In our capacity as downsizers, we are often required to deliver bad news to our clients. That antique platter you were saving in hopes of hitting the jackpot on the Antiques Road Show? The precious heirloom, handed down from generation to generation believed to fetch a king’s ransom? Regrettably, we discover a crack in the base, mended by someone in the family. Sorry, but you better have a plan B for funding your retirement or kids’ universities. The value of the damaged object has just plummeted in the eyes of the market.
Both practical items like dishes and glassware, and fragile decorative pieces are prone to destruction and freak accidents. They are, after all made from brittle materials. Some pieces don’t make it through a move intact, in spite of the 17 orange “Handle with Care” stickers applied to every box you packed. A water pitcher shatters on impact after having been knocked off a table by a tipsy guest. A treasured figurine literally bites the dust at the hands of a zealous Swiffer during an infrequent cleaning frenzy.
Clumsiness is by no means the only contributor to the creation of chips, cracks and pitting. Think of what your poor dishes and rocks glasses are subjected to in the Normal cycle of the dishwasher. Imagine being scalded and pummeled for 45 minutes, only to spend another 35 in a sauna. When you open the door of the machine, you question whether the dishes were loaded by a lower species of primates. Any human knows you cannot possibly wash a 20 person sit-down dinner party’s worth of dishes in a single load. No wonder you can hardly find a single place setting that’s survived.
Many believe that chipped plates, bowls and cups should be banished upon detection, as they function as breeding grounds for salmonella. Even if you don’t believe that chips pose a major health menace, understand that wounded china comprises a special type of CRUD (Completely Ridiculous Useless Debris) that straddles two categories: un-repairable and strongly sentimental. Condition matters less when emotional attachment is in play.
If chipped plates and cups are a source of embarrassment for you, we suggest taking the offending pieces out of circulation. The flawed pieces can be broken up and used in a variety of mosaic inspired crafts projects. You could end up with 3 mismatched plates. These could be turned into a 3 tiered cake server.
Do you have any drawers devoted to rainy day projects? Do these include a favorite bud vase or ceramic box that is living in pieces in plastic bags waiting for you to glue them back together? You can get rid of the guilt and create space in the drawer by disposing of the shards in the closest garbage receptacle. You already have way too much to do maintaining everything else that populates your home. This type of CRUD is relatively inconsequential.