Every time you need to set the table for a big occasion, do you find yourself having to sift through a disorganised stack of dishes? Do you worry that storing your fine china will cause it to chip, crack, or break? If so, you are not by yourself. Finding the ideal method of keeping china clean, safe, and reachable is a challenge for many individuals.
Fortunately, you can keep your priceless dinnerware like an expert with a few easy tips and tricks. We’ll walk you through the best way to store china in this article, from picking the best storage options to wrapping and labelling your plates. Let’s get going!
Table of Contents
Why Good Storage Is Important
China, usually referred to as porcelain or fine bone china, is a kind of ceramic material prized for its beauty, toughness, and delicacy. Unlike everyday dishes, porcelain frequently features elaborate designs, gold or silver accents, and delicate edges that are easily chipped or cracked when handled carelessly. Additionally, china is susceptible to variations in temperature, humidity, and light, which can over time result in discoloration, warping, or fading. To avoid damage and maintain the china’s value and beauty, it is crucial to store it properly.
Considerations Before Storing China
There are a few things to think about before you begin storing your china to make sure you select the best storage option for your requirements. Here are some queries to consider:
- Do you frequently use your china? If you only use it on exceptional occasions, you might want to store it somewhere apart from where you keep your regular dishes.
- What amount of storage space do you have? You might need to spend money on storage bins or shelving depending on the amount and size of your china collection.
- What kind of weather do you have where you live? To avoid moisture buildup or mould growth in your storage location, you might need to take additional precautions if you reside in a hot or humid environment.
- Do you have any pets or little children who might accidentally knock your dinnerware over? If so, you might wish to pick a reliable and safe storage option.
10 Things to Think About Before Storing China
It can be difficult to store china, especially if you have a sizable collection or expensive items. Your china needs to be stored properly to keep it safe from harm and in good shape. Ten things to think about before storing your china are listed below:
Pick a place that is dry, cool, and shielded from the sun. Your china may distort, shatter, or lose its colour over time if it is exposed to damp, heat, or light.
2. Storage Type
Choose whether you want to keep your china in a cupboard, cabinet or shelf. Glass-door cabinets are an excellent choice since they let you show off your china while keeping it safe from dust and damage. If you have enough room and utilise the right dividers or racks to keep your dishes from contacting one another, shelves or closets can also work.
3. Room Make sure you have adequate room to comfortably store your dinnerware. Dishes that are crammed together run the risk of developing pressure points that will lead to chipping or cracking.
Pick non-abrasive, acid-free, and inert storage materials. Acid-free materials, such as archival paper or cardboard, can stop chemical reactions and discoloration while soft materials, such as felt, fabric, or paper, can cushion your china and avoid scratches.
5. Partitioning and Racks
To separate your dishes and keep them from contacting one another, use racks or dividers. Additionally, by organising your china, you can make it simpler for you to find what you need when you need it.
Before storing your china, give it a thorough cleaning to get rid of any dirt, dust, or oil. Before storing it, make sure it is thoroughly dry to prevent moisture buildup.
For easier content identification, label your storage bins or shelves. When you need to retrieve a certain item, this can help you save time and effort.
Think on how frequently you will need to access your china storage. If you use it frequently, put it somewhere that is simple to get to and doesn’t take much work to retrieve.
9. Weight Pay attention to the weight of your shelving or storage bins. In order to make moving or lifting heavy objects easier, try to use lighter materials.
Consider installing a lock or security system to keep your emotional or costly china safe from theft or damage.
You can make sure that your china is stored correctly and maintain its quality for many years by taking into account these ten elements.
Selecting the Best Storage Option
After evaluating your requirements and preferences, it’s time to select the ideal china storage option. Here are some alternatives to think about:
China hutches or cabinets
A china cabinet or hutch may be the best option if you want to showcase a sizable collection of china in a fashionable and safe manner. These pieces of furniture are made to display your dishes while guarding them against dirt, sunshine, and prying eyes. They frequently have glass doors, shelves, and inside illumination to emphasise the beauty of your china. Make sure you have enough room and the money for one, though, as they may be pricey and large.
Cases or Storage Containers
Use storage bins or cases made especially for china if you require a more practical and compact alternative. These containers come in a variety of sizes and shapes to fit various sorts of dishes and are made of durable materials like cloth, foam, or plastic. They frequently include separate sections or partitions to keep your china from rubbing against and damaging one another. Additionally, they can be easily stored while not in use by being stacked or nestled.
Plate Dividers or Racks
Use plate racks or dividers to store your china vertically if you have a little space or want to access your plates quickly. These racks can be fitted into a drawer or cabinet and are available in metal, wood, or plastic. They enable you to stack your bowls or plates without them contacting one another, which can conserve room and guard against damage. They might not be appropriate for larger serving pieces or platters, though.
