Completed for Now: Storage for Charger Plates, Flatware, Napkins and Napkin Rings

Welcome to the 461st Tablescape Thursday!

If you’ve been reading BNOTP the last few weeks, you know I had some big plans for one wall in my garage. I purchased four of the cabinet below on the left and two of the cabinet on the right in hopes of creating some awesome storage for organizing a lot of  my entertaining/tablescaping wares. I thought it would be great to have everything together in one place instead of having it all scattered about in different pantries and closets.

Unfortunately, out of six cabinets ordered, only two arrived undamaged. The other four had to be returned. I assembled the two that I kept and filled them to the brim.

Cabinet Storage for Home, Garage, Office, Basement


In anticipation of having six cabinets to use for storing a lot of my holiday dishware and some of my more unique patterns, I had brought those sets down to the garage. Since so many of the cabinets arrived damaged and had to be returned, I ended up boxing those dishes up for now. That’s what is in the boxes you see below–Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day dishes, Easter and my Alice in Wonderland dishware.

I also boxed up the cups and saucers that I rarely use. If I have friends for dinner, I still have plenty of cups/saucers available to use inside for serving coffee, etc… I’ve labeled all the boxes so I can easily find what I need when I do need those items.

Okay, let’s get to the fun part…how I’m using these two cabinets.

Flaware, Charger Plates, Napkin and Napkin Ring Storage


Cabinet on the left:

You may remember I had flatware stored in one cabinet and was awaiting another shelf that I had ordered from the company that makes these cabinets. It was really bugging me that I could only place one row of bins on the bottom shelf. The holes in the side of the cabinet for the shelf supports just weren’t where I needed them to be to fully utilized the cabinet as I wished.


Here’s how it looks with the additional shelf. I also ended up drilling 8 new holes in order to rearrange the shelves where I could get two rows of bins on each shelf. Unfortunately, I couldn’t space the shelves out exactly as I would have liked because of the location of the middle hinges, but at least I was able to space them out enough to use the cabinet the way I had hoped. I found the bins in Home Depot for .98 cents each.


The top three rows of bins contain all my napkin rings, some of which I’ve made over the years. Each bin contains 2-3 sets of napkin rings. I’ve been storing them in zip lock baggies, all crammed into two small drawers in my dining room china cabinet. I was always worried about them getting damaged because zip lock bags didn’t offer a lot of protection. This is much better! There’s a little room inside some of the bins for future napkin ring purchases.

All the other bins are filled with the flatware you’ve so often seen me use in table settings. It had previously been stored in bins in the top of a kitchen pantry where they were very hard to see and reach.

Napkin Rings and Flatware Storage


So that’s what’s in the top part of this cabinet. Let’s take a peek in the drawers now.

Flatware & Napkin Ring Storage


In the top drawer I’m storing all my white/neutral/pastel colored napkins. Several BNOTP readers suggested in the comments on a previous post that I store my napkins on their side. I love that idea! These drawers are quite deep so I do end up with some wasted space, but that’s okay. I like how well I can see the various patterns with the napkins turned on their side. Most of my napkin have been purchased on sale over the years in HomeGoods, Marshalls, Tuesday Morning and Pier 1

Napkin Storage


In the bottom drawer of this cabinet, you’ll find mostly red and burgundy napkins.

Store Napkins on their edge


Cabinet on the Right

Remember the post where I shared my entire charger plate collection? If you missed that post, you’ll find it here: Charger Plate Collection.


They are all stored in the other cabinet. I added another shelf to this cabinet, as well. I didn’t have to drill any extra holes in this cabinet since the spacing worked out fine.

The grapevine chargers were slightly too big to fit inside. They just barely kept the doors from closing completely. So I placed them on the top of the cabinet since they are so lightweight.

Charger Plates Storage


The only chargers that aren’t stored in this cabinet are these open filigree/pierced chargers…


…and these white, lattice chargers.


They have always been stored in the large drawer in my dining room sideboard. That has worked so well, I decided to just leave those there.


I have all the chargers arranged in the cabinet so that no one shelf has more weight than it’s supposed to support, which is 35 lbs. You’ll see little sticky notes on the right side of each shelf. I jotted down the chargers stored on each shelf and their weight,  just in case I ever remove several sets of chargers at one time. I want to make sure they are always placed back in the correct spot so I don’t add too much weight to a shelf. Eventually I’ll probably know where they all go by heart.

