.

  125. Rebecca says:

    I say keep it for your daughter too. It will be a fun treasure for her to have. I just bought china after 13 years of marriage. I love it and will only use it for special occasions, and yes hand wash it.

  126. Erin says:

    Okay, maybe its just me, but why don’t you just sell the stuff and use the $200 dollars? Its not any use to you sitting in a cabinet collecting dust.

  127. Corey says:

    I have been married 9 years and rarely use all my china either, but I do pull it out just to have fun. Sometimes when I have the “girls” over, I’ll serve dessert on one of the plates. Or I’ll serve wine in our crystal. Or use it “just because” at dinner. Point being; I don’t use enough pieces at one time to make the washing a burden. I’m not going to serve a 12 person party and deal with all that, but I will use it piece by piece. That works for me and I have fun with it.

  128. Stacey says:

    I would either give it away to someone who you know will use it and appreciate it. OR, save it for Corrie – stored, of course out of sight in the attic.
    On the other hand, why would the china mean anything to her as an adult if she Then it would just be a random set of dishes and I am not sure she would care that much.
    She might rather you bequeath her some of your everyday things, ya know? Can you bequeath paper plates? lol
    On another note, I’d be interested to find out how many folks actually use their china?
    We use ours on a very regular basis. Once a week for our “throw-back” family dinner. (The one with meat and potatoes, veggies and wine – for the adults) We sit in our dining room and we eat a nice meal together once a week. Period. And for that, we use the good china and my husband and I wash it together later that night and enjoy every minute of talking about our day together.
    MIND YOU, I have also gone for the past 2 years without a dishwasher. So washing china is not any different. I am about to get a dishwasher again (installed tomorrow!) so we’ll see in a few years. I imagine I will still do the fancy dinner thing, because I love to do it. When we have friends over, I LOVE to serve meals on my china. LOVE it!!

  129. Nikki says:

    If you’re considering getting rid of it anyway, put one plate in the dishwasher and see what happens. If it messes up, you’re not out much because you were already thinking of getting rid of it. If it makes it through, then you’re much more likely to use it knowing that its easy to clean!
    If none of these options are any good, give it to me because it will match mine.

  130. Mary says:

    I agree with the folks who have said that your daughter is not going to be sentimental about china she didn’t grow up using. We did not register for china, but we have two sets, one from my paternal grandma and one from my great-grandma. I have a lifetime of fond memories of eating from both sets. We use my Nana’s set at least once weekly, and we use the antique flow blue for birthdays and holidays. Our kids enjoy using it as much as I do and look forward to using “the blue dishes” on their birthdays.
    So, my advice is either give it away, or save it for your daughter AND start using it on Sundays. And I will also say, with love, that being completely unwilling to hand wash dishes raises my eyebrows a lot more quickly than unused china. Food for thought. ; )

  131. Mrs Nehemiah says:

    Get rid of it.
    Keep in mind that if Corrie does want the china, it will be easy to find. by the time she’s ready to marry, there will be an abundance of boomer generation “heirlooms” in thriftstores & yardsales for ridiculous (low) prices.
    I like the idea of donating it to a “tea party” fundraiser like Pregnancy centers & teen challenge have.
    Mrs N

  132. Janelle says:

    I would keep it to pass on to my kids, or give it as a set to a friend. We got a serving dish from a couple that had been married over 50 years that they got as a wedding gift and it’s one of my cherished pieces. We only got one place setting of our China for a wedding gift so we’re adding pieces to make a full set eventually (it’s handwash too-don’t want to wear off the platinum).

  133. New Diva on the Blog says:

    I too love to use my china on occasion, but I do understand the whole dishwasher thing, ’cause washing it is a pain.
    Since they were gifts to you, any money you receive is kind of a bonus and maybe some bride or family that would never be able to afford them at full price will have a lovely set of china for their family.

  134. jessica says:

    I would also keep it to pass on to my kids. I have not once used my china, either, so I am planning on giving my set to one daughter and the set my mom is giving me to my other daughter. It would be sad to only get 200 for it if so much more was spent.

