Silver Organizing Keeps the Shine
If you like to cook, then there is a good chance you like to entertain. I am on board with you! I love to do both. That means we both probably own some silver.
I bet you were excited by the cooking and entertaining theme of this article until I mentioned silver? As pretty as silver is, talking about it elicits sighs because somewhere you’ve got some tarnish lurking about.
As with all organizing, I suggest you do some purging before the organizing. As painful as it is, it might be time to part with some silver. A couple of years ago, a family member passed away who owned a fancy tea service and other items. We each generously offered it to each other because none of us lived a lifestyle where we used or displayed a fancy tea service. In the end, it went to the estate sale. So, it is possible that you may find that you really want to let some pieces be sold or passed to someone else. If so, go ahead!
Even though I passed on the fancy silver tea service and other pieces, I do own silver that I love and use. I have silver flatware that makes the table gleam. I have a lovely jelly dish that was a wedding present.
So, how to organize silver – There are three key areas:
Silver Do’s and Don’ts
Developing a Silver Schedule.
There are many long articles on silver that can be read but pretty much, you can make it much simpler if you get the proper storage and have a simple system for cleaning and maintaining.
Certainly silver can be placed on display as a means of “storage.” Why not look at it if it is lovely? Your china hutch or nestled in a plate stand on the sideboard are good options.
Clearly not all your silver is suitable for display. Other pieces you will want to store out of sight and protect from tarnish which is the result of silver meeting sulphur in the air.
Since you will be keeping your silver for many years, invest in flannel or silvercloth bags and lined flatware chests in which to protect your investment.
Do’s and Don’ts:
Douse acid-free tissue and acid-free boxes, or the above-mentioned flannel for storage. You can order all of these products online.
Do not use newspapers or other printed items. The chemicals in the ink can make the tarnish issue much worse.
Do nor store in plastic bags as trapping humidity is also not good for the silver.
Also, be very wary of products that are applied to your silver and promise to help prevent tarnish. Many of these products should not be used on items that come in contact with food. Read all labels well.
Organizing comes into play in keeping silver clean and pretty – especially for those items on display. Often, a task like silver cleaning is a round-to-it item. Meaning that you will clean it when you get around to it. However, the more the item sits, the harder it is to clean. A blackened tarnished item on display in your china hutch is not attractive.
I have established a twice-a-year time for cleaning my silver. I put a note on my calendar on the first of November and again on the first of May. (After learning that the round-to-it method meant never!) Doing so on the first of November, meant it was all clean and ready for holiday entertaining. Doing so the first of May, just ties in with spring cleaning when I have a goal to get things sparkling anyway. Another way to remember is to consider doing this task when the time changes for daylight savings time.
In between cleanings, I have come to love silver wipes. Sometimes, I will find just the tines of the fork seem to be discolored and I can give them a quick wipe and rinse before setting the dinner party table. (I have even bought a second container of silver wipes to keep in my make-up area for jewelry!)
Author Lea Schneider, a columnist for What’s Cooking America, is a freelance writer and organizational expert whose organizing ideas have been published in many magazines including Woman’s Day, Better Homes and Gardens Kitchen and Bath Ideas, Family Circle, Parents Magazine, as well as numerous newspapers and websites. She is a member of the Association of Food Journalists.
Getting organized is all about living simpler and making things easier. The bonus is it often leads to saving money. Lea Schneider’s kitchen organizing columns tell you how to organize the many things that relate to kitchens, menus, meals, and special food events.
Check out all of Lea Schneider’s helpful home and kitchen columns at Organizing Kitchens, Pantries, Menus and Meals.