What’s Inside All Those Storage Cabinets? I’m Throwing Back the Doors!

Welcome to the 727th Tablescape Thursday!

For this week’s Tablescape Thursday, we’re taking a peek inside the nine storage cabinets I have here in my garage to see what’s stored inside and how it’s all organized. I hope this little storage tour offers up a few ideas for your storage needs.

Garage Renovation with New Flooring, New Lighting, New Paint


Let’s start with the cabinets here on this side wall of the garage. Before we throw back the doors and peek inside the drawers, I want to answer one question I frequently get about this storage space. I’m often asked, “Doesn’t it get too hot or too cold to store your dinnerware here in the garage?”

The answer is, No. The temperature in the garage has always been pretty moderate year around. It never gets extremely hot or extremely cold here in the garage, probably because there’s a heated space/room surrounding four of its six sides. The large bonus/upstairs living room is above the garage, the kitchen is across the front wall, the basement and a finished-in crawl space are underneath and a fairly large laundry room and back staircase runs the entire length of the left wall. So the only two “exposed” walls are the actual garage door itself which faces east and briefly gets the early morning sun and the wall on the right with two windows. That wall faces north and is somewhat protected by a huge magnolia tree just on the other side. So the garage is mostly enveloped by heated/cooled spaces.

Garage Renovation with New Flooring, New Lighting, New Paint


Also, if you think about it, dishes, glassware, and flatware don’t really mind if they get a little hot, humid, or cold. They’ve been designed to cope with the extreme heat of a dishwasher or microwave and the freezing temps of a refrigerator and icy cold drinks. I’ve been keeping dishware, glassware, flatware, napkin rings, and napkins here for 4 years now and they’ve done great. If this storage had not worked out well, I definitely would not have just added three additional cabinets to this space this summer.

Garage Storage Cabinets


One more question I frequently get is, “Do the dishes I store here get dusty or dirty?” The short answer is, “No, they do not.” The cabinets do a great job of preventing that. After 4 years of storing these items here, I’ve had very little dust inside the cabinets. That surprised even me when I moved everything inside for the garage makeover recently. I expected some dust, but there was almost none. The only dust I noticed was on the lower shelf of the cabinet that was squished right up again the wall near the garage door. I’ve moved that cabinet to the front wall now so that should take care of that. If you are thinking of renovating your garage in the future, I highly recommend closed-door cabinets for storing your items.

Garage Storage


Now for the fun part–let’s throw back those doors and play!

Dinnerware, Flatware and Napkin Ring Storage


I have five cabinets down the sidewall of the garage. Starting with the first cabinet on the far left, which happens to be one of the 2-drawer cabinets, you’ll find napkin rings stored in clear storage boxes in the top half of the cabinet. I love, love, love these storage containers because they let me see what’s stored inside. This cabinet with its four shelves/8 rows of boxes used to store ALL of my flatware and napkin rings. Recently, I added another cabinet just like this one. That has allowed me to split up the napkin rings and flatware which has worked out beautifully. So now the top half of this cabinet houses just napkin rings which has allowed me to really spread them out a lot more instead of having 3-4 sets of napkin rings squished into each storage container.

About the containers, I initially purchased them from Home Depot 4-5 years ago for just $1 each. When I needed a few more a year or so later, the price had risen to $2 each. This last time I purchased them here in bulk:  Storage Boxes. I just noticed today that the price is actually better when they are purchased individually here: Storage Boxes. Arggg. Wish I had noticed that when I purchased them!

Napkin Ring Storage


In this same 2-drawer cabinet, I’m storing napkins in the drawers below. The top drawer contains napkins in mostly fall/autumn colors. Not sure why I have the pastel napkins in this drawer, maybe I ran out of space in the others back when I first organized these.

Autumn, Fall Napkin Storage


The bottom drawer is filled with napkins in various shades of blue and green. The darker ones on the right side are a deep plum color.

Blue and Green Napkin Storage


The next cabinet, a non-drawer cabinet, is filled with Christmas dishes. Before I added three additional cabinets this summer, I was also storing a lot of my Christmas glassware here along the front of the shelves. Thankfully, that’s no longer necessary which means I don’t have to move glasses around from shelf to shelf to get to the dinnerware.