  135. Texas in Africa says:

    If you really want to get rid of it, give it to a program helping resettled refugees. These are people who have been forced out of their home countries and cannot return because they would face political persecution (or even death). (Many current refugees in the U.S. come from places like Sudan, Burma, Afghanistan, and Burundi.)
    When refugees are resettled, they have to completely start over – they arrive with the clothes on their back, and a debt to the U.S. government for the cost of their plane ticket. Working with the government, most refugee resettlement agencies provide refugees with a furnished apartment, and that includes kitchen stuff. These agencies help these families to find jobs, get their kids enrolled in schools, etc., but the task is completely overwhelming – you’re talking about dropping people who’ve been living in refugee camps (and who’ve experienced war, famine, and extreme poverty before that) into the middle of American society and expecting them to function normally.
    Some groups that work with refugees include Caritas, Lutheran World Relief, and Catholic Charities. Catholic Charities of OKC is the only group working with resettled refugees in Oklahoma.

  136. MamaToo says:

    I remember reading “Little House” books, and they always used the good china when they had guests over. So, my advice is probably a repeat of much:
    1. Have people over.
    2. Use the china. Seriously, if it breaks, there is a wonderful website where you can get replacement pieces. It probably won’t break, though – there’s a reason this stuff is passed down generations.
    3. Put it in the dishwasher to wash it. I know you use good detergent (previous post?), so go for it. I’ve been washing my china in the dishwasher for many, many years & it still looks like new.
    enjoy it, shannon. It’s a gift – share it!

  137. Lori Bailey says:

    Keep it! You’ve been in the “little ones” season of life for many years now. When your kids all get into their teens, twenties and beyond, you might have a different perspective. At the very least, you’ll have a pool of cheap labor πŸ˜‰

  138. Lisa C. says:

    First time poster here.
    I agree with those who said to keep it, and with those who said to put it in the dishwasher.
    Load it carefully, don’t use extra heat, and don’t use a heated dry cycle. Make sure that no stainless steel (silverware, etc.) touches the silver trim. Let it cool completely before unloading. My understanding is that the heat can soften the metal trim.
    If you still don’t use it, store it for your kids. I have my grandma’s china and love it. It’s in terrible shape. Not only did she put it in the dishwasher back in the early days of dishwashers (no delicate cycle), but I think they actually used some pieces for ASHTRAYS! But I use it for tea parties for my kids, for special occasions, whatever. I’d use it every day, but the plates are smaller than normal (I think they’re luncheon plates). And I stick it in the dishwasher. And I don’t care if it gets messed up a bit more. It’s special to me, but the specialness is in using it, not hoarding it. I think my grandma would approve. πŸ™‚

  139. jennielynn says:

    With stuff like that, I wind up donating it to our local hospice thrift store. It’s the kind of thing, they can sell for a little more than usual and I know the money they make goes to a truly worthy organization.

  140. KM says:

    If you still love the pattern, then look for unconventional uses for the pieces. Could a tea cup hold pushpins on your desk? Could you set out a saucer for your rings when you take them off? It’s not likely that you’d be heartbroken if a kiddo smashed a piece, and you’d see it more than in storage. Or how about having a mirror cut then glued into the center of a dinner plate or platter. That would be pretty hung on the wall.

  141. Jeni says:

    I would sell it, or better yet, auction it for a good cause. Surely there’s a school or a homeless shelter or something that could use it in a silent auction?

  142. Hollie says:

    I would either sell it or if you are attached to it I would smash it up and make a mosaic picture frame to put your wedding picture in.

  143. Cindy-StillHisGirl says:

    If you don’t use it, get rid of it! (I’m preaching to myself here as well.) Is it adding ANYTHING to your life? I imagine it would only be meaningful to your daughter if she had fond memories of always eating on it with you.
    I say sell it for what you can get for it and do something LIFE CHANGING with the $$. Just before you went to Uganda, a team from our church came back from Uganda where we support the Nyaka AIDS Orphan School.
    It is amazing how far a little china money might go. πŸ™‚ I’m sure there are a zillion needs that could be met in your town or overseas by a few bucks. Perhaps even someone you know is in need of the exact amount you’d make. πŸ™‚

  144. Kellyn says:

    I put all my stones in the dishwasher, and have also been chastised by my PM consultant. I just roll my eyes at her!
    I would put the china in the dishwasher. Don’t use high heat or the drying cycle since that is what softens the silver. Don’t put anything else in the dishwasher with it, to be on the safe side.
    My mom still has her china from her wedding, and uses the dishwasher. Hers has gold one it. It doesn’t look any different.