I often get questions about how I store/stack the shell chargers I made a while back. Shells are really hard and they are hot-glued into place, so they stack great as you can see in this picture below. So I stack and store them as I would any other chargers. (Read more about making shell chargers here: DIY Shell Chargers.)

Ideas for Charger Plate Storage


So, here’s what I have stored inside this cabinet, starting at the top and going down, you’ll see the grapevine chargers on the top of the cabinet.

Inside the cabinet:

Top Shelf: Rattan chargers & giraffe chargers on the left, corn “platter” chargers on the right.

2nd Shelf: Square woven chargers and floral Kim Parker chargers on both the left and right.

3rd Shelf: Shell chargers and gold, glass chargers on the left, shell chargers with sea glass and gold, glass chargers on the right.

4th Shelf: Plaid Chargers on the right and left (those 12 chargers weigh 29 lbs!)

5th Shelf: Watermelon platter chargers on the left and blue glass chargers on the right

If you would like to see close up pictures of any of these chargers, check out this previous post: Charger Plates.

Ideas for Charger Plate Storage


In the top drawer of this cabinet you’ll find rust, orange, green, yellow, purple and blue napkins.

Ideas for Napkin Storage


The bottom drawer is where I decided to store all my tablecloths. They completely filled up this drawer. It was nice to get those out of my hall linen closet upstairs where they were taking up space I needed for blankets, sheets and towels.

Update: I know it’s a good idea to hang tablecloths to save having to iron them, but I really don’t have a good place to hang them. Plus, I rarely use tablecloths, so I think they’ll be fine tucked away in a drawer for now.

Tablecloth Storage


So though my storage plans didn’t work out, at least it will be easy to see and access all my flatware, napkins, napkin rings and chargers whenever I need them for setting a table. And it has freed up a lot of space in my cabinets inside, which makes it easier to access my dishware.  (These cabinets are available here: Cabinet with drawer.)

Update: Amazon had raised the price on these cabinets from $245.99 to $328.21. Probably better to buy them at Walmart HERE until the prices on Amazon come back down.

I just ordered one more cabinet like this from Walmart and it will be delivered to a Walmart Market that’s about 3 blocks from my home in about a week. I’ll have them load it into my SUV. Then once home, I can open the box and take each piece out while it’s in my SUV, thus avoiding having to unload it by myself. The boxes are very, very heavy! I may have them open it at the store while it’s in my car so I can make sure the pieces aren’t damaged. No point in bringing it home if it’s damaged.

Flatware, Napkin Ring, Napkin, Charger Plate Storage and Organization


Maybe eventually the other shelves will come back in stock and I can convince Amazon to ship them via the same company they used for delivering these. In the meantime, this is where I am for now.

Update: Walmart now has these cabinets available for purchase here: Cabinet without drawers AND Cabinet with drawers. The pricing is better than what I’m finding at Amazon. I plan to have them shipped to the Walmart Market that’s a few blocks from my house and will open the box there and inspect it before bringing it home to make sure everything is okay.

Pssst: I post almost daily to Instagram. Follow Between Naps on the Porch on Instagram here: Between Naps On The Porch.

Looking forward to all the tables linked for this week’s Tablescape Thursday!

Tablescape Thursday

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  1. Love all your storage and organization for easy access Susan! I use the poor man’s version of your flatware storage, with gallon Ziploc bags πŸ™‚

    • That was my napkin ring storage up until a few days ago! Mary, you can upgrade those baggies for a small investment. The bins are just .98 cents each at Home Depot. πŸ™‚

  2. I’m so jealous! Your cabinets are the envy of tablescapers everywhere! Thank you Susan for constant inspirations, not to mention organization dreams!

  3. Susan, I need your organizational skills. This is fabulous…I am now on a mission!

  4. Bonnie Brown says

    Susan, I recently did the same thing in my garage, using my old wall unit from my family room. Surely is nice to have that extra storage. One thing I do to store my napkins, I put them in zip lock bags and store them on their side as you show in your photo. But by having them in the bags, I don’t have to deal with “the one that got away” but the main way it helps is it works almost like a space bag. Press the air out of the bag before zipping, and you would be surprised how much less room it takes to store them when they are compressed. Makes extra room for MORE napkin purchases!!

