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When to replace stuff?
Old 10-10-2013, 02:13 PM   #1
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When to replace stuff?

Last night, while unloading the dishwasher, I realized that our 12-year old everyday china and glasses have become pretty scratched up. Some are chipped too. I usually don't pay attention to things like that and for that reason I have a tendency to let things go well passed their prime before replacing them. Now I'm embarrassed to have recently entertained guests with such tatty dinnerware.

What about you? Do you replace things as soon as they start looking worn or do you just live with items until they are not functional anymore, even if they have a less than desirable appearance?
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Old 10-10-2013, 02:25 PM   #2
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Do you replace things as soon as they start looking worn or do you just live with items until they are not functional anymore, even if they have a less than desirable appearance?
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Old 10-10-2013, 02:40 PM   #3
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We used to hang on to stuff, but now we're (read: I'm) confident that we won't run out of money under pretty much any circumstances, even I'm (DW never needed an excuse!) quite enjoying replacing medium-life stuff such as glasses and chinaware. I do tend to keep the old stuff that isn't chipped, so we buy only 6 or 8 pieces of the new model and then we have some decent, if non-matching, pieces for when we have a larger gathering for a barbecue.

We still have our wedding-present "best" china and cutlery. The china is nice, and in great shape - we've only ever broken one piece, and after 25 years it's still available new. The cutlery is horrible, but my parents insisted that was what they wanted to get us, so we had to wade through a catalogue of ugly stuff (DW and I share a lot of tastes). The new everyday cutlery I bought last year in a German supermarket is 10 times nicer than our authentic Arthur Price Sheffield Plated silverware.

For applicances, I've always bought the display model in the shop and refused the extended warranty. Our washing machine is 12 years old and (at the risk of jinxing myself) has never needed even a washer changing. Our last dryer died after just 4 years, but it was cheap and we have the setup to allow to use a cheap evacuating (non-condensing) model, so for $200 we were set again two days later.
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Old 10-10-2013, 02:56 PM   #4
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..... Some are chipped too. I usually don't pay attention to things like that and for that reason I have a tendency to let things go well passed their prime before replacing them. Now I'm embarrassed to have recently entertained guests with such tatty dinnerware.
Aw, don't let it bother you.

After all the guests have been seated and served, bring up in conversation if they ever read any of the "Boxcar Children" series when they were little.

If they have, tell them that you keep a couple of handfuls of sand in the silverware drawer

And if they hadn't, well, look at it this way, if you FIRE'ed by not keeping up with the Jones', why start now? The Jones' can bring over their OWN dinnerware!

Tut tut, no need to thank me, I'm always willing to help out.
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Old 10-10-2013, 02:57 PM   #5
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Last night, while unloading the dishwasher, I realized that our 12-year old everyday china and glasses have become pretty scratched up. Some are chipped too. I usually don't pay attention to things like that and for that reason I have a tendency to let things go well passed their prime before replacing them. Now I'm embarrassed to have recently entertained guests with such tatty dinnerware.

What about you? Do you replace things as soon as they start looking worn or do you just live with items until they are not functional anymore, even if they have a less than desirable appearance?
For everyday dishes I recommend Correlle. I have had some for 37 years used every day and only broken one piece, since its prestressed. In particular their plain white kind. That kind never fades. I got it way back when when a grocery store was selling out of their stock and still have 4 place settings in a box.
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Old 10-10-2013, 03:04 PM   #6
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Seconding the Corelle recommendation. We have a set of 20, plain white. And we use it all the time.

My feeling about replacing stuff is that you don't replace something till it stops providing utility... because the world doesn't need more stuff in the landfill. (Says the woman who drove her husbands 18 year old pick up truck to work.)

As far as pretty dishes for company - I think most people focus on the food and conversation, and less on the dishes. At least I hope so, LOL. We have a big dinner party every Christmas Eve (7 fishes) - and we mix dishes, stainless flatware with inherited silver, glassware mixed with crystal... It's a challenge getting enough place settings, but hardly worth buying a lot more just for this annual party. No one has every complained about the dishes/flatware/linens... and we always have people asking us to invite them back the next year. Like I said - the food and the conversation are what make it successful.
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Old 10-10-2013, 03:10 PM   #7
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It depends entirely on what the item is and how much a replacement costs, and how often we use/need it. If it something that we can run to failure without any consequences, we run to failure, something like a washing machine or clothes dryer. If it's something where running to failure will have undesirable consequences, we replace at some prudent frequency, something like her car battery (I don't want her stranded) or our basement sump pump (that has to work). And if it's something where I can just run to failure with a spare on hand ready to put in, I'll do that when the item is somewhat long in the tooth, usually inexpensive items - I don't want expensive spares lying around if I can avoid it.

