I want to share with you some tips for storing your best dishes.
Those dishes you use for special occasions or holidays. The ones tucked away in the recesses of your cupboards, in your garage, or maybe under your bed.
You know ~ the fine china you inherited or got for your wedding. Or maybe they’re dishes that aren’t worth much but have a lot of sentimental meaning.
You want to keep those dishes protected and to last.
To last a long time.
So, how do you take care of them? How do you store your dishes when not in use?
I love dishes. And I’d love to have lots of different plates and bowls, but they take up space. A lot of valuable space. And they’re fragile.
Dishes can easily get nicked, chipped, or cracked. And if they’re dishes you love, they can be difficult and expensive to replace.
So how do you store your dishes long term? How do you keep china safe when not in use?
I’ve gotch ya…
Tips for Storing Your Best Dishes
Please note that this article may contain affiliate links. I may get commissions (at no cost to you) for purchases made through these links. You can read my full disclosure for more details.
1. Add a protective layer between each dish
The most important tip for how to store your dishes is to put a protective layer between each dish.
You want something that will protect the dishes from rubbing and scratching each other. To keep any designs and the surface in the best shape possible.
There are lots of options: from stuff you already have in your kitchen, to items you can buy online.
A few ideas are using coffee filters, thin flexible foam, and felt.
For a complete list of options, check out my post on 7 Ideas for What to Put Between Dishes to Prevent Scratches.
When you’re stacking dishes, you want to stack them from largest to smallest, and don’t stack more than 10-12 plates together. Less is better.
2. Protect the outside of your dishes
Next, you need to store your china in protective containers.
Sure you can put them stacked inside cabinets and cupboards, but that isn’t completely protecting them. The dishes have been put away, but they can still get damaged.
You aren’t protecting the sides and edges of your best dishes.
Your stack of china is in the back of a cabinet. You put stuff in front of that stack. And then that stuff gets pushed into your china. What happens? You now have a chip on the side of a plate. Or a small nick. Which you discover later when you go to use your fine china.
Think about it.
That’s why storing your dishes in protective containers is best.
There are two good options for protective containers. There are soft-sided options and hard-sided options. I found mine at Container Store. I find there are pros and cons to both, so you need to know which will best serve your needs.
Soft-Sided Dish Protectors
Quilted dinnerware storage is what I considered soft-sided protectors. They’re circular storage pieces that are designed to be lightweight and protect the outside of your dishes.
The quilted material provides light padding from anything touching the bottom, top, and sides of a stack of dishes.
They come in a variety of sizes to fit everything from dinner to dessert plates. And they have a nice zipper closure.
Soft-sided storage is best for when you don’t have a lot of space and you anticipate minimal bumping.
It’s great when you have less than a full set of dishes, as you can stack them on top of each other and take up less space than hard-sided dish protectors.
Hard-Sided Dish Protectors
Hard-sided protectors have a solid, but not too heavy shell. They too are circular with a zipper closure and come in four different sizes.
They’re great if you have a full set of dishes and the space to store them. Hard-sided protectors are wonderful for protecting the sides of your dishes, as the hard shell prevents anything from hitting them.
I find that they might be too much if you are wanting to store a partial set of dishes. As there’s a lot of empty space left inside, and thus takes up valuable storage.
I especially love the label on the outside to identify which dishes they hold.
3. How to store your best dishes
After you’ve put your dishes in the soft or hard-sided containers, ideally, you should store your china where you can easily access it. That way you use it.
Preferably in a cabinet, hutch, or other piece of furniture so you can easily get to them.
If you don’t have space in your cupboards, cabinets, or a hutch to store your dishes, then you need to put them in storage somewhere in your house. Don’t use cardboard boxes, unless they’re small. Like those boxes that have handles, a lid, and hold reams of paper.
Your best dishes and fine china are heavy. They need storage containers that can handle the weight.
If you put them in large cardboard boxes, it’s a recipe for disaster. The dishes will shift. If the box has handles, they’ll rip, and then the box gets dropped. Your cherished plates are now in pieces.
Instead, use small or medium size sturdy plastic containers that have heavy-duty handles and lids. Preferably clear containers. That way you can see inside – no guesswork.
Add a layer of bubble wrap to the bottom of the bin. Then place your soft or hard-shell dish protectors into the plastic container.
If there is excess space in the plastic bin, place additional bubble wrap around the dish protectors. You want to prevent them from moving inside the container.
Now the plastic bins are ready to be stored. Just don’t add heavy items on top of the bins.
4. Where to store your china
Ideally, you want to store your china inside your house where the temperature doesn’t drastically fluctuate.
You want to avoid storing your dishes in the garage, attic, or basement if those areas are prone to dramatic temperature changes. When conditions change from hot to cold and dry to wet, it affects your dishes. This can cause the glaze to crack and your dishes to possibly become discolored.
Also, make sure you can easily access your stored dishes, otherwise you’ll find it too hard to retrieve them, and they’ll never be used. Or you might even forget where you put them, lol!
You know the saying – out of sight – out of mind.
Shop Dish Storage Options
Other similar posts:
- How to Clean & Polish Brass
- 7 Tricks to Make Cut Flowers Last Longer
- How to Mix Colors & Patterns on a Table
- 6 Simple Steps to Transform a Table Setting from Casual to Elegant
- How to Create a Centerpiece in 3 Simple Steps
- Top 5 Reasons People Stress About Entertaining
- List of 13 Must-Have Table Setting Pieces
- 7 Reasons Why You Should Use Cloth Napkins Everyday