    • Interesting! Thanks for sharing that tip, Bonnie! I’m sure my space will get tighter as I buy additional napkins in the years to come, so that could really come in handy…storing them that way.

  5. Wow, Susan, your new storage is a tablescaper’s dream! My husband just installed a high-powered light in my dish storage closet and it made a huge difference in my ability to search out my “goodies”, but it’s nothing compared to the area you are creating in your garage! I know it’s been a lot of work, but I bet you’re enjoying the outcome.

  6. I use the soft plastic storage bags for complete tablescape collections like Christmas or thanksgiving. The bags with the zipper around top. Then I can store tablecloth, napkins, napkin rings, little Christmas figurines or what ever all in one place.

  7. This all looks perfect. I’m so happy for you that all you’re hard work has paid off. I hope the other shelves come back in stock and you’re storage will be complete!

  8. Jane Kelly says

    Are you storing candles in your garage? My garage would for sure be way too hot for candles!

    • I won’t store candles out there. I think everything else will be fine because the only sun that area gets is the morning, east sun. It stays pretty comfortable in the garage throughout the day, maybe because there’s an air conditioned bonus room above it and a lot of trees in my backyard.

    • I live in Tempe AZ ( suburb of Phoenix) or “Hell” as my husband would say. My garage and offsite storage unit are not air conditioned. In the summer outside temperatures can regularly range between 110 to 120 degrees. I can’t store candles, photographs, and many other things in areas that aren’t air conditioned. Almost everything I store in the garage and offsite storage is in clear sealed containers. Otherwise my things would be contaminated by bugs and lots of dust.

      • lol That made me laugh, Elena…what your husband calls it. Too funny! Those are some high temps! Our highest is normally around mid 90’s, but the humidity makes it feel a lot higher.
        It will be interesting to see if any bugs try to get in. I have a pest control guy who sprays around the outside each quarter to keep out those GIANT roaches that we have here in Georgia. I hate those things with a passion. It seems to keep out other bugs, too…although the occasional spider still shows up in the garage.

  9. It would be so nice to have everything stored in one place! I’m trying to, but so far haven’t been wholly successful. How are you going to take care of the humidity levels for your linen storage? I store linens in the basement guest room with cedar pieces and moisture absorbing gel packets.

    • It probably wouldn’t hurt to put some gel packets in the drawers, thanks for that suggestion, Sandra! The garage doesn’t get too hot since there’s an air conditioned bonus room over head.

  10. Looking great, Susan! I’m so sorry about the continued cabinet delivery issues. It’s so frustrating to be thwarted in the middle of an organization binge! Grrrr. What you’ve done looks sensational.

    • Thanks, Helen! Yeah, my wall I had planned may never come to fruition.

      • Maybe go the Billy Bookcase with doors or Liatorp route from Ikea? I put a Liatorp in my daughter’s house to use as a pantry and it looks fabulous. Very sturdy shelves, and I think you get 7. More pricey than the Billy, and since it’s going into a garage, maybe Billy is the best option. At least Ikea has the packaging for shipping down to an art.

        I feel your pain!

  11. Good job Susan! Are you going to replace the four broken cabinets with new ones (so you’ll have a total of six)? You have so many really nice dishes etc., and I admire how organized you are.

    I don’t see where you find room to store them all your lovely things, even with the new storage cabinets. I must be doing something wrong: my tablescaping stuff takes up 2 cupboards in my kitchen, an entire (fairly good-sized) side bedroom closet, one third of my closet in the master bedroom, the entire large very buffet cabinet (73.5 in W x 20 in D x 40 in H in) my dining room, an entire Thomasville Hemingway travel trunk/coffee table (50 in W x 30 in D x 24 in H), 2/3rds of a linen closet in the hallway, 90% of the built-in cabinets on one side of the garage wall (floor to ceiling)…………AND……(so far) about half of a 10′ by 20′ by 10′ offsite storage area. My problem is organization, I’ve got things scattered all over the place. I would like to organize better, move more things to my offsite storage unit. Hubby is okay with my tablescaping madness, but he is not okay with all the storage areas that are being monopolized. LOL

