Storing Fine China – Store Your Fine China for Ease of Use
If setting the Thanksgiving table was just too much trouble – or if you were relieved that you did not have to drag out your good dishes – maybe your storage needs tweaking.
Life is too short to not enjoy the pretty things. While I do have a friend who uses her “good” silver, china and crystal for every meal because as she says “I deserve it,” it is not something most of us do. Life is also too short to worry about polishing or chipping china at every dish washing.
When you do have a special occasion, it should be as simple or nearly as simple to find and use your special china as it is your everyday dishware.
In this first picture, you will see china stored openly in a spare kitchen cabinet.
This makes it handy to fill plates and carry them to the dining room. The use of cabinet risers means you do not have to remove stacks of luncheon plates or bowls to get to the dinner plates.
This also reserves the china cabinet for serving platters, trays, crystal, chip and dip sets and all the many things we find hard to store.
This second picture shows china in quilted zipper storage bags.
The bags are designed to be the right size to store each size dish. Cushions are provided to nestle between plates and bowls to prevent chipping. This kind of storage is wonderful for special dishes you use occasionally, such as those Christmas dishes, Hanukkah plates or great-grandmother’s hand-wash only gold-rimmed china.
Using the zippered containers is much safer and cleaner than using a box with newspaper or even bubble wrap. Because the plates and cups are so neatly contained, it is easy to store quite a few in one closet.
It is also easy to find, unzip, and grab a few desert plates for a special birthday. That is something you would not do if you had to dig through a box of newspaper wrapped dishes.
Tips for Storing China:
Ditch the boxes, newsprint and bubble wrap. They make it too much of a challenge to use the dishes.
Clear out a spot in a cabinet or even a linen closet. (Do make sure your shelf will hold the weight of the dishes.)
If you will use the dishes several times a year, consider using risers. Do be careful not to stack too many dishes on top of each other. It is possible for the weight of a stack of fine china to crack one of the plates on the bottom of the stack.
If you rarely use them, such as only at Christmas, then consider putting them in cases to keep them clean.
If concerned about chipping or cracking, you may place something protective between each plate. You can purchase felt pate dividers, buy felt and cut out pieces yourself or even use a paper plate between each of your china plates. Place a paper plate on top of the stack to keep the top plate free from dust.
For serving dish or sugar bowl lids, be sure to wrap the lid to protect it from banging on the dish.
If you put your dishes in containers, be sure to label them. Remember, you are taking the time to organize so you can find things.
If you have inherited dishes, add a note to one of the containers or even taped to the shelf that tells a bit about where and whom the dishes came from. While I am sure you remember such details, someday another family member may want this information.
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.
Additional holiday organizing articles:
Big Meal Doesn’t Have To Equal Big Mess
Organizing for Clean-Up Makes for an Easier Holiday
Christmas kitchen secrets of the organized
Suggestions to help you make holiday entertaining look easy.
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