Christmas Dinnerware Storage


Continuing down the line, the next cabinet, another 2-drawer cabinet, holds more clear storage boxes. The top shelf (top 2 rows of boxes) contains place card holders, while the remaining shelves/boxes are filled with flatware. I have quite a few empty boxes so there’s room for additional sets if something steals my heart in the future.

Flatware Storage


Again, the drawers in this cabinet hold napkins. The top drawer holds white, off-white, cream, taupe and yellow napkins.

Ivory and White Napkin Storage


The bottom drawer is all about the reds with a little red, white and blue plaid mixed in. Ummm, I may want to move those red, white, and blue plaid napkins over to the third 2-drawer cabinet–more on that one in a sec.

Red Napkin Storage


The next cabinet to the right is filled with dinnerware for various holidays, well except for the first shelf which is filled with Alice in Wonderland dinnerware. Below the AIW shelf, you’ll find all my spring/Easter dinnerware followed by 4th of July, Halloween, and St. Patrick’s Day. Valentine’s Day dishes are mixed in there somewhere. The final two shelves toward the bottom of this cabinet are filled with fall/autumn-themed dinnerware that’s in the colors of autumn.

Holiday Dishware, Holiday China Storage


The very last cabinet in this row of cabinets contains the first dinnerware I ever purchased after adding on a screened porch in 2008. I remember it so well because I wanted a special set that felt perfect for dining on a porch. I came across this dinnerware in Kohl’s and bought the whole set, including the glasses they had paired with it. I still love it after all these years. Other than the glasses, I’ve been storing this dinnerware on the shelves of the large island in my laundry room. With the addition of three new cabinets here in the garage, I decided to move it here and now those island shelves are holding all my large platters that were previously tucked away in two pantries.

Aqua Beachy Dinnerware, Storage Ideas


See that big white fish at the very back of the third shelf? I have another one just like that one–somewhere, but can’t locate him for the life of me! I know I haven’t dropped or broken him over the years, but I have no idea where he’s hiding. He’ll go on the other side of the bowls facing inward toward his buddy once I find him. The mermaid on top and the fish were some of the smaller items I once had previously stored atop the cabinets. With the addition of new cabinets, I’ve been able to store some of those smaller pieces inside the cabinets.

Aqua Beachy Dinnerware, Storage Ideas


Since I now have two additional drawers for storage, I gathered together all of my napkins that are pretty much only used for holiday settings. The far left row contains 4 sets of “Easter” napkins and two sets for St. Patrick’s Day. The next row over holds two sets for Halloween and a star-covered set that mostly gets used for the 4th of July or patriotic settings. The last row is filled with napkins that I only pull out for Christmas. The second drawer is empty for now except for a few odds and ends I tossed in there until I find a better spot for them. Update: I’ve had a few questions about where I purchased these cabinets. I purchased the one without drawers here: Cabinet without drawers. I purchased the one with drawers here: Cabinet without drawers.

Holiday Napkin Storage


How about those cabinets along the front wall of the garage–what will we find in those?

Garage Storage


Two of these cabinets were originally along the side wall of the garage but I did a bit of rearranging when I added three new cabinets.

Dishware Storage Ideas


Again, starting on the far left, the first cabinet contains all my charger plates except for one really wide, grapevine set that’s just too big to fit inside and have the cabinet doors close properly. I rarely use that set because the charger plates are sooo big. I have those tucked into the bottom of my pantry inside the kitchen. But all my other charger plates fit comfortably in this cabinet, including the two shell/sea glass sets I made many years ago. Oh, and I have two sets of chargers in the sideboard in my dining room. Those fit perfectly there so I didn’t bother to move them to this cabinet.

Charger Plate Storage


The next cabinet over is filled with glassware. I’ve tried to arrange the glasses mostly by color, but I had to work with the position of the “fixed” shelf and the many varying heights of the glasses themselves to economize on space.

Glassware Storage


The next cabinet over holds my collection of pitchers along with those Christmas glasses I moved from the Christmas dinnerware cabinet. I was also able to spread my glassware collection out a bit since I now have two cabinets for glassware storage. The bottom two rows are filled with other small centerpiece items that were originally stored atop the cabinets before the garage renovation. They did great being stored above the cabinets but now that I have the space, I’ve moved them inside a cabinet.

