Use Your Fancy Stuff

Use Your Fancy Stuff | A Simple Haven

If you are anything like me, you added china to your wedding registry.

You are practical. You chose a neutral pattern, so you wouldn’t quickly tire of it. You made a reasonably priced selection, so as to increase the chances of receiving at least some place settings.

Your choice was actually so reasonable (and/or your friends and family were so generous) that you received about double the amount that you registered for–nearly 20 place settings.

You married, then moved ten times. You boxed up that dang china ten times. You packed it more than you ate off of it, for heaven’s sake. 

Then you got smart. You discovered Craigslist.

You googled your china pattern and realized that over the last 7 years, it had significantly gone up in price. You also realized that at least 4 place settings were still in the original boxes.

You listed those 4 place settings and a dear woman from Kansas drove to your house and bought that china, for about as much as it had cost 7 years ago.

You took the money and put it toward a big girl bed for your toddler (who is approaching 3 and still sleeps in her crib).

So, are you anything like me? Have you boxed it more than you’ve eaten off of it?

If so, may I submit the following plan of action?

Either sell it or start using it for pizza night.

I kid you not.

Every day is a gift to be celebrated, so stop waiting for a special occasion to bring out the fancy stuff.

Nana's china. Love it for girly occasions.
Nana’s china. Love it for girly occasions.

Friends coming over for girls’ night? Serve coffee and treats on that china.

Baby shower? China it is. Hey, chances are you have a friend or two who will help you hand-wash it afterward.

Holiday season? Host a mother-daughter Christmas tea using your china. I’m waiting a bit on this one; tea party on Nana’s china probably shouldn’t come before fully potty trained. Or, more to the point, before being able to eat without  frequently dropping items.

Family night? Start with candlelit dinner served on china in the dining room.

Hubby’s friends coming over for game day? Um, refrain.

USE it! Or, sell it.

Otherwise, it’ll just gather dust looking pretty.

When will you next use your fancy stuff?

About Jenn

Jenn is a mommy of three and wife to her best friend. She enjoys good books, dinner guests, elevenses, and proper apostrophe use.

  • This is so funny because I am planning on breaking out the china this weekend! It’s my husbands and my 8th wedding anniversary and we have family coming in town. I thought I’d step things up a bit and eat our anniversary dinner on the fancy stuff! Great minds think alike!

    • Happy 8th!! Enjoy the dinner and the china :).

  • Angela Norman

    Hey that’s great! I have been using my china almost 12 years now. At first I didn’t have enough to use like you suggested, but I found another complete set at a garage sale. I was so thrilled and have used it for Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving ever since. I have always felt it was a waste to just sit there. I have also collected a large set of EAPC glassware from the 70’s to embellish my china. The first time I used it, my sister didn’t want to eat or let her kids eat on it. I told her she was silly and that she and her kids were most important to me than the dishes. Besides I wanted them to know that I thought they were special and that’s why I served them Christmas dinner on china. If a dish breaks and they have, it’s no biggy! You are still sharing and blessing someone else through the abundance you’ve been blessed with. What a great way to show someone how you think about them. Keep making life great!

    • “…sharing and blessing someone else through the abundance you’ve been blessed with.” Love that! And I think that’s the heart behind hospitality in general.

  • Brenda V.

    Love the idea of bringing out the china. What a pretty pattern on Nana’s set. How about bringing out the silver too? A bit more in the cleaning process both upfront and after, but well worth it. Maybe a job for Mary Poppins?
    I heard she was visiting in April… 🙂

    • Yes, the silver sounds like a good project for Ms. Poppins 🙂

  • I love this idea. I’ve been challenged to stop saving stuff for that special day since reading The Happiness Project. I have many memories of my Mom letting us use her special china for tea parties.
    We’ve moved a lot too and I make myself use all the pretty dishes. Otherwise out they go. =)

    Gorgeous china!!

    • How sweet that you remember using your Mom’s growing up. I want my daughter to use ours (in a year or two :)) as well.
      I love this pattern, too! It was my husband’s grandmother’s; at first, I wasn’t sure about adding to our already too-large collection, but now I’m so glad we have it. Especially since I do actually use it.

