The Great Dish Storage Experiment, Plus Some New Chargers & Napkin Rings

Welcome to the 503rd Tablescape Thursday!

I’ve just returned from spending three weeks with my son, daughter-in-law, and grandsons. I had never planned to stay quite that long but due to various reasons involving a delayed refrigerator delivery, my return date kept getting pushed out.

When the day came that I had planned to leave, my son and dil pointed out Mother’s Day was only 3 days away. I hadn’t even realized that. I’m terrible at keeping up with holidays/dates, especially when I’m away from my desk calendar. So I stayed through Mother’s Day with plans to leave on the following Monday.

After Mother’s Day, I came down with the stomach flu that was slowly making its way through the family. It started with the little ones, then finally hit us all. Once that had passed, I made the 9-hour drive home on Tuesday, arriving late Tuesday evening. The drive went by quickly as I listened to two books I had downloaded on Audible. Amazing the difference a great book can make!

Yesterday was spent unpacking, washing clothes, going through mail and all the other stuff that needs to be done when you’ve been away for weeks. Still not fully caught up, but getting there. As I was thinking about what I’d post for this week’s Tablescape Thursday, it dawned on me I had never shared an update on how the garage dish storage had worked out.

If you missed the initial post where I added these storage cabinets to the garage, you’ll find that post here: Tablescaping Storage for Dishware, Flatware, Napkin Rings, Napkins and Glassware. The cabinets are still available here: Cabinets. The two styles I purchased for this storage project were the 36-inch wide with two drawers and the 36-inch wide without drawers.

When I first assembled all these cabinets and moved the majority of my dishware, napkin rings, chargers, napkins, centerpieces out here to the garage, several readers expressed concerns about dust/dirt getting into the cabinets. So how has that worked out?

Cabinet Storage Ideas for Dishware, Glassware, Flatware and Napkins


Here are a few close-ups I took yesterday afternoon.

Storage Idea for Christmas Dinnerware


The shelves are looking great! There may be the slightest bit of dust in a couple of spots, but I think that’s from dragging out dishes and sitting them down on the floor of the garage in order to reach other dishes toward the back.

Storage Ideas for Dishes


Even the bottom shelves where I thought I’d have more problems since I use a blower in the garage about once a week, still look great! I’m super pleased with how this has worked out, especially since the garage is directly off the kitchen/breakfast area, which is off the dining room in one direction and the screened porch in the other–all places where I regularly set a table for dining.

Storage Solutions, Dishes


I would love to add two more cabinets eventually so I could have all my chargers in one cabinet by themselves, thus freeing up that cabinet to hold nothing but napkin rings. Right now I have my flatware and napkin rings in one cabinet and it’s a bit tight since there’s no room for any additions.

Cabinet Storage Ideas for Dishware, Glassware, Flatware and Napkins


Remember that mystery glass issue? (If you missed that post, read about it here: The Mysterious Case of the Greasy Glass.) It still occurs here in the garage, too. As we’ve all seen with our glassware, some glasses seem to go foggy faster than others. It must be the chemical makeup of the glass because while some are looking foggy and feeling gross again, others are still just fine. I washed them all when I first moved them out here. So the mystery continues. lol

Glasses with Hazy Film


Things are still mostly stored where they were…I think I added some mugs to this end cabinet. Ignore the blower, had to use it to prop up the end door since the garage thingy gets in the way.

Dishware Storage, Garage


Next cabinet still houses all my flatware and napkin rings above, with napkins in the drawers below.

Flatware & Napkin Ring Storage Cabinet with Drawers for Napkins


Next cabinet is still all Christmas dishware except a few more formal/dressy patterns that are still kept in a china cabinet inside in the dining room. I think I’ve added some Christmas glassware to this cabinet since I first set up this storage. It made sense to keep it with the Christmas dishes.

Storage Ideas for Christmas Dishes


Next cabinet is filled with other holiday dishware (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day, etc…) as well as my whimsical Alice-in-Wonderland dinnerware.