Glassware, Pitcher and Lantern Storage


The final cabinet here along the front wall of the garage is the cabinet that used to be right up against that section of wall that’s near the garage door. This cabinet was starting to show some weathering along the bottom shelf since there’s a narrow opening where the garage door meets the wall of the garage. Unfortunately, garage doors aren’t hermetically sealed. 😉 So that’s why I decided to move this cabinet to the front wall and away from the opening of the garage. This cabinet holds miscellaneous sets, sets I don’t use that often but still love and do use on occasion.

China, Dinnerware Storage


Update: I’ve had a few questions about where I purchased these cabinets. I purchased the one without drawers here: Cabinet without drawers. I purchased the one with drawers here: Cabinet without drawers.

All the dinnerware, glasses, flatware, and napkin rings you’ve seen today have been collected over the past 12-13 years. I rarely buy dishes today since I have enough to set a nice variety of tables, mixing and matching the various patterns. I still love picking up a new set of napkin rings, napkins, or flatware on occasion…or even a new piece that I think would look great as a centerpiece. Recently, I donated a few napkins I just never found myself using, but for the most part, everything gets used throughout the year for the tables I set for you, my family, and friends.

So that’s how I’m using the storage cabinets, including the three new cabinets, here in the garage. This storage system works great for setting tables for Tablescape Thursday or for entertaining. My breakfast room/kitchen is just inside the garage door, the screened porch is just off of the breakfast room and the dining room is just off of the kitchen. This storage makes it easy to access those things I frequently need/use when setting a table or creating a new table setting for Tablescape Thursday.

Garage Renovation with New Flooring, New Lighting, New Paint


I hope you found this little Tablescaping storage tour helpful. Feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comments below. I’m looking forward to all the beautiful table settings linked for this week’s Tablescape Thursday!

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  1. Where did you get your storage cabinets that are in your garage?

    • I purchased the one without drawers here: https://bit.ly/3PgKgFy and the one with drawers here: https://amzn.to/3q1Ahtp .

      • Hi Susan, I noticed you moved the one cabinet away from the garage door to the other side? What is the measurement now from the end cabinet to the wall of the garage? By moving the cabinet are you seeing less dirt on the bottom?

        • Yes, I moved that very end one to the front wall since it was the only one that kept getting dirty from being right up against the open gap between the garage door and the wall there. The cabinets are around 31 1/2 inches wide so five cabinets take up around 177.5 inches of wall space. The next cabinet over never had dirt/dust inside so that works great. Also, being so close to the garage door, moisture was starting to effect the bottom shelf of that cabinet. That was the only cabinet having that issue. So moving it was the solution.

  2. Where did you buy the cabinets? Thanks

  3. Awesome storage! You must be very happy to have everything so easily accessible. Sometime you must show us how you store tools and garden/yard things.

    • The small gardening tools are hanging on either of the potting bench. The bigger things like shovels, rakes, etc… are in the basement on the unfinished side of the basement which has a door to outside. That’s where I’m storing my old Honda lawnmower that I still love. I have a lawn guy now who cuts my grass and cut my shrubs when they need it…like they do right now.

  4. I thought you were really organized before, but with the additional cabinets you are totally organized Susan! I love seeing inside the cabinets, they look amazing. I love how easy it is for you to locate and grab what you need to set a table. A dream for sure! And just gorgeous looking inside and out as well! Hugs, Brenda

    • Thanks so much, Brenda! ♥ It really, really helped getting all the Christmas glasses and other glassware/stemware into a second cabinet. It’s a pain to move glasses around to get to dishes, plus easy to break a glass that way. So that a huge improvement.

  5. First of all, I love what you did in your garage. I bought some storage cabinets from Home Depot, but they are not as nice as yours. I too would lke to know where you bought them. Secondly, do you park your car in your garage?

