Does anyone else feel like packing up the dishes after the holidays is a game of ''let's see how many pieces we can lose to top our score from last year''? Whether it's a piece that you've had in the family for generations or something you picked up at Wal-Mart last year, we all want our stuff to stay in tack for future uses. Here are four ideas on how to store dishes to keep your coveted holiday favorites from meeting their doom within the cobweb-ridden crawlspaces of your home.
- Bubble Wrap: Bubble wrap is an ingenious invention that has saved so much heartache so many times. From moving house to heirloom china, these sheets of plastic bubbles are designed to absorb the impact of movement, protecting your items from the effect.
- Pros: Makes cheap, plentiful, a fun toy for the kids
- Cons: Loses efficacy after some time, needs to be replaced
- Dinnerware Storage: One of the best investments I've ever made. I wanted Grandma's fine bone china dinner setting, but, after a few mishaps around the kitchen, there was no way I was going to lay a hand on them unless I proved worthy. Salvation came in the form of cozy, cushioned dinnerware storage compartments. From stemware to dinner plates, I was able to find a casement for each.
- Pros: Cushioned walls separating each glass, clear see-thru window to view contents easily, cotton padding inserts to protect plates and bowls, breathable and washable material, durable and convenient carrying handles
- Cons: Small, initial investment
- Display the Array: Forget putting them away, and I'm not just letting the procrastinator in my head win. Our holiday dishes are the best pieces in the house. Why stick them in a box only to be enjoyed a few times a year? Display these items prominently in a glass-front hutch (syn.) for all to see.
- Pros: Everyone can enjoy the decorative beauty of these attractive pieces, save on the headache and space of storing
- Cons: Because they're out in the open, the possibility of breakage is more likely
- In a Pinch: Use coffee filters or paper plates between each bowl and felt swatches for plates.
- Pros: Cheap, many people have these things on hand
- Cons: Questionable durability, random materials can leach onto dishes if any moisture is present.
Whichever option you choose, make sure it works for you and your dishes. And if you're feeling down about saying goodbye to the holiday season, remember, there's always another one just around the corner. Happy Holidays!
- Don't forget to dry dishes thoroughly so no moisture is left to fester. The last thing you need is to open a box of mold on the eve of a large family gathering.
- If dealing with delicate china or older pieces, don't stack tall piles.
- Make a list or take a picture of the contents of each box, and tape it to the side. Next time you unpack, you won't have to go searching through each box to find what you are looking for.
- Get those glasses back in the box. Never throw away the boxes that glasses come in; they're useful for so many things. Storing your glasses in the original case is a quick, makeshift storage solution (not the safest, but certainly the easiest).
- Proper Packing Freebie: When packing away ornaments, use leftover giftwrap from presents or boxes from glasses to keep them safe. Egg cartons are ideal for small ornaments.
- Place a potpourri bag with holiday scents into the packaging. When you open the box next year/season, you'll be greeted with a pleasant aroma that will set the tone for an enjoyable gathering.