Why Bother Having a China Collection and How to Store and Care for It?

Are china collections outdated?   I will give you some good reasons why you should have a china collection and how you can store it!

Why Bother Having a China Collection and How to Store and Care for It - So Much Better With Age

Do you have a china collection? If you don’t, you probably think why bother.

And if you do have a china collection, have you wondered how to store it?

I’m going to answer both of those questions for you!

Reasons to Not Have a China Collection

Have you ever thought of having your own china collection? Or perhaps you have one and it seems out-of-date to keep one.

I’m sure you’ve thought of these reasons of why you shouldn’t have a china collection:

1. Expensive

2. No room to store the collection

3.You already have everyday plates that serve their purpose

4. They need to be hand washed

Why Bother Having a China Collection and How to Store and Care for It/Royal Doulton tea cup - So Much Better With Age

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Aren’t these the cutest paper placemats?

Believe me, I’ve thought of every one of those reasons why NOT to keep a china collection. And they are very valid! I’m definitely not trying to convince you to have one if you are in alignment with the above four reasons.

But I do have a china collection and I’ve had to think hard about WHY I want to keep it.

Reasons to Have a China Collection

Why Bother Having a China Collection and How to Store and Care for It/grandma's tea cups - So Much Better With Age

1. Heirloom / sentimental 

The main reason for keeping my pretty china cups are simple. My grandmother gave them to me. I don’t have many items passed down to me and these are ones that I cherish. I love having tea parties and inviting friends over and having tea with my kids. They love it and it makes us feel fancy.

2. Wedding keepsake

I got china as a wedding gift and now that I’m divorced I thought about selling it/donating it/giving it away but even though our marriage is no longer together, I still do very much appreciate all those wonderful china pieces family and friends bought for us. Every time I bring out a platter, I remember who gave it to me and how thoughtful it was of them.

Is it a practical wedding gift? Of course not but it’s kind of like jewelry, it’s a special keepsake.

It’s like jewelry…but for your home!

3. Fun to collect

If you don’t have a full set, it’s actually a fun item to shop for because it’s challenging so if you like a challenge, you’ll definitely like this one. There are so many china collections out there these days that you can buy them for a steal at garage sales / estate sales / thrift stores / antique markets. You can add to your collection by looking online at places like Replacements.com or eBay to fill in the gaps of your collection.

If you can believe it, I found the rest of my china collection at Home Sense! A department store went bankrupt so I’m sure that’s where they sent all the leftover china and I was able to score all my collection within a short time and a fraction of the price!!

4. You can put them in the dishwasher

(see below)

How to Care (or Not Care) For Your China

If you want your china collection to live forever and live in pristine condition, then you’ll want to store it properly (which I’ll show you below). I used to store it like this but I don’t anymore. I have them in a regular cabinet so I can use them whenever I feel like.

I also have a friend that puts her china in the dishwasher on regular setting.

If they start to fade, who cares, right? At least you enjoying them every day!

Why Bother Having a China Collection and How to Store and Care for It/faded tea saucer - So Much Better With Age

How to Store Your China

To keep them in pristine condition, you should keep your china collection in these padded storage containers. This is how I used to store them.

Why Bother Having a China Collection and How to Store and Care for It/padded china storage containers - So Much Better With Age

Currently (now 2019), this is how I store them (along with my workout gear).

Why Bother Having a China Collection and How to Store and Care for It/workout gear in china cabinet - So Much Better With Age

Felt separators

Most china storage don’t come with enough separators. Buying more felt separators is a good idea. I’ve also used napkins that I don’t use anymore.

Why Bother Having a China Collection and How to Store and Care for It/felt china separators - So Much Better With Age

Plate storage

Here are those old napkins I was talking about 😉

Why Bother Having a China Collection and How to Store and Care for It/china in storage containers - So Much Better With Age

Cup/mug storage

Why Bother Having a China Collection and How to Store and Care for It/tea cups in storage box - So Much Better With Age

My China Set

My china collection is Royal Doulton Naples in silver. It’s a discontinued pattern but I’ll leave some similar collections here.

So if you want a china collection, my only piece of advice is to USE it!

If you don’t want a collection, don’t feel bad by not adding it to your wedding registry and you don’t need to add the clutter to your house if grandma gives you some.

But if you want it, by all means have a collection or just a few beautiful pieces.

 So what about you? Do you have a china collection or will you start one?

Make sure to pin it for later!

A China Collection - Should You Have One? How to Store and Care For One? - So Much Better With Age

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  1. You have a great collection! We have formal china from when we got married and we actually use it quite frequently. I have it all stacked in my dining room in a glass front cabinet (not really a hutch, but more of a bookcase w/ glass doors). I love being able to see it and use it as often as we would like. I also love that I picked something neutral and timeless (cream plates w/ gold trim)

    Have a great day!

    Angela @ Number Fifty-Three

  2. You will be mortified that I put all my china in the dishwasher *gasp with horror* and I’ve never had a problem 🙂 we use it frequently when we have guests and I’m all for USING it! I collect tea cups and saucers from thrift stores and I love unique and mismatched ones. They are not the bargain they used to be though as I think thrift shopping is catching on 🙂

    1. No way! Do you? That’s awesome! And you haven’t had a problem? Maybe I’ll try it on a gentle cycle and see if it works! I love mismatched tea cups and saucers too. And true about not so much of a bargain anymore 🙁
      big hugs,

    2. I have some old china that I use for everyday. I’ve always put it in the dishwasher. It does fade with time. I have several plates that are almost white now. But I don’t care. I love using them daily & won’t ever hand wash them.

      I do have another set of lovely china that is very special & it will always be hand washed, never never never in the dishwasher.

