So let's chat about the china that you own or your mother owns or your aunt owns and you have no idea what to do with it.
The bottom line is that china is NOT a desired item by your children or grandchildren. The world is NOT as formal as it used to be. In fact, one of the downfalls about china is that you can't use it in the microwave due to the gold trim on many patterns, and you can't put it in the dishwasher because said gold pattern will wear off. (Is there another reason?) Well, what do you think would happen if you put the china in the dishwasher so eventually the gold wore off and then you could put it in the microwave? Then you would have at least used the darn stuff and what would be the harm in that?
Before I get into my discussion on china, there's one little detail that needs to be addressed. That is GUILT. I know - how do guilt and china fit together? Because they do. For some reason, anything that has sentimental or even perceived monetary value, we feel guilty that we MUST find a good home for it. We MUST make money on that item, provided we are ready to part with it. God forbid that our parents would come back to haunt us that we didn't dispose of their stuff in a responsible manner.
If you take NOTHING away from this post, take this away. That china brought joy (hopefully) to the recipient when they received the china from wedding guests or throughout the years of their collecting and hopefully using the china to host family and friends. That is the JOY, that is the VALUE in the china. Monetary value? Sentimental value? It's just not there for the next generation. They've found their own niches and items that they place value on and in most cases, today's population is not so sentimental about things. People need LOTS of things, but they're not sentimental about any of them - it's called a throwaway society.
I have a friend in the china business. She and her husband have dealt with china (buying and selling) for many years. They used to pack up their wares and go to antique sales. They don't do that anymore. They have found that the prices they get for their china are significantly less than it was 10 years ago. As demand has fallen off, so have the prices.
If you have china or china that you will "inherit" someday, here are some suggestions as to what to do with it. Take a picture of the china (front and back) and then find a home for it. I'm going to give you several suggestions today.
First things first. you will not likely be able to sell anything that is chipped, cracked or broken. Toss it or find an artist who wants to use it. (more on that in a minute).
Do people want full sets?? Not likely, but people are looking to replace their chipped, cracked and broken dishes.
There is a website called Replacements that will buy and sell china. If you're looking to get rid of something or even to find out if what you have is worth anything, you can check the website. Just type in the name and pattern of your china and you'll see what they have for sale. Not what they will buy it from you for, but what they are selling the same pattern for. Of course, don't forget that whatever they would buy from you, there is likely shipping involved so you would have to figure out if it's worth it for you to follow through.
You can try to sell the china on Craigslist or Kijiji, and you might find a buyer, but you likely won't make a lot of money but if you can find someone local to take it, that saves shipping. That's OK - your goal is to get rid of it, not make money at it. That's one thing we were very specific with my Mom. What was her goal in getting rid of stuff? Did she think she was going to get rich? Or did she just want to get rid of it? Turns out, she just wanted it to go to a good home. GREAT NEWS!!!! That was the BEST NEWS we had heard in all my years. So if we didn't even make any money, but literally gave it away - we were happy and so was she.
What else can you do with your china? Some retirement and nursing homes, and hospices will take cups and saucers. As people age, they can no longer handle a heavy mug for their tea and coffee, but they can handle the lighter weight china. If you have cups and saucers, check out the nearest senior facility to see if they would like the donation. NOT sell - just donate.
There are plenty of artists who would like to get ahold of your china. Some will make pretty cake stands from plates and saucers, some will smash up the pieces and make mosaics from it and I'm sure there are a ton of other ways that creative people will use the china, thus giving it a new life.
To see some of the ideas, I checked out Pinterest and searched for teacup crafts, china mosaics, china cabinet makeover, and china plate crafts.
That should give you an idea of some of the things that people are doing with china. Appalled? Don't be - this is a good way to use up something that no one wants. And better that someone uses it to create an art piece than go to the landfill.
Before I close off the china story, I want to reemphasize this point. Put your GUILT away. I don't care if this was your Mother's most prized possession. NO ONE WANTS IT NOW and you should not be saddled with guilt as you try to find a new home for it. Take a picture. We used our good dishes so infrequently that I didn't even know what color the pattern was. Here's a picture.
|Riverdale pattern by Royal Swan|
|Nameplate on the back of the china|
For curiosity sake, I just did a search on Replacements with this pattern/company. Check it out. I think that odd pieces like serving dishes, teapots, creamers, etc. would bring in more money than plates and cup and saucers.
So there is money to be made, but I've no idea how the shipping works and look at the gold on my Mom's plate - it's pretty worn - maybe we used it more than I thought we did. Or maybe the dishwasher (me) wasn't that careful???? It likely wouldn't garner top dollar.
Anyway, GET OVER the guilt. I'm sure your children wouldn't feel guilty about getting rid of anything of yours. If your mother was like mine, she kind of had a grip on us. Even after we left home, there was a psychological grip that has taken years and years to let go and we've live thousands of miles apart for over many decades. At one point years ago, I had an item in my house - a large item (OK - it was a piano). See even now, if she knew that the piano was gone, I know she would be angry. My grandfather (who played the piano very well) bought me the piano and my parents paid for years of lessons. Years ago, I finally decided to sell the piano. Again, you do not get a lot of money for upright pianos, but I got a couple of hundred dollars. It took a long time to get over the guilt of selling that, but you know what? I did the RIGHT thing. I don't feel guilty about it, I don't even think about the piano anymore. Did I get struck by lightning? Did I feel the wrath of my parents? They don't know and that's OK. There are many things that are better left unsaid. Now if my Dad reads my blog - well too bad. What's done is done. I did blog about the piano when it left the house. I don't think I tagged that post so the post is lost in cyberspace!!!
Take anything in your house. ANYTHING. Ask yourself a couple of questions.
- Does this bring you joy?
- Are you using the item?
- What would happen if you no longer had that item? In 5 minutes, 5 months and 5 years?
If you answer any or all of the questions in the negative (NO or nothing), then perhaps it's time to let it go. Take a picture to remind yourself of the item (which you will likely NOT go and ever look at again), but at least you could if you wanted to. I hadn't seen those dishes of my Mom's in years. Zip attachment to them. DO NOT feel guilty.
And if you absolutely can't find a home for the china, host a party. A PLATE SMASHING party. Doesn't that sound like fun?? OK - who has dishes that we can sacrifice? It's a kind of mourning party and I'm sure it's good for the soul. To release many untold issues between child and parent. I'll host the part if we can find dishes. It's like a divorce party!!!
Anyway, I hope that helps all of you who've asked about what to do with china. Sorry, there is no miracle option.
I do have sewing stuff for you, but that will have to wait until tomorrow. Today and tomorrow - NOTHING official on the agenda, but I've got quilts to quilt and stuff to sew. I'll be in the basement where it's nice and cool.
(This was added after the original post)
A COUPLE OF EXTRA NOTES: I forgot to post this yesterday - it's an article from a millennial's point of view about her Oma's china. Interesting read.
Thanks, Helen - some churches might also accept your cups and saucers. What they can't use, they may donate.
On that note, have a great day!!!!
OH SOOT - I should mention - today is the LAST day to register a quilt for Quilts at the Creek. Check out the link to get all the details and paperwork required. Guess what I'm doing today as well? (OH - I see the deadline is extended to July 7th). Still doing it today.