Let's face it: Unless you're a dinner party enthusiast, you probably don't touch your fine china very often. Often these dishes and silverware just lay about and collect dust and tarnish. Storing these items will give you precious space in your home and prevent them from being broken or damaged. Knowing how to store your china and silverware properly will preserve them for the next time you get the itch to throw a fancy dinner.
Storing Your Silver
It's natural to want to protect your silverware before storing it. However, it's important to pack it the right way. You see, silverware reacts to sulfur in the air that causes it to tarnish. It's also really susceptible to acid. To prevent this unnecessary tarnish, you have to avoid storage materials that are acidic. This means no newspaper!
To start, you have to plan on storing your silver individually. Silver is a very soft metal and simply being stored with other pieces of silver is enough to cause scratches on its surface. Next, depending on how long you want to put it in storage, you have to decide whether to use plastic or flannel bags.
Plastic bags form a moisture barrier and are ideal for short-term storage. They allow you to see the contents of each bag and are easy to use. If you're planning to use your silverware a few times per year, plastic bags are perfect.
There are special flannel bags designed to be tarnish-resistant for silverware. These are ideal for long-term storage but are more expensive than plastic bags.
No matter which bag type you choose, you'll want to slip a small piece of chalk in each bag to absorb any moisture. You can wrap each piece of chalk in a small piece of cotton cloth if you're concerned about chalk dust. After each piece of silver has been carefully packed, place each bag carefully into a box and label it.
Make Time To Use Your Silver
The best way to prevent tarnish from setting in on your silverware is to use it periodically. Washing your silver after use with hot, soapy water will keep you from having to polish your silver. Besides, it's nice to actually take it out of the box and actually use it occasionally.
Storing Your China
Thankfully, storing your china is a little simpler than storing your silverware. The finishes on fine china are also susceptible to acid, so wrap all pieces individually in acid-free tissue paper. Next, wrap each piece with a layer of bubble wrap for cushion. To finish, you'll want to pack these items snugly in a box. You don't want them to be able to move or shift. Once they're in the box, just seal it up and label it.
When it comes time to store your china and silverware in a storage unit, consider placing them in a climate-controlled storage unit. Climate-controlled units will protect your silver and china from fluctuations in temperature and moisture.