Storage Ideas for Holiday Dinnerware, Dishes


This cabinet still houses the majority of my chargers. I have two sets I still keep in the dining room since they fit so well in the sideboard there. The drawers below house more napkins with acorn soup tureens in the bottom drawer.

Storage Solution for Charger Plates, Napkin Storage


I managed to squeeze a few more glasses into the glass cabinet. The bark-edged chargers I purchased last fall are stacked above on the left. See the chargers there on the right, underneath the little car?

Glassware Storage Ideas, Glass Collection


After seeing how great the driftwood chargers looked in this outdoor table setting last week at my dil/son’s home, I purchased a set of six for myself. Looking forward to using those in a future beach-themed table setting! You’ll find them available here: Driftwood Chargers.

See this previous table setting here: Dining Outdoors for Summer.

Driftwood Chargers for Beach Themed Table 2


I also shopped their Memorial Day sale and picked up 8 of these adorable bicycle napkin rings.

Bicycle Napkin Ring Holders


They are still available on sale here: Bicycle Napkin Rings. I love how detailed they are!

Bicycle Napkin Rings, Beaded


So what have you been up to the last three weeks? Any vacations planned? Doing some summer entertaining?


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  1. Amy Fleming says

    I love the photos of your fantastic storage!
    Please tell me about the cabinets – where did you get them?

    • Thanks so much, Amy! I just added a link to the previous post where I shared those. They are available here:

      Since I had a lot of heavy dishes, I purchased thicker melamine shelving at Home Depot and had them cut the shelves to fit the cabinets. That has worked out well and there’s no bowing.

  2. You know, I would just enjoy going to the garage and gazing…one can come up with different themes, dreams, etc. It’s a vignette in itself!! How nice you spent 3 weeks!!! Can we send you some…rain…9 inches and counting…franki

    • Wow, that’s a lot of rain! Unfortunately, we got very little here while I was gone and my two standard Hydrangeas on the deck almost died. Now we get the rain, after I return. Arggg. Hope you dry out soon, Franki!
      It has definitely helped, having it all together. I still have some in my dish closet inside, would love to get those out here, too. I may put shelves down the other wall once my son and dil are ready for my son’s old furniture that’s store here in the garage. Can’t wait to get that storage space back!

  3. Hi Susan, Your dish storage looks so wonderfully organized! I assumed
    ‘Foggy Glass Syndrome’ was due to the humidity. It doesn’t seem to matter where or what cabinet I store my glasses in…they invariably need a light wash to remove the film if I go a long while without using them. Adorable napkin rings too!

    P.S. Someone has probably mentioned by now but your linky says opens in 6 days!

    • Oh, thanks for catching that. I normally get the code the night before and the date is correct. I didn’t have time last night so waited until this morning and I guess it had already advanced to next week’s date. I didn’t even notice. Good catch!
      I bet the humidity speeds it up, whatever is causing it. Some glassware does it much faster than others.

  4. Best of all, you are all ready for the garage sale when time comes for it…just open the doors and watch everything fly off the shelves! Just kidding as I
    cannot imagine the desire to get rid of all these wonderful items will ever
    come; at least not all at once. I am so impressed with your marvelous organization of dishes, etc.
    My question is what books were you listening to on your recent trip? I
    would like to know as I get ready for the long drive to visit my dtr and family. Thanks!

    • lol Yup, when I kick the bucket, this will make it really easy for the estate sellers. Ha! 😉
      I finished the first book in a series I started after several BNOTP readers recommended it when they heard that I have a tripped planned to Egypt in the fall. The book I finished was: Crocodile on the Sandbank: The Amelia Peabody Series, Book 1.
      After that, I started on Barking Up The Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success is (Mostly) Wrong. Nothing much new in that second book, mostly a rehashing of stories we’ve all heard.
      I’m going to download the second Amelia Peabody book today, though.
      I was actually kinda looking forward to the drive since I didn’t get in much book listening/reading while I was gone. I couldn’t live without Audible!

  5. This is the ultimate storage space and makes finding what you need lots easier. No vacation for us this summer. Our youngest daughter is expecting a baby girl in October. Which means I get to plan a baby shower, yay!!