  • Alex Sudan

    i have been thinking a bout selling my china lately because i’ve never used it and a lot of mine is still in the original box too….but then i get kind of sad. so i do need to use it or get rid of it. im leaning towards using it because it is just too darn pretty to sell! probably won’t use it til we move to ann arbor though, so i’m going to have to leave it in those pretty boxes a little while longer!

    • If you love it, I’d keep it around and try to be intentional to use it over the next year. If you haven’t used it by next year, maybe consider selling then? If you have a ton of it, you could always just sell some and keep the rest. 🙂 I want to see it!

  • I don’t have china but I do have this super girly tea set that’s hardly used in lieu of my company mug haha. Looks like I need to bring out my flower-patterned tea cups more often!

    • They sound great! Bring ’em out! 🙂

  • I have been thinking about this exact thing. I think I’m leaning to the selling side of it. We have very little storage, so half of it is packed in original boxes in my grandmother’s attic, some of it is in the living room, and some of it, I kid you not, is in a cupboard in the bathroom!
    Stop the madness!
    I would love to make a few bucks off of it to put toward something realistic.
    Thanks for the push!

    • I laughed about the china in the bathroom. In our first (450 square foot) apartment, we had ours under the bed, on top of cabinets, and in closets. Hope you can sell it!
      PS, I checked out your Etsy shops and love them. I was just wishing I knew of an easy source for vintage fabric the other day. So glad to have found your shop!

  • This is great stuff! The same realization came home to me after we had to walk away from our home and our stuff (long story, we had a toxic house and everything was infected). I was so happy that I had used some of my grandma’s quilts and other special things. Others, I wished I’d used more instead of saving, because now they are gone.

    • Stephanie, what a crazy story! I’m so sorry for your family, though from your blog it looks like God is bringing so much good from a terrible situation.

  • I was just talking with my husband about how we need to use our fancy stuff everyday. What better moments than with the ones we love the most, right?!

    I just found your blog, I’m looking forward to looking around!

    • Danielle, so glad you stopped by! 🙂

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  • My mother-in-law gave me some beautiful dishes that I essentially fear to use since I don’t want to break ‘her dishes’. But having moved to an entirely different country, maybe it is now time to break out the china for some BBQ and lemonade!

    • Yes, do! And enjoy the BBQ 🙂

  • Rick S

    It has taken some time for my wife to convince me that we should use what we have or shouldn’t have it.
    We have several sets of china, ironstone and glassware. We pick up pieces now with the idea of what party can we use it for? We have found stacks of desert plates just begging to be used for cake and coffee with the neighbors. Salad looks better in a pretty bowl, use them. The dishes we don’t use to eat off of are displayed for their beauty, not wrapped up in boxes. I have finally listened to my wife and don’t pack away hoards of stuff. Dishes are where we can get them right now and use them. Everyone loves hearing “that was Mom’s plate” when we use it.
    The saddest thing I can think of is my mom collecting her 30’s glassware set and never using it. We passed it on to her neice as a wedding present to use as often as they can.

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  • Allison Redd

    Okay, so as a Southern girl I actually have two china patterns (formal and everyday). I even, like you, still have some in original boxes. I use it occasionaly, but with three boys, well. Not as much as I used to. Plus, I have inherited some more china recently, and would rather get rid of the stuff I picked out 11 years ago and keep the old, pretty ones What IS the best way to sell it? Craigslist? E-bay seems like too much shipping hassle, especially for things not in original boxes. I looked at Replacements, Ltd., too, but heard you don’t get as much for it, though I do have like 14 place settings… advice?!

    • Allison, I’ve found Craigslist to be the easiest. I lived in Dallas at the time a sweet lady drove from St. Louis to buy a few sets! (I think she was going to be in town anyway….) If you live in a smaller town, I might even put it on the close, larger city’s CL too.

      Good luck! I know what it’s like to be stuck with more than you need :).

  • Allison Redd

    Oh that’s a great perspective! I need to look at it this way! Thanks!

  • I have this very pattern and use it for everyday! My mom use to say to use your best for the people around you right now.

    • The same one?! Love that you use it for everyday. I can’t believe I fussed about getting Nana’s hand-me-downs back in ’05. (We were bursting with family hand-me-downs in a small apt at the time). Now, I’m so glad I have the set and use it a bunch.

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