      1. Thanks for letting me know that! I had no idea you could put it in the dishwasher but I understand it could fade with time. I’ll hand wash it still for now and might eventually put it in the dishwasher. Good to know 😉

  3. I’ve just started collecting white dinner wear to display on shelves my fiancé made (not the same as china, but I love the look!) and would love to have china in a cabinet one day.. I ALWAYS see beautiful china at antique stores, so I will probably start there and just have mismatched items to mix in to regular dinner wear to add pattern and colour. 🙂

  4. I am a bit of a china collector too. I have heirlooms from our family and other families as well as a little white ironstone and white ware. I don’t have a good way of storing them away though so I will be looking into the container store options that you showed us!

    1. Oooh white ironstone, love it but don’t have any yet! I’m sure you could find something similar at The Bay too, Keya 😉

  5. I have four sets of china. Two are complete sets, and the other two are patterns I love and pick up when I find them.

    Oh! Here’s an FYI you might not have known. When it was popular to have tea parties, they never used matching tea cups. Each person was served tea in a cup that didn’t match anyone else’s cup. That way they knew who’s tea was who’s.

    1. Loribeth! Thank you so much for telling me that. I don’t think I knew that before. I love that everyone has a different tea cup. Thanks for always commenting 😉 It means a lot to me.
      big hugs,

  6. I am 100% in love with this post! First time i’ve ever visited your blog, and you hooked me 🙂 I have my grandmothers China set, I had registered for formal china and only got 1 place setting which was really upsetting so I was hunting for a set at antique stores and just hadn’t found the one. My grandmother passed away shortly after our wedding and left all of her china and crystal to me! It makes me so honored to have it and I use the crystal more but hopefully one day when I have space the china can be displayed and used a bit more often than now!

    1. Gracie! Thank you so much!! So glad there are some china lovers out there like me 😉 I thought this post might have heard crickets, ha! I’m so sorry to hear about your grandmother. You’re very lucky to get her china. What a lovely memory. I’m going to check out your blog 😉

  7. My husband and I received a beautiful collection of china from his business associates in Germany when we married 12 years ago. I love it so much I am decorating our dining room in our new home around the colors in the china. I enjoy setting a beautiful table and collect table linens and candlesticks too. My family seems to appreciate my efforts and they always compliment me on my tables. Hopefully this tradition will pass down through my children, grandchildren and beyond.
    Thanks for sharing your collection…it’s nice to see someone else shares my passion!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing too Barbara! I love to hear how others love their china collection as much as I do. Your tablescapes sound beautiful. I’m sure your family enjoys all the effort you put into it.
      Big hugs,

  8. I wasn’t going to put china on our wedding registry, but then I found the Wedgwood Oberon pattern and fell in love with it. Fortunately, we were given a large number of pieces for our wedding and I was able to complete the set the first year we were married. I’ve also inherited a set from my grandmother and I love looking for pieces to complete the set. I’d love to add more to my collection. I love the Lenox Chirp pattern… maybe even more than I love my Oberon. Thanks for your tips about storage. I’ve seen those cases before and wondered how they work.

    1. So I just googled your china collection 😉 The Wedgwood pattern is beautiful, definitely a classic. The Lenox Chirp is gorgeous! Definitely more colorful so maybe not as classic but gorgeous nonetheless! Thanks for sharing your china collection with me 😉

  9. I’m a dishwasher girl, too. I figure that if my china is too hard to care for, I’ll never use it and neither will anyone else. I don’t want to teach my kids that using beautiful things for the table is hard work. Maybe they won’t give my china away or throw it in the dumpster when the time comes like so many other young people do these days. Lovely post with good ideas!

    1. My mom still has the china we used when I was a kid, and it couldn’t be put in the dishwasher. We didn’t learn that using beautiful things on the table was hard work. We learned that beautiful things are worth the extra care. To this day, I when we use Mom’s china. And part of the reason why is because no one just walks away from the table and let’s someone else load the dishwasher. We all help out washing the china. Sometimes I wash, my brother dries, and mom puts it away. Other times, my niece and nephew wash and dry, and me or my brother put it away. But no matter who’s doing what, we spend the time talking, so the conversation from the table continues right through the clean up. I think it would be a lot difference experience if we were able to use the dishwasher.

  10. So glad someone your age loves her good china. The last few times I’ve gone to purchase something of a bride to be’s registry there is no good china registered. I love my good china and there is nothing like a beautifully set table…I guess handwashing doesn’t bother me very much. Your pattern is lovely. I have my Mothers and Grandmother’s china which I love. My pattern is Amhearst by Wedgewood.

    1. I know, so many more brides aren’t putting china on their registry anymore. I love mine! I looked your pattern..it’s lovely! Thanks for your lovely comment.

  11. My great aunties gave me a few pieces of china “for my hope chest” when I was a little girl. I remember my stepmom thinking it was terribly outdated (not the lovely china but the idea of a little girl having a hope chest) but it made me feel very grown up. I only have a few pieces but I treasure them.

    1. That sounds wonderful, Jessica. I received those teacups for my hope chest when I was a teenager and it made me feel very grown up too 😉 Thanks for your sweet comment.

  12. i love my china collections of several different patterns from family and husband. I love silver too! So do my adult and teen kids. They have already laid claims on their favorites.

  13. I’m moving into a new house and my mom insisted I take the fine China I got for my wedding anniversary 12 years ago that has been sitting in her basement 😂my husband and I have never had a China cabinet before before we do for the new house. I was considering donating the China but now after reading this, I’m not going to. Thank you for the tips! Ours is Mikasa Parchment design and is still in style.

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