Many people own fine china that they’ve received as gifts or have inherited as family heirlooms. Unfortunately, tight living arrangements sometimes prevent this china from being properly used or displayed. Temporary storage in a self storage unit is perfect for these situations.

Because china is extremely fragile, you’ll need to take extra care while packing and storing your family treasures to make sure you’ll be able to take them out of storage in the same condition they went in. Before you put your fine china in self storage, read this guide to make sure you’re protecting your valuables the right way.

Storage kits

Using cardboard boxes and newspapers to store fine china usually works fine, but if you have valuable fine china that you want to protect, one of the best investments you can make is a china storage kit. These kits are relatively inexpensive and can be found at your local Lock Up storage facility as well as most craft stores. Dish storage kits consist of a padded box and cardboard separators with foam pockets. China bags are felt-lined bags that seal, protecting dishes from dust and chipping.

Use felt

Protect your dishes from damaging each other by inserting felt pieces in between each dish. Instead of purchasing felt protectors, you can save money by cutting circles a little smaller than the circumference of the plate.

Don’t over stack

Limit your stacks to six to eight plates high. Anything higher not only increases the chances of tipping, but also puts unnecessary pressure on the plates at the bottom of the stack.

Take extra care with fragile pieces

Take care of bone china and other fragile items by using extra protection. First, wrap these items in something soft like felt or foam, then add bubble wrap or packing peanuts. Don’t wrap these fragile items too tightly, or you’ll risk breaking off pieces.

Stay organized

Because fine china is so fragile, the best way to take care of it is by handling it as little as possible. Find an out-of-the-way spot in your storage unit for your china, and make sure nothing is put on top of it. Also, clearly label everything in your unit to avoid having to move your china around every time you need something.