Storage Tips

How To Store China

Whether it’s family heirlooms, wedding memorabilia, or inventory for your home retail shop, it’s essential to protect china, crystal, and other dinnerware while in self storage. Keep valuable treasures and antiques safe—and chip-free—with the following storage tips from Extra Space Storage.

Things you’ll need: bubble wrap or foam, packing tape, dish and glass packing kits, storage containers, waterproof labels, and a marker.


Step 1: Make an Inventory List

While you might think you’ll remember each piece of china you have in your collection, it’s easy to forget a bowl here or salad plate there. Prevent that from happening—and protect your investment in case of damage—by creating an inventory list. Your inventory list should include the name of each piece, like teacups or saucers, along with how many you have. You can even snap a photo of each to include with the list, so you have a visual reference along with a written one.


Step 2: Dust or Wash Each Piece

Keep dust and debris on your china at bay while in storage by dusting or carefully washing each piece. To dust china, simply wipe with a lint-free or linen cloth. Always hand wash china with a small amount of dish soap or white vinegar in warm—not hot—water and dry with a linen or lint-free cloth.


Step 3: Get Storage & Packing Supplies

Cardboard moving boxes can break or open from the bottom. Choose sturdy storage bins and containers instead of cardboard moving boxes for more protection. You shouldn’t store more than six to eight dishes per container, so be sure to buy the right number of storage containers. For best results, buy dish and glass packing kits that include cardboard dividers and foam pockets of varying sizes. These add an extra layer of protection and keep china from touching and potentially chipping or breaking.


Step 4: Carefully Wrap China

It’s best to individually wrap each china piece with bubble wrap or protective foam before storing and secure with tape. Do not wrap china too tightly because this can put extra pressure on the piece and potentially cause cracks or breakage over time.


Step 5: Carefully Pack China Into Storage Containers

Place china teacups and other glassware in cardboard divider pockets and use bubble wrap in empty spaces to cushion and prevent shifting. Place each dish or glass in a foam pocket and store on their sides—this is the best (and safest) way to store them. Mark the outside of each storage container using a marker and waterproof label. How you label these containers are up to you, but you should write what’s inside and add the word “fragile” so you—or whoever moves your storage container—knows to handle them with care.


Step 6: Find a Secure Self Storage Facility

Your china collection is unique, no matter if it’s a family heirloom passed down for generations or a new hobby. Keep them protected by finding an Extra Space Storage facility that offers:

  • Fencing around the property perimeter

  • Video surveillance throughout the facility and property

  • Electronic gate access with private keypad entry codes

  • Indoor storage units with controlled access

  • Secure access to your floor only (for a multi-level storage facility)

  • A facility manager living on-site

  • Individually alarmed storage units


Step 7: Rent a Climate-Controlled Storage Unit

China sets, glassware, and antique dish collections can be warped or shattered when kept in extreme heat or cold for long periods. Extra Space Storage offers storage units with climate control that are perfect for protecting these delicate items. By maintaining an environment between 55 and 80 degrees at all times, climate-controlled units provide peace of mind, allowing you to rest easy knowing your valuable china will be safe from temperature-related damage.


Step 8: Store Your China in Your Self Storage Unit

Never place your fragile china containers on the floor of your self storage unit. Instead, raise all storage containers off the ground with pallets or shelving. Prevent more damage by always placing heavier storage containers on the bottom and the lighter on the top.