5 Meaningful Ways to Use the Family China

If you find yourself the storekeeper of at least one and in many cases multiple sets of family china, you are far from alone. While a very few of us may have a china cabinet, to display the sets, even those are a rare find in most homes these days. More often, china is placed in padded cases taking up room in valuable cabinet space or are boxed in attics, basements and garages collecting dust and getting in the way when we go to collect our holiday decorations.

There are many reasons why we find it difficult to let go of china that has been passed down in our family. It is sentimental, it has perceived value, it brings up guilt and frankly we just don’t know what to do with it.

Are we really honoring our memories by hiding them in a box never to be seen? And while it feels like china should be valuable, it isn’t. There is so much available and no one wants it. These days, it is rarely listed on a wedding registry let alone used on a special occasion.

As we say so often in editing the unwanted items from our homes, let go of the guilt. Let go of what you feel you should do and think about what you really want to do.

5 intentional things you can do with your family china that can enhance your nostalgia, provide value and give you a sense of doing something better:

1. Take a few pieces from the collection and give it real purpose. The saucer or the dessert plate may make a great jewelry tray on your nightstand. A teacup for a candle or a holiday tree ornament. Create a planter from a teapot or use as a vase.

2. Create beautiful wall art by combining the plates from several collections or different sized plates in one set.

3. Choose a few pieces to use for your more frequent entertaining. They don’t need to be serving platter size, you can use them to serve smaller items at your next friendly gathering.

4. Use the plates and teacups in a gift. Whether you are giving cookies, providing a meal or bringing a hostess gift, dress up your offering by providing it on your china. Wrap it with cellophane and add a bow so they understand the china is theirs to keep.

5. Use china for your everyday meals and take some fun photos of your family. Afraid it will break or the dishwasher will beat it up? That may happen but in the meantime, you will have created so many more family memories.

What to do with the rest:

Donate the unused items to your favorite local charity, food bank or shelter.
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