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Safely Storing China Dinnerware

If you have a nice set of china dinnerware, chances are high that you only use it for special occasions. That means your delicate dishware spends most of its time boxed away where it can get dirty and — believe it or not — damaged if you don’t know how to store china properly.

Naturally, you don’t want your best dishes getting banged up as you’re trying to protect them. Learn the do’s and don’ts of caring for these fragile items and pick up a few china storage ideas along the way.

DO Display Your Dishes

Whether your china is a family pattern, a wedding gift or something you saved for to buy yourself, there’s no shame in wanting to put it on full display. Make sure your hutch or cabinet is set up for this job with grooves for the lips of plates and bowls. If these aren’t built in, get some high-quality plate display stands that won’t slip about. But never attempt to display dishes by balancing them on the back wall of the hutch. One unfortunate nudge with a vacuum cleaner or hip could leave you feeling like a bull ran through your china cabinet.

DON’T Use the Dishwasher

Unless your china specifically says it’s dishwasher safe

DO Space China Dinnerware Properly

When you’re storing china or placing it in a display case, you want to make sure you’ve given each bowl, cup and plate plenty of space. Dishes placed too close to one another are more likely to chip if a storage box or china hutch is accidentally jostled.

In addition, when deciding how to store china, you want to pack plates and bowls sideways in containers. This is because the edges of the dishes can actually withstand a bit more pressure than the centers. Just make sure you use extra packing material in between and below dishes if you employ this china storage idea.

DON’T Stack Dishes Too High

Bigger isn’t better when it comes to stacks of formal dishware. While it’s admirable to try to maximize space, higher stacks can result in plates getting scratched or broken if they slide. Additionally, all of those top dishes place a lot of pressure on the poor plate at the bottom. Therefore, it’s a good rule of thumb to stack no more than about eight plates. It’s also important to know that cups should never be stacked under any circumstances, unless you’re going for a look that involves chipped rims and handles. Hang them from hooks if you can, but don’t pile them up.

DO Consider Smart China Storage Ideas

The sky’s the limit when it comes to containers that can help you figure out how to store china safely. In addition to traditional hutches, cabinets and display shelves, you can also purchase both hard- and soft-sided cases for your plates, bowls and tea settings. Regardless of which china storage idea you opt for, make sure to place your packed-away dishes in an area that doesn’t see a lot of traffic. This will greatly reduce the odds of china being damaged while it’s stowed in the off seasons.

DON’T Pack China Dinnerware with Newspaper

Newspaper is often a cheap and convenient packaging material, which is why it’s one of the first china storage ideas to come to mind for many people. Here’s the hitch — the ink used to print newspapers can bleed onto your dishes, meaning you’ll have to spend even more time washing them. The ink could even lead to damaged patterns if you have to scrub to remove it. Worse yet, newsprint could result in permanent staining. When you consider these factors, it’s best to skip the newspaper and invest in brown packing paper, which is typically inexpensive.

A little storage strategy can make a big difference when it comes to keeping your china dinnerware in good shape for many years to come.

Looking for more inspiring ideas? Learn which hidden storage spaces you could be overlooking, then check out these organizational tips for making the most of small confines

And remember — at Merry Maids, we offer organizational assistance in addition to housekeeping services. Contact your local office today