    • This house has a lot of storage, just in the kitchen and laundry room, I have a ton of cabinets and two closets, plus a small pantry. I also have an island in the laundry room where I store some dishes. So there’s a ton of storage. I’ve been storing my Halloween dishes with all my Halloween decorations up under the eves in the bonus room. I was just thinking today how hot it gets under there, but the plates still look new when I pulled them out to store in the cabinets. They are now in the boxes in the garage, since all the cabinets arrived broken.
      I also have a china cabinet on the porch and in my dining room, plus a sideboard in my dining room.
      Elena, I show some of my storage on my FAQ page here:
      If I eventually downsize, I’ll probably have to have a separate storage room for everything. I’m going to be Scarlett and think about that tomorrow! lol

  12. Here is a hint that has worked well for tablecloths. On two of my closet doors, those that do not slide, I hung a nice wooden towel bar as wide as the door. All of my tablecloths hang over the rod, nicely folded, ready to go on the tables.

    • I love the idea of hanging them, Patricia! I think Bunny Williams does that in her pantry, if I’m remembering correctly. I don’t use tablecloths a lot but would be nice to have them ready to go on those rare occasions when I do.

  13. WOW! And WOW! Love your organization here. So jealous! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  14. Hi Susan, your garage storage is looking so good. If you can’t get the other style of shelves are you able to get more of the ones with the drawers? Perhaps you could make them work for what you have left to store.

    • I think I could but I really just want more shelf storage for some of my seasonal/holiday dishware. The company that makes them said they were going to ship more out to Amazon. So we’ll have to see if Amazon finds another way to ship them. They have to be tired of having so many returned broken. The drawers are supposed to hold a lot of weight, up to 50 lbs, so maybe I should just order more of those.

  15. This just makes my little CDO (because those of us with OCD tendencies like order {wink}) heart happy! We do the same folds with tablecloths at the antique mall as you’ve done with your napkins so they can be readily seen. And, I still see a little space on shelves among your chargers…..hmm….I wonder how long it’ll be before you stash a few more things in between…:D
    Love this, Susan. Thanks for hosting the party for us dishaholics!

    • Love that…CDO! πŸ™‚ Rita, I was thinking the other day, when I was a freshman in college and couldn’t decide on my major, the university I attended offered a test you could take to help find your true interests/passion. I was so shocked when the Adviser told me the results showed that I love organizing things. I remember thinking, how does this information help me, how can I turn that into a career?! lol
      Ha! I was looking at that space, too. I have the chargers pushed to the sides so the most weight is away from the center. I’m not sure if I want to put anything there since I don’t want things in the way when I’m pulling out the chargers, but it will be hard to resist not stashing something in there!

  16. Susan, you did a terrific job! It looks wonderful :):)

  17. Dah-ling…it looks mah-velous!! GOOD JOB!! franki

  18. So well organized, you must be thrilled to have it done to this point. But that stinks about the other cabinets, and that you can’t complete the re-org. I think the napkins on their side is a great tip–so easy to see what’s what. Do you have any more plastic bins to possibly swap out with the bottom layer of cardboard boxes, just in case?

    • Yeah, I was thinking about that. It’s just dishes so if water dripped off the car, it wouldn’t hurt the contents…but still clear plastic bins would be better. Hopefully I’ll add more cabinets and won’t have to keep those boxes very long. I’m starting to think more about ordering more of these that have the drawers. The drawers are actually supposed to hold more weight than the shelves. They hold 50 lbs where the shelves are only supposed to hold up to 35 lbs. So maybe I should just order more of the drawer units. Gotta think about this a bit more.

  19. Wow!! Susan, Impressive! Love your ideas on how to manage storing all your beautiful things. I don’t understand why companies would want to ship large items without wanting the best outcome for them and their customers. Hope you will get them undamaged.

    • I know. I can’t be the first person this has happened to. Wonder if other UPS facilities have these issues with the cabinets…or if it’s just mine. Thanks, Pam!