  145. pam says:

    If you don’t choose to sell it for whatever you can get, why not just choose to use it and (gasp) wash it in the dishwasher? You are already a confirmed rebel if the stone goes in the dishwasher.
    I registered for Christmas china instead of a formal pattern when we got married. After about two years of the handwashing thing that kept me from wanting to get it out even at the holidays, DP urged me to go ahead and put it in the dishwasher, gold rim and all. They are fine.
    The dishwasher did not break them. Putting them in storage in the garage destroyed four place settings (I’m not telling who dropped them on the cement garage floor).
    I’m all for using what we have or getting rid of it. I hope it makes you a little money if you do decide to sell.

  146. LeeAnn (AKA FrazzMom) says:

    I have the same dilemma with my husband’s grandmother’s china. Too pink and flowery for my taste, but it’s his only link to her- so I save it, hoping Teenage Daughter will want it someday… Sorry I can’t be more help- but it looks like you have lots of opinions to consider already!

  147. erin says:

    sorry i posted twice ~ first time ~ anyway i need help with activities for my special needs step son see my site for more info

  148. Heather says:

    Maybe I’m overly sentimental, but I’d keep the dishes and see if your daughter wants them some day. Even though the “sentimentality” is a little lessened since you’ve never used them, they are still from a sentimental occassion.

  149. Heather says:

    My friend suggested I try WFMW to see if anybody out there has some good suggestions for how to best clean produce before eating it, since I didn’t know about this and that happened to be my new post today. Thanks

  150. lisa (lost pezhead) says:

    i would try returning it to dillard’s first. especially if you still have the price tags on! it might sound crazy, BUT i returned a coat to LLBean that I had for 6 years and never wore! they looked it up and saw it was bought in 2000 and exchanged it for a different coat and even refunded me the difference! maybe the point of this is to shop at LLBean?!
    this is why we will never have fine china or silver. by the time we can afford it i’ll probably be buying it for my daughter’s wedding anyway!
    you could always run a craigslist add…just be careful of people coming to your house, might want to meet them at a store or make sure your husband is home.

  151. Melanie says:

    Save it for your daughter or for a daughter-in-law.
    By then they may make some special dishwasher that doesn’t destroy silver lined china. :>)

  152. Shauna says:

    I inherited my grandmother’s wedding china and will pass it down to my kids.
    I also put my Pampered Chef baking stone into the dishwasher.

  153. Missy says:

    As much as I wish my mother would have had china to pass down to me I have to say imagining the stress relief you would get from smashing them to pieces sounds the best! j/k! So yes, I’d agree save them for your daughter. p.s. why in the world does my mr linky do that? #197. That should have been my question for wfmw! Help!

  154. melissa says:

    save it! pass it down to your kids. or maybe when they’re older and married, you will want to have everyone over for formal occasions, let them wash it all by hand, and use it then. either way, you should totally save it! my grandmother gave me her china and crystal and i cherish it sooo much. your children will come to that age-probably once they’re married-where they will all of a sudden value you, their heritage, traditions, anything you have. all of that stuff that they nowadays might not like. someday you will be very, very cool in their eyes. and they will want your china!!!

  155. T. says:

    I love dishes (I have multiple sets), and we use our china almost every Sunday as each Lord’s Day is a special occassion- and who better to use it on than my family?! Plus, we attend functions where my children will need to be comfortable using finer china, so it’s good practice for them. Mine says it is dishwasher safe, but I handwash it because of a gold outer band. But, that’s me and my personality and we host many functions that require its use.
    Because your daughter is younger and you are not incorporating the tradition of finer china, odds are she will grow up to follow your example (so why store them to deal with the problem in another 15 years?!) Should she choose differently when she gets married, these dishes that were never used during her years in your home may not hold a great deal of sentimental value to her, and she could choose her own with your added wisdom of choosing a pattern that is compatible with a dishwasher. So, I would sell it. As another lady has suggested, I would try Replacements. I would also give Craig’s List a whirl since it’s free listing. I’d try ebay, too, though, and sell it at a buy it now price and let people choose how many settings they want to buy at that price. Maybe you could see if Dillards still sells it and return it! Ha! At any rate, I think you’ll just need to be resigned to the fact that they were overpriced to begin with. Maybe you could buy a different set of everyday china that does better in the dishwasher and has a dressier look or that could be dressed up with accent plates or chargers.

