When it comes to storage, some things are more fragile than others. One of the most delicate—and sometimes valuable—objects you can store is glassware, which can easily crack, become scratched or even lose its color.
Finding a safe place to store glassware that’s not used every day can be challenging if you don’t know how to protect it. Here are seven tips for keeping your glassware safe, whether you’re storing it close at hand or out of sight.
1. Decide What to Keep.
Before you come up with a storage system for your glassware, ask yourself how you use the glassware and whether you even need it, said Regina Lark, a professional organizer and author of the book “Psychic Debris, Crowded Closets: The Relationship Between the Stuff in your Head and What’s Under Your Bed.”
“Is it feeding the aesthetic, is it feeding how you see yourself or is the glassware something that has been passed down because somebody else placed value on it?” Lark said.
If you’re never going to use the glassware or it really doesn’t add value to your life, consider donating it or throwing it away.
2. Keep Everyday Items Close.
Naturally, you want to keep glassware that you use every day in kitchen cabinets or cupboards. While there’s some disagreement among experts about whether you should store glasses right-side up or upside down, at least when it comes to wine glasses, “store them upright if they’re in a cupboard to avoid chipping,” said Greg Tuttle, an educator for Potomac, MD-based wine retailer Total Wine & More.
The rim also one of the most delicate parts of a glass, so when it comes to crystal and other more fragile pieces, you should store it right-side up. However, proponents of storing less fragile glassware upside down point out that doing so keeps dust from collecting inside the glass.
3. Understand the Risk.
While you should be careful with all glassware, the thinner the glass, the more fragile it is. When preparing to store glassware, note that like rims, stems and handles tend to be the most delicate parts.
4. Keep the Temperature Consistent.
When storing glassware, pay attention to the environment. Avoid storing glassware in an area that’s prone to high or low temperatures or humidity, as that could cause it to crack.
5. Use Packaging That Breathes.
Do you have too much glassware for your cupboard?
“Store extra glassware in its original packaging, special boxes with cardboard dividers or free boxes from a liquor store,” professional organizer Tatiana Knight said. “As long as the items are separated and protected from damage, anything works.”
6. Consider Extra Protection.
When packing glasses for storage, whether in your basement or a self-storage unit, fill the glasses with packing paper and protect wine glass stems by wrapping them in bubble wrap. Once you’ve placed glasses inside a box, fill empty spaces in the box with packing peanuts so the glassware doesn’t shift. If your glasses are particularly fragile, consider investing in specialty containers such as wine-glass storage boxes.
7. Avoid Stacking Boxes.
This is one time when you don’t want to save space by storing boxes on top of one another. The pressure from a heavy box could weigh on a box of fragile glassware, causing one or more pieces to break. If you have a box of glassware, make a note on it not to stack any other boxes on top. Also, indicate on your label that the contents of the box are fragile.