  20. Kathy Westmiller says

    A friend of mine who loves to entertain, hangs her tablecloths and placemats in a closet using pant hangers. That would leave you drawer space for other wonderful treasures. Great job!

    • Thanks, Kathy! I do love that idea! I use tablecloths so rarely, not sure if it’s worth it to hang them. Maybe if I free up some space in my kitchen coat closet that I turned into a panty, I could hang them there. That would be the perfect spot. πŸ™‚ Thanks for making me think more about that!

  21. Mamey Brown says

    This came out GREAT Susan! I LOOOVE how neatly organized everything is. I bet you will use them more now too, having them all in one spot. Great job!

  22. The two cabinets you have look so nice; have you considered just ordering several more of them? The drawers could hold dishes, mugs, etc, and then you wouldn’t have to wait.

  23. Looks awesome. You are an inspiration to all of us. Hopefully, you will find more units. How deep are the shelves ? I would put those desiccates from shoe boxes and purses inside the units because the garage doesn’t have AC. If your garage is opened and closed on a regular basis, you won’t have that FL smell we seem to get. Even dryer sheets in storage bins don’t last long. Did you check into buying a laminated board to put across the top of the two units ?

    • They are around 15-1/2 inches if I’m remembering correctly. Yeah, I will definitely buy some of those. Bet I can find some on Amazon.
      I wasn’t going to do that (the laminated board) but when I couldn’t get all the cabinets, it kinda slowed me down on doing that. I was waiting for the others to come back in stock. I may just end up ordering more of these…that idea is starting to grow on me. Soon as I do that, Amazon will start using another shipper for the ones that arrived broken. lol

  24. I love the organization! I would suggest if you wanted to hang your table cloths the put a tension rod or secure a bar between your two cabinets and hang them there! You can always put a bag over them if your concerned about dust or dirt on them!

    • Natasha, that’s a great idea! I think I’ll be buying additional cabinets so may not end up spread out, but I will definitely keep that in mind.

  25. Beverly Anderson says

    A thought: Instead of post-it notes on each shelf, just take a photo of your full shelves and drawers and stick that in the cabinet?

    • I actually did that, but hadn’t thought about printing it out. I don’t have a color printer but I think I could still print it out well enough to view it. Great idea, Beverly! Thanks!

  26. Elizabeth Roderick says

    No one’s garage should be that clean…lol! It looks great though. I live in an area, for now, where most everyone has carports instead of garages. I also live out in the country off a dirt road, it’s 102 right now…wish I was in your garage. I love things organized and you’ve given us all some great ideas. Once again thank you so very much!

    • lol Trust me, it’s not super clean. At least this side of the garage looks pretty good. Once my son and dil take all his bedroom furniture that I have stored in the garage to use for their two sons, I will finally be able to get it back to normal. It drives me crazy using one side of it for storage.

  27. It looks wonderful, Susan! It must be a great feeling having everything organized so nicely. I’m trying to decide how to store all my dishes; they are currently in several rooms! My platters are always challenging because of their size and weight. I hope the other cabinets come back in stock with better shipping; I was so sad for you that so many were damaged! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Me, too! I went ahead and ordered one more like the one I already had. I ordered it from Walmart today. It will be delivered for free to the Walmart near my home.
      Everyone seems to be out of the other style that doesn’t have drawers. I still hope to get a couple of those.
      Thanks, Donna! Definitely threw a monkey wrench into my storage plans!

  28. I love your ambition for this project! I hope you can get some cabinets in undamaged but it sounds like the UPS crew is a bit too rough on things. I doubt you can get Amazon to change the shipping method because I’m sure UPS works out less costly (except in your case). We added some dowel pieces cut to stand in-between the shelving in my dish closet to prevent any warping and to add extra support. With humidity and the weight you might run into that issue. I wish my garage was so nice!

    • They are supposed to be figuring it out now, will be interesting to see what they decide to do. If they keep shipping via UPS, they will continue to have issues. I called the people who make the cabinets today to see when they would be sending more to Amazon. They said they already have. I know a supv. at Amazon said they wouldn’t list them again on their site until they worked out how to deal with the shipping issue.
      The guy I spoke with where they make them said that this had been an ongoing issue, cabinets being damage when shipped via UPS. You would think they would have done something about this by now and found a good alternative for shipping.
      Thanks, Liz! I flipped the two shelves that looked a bit like they were sagging today…just in case they started that when I was putting 40 lbs on each shelf. The instruction manual says you can place 40 lbs on each shelf and 50 lbs on the bottom one, but an instruction manual I found on their website said 35 lbs, so that’s the one I’m going by now.
      As you mentioned, I think the humidity probably does add to that issue.