  156. Linda says:

    I say save it for your daughter. We recently received some of my husband’s grandmothers china and it happened to be patterned so I hung a few of the plates on my dining room wall. Other than that….I had no real use for it.

  157. Andrea says:

    Even though I am NOT a hoarder and get rid of things all the time, this is one item I would recommend holding on to for your daughter or daughter-in-law. You never know but that they may be extremely treasured by your children because they were yours (even if you didn’t use them!).
    And I’m gonna pray for that special dishwasher!

  158. Jamie says:

    I beg you to save it for your daughter!! Or think beyond that…her daughter! πŸ™‚ I would LOVE a set of my grandmother’s china! Just think about that! Box it up and keep it in the attic for 30 years and then maybe you’ll be able to give it away!

  159. Maggie says:

    I would research it. I sold 8 settings of china and the servings pieces on Ebay for more then it cost new because the pattern was discontinued and hard to find. Easier is selling it to a replacement pieces company or even selling it on craigslist. Saving it for your children is also another great option. I am in the process of getting rid of another set of china ( you think I would have learned the first time) and I plan on selling it on craigslist.

  160. Lynne says:

    Keep them.
    We never used our china when we had little kids, either. Now we use it several times a year. My youngest daughter, age 12, loves to cook, watches food network, reads Bon Appetit and Gourmet Mag, and loves making fancy, restaurant quality food. She insists on eating off the china at least once a month, and it is so much cheaper than eating out at a nice restaurant that we all love doing it.
    When your kids are older, you may feel like using the china. If not, maybe your daughter would like to have it.

  161. sarah says:

    you could try a fine china cycle.
    have you looked into replacements limited? they have a website. i don’t know what their policies or arrangements are on buying china.

  162. Aunt LoLo says:

    Sell ’em, sweetie! If E-Bay isn’t doing it for you…try Craigslist? I don’t know….you could always take them to a pawn shop!

  163. Ewokgirl says:

    I had 4 sets of dishes, 2 everday, 2 fine china. One set of everyday dishes was missing a lot of pieces from having been broken. I was contemplating replacing them, but that costs a lot of money, AND I wasn’t ever using my 2 sets of fine china.
    I solved my dilemma by paring down to 3 sets of dishes, making one set of fine china into everyday dishes, and I put them in the dishwasher! Those dishes have a platinum band on the edges, and they’re holding up just fine with dishwasher washing.
    If your only other option is to get rid of them, then just start using them as you would your everyday dishes. It makes more sense to use them and enjoy them than to get rid of them.

  164. Sileena says:

    I posted without my subject and then with. So 194 and 195 are the same in case you want to delete one. I’ve seen creative things like lamps made out of whole china plates and tiles and what not made out of china but I (personally) don’t think that’s a good idea. I say save em although they may not have any sentimental value to your daughter so she may never want them. Maybe you could sell em to that guy who buys china to complete peoples’ sets. IDK. Good luck

  165. adrianna says:

    It’s been really interesting to read the comments, especially the suggestions regarding donations.
    I find myself in exactly the same predicament as you. Except that I don’t have a daughter, and only one of two sons is married at this point.
    I have two granddaughters so I could give each a service for four. But what if baby number four, due in October, is another girl?
    Anyway, whatever you do, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE let us know what you decide!

  166. Robyn says:

    Sell it and don’t feel bad. It’s just stuff, and you should keep only the things you love and use.
    If it makes you feel better, donate the money to charity.
    Don’t feel like you have to keep stuff around, just because. Do what works for your family, and don’t feel bad about it. πŸ™‚
    You will feel so free after getting rid of it. If you keep it in your attic for years for your daughter, you’ll still have to store it and worry about it. Life has so much more to offer instead of worrying about china, and storing it for years.

