But when your special occasion dish collection outgrows your shelves or you have to move, you may feel at a loss when it comes to safely and securely packing your dinnerware and glassware for storage.
In this blog, we provide an overview for the best practices to ensure that your table settings are intact and ready to be taken out of storage and enjoyed during your next big event.
Choose Sturdy Boxes
Dishes can be heavy. If you're packing conventional cardboard boxes, only use thicker cardboard containers with taped bottoms for table settings.
If you want a little more sturdiness, invest in a plastic storage container or a dish barrel. Plastic bins can work for all kinds of dinnerware and glassware. However, you may prefer dish barrels for your most fragile china since they have the same shape as the dishes and therefore minimize jostling.
Gather the Right Packing Supplies
To ensure that your dishes and cups don't knock against each other during loading, unloading, and stacking, you must create shock absorbing cushions for each surface. Dinnerware and glassware require a large amount of packing materials since each item must be wrapped individually, as we'll discuss in a later section.
Consider the following packing items:
- Bubble wrap or packing peanuts for lining
- Butcher paper or newsprint for wrapping
- Cardboard dividers for organizing
You will also want to choose strong tape and a distinct marker for sealing and labeling the containers once they're packed.
Line and Mark Your Boxes Appropriately
To limit the amount of movement your table settings are subjected to, label each box before you put anything inside it. In addition to writing "fragile" on the top and all four sides of the container, you may also want to briefly summarize what's in the box. For example, you may label a box "wedding china" or "tumblers."
Once your boxes are appropriately marked, line the bottom using about two to three inches of a highly shock absorbent packing material like bubble wrap or packing peanuts. Alternately, you can use four to six inches of crumpled paper as your lining.
As you pack up, remember that you need to leave almost as much room for lining at the top of your box as you had for lining at the bottom.
Package Each Item Individually
To prevent chipping or shattering, wrap each dish or glass individually as you pack them. In most cases, you'll want to use two or three layers of paper to provide adequate protection. For items with delicate sections, like goblet stems and mug handles, fit crumpled paper into the gap as a cushion.
You may want to use a small piece of tape to secure the wrapping on each item to keep every piece as safe as possible.
Place Items Together Correctly
While your instinct may be to stack dishes on top of each other, it's actually best to nestle flat items, like plates, together vertically and circular items, like cups, rim side down.
Whenever possible, keep your dishes in different boxes than your glassware. Additionally, only pack one type of glassware in each box. For example, your mugs and your champagne flutes should go in two separate containers.
Use these guidelines to ensure that your fragile dinnerware and glassware items are protected while they're away from your shelves and your dinner table.