What we don't do (but we were guilty when we were much younger), is replace something just because the newer version is a little nicer - never, never, never. I'm the only person I know who doesn't buy a new TV until the old one dies completely, last one made it 19 years.

We also use Corelle every day...and have for 40 years.
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Old 10-10-2013, 03:10 PM   #8
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For everyday dishes I recommend Correlle. I have had some for 37 years used every day and only broken one piece, since its prestressed. In particular their plain white kind. That kind never fades. I got it way back when when a grocery store was selling out of their stock and still have 4 place settings in a box.
I also am a Corelle fan. However, I have had several sets. A couple years ago I decided to buy a new set with square plates. The older set is still in the cupboard and the oldest (and first) set was passed on to family members. One of the plates in my first set shattered into hundreds of pieces when it was accidentally dropped (about 1986) and was easily replaced as it was still under warranty. I do think the newer sets are not the same quality as the ones a few decades ago.
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Old 10-10-2013, 03:19 PM   #9
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As far as pretty dishes for company - I think most people focus on the food and conversation, and less on the dishes. At least I hope so, LOL. We have a big dinner party every Christmas Eve (7 fishes) - and we mix dishes, stainless flatware with inherited silver, glassware mixed with crystal... It's a challenge getting enough place settings, but hardly worth buying a lot more just for this annual party. No one has every complained about the dishes/flatware/linens... and we always have people asking us to invite them back the next year. Like I said - the food and the conversation are what make it successful.
We do have some nice china already, a dainty hand-painted bone china service that once belonged to DW's grandmother. But it requires handwashing. Last time we gad guests, I felt quite lazy and decided to use the everyday china instead because it goes in the dishwasher. Besides, now that we have downsized, we don't have a formal dining room anymore. We are a lot more casual in the way we entertain so the pretty china is a bit overkill.
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Old 10-10-2013, 03:36 PM   #10
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We have "fine" china (Fitz & Floyd Renaissance Black on Buff) that we got as a wedding gift. 12 16 place settings and every serving bowl, platter and whatnot that was available to match. We've been married for 33 years now, and we have NEVER used most of it even once. We've used a few dinner plates maybe a half dozen times, that's it. Tradition...

I want to sell it all, DW says NO!

No it is...
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Old 10-10-2013, 03:46 PM   #11
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It depends.

Some things held together by duct tape are pretty cool.

But other things (like a cordless vacuum battery that only holds a short charge) need replacement before becoming a PITA.
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Old 10-10-2013, 03:59 PM   #12
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Like BigNick, I'm becoming more inclined to replace sooner rather than waiting until the bitter end. This includes things like sheets and towels. Until this summer, we still had a set of sheets that my in-laws gave us for a shower gift 27+ years ago, and some towels that were wedding gifts that should have been in the rag bag a decade ago. Pffft - they're gone. I'm enjoying going to Target to pick out replacements as I find the need for them.
Nothing extravagant, but much nicer.
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Old 10-10-2013, 04:07 PM   #13
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Like BigNick, I'm becoming more inclined to replace sooner rather than waiting until the bitter end. This includes things like sheets and towels. Until this summer, we still had a set of sheets that my in-laws gave us for a shower gift 27+ years ago, and some towels that were wedding gifts that should have been in the rag bag a decade ago. Pffft - they're gone. I'm enjoying going to Target to pick out replacements as I find the need for them.
Nothing extravagant, but much nicer.
27+ years huh, I have a hand towel around that is printed with "Vote 72". Guess what year that was from.
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Old 10-10-2013, 04:10 PM   #14
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We have "fine" china (Fitz & Floyd Renaissance Black on Buff) that we got as a wedding gift. 12 16 place settings and every serving bowl, platter and whatnot that was available to match. We've been married for 33 years now, and we have NEVER used most of it even once. We've used a few dinner plates maybe a half dozen times, that's it. Tradition...

I want to sell it all, DW says NO!

No it is...
Darn, I would be on the sell side. It must have a sentimental connection for her since it was a wedding gift.
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Old 10-10-2013, 04:14 PM   #15
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I'm generally one to keep stuff until it's no longer functional, DW is most of the time. When we moved to WV 11 years ago for some reason she wanted new china to go with the new house, and since the Corelle set we had was over 20 years old, she usually isn't demanding about that sort of thing, so I didn't oppose it and what she wanted was an inexpensive set from BonTon. We gave the Corelle set to her niece when she was setting up her first apartment.