Blow-up toys or soft cloth
It’s imperative to wrap your china with protective material, such as bubble wrap or soft cloth, before storing it, regardless of the storage option you select. In the event of a fall or impact, these materials can cushion your dishes and absorb shock. They can also avoid stains or scratches brought on by dampness or dust. Use enough layers and seal the edges with tape or twine when wrapping your china.
Packing and Labeling Your China
Once you’ve chosen your storage solution and wrapped your china, it’s time to pack and label your dishes. Here are some tips to follow:
- Pack your dishes in a logical order, such as by size, shape, or color. This can make it easier to find the dish you need later on.
- Place heavier dishes at the bottom of the stack and lighter dishes on top. This can prevent the lighter dishes from crushing the heavier ones.
- Label each container or rack with the type of dish it contains, such as “dinner plates,” “soup bowls,” or “teacups.” This can save you time and effort when unpacking your dishes later on.
When it comes to storing your china, packing and labeling are just as important as choosing the right storage location and materials. Proper packing and labeling can help protect your dishes from damage, make them easier to access, and save you time and effort when you need to retrieve a specific piece. Here are some tips on how to pack and label your china:
1. Use Protective Materials
Wrap each dish individually in soft materials like tissue paper, bubble wrap, or foam. This can help cushion your china and prevent it from scratching or chipping during transport or storage. You can also use dividers or plate racks to separate your dishes and prevent them from touching each other.
2. Choose the Right Container
Choose a container that is sturdy, stackable, and easy to move. Cardboard boxes or plastic bins with lids can work well, but make sure they are clean and dry before packing your china.
3. Label Your Containers
Label your containers clearly with the contents and any relevant information like the date, location, or occasion. This can help you identify the contents easily and avoid confusion or damage when unpacking.
4. Consider the Weight and Size
Be mindful of the weight and size of your containers, especially if you are planning to move or store them in a tight space. Avoid overpacking your boxes or using containers that are too heavy or bulky to lift or carry.
5. Store Your Containers Safely
Store your containers in a dry, cool, and secure location, away from direct sunlight, moisture, or pests. Make sure they are not stacked too high or too close to the edge of a shelf or cabinet.
6. Unpack Your Containers Carefully
When unpacking your china, handle each piece with care and unwrap them slowly and gently. Inspect them for any damage or discoloration before using them.
By following these tips, you can pack and label your china effectively and ensure that it stays in good condition for years to come.
Tips for Long-Term Storage
If you plan to store your china for an extended period, such as months or years, there are some additional tips to follow to ensure its safety:
- Store your dishes in a cool, dry, and dark place. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures, as this can cause fading, cracking, or warping.
- Check on your dishes periodically to ensure they’re still in good condition. Look for signs of mold, mildew, or pest infestation, and take action if necessary.
- Rotate your dishes occasionally to prevent them from sitting in the same position for too long. This can prevent pressure points and discoloration.
How to Clean Your China Before and After Storage
- Before you store your china, it’s essential to clean it thoroughly to remove any food residue, grease, or dirt that can attract pests or bacteria. Here’s how to do it:
- Wash your dishes with warm water and mild soap. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasives that can scratch or damage your dishes.
- Dry your dishes with a soft cloth or towel. Avoid air-drying them, as this can leave water spots or streaks.
- Inspect your dishes for any chips, cracks, or stains. If you notice any damage, take note of it and handle the dish with extra care.
- After you’ve stored your china, it’s a good idea to clean it again before using it. Here’s how to do it:
- Wash your dishes with warm water and mild soap, as usual.
- Rinse them thoroughly to remove any soap residue.
- Dry them with a soft cloth or towel.
- Inspect them for any damage that may have occurred during storage. If you notice any chips, cracks, or stains, consider repairing or replacing the dish.
Can I stack my china without using plate racks or dividers?
Without plate racks or dividers, you shouldn’t stack your plates because they could scratch or damage one another.
Can I keep my china in the attic or garage?
It is not advisable to keep your china in a garage or attic since they could be subjected to bugs, high humidity, or extreme temperatures.
How frequently should I rotate my china storage?
To avoid pressure points and discolouration, it is advised to rotate your stored china every 6 to 12 months.
How can I fix a dish that is cracked or chipped?
A dish that has been cracked or chipped can be fixed using epoxy glue or a porcelain repair kit. Before using the dish again, carefully follow the directions and allow it to dry completely.
My china will fit in the dishwasher, right?
As a result of the high temperature and abrasive detergent, it is not advised to wash china in the dishwasher. Washing them by hand with warm water and light soap is preferable.
Although storing china might be a difficult process, it can be made simple and stress-free with the correct tools and methods. Don’t forget to clean your dishes before and after storing them, pack and label them correctly, and select the best storage option for your needs. These suggestions will help you keep your priceless tableware secure, organised, and usable for many years to come.