  6. Karen Schwaderer says

    I absolutely love the storage cabinets. In fact, I am going to order a couple of them for my “craft” room. I will use them for storage of thread, fabric, vinyl, etc…… Also, I wanted to say, I can relate to the 9 hour drive. Our son, dil, and granddaughters live East of your family. At the bridge in Cincinnati, I go East where you continue up 75. The rest of my family live a little further North, the Bellefontaine, Indian Lake area. Love reading your stories of “home”.

    • The shelves that come with the cabinets should work great for that, Karen. For dishes, which are super heavy, I ended replacing many of the shelves with the sturdier shelving you can have cut at Home Depot.
      As is, they are supposed to hold up to around 35 lbs, although some of the “fixed” shelves in each unit will hold more.

  7. Marlene Stephenson says

    So glad your storage cabinets are working out for you and not getting too dirty, it just feels good to have a place to store things and be able to actually reach them when needed and not have to dig. Those bicycle napkin holders are so cute . I don’t suppose you looked around to see about the real estate there.

    • Thanks, Marlene! I meant to do that while I was there, but never got the chance. I don’t know where the days went but they flew by.

  8. Oh Susan, I’m inspired to clean out the garage and get some cabinets. My dish collections are scattered throughout the house in closets. It would be nice to have them all in one place! Love your incredible organizational skills.
    Glad you are feeling better!

    • Thanks, Gina!
      Mine were scattered mostly in cabinets in the kitchen, laundry room cabinets and the pantry in the laundry room. It is so convenient having the majority of it all in one place.

  9. Oh how I wish I could do this. However, I do have my dish room downstairs and I have got to get down there and clean it up! It is a mess right now so you have inspired me to get down there and DO IT! I also think I will put all my glasses together on one shelving unit. That way I can see them all together. Thanks for posting this, Susan and thanks for hosting.

  10. Good Lord, you are organized!!! I love it!! It all looks so nice and accessible!
    I have certain glasses that get foggy and they are sitting right next to others that don’t – so I think you are right that it must be what they are made from that makes them get like that. One good washing and they look fine. I hope you enjoyed your long trip!

  11. Glad you are better! Love this storage. I’m having shelf envy. I do wish we had a garage to just step out to; but must go up to the attic. I would change all our mud room storage but it’s not a workable solution.

  12. Love the look of your storage cabinets! They look taller than 36″ though. When I measured the height, I was disappointed that they were so short because I wanted to buy them for my dish storage… too bad that they didn’t have any that were taller.

  13. Alycia Nichols says

    I’m so glad the garage storage is working out for you!!! Being in a warmer climate it’s easier to do that. Those of us in the Midwest with these subzero temps…don’t think we could get away with it, especially with crystal! Not that my husband leaves even one millimeter of space for me to test such a project!!! That silly glassware gunk…so exasperating! I have to wash glasses over and over and over again. I’ve tried everything I can think of to prevent it. Even those stored away in cloth wraps in plastic tubs can’t escape it! I give up! I love your new bicycle napkin rings!!! Enjoy them!

  14. Donna zoltanski says

    Love your energy and organization. A dream with everything together and accessible. Is it teatime yet?

  15. I have storage envy when you show those cabinets in the garage ! I love them and glad you replaced the shelves. Looks like you put another board across the top. Did you attach the cabinets together ? Recently, I went looking for a box of spring/Easter dishes and experienced the ‘cloudy issue’ you are talking about. Even though everything was packed well with paper, one glass basket felt wet. It’s humidity. The only solution I can think of is desiccates. When I am shopping and see any of those little packets laying around, I ask for them. My neighbor was giving me some big packets from his job for my blue storage tubs. Most standard cabinets like that are 72″
    PS You could leave a permanent link on the site for the garage dish storage so we can come back and fawn over them. LOL You have brightened my day.

  16. My favorite posts are of your home and organizational tips…This is just wonderful! I love how you have everything in one place!!

