I've Finally Found the Best Way to Store My Grandmother's Delicate China After Years of Searching
When my grandmother died, my cousins and I split her large collection of china, dishes, and other delicate plates and platters. We have a large family, so she had dishware sets to match. Where most families have sets of 8 or 10, we had sets of 24. Thankfully, that left us with plenty of her beautiful pieces to pass around so that we could all have a little bit of her with us when we pull those dishes out for a meal.
But I had just one problem: I had no where to put them. My kitchen is small and crammed as it is. I couldn't spare the space for two dozen dishes and coordinating teacups, saucers, bread plates, and platters. So I needed a storage solution that was 1) easy to pack and unpack 2) attractive to store as these are shelved in my laundry room, and I do see them every day and 3) protective of the dishes.
It took me three years and a few failed attempts, but I finally found the best option: StorageLAB's China Storage Set. The five-piece set, which I refer to as the starter pack, comes with individual storage containers for dinner plates (11 3/4 inches), salad plates (10 inches), dessert plates (8 1/2 inches), and saucers (7 inches). It also comes with a cup and mug storage case. Plus, all the cases hold 12 of whatever you're storing in them. For added protection, you'll also receive handy felt dividers that prevent scratches as the plates sit stacked or when they're moved.
I liked these storage containers over some of the other options I tried for a few reasons. First, they're made with a hard shell. Some cheaper alternatives are soft-sided, which means the plates are stacked upon themselves if you're putting multiple containers on top of one another. That added weight isn't ideal for long-term storage.
Second, they have a padded bumper around the edges and tops. The thicker, quilted material helps protect the delicate rims from chips and cracks. Plus, the outside linen isn't slick and won't slip out of your hands as you're moving it.
Finally, the handles on the mug, platter, and wine glass boxes are sturdy, which makes me feel confident when I'm moving the containers around. The stitching around all the edges looks and feels sturdy, and the zippers seem heavy-duty, two great benefits when so many things are made with flimsy stitches these days.
Buy it: StorageLaAB China Storage Set in Gray, $64.99; Amazon
Once I packed away the first set of dishes, I realized I had a few pieces leftover. My grandmother, always the entertainer, had many extra sets of teacups and saucers for the ladies' events she'd hold at her home. She also had an admirable collection of platters and cake plates, as she baked seemingly non-stop for friends, neighbors, and strangers.
It seems I'm not the only person who appreciates these dish storage containers. With more than 3,800 reviews on Amazon, they still maintain 4.9 stars (which is quite an accomplishment).
One reviewer wrote, "I am looking forward to having the china all in one place and neatly stored when it comes time to use it on special occasions. And I am really looking forward to the easy unpacking and repacking after using it. The old method of wrapping it with tissue paper and bubble wrap and only getting a few plates in each box resulting in mounds of boxes to store are over with this product. I can't recommend these bins enough! Simplify your life and buy these bins!!"
StorageLAB makes a few other pieces that can be used in a set if you have a large collection of dishes, platters, and serving pieces. Being able to buy them a la carte is really handy for those of us who've inherited collections that we want to treasure for a long time to come.
Buy it: StorageLaAB China Storage Set in Cream, $64.99; Amazon
Buy it: StorageLAB Cup and Mug Storage Box in Gray, $26.99 (was $33.99); Amazon
Buy it: StorageLAB 12-Slot Wine Glass Storage Box, $35.99 (was $47.99); Amazon
Buy it: StorageLAB Platter Storage Case, $25.99 (was $28.99); Amazon