  6. This is so amazing! Definitely storage goals! Thank you so much for sharing!

  7. Tina W Reynolds says

    Susan, I love everything about your well-planned, well-thought-out garage! Beauty and function! Who could ask for more? I also had one of those ridiculous jolts of inspiration when you displayed your napkin drawers: I could organize my highboy drawers that way! Duh! I had already ‘remodeled’ my kitchen drawers and (blushing) undie drawers, mine and, more importantly, my husband’s, in this way. I was inspired by the famous Marie Kondo to use the method of “filing” dishcloths, aprons, and those unmentionables so that one can see each edge. No more digging around! Now why on Earth I never thought of doing my napkins this way sure beats me! When I saw yours, I thought, “Genius!” Oh, shoot, sometimes it really IS the little things. Your home seems well designed and having most of the walls of the garage surrounded surely pays off. Now, enjoy! You have worked for it!

    • Thanks, Tina! I wish I could take credit for the napkin storage idea. It was a BNOTP reader who told me that she stored her napkins that way, I think she even emailed me a photo. Anyway, I loved it because I could actually see them all without having to pull them out from under each other, making a mess. I know, it totally is those little things! This is going to sound weird but sometimes I will force myself to re-evaluate certain things…like a process I use to do something, to see if I can up with something better. I try to remove myself from the situation and look at it anew. It’s amazing the things you see when you do that…like simple solutions to minor little things that bug you on a day-to-day basis. I wish I could think of an example right now, but there was something recently that I changed, and could have kicked myself for not having done it sooner.

  8. It’s beneficial to follow GOOD HOUSEKEEPING rules “A place for every thing and every thing in its place” You have done a great job of organizing.

  9. Argh! My goodness. Do you know what you are doing to Tablescaping Blogland? Heads are exploding across the blogosphere, lol. This is so awesome, Susan. It’s such an inspiration. I’m sure we would all dearly love to have what tablescaping elements we have so nicely and neatly arranged. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the tour. I love what you’ve done to the garage, and to your table setting goodies. Would love to do the same. And I love how pretty everything looks when the doors are open. So colorful and organized. Beautiful inside and out. Thanks again for the tour. Enjoy the fruits of your labor!

    • Ha! You are too funny! 🙂 Thanks so much, Pam! I hope it is helpful, if not for tablescaping goodies, maybe it will be helpful for whatever people may love to collect or store.

  10. Laurel Peace says

    Hi, Susan! Your garage looks amazing! Well done, You! I’m wondering if you think putting these cabinets on wheels would be advisable? My husband suggested we could build wheeled frames to put under each cabinet and then not have the feet attached so that the base of the cabinets sits flush on the wheeled “dolly”. Our garage sometimes has three vehicles parked in it, so I love the idea of being able to move the cabinets around without assistance. Your thoughts/suggestions? (I just ordered three of the same cabinets you have, with the doors, only in grey.)

    • My only concern (well, actually I have two) is:
      1. The doors on these cabinets are very heavy/substantial and if the cabinets are not attached to the wall at some point…like into a stud, I would be super worried about someone opening the door and having the cabinet fall over on them, especially if there’s not a lot of heavy items inside.
      2. My other concern is if your floor isn’t perfectly level, the cabinet could sit crooked. The feet on these cabinets are adjustable by turning them up or down which really comes in handy if you need to adjust them to level the cabinet.

      I really like the grey, it has grown on me! So far the white has been super easy to clean, dust/grime just wipes right off, but grey will be even more maintenance-free.

  11. $64,000 question-MY HUSBAND wants to know. Where do you store placemats and tablecloths? I showed my husband your photos. He told me NOT to get any ideas. He is NOT selling both cars to transform the garage into a Dish storage room. My huge collection of antique dishes is stored in my basement. We live in Michigan and our garage is unattached and not heated. DARN!!!! But he does love me. He did buy me (only four) antique dishes for my birthday two weeks ago.!!!! P.S. I took over one of his large dressers to store ALL my napkins and placemats. He now only has a small dresser for his unmentionables!! If he wants more drawer space, he has to buy me a house with a heated four car garage.

    • Ha, ha, ha! I love it! 🙂 I still park my car inside, I always have. I don’t like for my car to be outside because I want to maintain it in “new” condition as long as possible since I keep the same car for a very, very, very long time. Right now my tablecloths and the few placemats that I have are in the big linen closet in my upstairs hallway, but I’ve been thinking of putting them in the empty drawer of one of the new cabinets. It’s actually better to store them hanging, like in a coat closet–less wrinkles that way.

