Thanksgiving Table set

6 Steps to Hosting Made Simple-Storing China + Silver

Setting the table and storing your china and silver is a breeze with these containers. They’re the key to our 6 steps to hosting made simple – storing china and silver!

This blog is written in partnership with The Container Store, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Hosting is stressful at any time of year but especially around the holidays. So this year our theme is keep it simple. Last year we hosted 20 people for Thanksgiving and while that was fun (watch the time-lapse here) this year it’s all about hosting made simple. There’s something so lovely about a small intimate gathering.

Our top rule for simplicity…number of seats around the table = number of guests invited.

Keeping it cozy got me thinking of ways to add personal touches to our holiday. What about using grandma’s china? We have it. Let’s use it.  I’m a sucker for a white dish but setting the table with grandma Thelma’s fine china sounded perfect for this year!

But, where was it? I haven’t seen grandma’s china on a holiday table in 10 years.  Turns out the china was in boxes in the garage. Okay, let’s rescue that china and either use it or let it go!

Organized China Before and After

You can imagine I was absolutely thrilled when The Container Store offered place settings, silver and glassware organizing as our next project. They really nailed the timing on this one! Come on. Let’s get started!

Combat the chaos with us! Follow these steps to get organized for holidays.

First task – go get the boxes. The entire set of china was in 2 dish pack boxes in the garage. After the last move, the dishes never made it inside. Sound familiar?

1. Unpack the China, Dishes, + Glasses

I brought the boxes inside, unpacked and checked the condition of the dishes. Everything looked great, nothing broken, all good. For sure these babies needed better packing and storing. Keeping china in large boxes makes them heavy and hard to carry and no one is going to use what’s inside.

Dishes in the Garage

2. Sort Like With Like

Sort the dishes by category dinner, salad, dessert plates, etc. to get clear on how many of each type we have.

Side note…something that struck me was how much smaller the dinner plates were. The dishes are from the 1920’s. I guess they ate smaller portions. Hmm. Maybe another reason to use these dishes!

These are the categories we had to organize:

  1. Dinner plates
  2. Salad plates
  3. Soup bowls
  4. Soup plates
  5. Dessert plates
  6. Teacups + saucers
  7. Side dish bowls
  8. Serving bowls
  9. Gravy boat
  10. Platter
  11. Amber wine glasses
  12. Green goblet glasses

Sorting into categories helps you figure out how many containers you need to organize the china. Next, select the product.

3. Place the Product

I chose the Brown Twill china storage. It’s called brown but don’t let that scared you. The fabric that covers the boxes is a twill made of brown and white, so it has a light, tailored look to it. These containers are super sturdy and have an easy to use zipper closure. China organized and stored in these boxes will be safe, easy to access and look good.  Yes, yes, yes. I’m in!

So, I selected 2 sets of the 4-Piece Brown Twill Plate & China Storage to organize all the plates and bowls. The 4 boxes are nested inside each other and come with fabric separators to put in between each plate. The fabric helps protect the dishes from chipping.

Boxes to organize dishes

4. Protect (Until You Serve)!

For extra protection I used Hagerty Fine China Separators. Grandma’s china has lasted 100 years, I’m not going to be the reason they don’t make past Thanksgiving. These Hagerty felt separators are super soft and provide that extra layer = peace of mind!

After I unpacked the dishes I had all of these dish sleeves left over, so I used them to fill in the edges around the smaller plates. We had the foam dish sleeves, and I like reusing what I can. Plus, it gave the small dishes a little extra cushion.

We hardly ever use these green glasses. The come out for Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day so, they don’t need to be with our everyday glasses.  That’s why I decided to pack them up and store them in the cabinet. To organize and store the wine glasses, I used Stemware/Wine Glass Storage Case, again in brown twill. This case is tall and will hold up to 12 glasses up to 9.5” tall that’s why they are perfect for glasses you only use a few times a year.

Stemware and goblet storage

Storing a tea set and serving bowls can be awkward because those pieces don’t always fit in traditional storage boxes. That’s why I used  the Brown Cup/Mug & China Storage Case. The soft dividers between the sections can be moved to create space for odd shaped pieces, which makes these boxes a great option for serving dishes.

Tea set storage

5. Make the Labels

Organizing wouldn’t be complete without labels. No one wants to unzip and search through 10 boxes to find the plates they need. Labeling is super important and especially so with containers that aren’t clear. But they thought of that. These boxes have a label holder on the front to easily label each box.

Pro-tip. With the label paper in the slot, use a pencil to mark the four corners. This will help create a boundary to place the label.

6. Go Get Your Silver

Well, now that I’ve got the china organized it was time to move on to the silver.

I love the look of silver but if I’m being honest it always feels like a chore to use because it gets tarnished. Not to mention hard to use. Check out the wooden box we use to store our silver. We used a wooden spoon to keep the lid from flopping closed.

Old silver box

It’s really hard to set the table carrying this box around. I’m glad we found a better solution!!  We used the Hagerty silver flatware storage tray. It’s made of silversmiths’ cloth (which protects from tarnish) and holds 120 pieces of silver.

When I first pulled the Hagerty silver tray out of the box and saw the soft sided edges, I thought it wouldn’t be sturdy enough to hold such heavy silver. But I was wrong. It’s super strong and as soon as I transferred the silver to the tray, I could feel how stable it was.

Organized sterling silver

I also used these Hagerty 4″ x 12″ Silver Keeper Bag for the serving pieces. This time, I polished the silver – but I won’t have to do it again because these sleeves prevent tarnish. I’m looking forward to that!

Protect sterling silver


7. Set the Table

Now that we’re done with storing the china and silver, it’s time to set the table!

Setting the table

Getting our china and silver all organized for the holidays is the perfect way to kick off the season! Investing a few hours will save us so much time, energy and space for holidays all year long. These products from The Container Store helped us combat the chaos! Now we can stick to this year’s theme of keeping it simple. And bonus, we’re ready for all the holidays yet to come.

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