  167. Jane says:

    I’d do one of three things:
    1-Stash them in the attic for Corrie.
    2-Give them to a young recently engaged girl.
    3-Just use em and plop em in with the stone.

  168. Lisa T. says:

    I always wash things in the washing machine that say “hand wash only” (
    I think I would do the same with the china. Well not in the washing machine of course, the dish washer πŸ˜‰

  169. Stroba says:

    I’m just like you…I have all of this china and have rarely used it. But I just can’t get rid of it. So I don’t know what to tell you:). I’ve heard Replacements Ltd. is great though.

  170. lynn says:

    If you never use the china I doubt it will hold any sentimental value for your daughter. And if she doesn’t grow up handwashing things – she won’t want china that has to be hand washed either
    I vote for selling the china – perhaps a bed and breakfast nearby would want it?
    Or better yet donating it to a worthy cause – women’s shelther, churches, a convent or a thrift store whose profits support a good cause.

  171. Bahama Mama says:

    You have 300 people joining in your WFMW so far so obviously you have at least 300 people who ready your blog. Why don’t you hold a “do-gooder” competition and offer the China as a prize? Announce on your blog that you are going to award the China to the person you think has done the greatest “good deed”. Ask all “do-gooders” to post a comment within a certain time period (say one week) on the good deed that they have done and you award the China to the best one. Sure you could just donate them – but this way you get at least 300 good deeds instead of just one. You also squeeze a lot more value out of them than $200.

  172. Mamma D says:

    Love the previous commenters idea. I would totally do a good deed for china. My hubby and I did not have a traditional wedding, hence no registry or china.

  173. Heidi says:

    If you sell them, I’d try Replacements in Greensboro, NC first. They are extremely reputable.
    My MIL dishwashes her china. I think I would try that. ******However, it is my understanding that the metal band does not come off due to the dishwashing itself, but it does come off when you unload the dishes while they are still HOT, thus rubbing off the metal band.
    Good luck!

  174. GiBee says:

    I would agree — either sell it on ebay, or store it for when your daughter gets married (if she’s the type)… but don’t use up much wanted space for dishes you’ll never use!!!

  175. Dawn says:

    I have the same problem …. Right now its taking up the top two shelves in my pantry. I’m thinking if I actually buy a china cabinet someday, it might look nice on display … but realistically I’d probably sell it for what little I could get out of it and call it a day. Good luck!

  176. Brenda in Canada says:

    I vote for trying it in the dishwasher. I have a 12 place-setting of Noritake china that has a silver rim, and I put it in the dishwasher when I use it. It looks fine! I’m pretty sure it DID NOT say it is dishwasher safe, but I have heard that occasional dishwasher use will not ruin it…it might if you used them everyday and dishwashered them. As I say, my silver rim looks fine after many washings.
    I use my china for special occasions, and when we have company that eats in the dining room.
    You could decide on two occasions during that year that are deemed ‘china usage’ worthy, and then wash it in the dishwasher when you are done. As someone else commented, if it ruins it, you are out $200 that you would have gotten to sell it…which isn’t that much. After dishwashering they would still be in better shape than choosing the burning off the PMS energy option!!!

  177. Manders says:

    How about this.
    Have a dinner party. Invite those that gave you the china dishes. Use the china. One setting per person.
    When the dinner is over give a short speech explaining that this was the first time that you had been able to use the dishes and they are now theirs for being so giving to you.

  178. gretchen from lifenut says:

    Use it! Run it through the dishwasher just like your regular plates. Mix it in with your regular stuff. The next time you have a BBQ, pull it out and proudly slap the baked beans and chips on it. You’ll be that eccentric woman who used her china at the BBQ.
    My china belonged to my husband’s grandmother. It is in my dining room cabinet on display. I made a point of using a few of the pieces this past Thanksgiving, since we had Alternative Thanksgiving (i.e. super casual renditions of the classic foods). I had to class it up a little.
    I think if you get rid of the china, you’ll regret it later. Heirlooms are good. If not for you, for Corrie. If not for her, maybe one of your sons’ wives.

  179. Dawn says:

    I think you should keep some of it. We have 12 place settings of china and it is too much. I serve with it once a year…New Year’s Day. It feels good to be able to use it. My boys know that on this one day, we have a really nice meal, complete with black eyed peas on our fine china.
    There is just something about having china to pass on that makes me happy.
    Buy the storage containers and let Corrie decide what to do with it when she is in this same predicament.

