Tips > Packing Tips > Fine China and Crystal

Fine China and Crystal

Whether they’re family treasures or inventory for your antique store, china and crystal must be packed the right way to prevent shattered pieces… and peace of mind. Here are some tips our Extra Space facility managers recommend to our self-storage customers:

Tip #1: Use quality materials specifically made for dishes

  • Dish protection kits are a handy way to purchase all the materials you need at once. A kit typically includes a sturdy box, cardboard separators and foam pockets of different sizes for individual plates. Boxes hold 6-8 dinner plates. Dish protection kits can be purchased at most self-storage facilities.
  • Sheets of felt can be purchased at fabric and craft stores, and placed between plates. Yards of felt can be bought off the bolt for wrapping tea pots, platters, etc.
  • Some home goods stores sell storage bags specifically designed to store china. They are typically cloth or plastic bags, felt-lined and closed with zippers.
  • If you do not wish to use boxes, consider mid-sized Tupperware containers with handles on either side.

Tip #2: Pack dishes with care

  • Store 6-8 plates per box.
  • If using foam pockets, place only one plate in each pocket.
  • Stack no more than 6 plates to avoid putting pressure on the bottom plates.
  • For items that have lids, such as teapots, wrap the lid with felt, foam or high quality paper towels, then turn the lid over so the top hangs inside the vessel. 
  • For extremely fragile pieces such as bone china, wrap the piece loosely first in felt or foam, then bubble wrap. Be careful not to wrap too tightly. 
  • Keep boxes light and well balanced.

Tip #3: Use quality materials specifically made for glassware

  • Like dish protection kits, glassware protection kits come with everything you need. A kit typically includes a sturdy box, cardboard separators and foam pockets for individual glasses, mugs or wine glasses. Boxes usually hold 12 8-oz. glasses. Glassware protection kits can be purchased at most self-storage facilities.
  • Bubble wrap can be used for wrapping, although it takes up more room per item. 
  • Sheets of felt or high quality paper towels can be wrapped around glasses.
  • If you do not wish to use boxes, consider mid-sized Tupperware containers with handles on either side. 

Tip #4: Pack glassware with care

  • When putting glasses in a box, stand them on end and place cut-up cardboard between wrapped glasses.
  • Pack enough glasses in one box that there is no tilting or shifting, but do not pack them together tightly.
  • When wrapping wine glasses, do not put pressure on their stems.
  • For extremely fragile pieces, wrap the piece loosely first in felt or foam, then bubble wrap. Be careful not to wrap too tightly. 
  • Stack boxes of glasses on top of heavier boxes (not underneath) to avoid crushing due to weight.
  • Keep boxes light and well balanced.

Be sure to keep track of what’s in each box so you don’t have to hunt for an item later on. Unwrapping fragile pieces to see what’s inside is a hassle, and creates additional risk of breakage. Consider labeling each item with a number, and putting that number on a list along with a description. This list becomes even more important when you provide it to your insurance company as part of your coverage estimate.

Your self-storage facility manager can be an excellent resource for tips and solutions. Feel free to ask him or her questions about how you can get the most out of self storage.