  29. I cant wait to get mine more organized. I use a soft paper towel between the dishes to protect them. My dish collection would get used more if it would be easier to get to.

    • Theresa, you and I think alike…that’s what I typically use for dishes where I’m worried about that. It really works well. Home Depot sells the paper towels that are one full piece and not halves. Those work the best, I think…they don’t rip in half like the others do.

  30. Beautiful! Great! Am envious! Just a note of caution – have you considered anchoring each cabinet to the wall…for safety sake? Likely no problem will occur, but it’d be a bit of “insurance” for such a grand stash. Can’t wait to see what you do with the four additional cabinets!

    • Thanks! πŸ™‚ Yep, just have to wait until I have them in the spot where they will stay. They feel very stable, even with both drawers open, but I will definitely anchor them with the anchor kit that came with the cabinet. I don’t little ones here who might climb on them, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.

  31. You have totally inspired me to get more organized out in the garage. There is actually a lot of storage out there, I just need to sort and cleanup more. I do not dare store any linens even in bins. My husband keeps bins of nuts and seeds for the birds and I am amazed at how mice manage to even get in boxes with sealed lids. I find little mouse storage in the funniest places. We have catch and release traps and take them to an old barn nearby (unused) we call mouse-gra-la and leave them with a scoop of food. Do you think your twig chargers will get dusty on top? Clear bags could help. Everything looks perfect. All that neatness and organization makes me happy just to see it πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Jillian!

      I was just thinking, I store my bird seed in the garage, but it’s inside a big metal can…kind of like a short trash can. I got it at Wild Birds Unlimited many years ago. You can see it in this post:
      Actually the one in that post has potting soil in it but I have one like it that I store my birdseed in…it has pictures of birds on the outside.

      Or, he could get one of those metal trash cans at Lowes like I have for trash by my potting bench and just stick the bags in there. The lid really wedges down on that can so nothing can get into it. You can see it in this post beside the potting bench:

      That’s so nice you do catch and release, I would totally do the same thing. Can’t stand the idea of killing even a mouse.

  32. Susan: It looks great, but I see a little bowing in the shelves. Please put a center brace on the shelves. My SIL lost all her “good” china becasue a shelf broke in the middle of the night and came crashing down. I would hate to see you lose any of your beautiful collections.

    I too hate those large roaches, one flew in my house last night while I was coming in the back door. I screamed so loud everyone came running. YUCK I hate when they fly, and this guy was a grand daddy in size. He no longer exists. LOL

  33. This is such a great idea. I have purchased two sets of flatware this year and who knows what my collection will be in a few years. I think I’m going to organize my tablescape items in a similar way. Thank you for sharing!

  34. Kathleen says

    It looks very organized; neat and nice. Could you maybe print the pictures you’ve taken and put them to the side of each corresponding shelf to remind you what goes where? I have pull out tray drawers in some of my cabinets and I sure wish I had made them drawers. Things fall off the back if I’m not careful. The drawers are deep and hold a lot in weight. They would have been great for all my mixing bowls. That’s what I seem to be a collector of: mixing bowls! Storing the napkins on their sides is great because you can “see” them. Have you tried doing this with T shirts?

  35. Brenda Smith says

    How I envy you, having all that storage so well organized! I use ziploc bags to hold my napkin sets, then store them so that I am looking straight down on the “zipper” closure, and that top edge of the bag is where I write how many are in that set, sometimes also adding “matching 70-inch round tablecloth” or “6 placemats” so I remember what they match. (Or at least that’s what I do when my shelves/drawers aren’t in complete disarray, as they are now!)
    One suggestion: Since your drawers are deeper than your napkins, you might use the remaining depth to store any lightweight trays you seldom use, such as seasonal ones. They are easy to lift out by their handles when you need to access the napkins and won’t smash your napkins like heavier items might.

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