It may have been because I offhandedly mentioned that the Corelle set had belonged to the ex. Anyway it's starting to look a little worn from going through the dishwasher. She hasn't said anything about replacing it though.
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Old 10-10-2013, 04:59 PM   #16
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As part of my simple living, future downsizing plan, I gave away the "good" set of dishes and the every day dishes that weren't white, and bought a single set of all white Corelle dishes on a Walmart special.

I decided to do that after I was shopping for inexpensive yet good value kitchen stuff to set up a first time apartment for one of the kids. I noticed that the Corelle dish sets weighed about 1/3 of the other dish sets and took up about 1/3 the space, were virtually indestructable, inexpensive, and the white color and round size would probably always be available so it would be easy to replace individual items without buying a whole new set.

DH was on board with the Corelle, but took some convincing on giving away the "good' dish set. But I they took up a lot of space, were really heavy to move and we hardly ever used them.
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Old 10-10-2013, 06:01 PM   #17
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Last night, while unloading the dishwasher, I realized that our 12-year old everyday china and glasses have become pretty scratched up. Some are chipped too. I usually don't pay attention to things like that and for that reason I have a tendency to let things go well passed their prime before replacing them. Now I'm embarrassed to have recently entertained guests with such tatty dinnerware.

What about you? Do you replace things as soon as they start looking worn or do you just live with items until they are not functional anymore, even if they have a less than desirable appearance?
I just replace things when I feel like it. I am one of that sub-group of INTJ's who do not care to entertain at all, so I don't have to cope with social pressure about the condition of my china and glasses. Nobody sees them except me, and occasionally Frank (who is not going to pressure me about the condition of my china and glasses).

I have used the same Corelleware and Wal-Mart glasses every day for 14 years. I do like pretty things, so if/when I see another design that I like better (and that is equally practical for me) then I would buy it. Occasionally I browse Amazon with that in mind, but haven't seen anything I want.

When I bought my present set, almost everything in my old earthenware set was broken or chipped. I kept the old stuff on a top shelf for a few years, not using it, and then threw it out when de-cluttering.
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Old 10-10-2013, 06:14 PM   #18
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I have fiestaware which you can mix & match . It 's great for everyday & fine for entertaining plus it is sturdy. I had a huge set of English chintz bone china that I sold on ebay a few pieces at a time . I can't stand tattered towels so they get replaced regularly .Also I get bored with my bed linens and change them yearly .So if you see some homeless with Laura Ashley quilts you can thank me .
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Old 10-10-2013, 06:20 PM   #19
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I do have a set of "good" china that accumulated as a collection started in my childhood (age 10 or so) and it has followed me around the world. I use it when entertaining friends and hand wash it. It is in good shape and I have no plans to replace it. I would prefer a simpler pattern though.

My everyday kitchenware is a $10 set bought at a Kmart in PA in 1986. It has a plate missing and several others with chips. It is augmented with one place setting in Corelle that I had to buy in 1989 when I moved to Canada and had to wait for my stuff to get customs clearance! I also have a few colorful odds and ends, and lots of mugs, most if which were gifts or promotions.

I did recently replace my toaster, which died after 23 years of service, and bought a new coffee maker (12 cup versus 4 cup) for entertaining.

In general, my LBYM philosophy is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

Addendum: My late mother bought a gas stove when she and my Dad married in 1951. She was still using it when she passed away in 2005.
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Old 10-10-2013, 06:54 PM   #20
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Here's another vote for Correlle. We had Pfaltzgraff before the Correlle and it was heavy and bulky and would get crackle lines in the microwave.

When DH's grandparents died in 1986 someone in the family decided that we needed the family china. It was pretty if you like rose patterns from 1930 (gold rim and all) and had family history but in my house it stayed in the china cabinet. I think I used it once. One of DH's sisters said she'd love to have it for her daughter so over the summer we packed it all up in 2 dish pack boxes (bubble cushion envelopes and divided sections in the boxes) from U-Haul and sent them off. I'm glad to have recovered storage space. Now I need someone to adopt my tea cup collection.

Back to the original question. I tend to keep things way past when I should. I'm frugal and practical and I don't need new stuff if I can still use the old stuff. So it's up to DH to convince me that it's time to replace. I'll admit I'm getting better at moving on to something new.
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