  180. Laane says:

    Well, I have the same luxury.
    I have the complete lot stored. So the kids can choose what they want to do with it.
    But you can have an auction here on the site ofcourse.

  181. Andi says:

    To be honest, if you were my mom and tossed out your china and didn’t save it for me, at least until I was of age to make a decision, I’d be furious. What a priceless heirloom to share with your daughter! Seriously.
    Just my opinion.

  182. katherine says:

    I ditto the dishwasher suggestions. Use it – have special times with it – that was the point of china in the first place (and shall we flog the southern proper people together that made us think our china was for the cabinet rather than to actually be used on the table?).

  183. Jessica R says:

    Um, now that I have recovered from the dizziness, you should definitely save it for your daughter. It will be sentimental for her to have it one day and if she turns out to be a china/entertaining freak like me she will be over the moon!
    Of course if you decide that you need that precious attic space, e-mail me and I will be happy to drive all the way to Oklahoma with $200 to pick it all up right away!

  184. Dianne says:

    I’d have to vote on the “get rid of it” ticket. I’ve been sentimental over TOO many things and all that ever did was take up valuable space, cause me clutter stress, and give me more to box up and haul somewhere if we move. I’m learning to let go of stuff, and it’s a very good thing. πŸ˜€

  185. Michelle Potter says:

    I vote get rid of it, and I am a very sentimental type. IMO, fine china that has been sitting in your attic, never used, no memories attached, is not sentimental. It’s no different than if you bought her some lovely fine china on her wedding day.
    It would be different if you used this china at the wedding, if you and dh had used this china for your very first holiday meal after you got married, if the china had been used on special occasions your daughter’s whole life. That would be special. I have my grandmother’s dining table and chairs, which sat in her kitchen my entire life until she remodeled three or four years ago. THAT’S special. China that’s been sitting in her attic unused since time immemorial? Not so much.

  186. Muddy says:

    I havent read all the comments yet to see if this has been suggested yet, but have you looked at ? It is a business that is in the business of buying and selling china (new and used.) They might not offer you better than what you’ve looked into so far-but then again, who knows.
    Your other solution would be to save them for your daughter for “someday”
    We also have pulled out our china for just the four of us, just because. (mainly just because its the only way we’ll ever use them LOL) Why not use them for special occasions with your own birthdays…adding something special to that day. Yeah, means handwashing-but might be ok if it only happens here and there.
    Good luck!

  187. edith says:

    I have the same issue – I registered for china because my MIL-to-be insisted we “had to” – it was all the thing. We received only a bit of it, purchased the rest ourselves because we thought we “had to” and have maybe used it once. Now I’m widowed and still have it sitting in storage. I think though that if I can get a big enough table that we can “all” sit around – that is more than 4 people I will make the effort to start using it. As so many can’t enjoy it at all in storage and since it’s not a huge “treasure” one might as well use it and get some enjoyment out of it.
    Have a wonderful day.

  188. Emily says:

    I would keep it…more than that, I’d recommend using it once in awhile. Like at Christmas or Thanksgiving. I have beautiful memories of holidays, growing up, when we got to bring out the VERY SPECIAL BEAUTIFUL BREAKABLE!!! china and set the table. Yes, we had to hand wash it afterward but it honestly didn’t take that much longer. And it was all about the whole experience – getting it down from the cupboard, setting the table with our very best “company” settings and placing them oh-so-neatly, even the washing up afterward. I loved it and someday my sister and I will probably argue over who gets Mom’s china. πŸ˜‰
    So…I know you said you’re just not that kind of person, but I’d encourage you to become that kind of person, just occasionally. It really does make some wonderful memories.

  189. Sarah JAcobs says:

    It is dishwasher safe. I have the same pattern. The fine print on the bottom of each piece verifies this. So relax and enjoy!

  190. Doris says:

    I would sell them. Chances are if your daughter wants china she will want to pick out her own. There’s no memories of using these, etc.

