Where to Donate Dishes, Glasses, Cups, and Silverware

by - Tuesday, January 24, 2017

plate quesadilla donate dishes glass silverware

We don't give our plates away everyday- most of us put the same set to use for years and years. But how many of us have cupboards overflowing with glasses and mugs, most of which we can't even get to before we run the dishwasher? Donating, reselling, and re-using these things will save that much more from landfills.

Dishes, glasses, and silverware will all go out of style long before they are no longer usable. In fact, they might come back into style before they are unusable. There is plenty of good argument for getting these house basics used, because they do hold together for such a long time, why do we feel we need them new?

If you decide to replace your plates, silverware, or glasses (check this list for tons of Made in America options), you could donate the whole set. The other side is to finally clean out all the stuff you don't use and donate a bunch of mugs or juice glasses or that half a bowl set. It can be a great place to help people, because these are things we actually all need.

So, here are your options if you are ready to replace or downsize at your dining table-

Check with Family- That 20-something cousin, son or daughter, sibling, or grandchild probably needs a set to get them started. A high schooler you know could put them to use when they head off to college (instead of buying crappy plastic plates- don't do it, youths!).

Buy Nothing- We gave a bunch of mugs on Buy Nothing before, and people sweeped them right up. People need this stuff, so you might really be able to help a neighbor by just checking with your local Buy Nothing or Freecycle group (JOIN THEM).

Local Homeless Shelters, Women's Shelters, and Nursing Homes- Everyone eats, so places that home people can often use more of these basics to be used for their residents. Want to support people in need where you are? Gifting mugs, silverware, etc. is a perfect way- give the ones near you a call to see if your stuff could help.

Church Sales and Bazaars- Might work perfectly for redistributing that stuff. For that matter, your church might need that stuff!

Habitat for Humanity ReStores- Habitat for Humanity has "ReStores" that sell pre-used furniture and housewares to raise money for building houses for people in need. Could there be a better way to rehome your old silverware or plates than donating them to this cause? Also, you should check up if one is near to you, so you can start shopping toward this great cause as well.

Operation Homefront- This charity Operation Homefront offers household items, handyman work, and other help to veterans and military families. It looks pretty awesome, and it is growing, so there may be a volunteer center near you.

Replacements Limited- This North Carolina-based seller of tableware, diningware, etc. will buy back your plates and silverware from you. You probably won't make a ton of money, and you have to go through the trouble of shipping them, but you will know that your stuff is going to use, and that is pretty cool.  You can try IADM as well, especially for china.

Recycle- People have come up with so many beautiful uses for used silverware, from garden markers to jewelry. You could make something yourself or offer your silverware to an Etsy seller near you. If you want some ideas, this post is pretty fun.

Goodwill or Salvation Army- These can go to about anywhere you donate things. They are pretty commonly sold in these stores. We even found extras of our plates in our Goodwill.


What about China?

If you are anything like me, your household is getting a lot of china passed down to it. It makes sense. These family heirlooms don't get much actual use, and if every couple in your family line got china, that can really add up. So what do you do with all of those fancy plates?

You can keep them, or keep some of them, but there are other options if they don't have any sentimental pull for you.

from The Broken Plate
Share with Etsy- If you feel sentimental, but the set is broken, incomplete, needs split, or will never be used, consider making a piece of jewelry instead and donate the rest. A number of Etsy stores will make necklaces out of your china- my favorite is The Broken Plate, but you could also try Red Pine Jewelry Design or Robin's Relics.

Donate- Most of the places above will also accept china. You could also try The Rohr Chabad Center to support a Jewish community (now is the time for that).

You got this! Having cleaner cupboards will feel so good, and if you aren't sure whether you will miss it, you won't. You got this.


The Great Donate 2017 is on! Can you donate, gift, or recycle 2,017 items out of your house this year? The average American household has 300,000 items in it- who needs that much? No one, but there are lots of people who could use what you have sitting collecting dust.

Check out the Great Donate main page for more suggestions on what to donate and where. You will save money (by knowing what you actually have), free up space, and save so much from going into a landfill.

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