Whether its inherited, given as a wedding present, or just a heckuva deal you couldn’t pass up at an estate sale, you may find yourself with a china set, but no real place to use it. Even a small dining set can eat up precious space in your home or apartment, and larger sets can consume even the largest of hutches at home.

So, how can you use a storage unit to store your china? Well, it’s simple really. With the right preparations and matching storage features, self storage is a great solution to both store and protect your china for years of holidays and special occasions to come.

How to prepare china for self storage

The first step to store your china is to properly clean each dish, cup, and bowl to remove any dust, debris, or contaminants that would otherwise cause scratches during the jostling of moving, which also brings us to our second point: properly pack your china.

While generally stronger than people assume, china often gets damaged during moments of impact, like bumping into each other when loosely (and carelessly) stored in a cardboard box. There are specially made microfiber china cases, but it is also recommended to use large plastic totes, which can both seal out any dirt and dust as well as handle the heavy weight of the dishes.

It is also recommended that you place dish separators or acid-free paper between each plate or bowl to reduce bumping as well as absorb any residual moisture.

The last step in preparation would be to clearly label each box with two words: “fragile” and “heavy.”

What features are needed for storing a china set?

When it comes time to look for your storage unit, focus on features that will protect your costly or personally valuable china set both from within and outside of the unit. What we mean by that is using security and climate control.

Security features such as video surveillance will keep an eye on things, but you can go above and beyond to protect your belongings and find a facility with onsite management or an immediate response to any theft or vandalism. You can also find facilities with electronic gate access, which further reduces the risk of people entering the facility who may or may not have a storage unit there.

But just because you have the right security doesn’t mean your china is safe. Temperature fluctuations throughout the year can cause cracking, peeling, and other damage to items inside of a unit. And any dormant salt inside of the ceramic molding could dissolve and move in high humidity. Thankfully, climate control can protect your belongings from any such damage. This feature maintains a constant temperature and humidity level within your unit.

Once you’ve prepared and found the best storage unit for your china, there is still some steps you can take. For instance, be careful not to stack too many boxes of china on top of one another as that can cause cracking. You can also reduce any small amount of moisture getting in through the floor by placing either a plastic tarp or wooden pallets down first.

China can be a great thing to hold on to, it may remind you of a loving grandparent or make you feel like you’re finally an adult or maybe even just make you happy with its beauty. Protect your china with a storage unit so maybe you could pass it on to your grandkids someday.

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