  191. Joanna says:

    I think I might divide up the lot. I like plates hung on a wall. Any wall, mine, my daughters, my bathroom, all over the kitchen, in a neat design in the dining room….. you get the idea. Unless its tacky china of course

  192. Wendy says:

    I gasped out loud when I saw that your pattern is Solitaire–that’s the same as my mom’s! I would echo the suggestions to contact Replacements about selling it to them. I just looked up Solitaire on their website and it seems their stock is quite low, so you might do better on the sale than you expect!
    I’ve started using my china a lot. We had a tea party just this afternoon using my crystal and china. My kids (5 & 7) loved it! My son even wore a tie. πŸ™‚

  193. floorplan says:

    Ask Dillard’s if you can return it and get store credit.
    Really. Try that. Be totally honest.
    deb meyers

  194. Shannon says:

    I’d save them for your children.
    I have my Grandma’s set and I cherish it because I know it was given to them by people who loved them at their wedding and subsequent holidays (because that’s how it was done back then – you got pieces until there was nothing left in the line).
    We don’t use it every day, nor in it’s entirety, BUT I take one or two pieces out for holidays. It’s my way of honoring and including her – even though she never used the stuff (I peeled price tags off, too). Give that opportunity to your kids!
    That being said, don’t use up valuable cabinet space storing it. There are some nice – yet not cardboard – separator (sp?) boxes you can get so you don’t have to wrap each piece (should you actually want something from it)that are reasonably priced.

  195. Shana says:

    OK- I had to comment here, because you’re email link is not working. I was going to tell you and only you, that I am an idiot, but now I must tell the whole world. Nothing like being humbled.
    Anyway, this is my first time participating in the WFMW carnival (or any carnival) and I was trying to figure out how to do it. The first attempt, I accidentally used the wrong post permalink. The second time I think I got it right. But, the next time I looked at your site, the number I was assigned had changed so I thought mine was deleted because I did it incorrectly. So, I decided to try again. Then, I was scrolling back through and noticed that mine was there, it had just changed numbers. So, I am a complete idiot and have muddied up the Mr. Linky links and I must say I feel terrible. And can I also say that everytime I read or type Mr. Linky it makes me think of VeggieTales…I think I must be thinking Mr. Lunt.
    And, since I’m here now to introduce myself and to display my brilliance, I must also say that I have so enjoyed following your trip to Uganda. Our family decided to sponsor 14 year old Ken from there. And, as a side note, I personally know Randy & Chris Elrod. I just thought you’d like to know that another child was sponsored as a result of your trip.
    And, since I’m already here, I’ll chime in for your WFMW. Can I just say that I love the Lennox Solitaire pattern. I almost chose it as mine, but went for Courtyard Platinum instead. My take on it, is that you should save them for your daughter or daughter-in-law.

  196. pam says:

    This post could have been written by me, except we got our full 12 place settings and EVERY extra 25 years ago. Although I’m tempted to say we never used them I could just be forgetting some LONG ago memory—but I’m thinking NEVER used. Personally as we contemplate selling our home I’m LOVING the idea of smashing them. I’ll be waiting to see if anyone comes up with “the” answer.

  197. Nicol says:

    I would love to have this problem, except I do not own any china. I have actually been looking at different patterns in hopes to get a set for myself. I am a formal personal and would love to have china for special occassions. As for your problem, I would either sell it (ebay or craigslist) or store it for your daughter. Maybe she will want to use it when she sets up house in the future.

  198. Elizabeth says:

    I didn’t read all the comments, so this may be a repeat, but … my china has a gold rim and my MIL said as long as the dishwashing detergent didn’t have lemon in it, the china would be fine. We’ve washed it in the dishwasher several times now and all is well.