  12. This is amazing! Definitely on my bucket list since my tableware is spread thru out the house. I’ve already started shopping and trying to figure out what I have room for but did you add shelves inside the cabinets or did they come with those shelves? They are adjustable? I’m also concerned if the shelves are sturdy enough as I’ve even had problems with kitchen shelves not being strong enough. Of course if I don’t have so much on them maybe it will be ok with a chuckle. Thank you so much for inspiring me!

    • Thanks, Karen! The information about the cabinets states that each shelf will hold up to 35 lbs but I have found that if you put anywhere near that amount of weight on them, they sag badly in the center. So when I purchased the first six cabinets four years ago, I went to Home Depot and purchased their laminated shelving that they will also cut down to size for you. It’s much denser and can handle heavy dishes. It may sag slightly, but not much at all. I need to turn a few of mine over that were holding heavy dishes for 4 years. I also need to purchase a few more shelves from HD for the new cabients. If you’re just storing glassware you don’t have to worry about it since glasses are not very heavy. I’m just using the shelves that came with the new cabinet in one of the glass cabinets. But if you’re storing plates and such, I would get new shelves cut at your local Home Depot or wherever you can find the thicker laminate shelves. I also purchased additional metal shelf pins at HD…or you can just buy them online here: https://amzn.to/3CQVtdw . I also drilled new holes (for shelf pins) in two of the cabinets that hold my napkin rings and flatware because I needed a shelf where there weren’t any holes.

  13. Your new storage setup is fabulous Susan – it must be so satisfying for you to know exactly where everything is and have it so handy! I’m definitely inspired, and will likely get a lot of those inexpensive clear boxes – not only for tableware, but shoes and craft supplies too. Thanks as always for the wonderful inspiration, AND for hosting the party! Happy September!

  14. How beautiful when the doors are thrown open! So funny about the AWOL white fish; any chance a grandson, or two, found it, played with it, and then relocated it?

  15. Where do you store your candles? I have a lot of tapers I use on my table & sideboard – I get a lot of them at resale places – but I finally gave up & took them out of my china hutch drawer because it was overflowing. Now they are just in a storage box under the sideboard. Not a great place. I’m interested in how you store placements too as someone else asked.

    • I store the pillars in the cabinets above the washer in my laundry room. The smaller votive and tapers are in the drawers of an old secretary in my downstairs living room. It would be nice to have them all together in one spot. I don’t have a lot of placemats but the few sets I have are in my upstairs hall linen closet, on the same shelf with my tablecloths. I may bring those down and place them in the one empty drawer I have available in the cabinets.

  16. Beautiful Susan – how perfect is it to have everything organized and in one place AND easily accessible. I have severe dish storage envy. Enjoy the results of all your hard labor!

    • Thanks, Kim! It was a lot of work getting all the cabinets together and getting everything back in them after the garage renovation. Glad to have that behind me! lol

  17. Bravo, Susan! You have done a spectacular job of organizing. Your garage needs to be highlighted in a magazine. I am constantly in awe of your ability to complete enormous tasks on your own. You have earned some R and R ! Thank you for your inspiration. You have us tablescapers truly inspired!

  18. love the storage cabinets in garage, going to copy asap!

  19. Thanks so much for hosting! Love what you did to this space!

  20. This project is truly amazing! One thing I’d like to know is why you didn’t find a cabinet to put the lanterns? The other cabinet looks so beautiful without anything on them. My garage covers everything in dust and grime, so I don’t know how yours doesn’t. Bravo on a beautiful and most satisfying project!!

    • Thanks, Deana! The lanterns are really, really tall so I wouldn’t be able to store very many inside a cabinet. I don’t mind them being up on top, they look cute there in person. I could move them to the basement but I don’t mind them atop the cabinets.

  21. That is a beautiful thing, Susan. The sense of organizational accomplishment has to feel very, very good! Bravo!

  22. This just makes my little organized heart sing. 🙂

  23. franki parde says


  24. Cat Henderson says

    You MADE shell and sea glass chargers??? Could you post a picture and maybe instructions on how you accomplished that?
    As another commenter said…your garage just makes my little organizational heart sing!
    As to the lanterns on top, I like them up there. It makes the garage look more decorated than blah.

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