Oh No! I’m a Collector {of dishes}

posted by Andrea | 12/3/2010

If I were ever a collector {which by nature I could NEVER be}…but, if I ever collected anything, it would be dishes!

{p.s. If you are wondering why my silver cup is so dirty, don’t worry, I cleaned it!}

I LOVE dishes!

I don’t know why I love dishes…or when this infatuation started, but I have a hunch it was the day I registered for our wedding {Thanksgiving weekend of 2005}. There were just so many beautiful patterns and styles to pick from; I think I paced up and down the dish isles at Bed, Bath & Beyond and Target until I memorized every set…or maybe it was until Dave wanted to leave!

Anyway, I didn’t purchase dishes from either of those stores — but, over the last 5 years I have allowed more than SEVEN {yes, I said 7…like the number after 6 but before 8} sets of dishes to grace our kitchen table!

Does seven full sets of dishes {for 12} make me a collector?

It does!

OK, well, at least 4 sets have moved on to bigger and better kitchens via Craigslist. So now I’m NOT a collector, right?

Plus, I honestly NEED the other 3 sets — they are crucial to my well-being!

Let me explain…

1. Fine China:

My China was a gift from my Grandma for our wedding. It’s the Stoneleigh pattern from Noritake’s collection. Yes, I use these dishes, I love these dishes, AND they look so pretty through the chicken wire in my red hutch.

2. Every-Day Dishes:

Obviously, we use these every day — multiple times each day! I ordered these online last year after I sold my big clunky dishes that didn’t stack well. So, I now have 3 different sizes of plates and bowls which is great; plus, I used an online coupon and my Swagbucks to get the entire set for less than $20!

3. Christmas Dishes:

I stumbled upon these dishes at Walgreens of all places! They were in the 90% off clearance rack, so I got an entire 3-piece place setting for 12 people for only $10! Unfortunately, this year, we won’t be using our Christmas dishes. They are already packed away, ready to move to our new house.

See, three sets of dishes aren’t as bad as you thought…right?

Through my now 5-year infatuation with tableware, I have learned a few things along the way; a few tips to help you simplify and organize your dishes…and I’m going to share them with you whether you like it or not!

1. Plain White goes with ANYTHING:

Did you notice that all of my dishes are basically plain white? My China has a silver rim around the edge, and my Christmas dishes have holly berries…but otherwise they are all totally boring, nothing special, plain white dishes.

And while this might not sound great, let me assure you, it IS!

I can mix and match ALL my dishes…which for an obsessed dish-lover is great! I get so much more use out of my dishes this way, and all I need to do is switch up my napkins, table cloths, centerpieces, etc. and every holiday is covered!

2. Keep your boxes:

Normally, I don’t keep any boxes. I feel they are a waste of space.

However, I did make at least one good decision over the last 5 years — I kept all the boxes and packaging for every set of dishes. Yes, there were times I wanted to throw them out. I actually even put them by the trash can a few times, but I never actually pitched them!

Now I’m thanking myself as I can safely pack all my delicate dishes away; knowing that they won’t break during our big move  – which is less than 3 weeks away!

3. Don’t be afraid to use your dishes:

Don’t reserve your “good dishes” or your holiday dishes ONLY for special occasions. Make them ALL your “every day dishes”. Ok, well, maybe don’t use your Christmas dishes in the middle of summer…but you get the idea. Your dishes are supposed to be used, not simply stored away in a cabinet — so use them!

I’ll be honest, there are times when I really want to use my “good dishes” but I think, what if something breaks. I never worry about my Christmas dishes or my every-day dishes breaking {any they are both breakable} so why am I so overprotective about my China?

Currently, my China is packed away in our basement {see above picture} but I’m already excited to unpack it and start using it again in our new house!

So be honest with me — am I a “collector” or can some of you relate to my infatuation with dishes?

Since Christmas is only 22 days away, you are probably thinking about the food you need to make and the parties you will either host or attend. As you do that, look through your kitchen cabinets and get rid of anything you don’ t need, use, or love. Then make space for the items you DO need, use, and love {even if it is 3 full sets of dishes}.

Now go enjoy your less cluttered kitchen!


Filed under: LifeEntertaining

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  2. jennifer


    I have a white dish obsession too. Where did you get your everyday dishes, and what are they called?


    Andrea Reply:

    I got my white “every day dishes” from JC Pennys…they are just called the “Home Collection”.
    They were REALLY cheap and they have held up wonderfully.


  3. Leslie @ One Day Before Yesterday


    Oh boy! I am not a collector of dishes, but serving wear, maybe. :0)

    We have three sets of the same dishes,- plain, white, and extras for breakage. The extras hang in the basement.


  4. Tweets that mention Oh No! I’m a Collector {of dishes} « Simple Organized Living -- Topsy.com


    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kristen, Andrea Dekker. Andrea Dekker said: My latest obsession… http://ht.ly/3jASR […]

  5. Kristen @ High Heels and a Hammer


    I LOVE all things dishes!!! I won’t even tell you how many sets I have (ok many are only partial sets). And thank you for talking about using them. I think it’s so much fun to serve meals on different dishes every once in a while. 🙂


    Andrea Reply:

    Oh good, I’m not alone in my obsession!


  6. Sue


    I am so not into the dish thing.. I got a set of corelle when I got engaged/married and we have used it ever since.. I do have a nice set of china someone gave us.. no fancy names.. ( some guy ) but I really like the pattern..
    I have always wondered about people who buy Chirstmas dishes though.. thanks for the insight.

    Sue in NJ


  7. Martha


    I have the same China!!! I LOOOOVE it and use it. i have been known to serve pizza on it for Sunday dinner. : )


    Andrea Reply:

    Fun! I’ve never served pizza on my China but I have served breakfast a few times! Gotta love that Stoneleigh pattern!