  199. The Pear Lady says:

    If you really think your daughter may want it some day, by al means, I’d say wrap it up and stick it somewhere out of the way. If you absolutely need the money NOW, test the waters with selling it with those around you (see if anyone’s interested in the china). Or, put it away (hide it, somewhere away from you if possible) for a specific amount of time (set an alarm reminder to remind you on that date). If you’ve forgotten the china by the time the alarm sounds, it’s probably a good bet you can deal without it.
    Whoa, that advice is long-winded from me – pardon me. I hope at least something of that speech makes sense. Good luck (and great activity, by the way). πŸ™‚

  200. Terina says:

    since it is midnight as i am writing this i do not have the time to read through all 223 comments.:) i say ebay or craigslist it. or, if there is someone, or some local charity/goodwill type of place that you could give it to, and they get the money. have it benefit someone in some way. and your daughter will probably want her own stuff anyway.:) i did. instead of keeping the money, you could donate it to whatever charity you chose. i love getting rid of things, it feels so good!!! we move a lot (military) and storing a bunch of stuff just isn’t an option. get rid of it the way you feel is best.:)

  201. The Dairy Wife says:

    I think after reading all these comments that I would hook up the pregnancy center and donate it to their cause. How nice would that be for them to have nice china for their luncheons.
    That’s a heart thing … and we know you have a huge heart.

  202. Greta says:

    Hahaha, if the pattern is still out there (which I’m sure it is – they sound elegant and timeless), I’d try to return them to a dept. store. You could at least get some store credit.
    What a cheapskate I am…especially following the previous post.

  203. Greta says:

    P.S. I also put my china, which has a platinum circle around it, in the dishwasher and it looks fine! (Although I’ve only used it 2, MAYBE 3 times).

  204. Heather says:

    My dear 80-something year old Grandma reads my blog, then linked here and read your WFMW post and wanted me to pass along her opinion on what to do with your china, so here is her comment:
    “I am the proud owner and user (on all special occasions) of my Grandmother’s wedding china! My sons were adolescents when she died and it was bequeathed to us. We started using it for birthdays and other special occasions even though I need to hand wash it. I now consider that a privilege because it is a link to my own past and something so special and fine. When my sons and grandchildren come to visit, we use it even now and it brings back fond memories.
    My suggestion is to pack it away very carefully and label it all and even include a printout of her blog about it and the comments she receives, then when she has grandchildren, give it to the one who might treasure it! Skipping a generation helps to increase the treasure – and if at that point in time, giving it away doesn’t seem quite right, by then it might be worth something on the Antiques Road Show and help pay for a second honeymoon in honor of her own 50th anniversary or something!”

  205. Meg says:

    Save it and put it in the dishwasher! My mom has that same pattern- and we put it in the dishwasher for 20 plus (30 plus?) years. She gave it to me when I got married 4 years ago and I too have put it in dishwasher- and the platinum looks great (they do have a few knife marks in the middle but eh). The platinum on these plates is very strong.

  206. Louise says:

    Here’s another vote to NOT save it for your daughter. I received some family china and kept it because it was “heirloom,” but I really didn’t like it. I had to overcome tons of useless guilt to get rid of it. There’s no guarantee that her tastes will be the same as yours.
    Also, if you don’t use it often for special occasions, why would it become special for her? It’s not like she’ll have fond memories of big Christmas dinners on those plates if you never use the stuff.
    So, sell it. If you want to give something to your daughter, invest the money you make on the china and give it to her as part of her future wedding gift.

  207. Sarah says:

    How odd that you are contemplating this because I am too! I just got done talking to my MIL about this very issue and then I read all your comments. I’m still not totally sure what I should do with my china and crystal. I just don’t want to regret it later on since I do have a daughter to pass it down to. But I do know this, I have some crystal dishes and some tupperware glasses from my Grandma. The tupperware is probably more valuable to me then the crystal because I remember using them.

  208. Susie says:

    I too have really nice China with silver around the edge. I put it in the dishwasher because I use it so infrequently. If I was using it every day, the silver would probably come off, but since I use it only a couple of times a year, the dishwasher probably won’t hurt it.

  209. Dawn Burton says:

    I say use the wedding china and wash it in the dishwasher. Who said you couldn’t, was it the same people who said not to wash your pampered chef baking stome in the dishwasher?

  210. jen says:

    Shannon, Just wanted to say thanks. I just goofed up a Mr. Linky somewhere else in the blogoshphere, and I couldn’t figure out how to delete the bad link. But I just knew you would have the answer in your WFMW info! Sure enough you did, and I LOVE you for it! Thank you! You rock!

  211. Angela says:

    I think you should either find a home that would appreciate them and offer a trade or barter for something else or try to craigslist it. That would be your best bet and not have to worry about shipping it. Good luck!

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