  17. Hmmm, what’s become of all that storage space you freed up by moving so much to the garage? I think if I had just one more closet…

    • A lot of it is still sitting empty. It was nice being able to just spread things out more in my existing cabinets. My “dish closet” inside is much more open now, can reach things without having to move 5 more things first. 🙂

  18. Kathleen says

    Talk about organization envy! Wow, it must be so fun when planning your tables to just go out to the cabinets and “shop”! Glad you got three weeks in with the grandsons/family even if some days were sick days. Looking forward to see what you come up with for the bicycles.

    • Thanks, Kathleen! It is definitely a lot easier than it was when I had to rack my brain to remember where everything was stored. XXX

  19. Just wanted to followup on ‘cloudy’ glassware. I read something on Pinterest that said it comes from the dishwasher. Anyone else think that ? So many things have to be hand washed.

  20. I wanted to comment about the glassware. I have never placed mine in the dishwasher & have the same issue. They are Pottery Barn & also a light aqua color. That have a foggy film on them every time I go to get them. I have stored them in either my China cabinet in open air, or in kitchen cabinets. Maybe it has something to do with the color. These are the only ones I have a problem with. Have the same glasses in pastel pink.

    • Thanks, Teresa for that info! I wish we could figure out what causes it, not that we can really do anything about it. lol At least it doesn’t happen on the glasses that get used/washed regularly…just those we only use occasionally.

  21. Hi-Just thought I would let you know because I know it is one of your favorite
    stores Talbot’s there having 40% off on many of there items right now I hope
    you check it out I’m sure you will find some nice things for yourself. 🙂

  22. I really, really enjoy seeing your cabinets and how you’ve beautifully stored things that I like too, everything “tablescape”. It certainly looks nice and so accessible. Thanks for an update on this project.
    Glad you made it back home and are feeling better. Excited to see your new bicycle napkin rings in a new tablescape! I really enjoy your blog!

  23. Jan Lonsbury says

    I may have missed it previously, did you post anything on the new refrigerator that you’re getting? You always do extensive research, so I’m interested in your choice. We’re trying to choose a new one right now.

    Also, thanks for the quick reply on the container for the roses.

    • Actually, the refrigerator was for my son and daughter. They live in 1924 house with little doorways, so that drastically altered what kind/brand of refrigerator they could purchase until they renovate the kitchen and widen the door. They purchased a Frigidaire from Sears (same brand the previous homeowner had purchased) and it has been a nightmare experience. After many, many, many attempts, Sears was still bringing out damaged refrigerators with scrapes on the corners of the doors. I don’t know if it’s from their negligence, or the manufacturer’s negligence. The delivery/installers they use are subcontractors and are also terrible, extremely gruff and rude. They will argue and boss you around, the worst experience I’ve ever had with a delivery of anything. And the customer service is abysmal. I will never buy an appliance from Sears again.
      I have a counterdepth Kitchenaid that I’ve had for 18 years and it’s still doing great. When I first got it, it had an issue with the icemaker, but they fixed it under warranty and it’s been fine since.

  24. Wow – these cabinets are great! Is your garage heated and air conditioned? If not, have you had these long enough to know how things do during the summer?

    • Yes, they went in last summer and everything did great through summer and winter. It doesn’t get that hot in my garage since the laundry room is on one side, the bonus room is above and the basement crawl space/storage is below. So no extreme temps.

    • Carolyn, just hit me today, I left off the kitchen. lol So the garage is surround on four sides with a heated/cooled space: Kitchen at the front end, Bonus room above, basement below and laundry room on one side. So there’s only two “exposed” sides…the door side and the north side which is protected by a giant magnolia tree. I guess that’s why it never gets drastically hot or cold.

  25. Phylis Parsons says

    Don’t you just love beautiful dishes? There’s not much that gets me as excited as a beautiful dish. I’m currently contemplating William Sonoma’s lemon dinner plates. Did you ever happen upon Valarie Parr Hill’s other 12 Days of Christmas plates? Just to help a favorite blogger out, if you need the space in your Christmas cabinet I’d gladly purchase your snowman mugs. Lol – I don’t think I have hardly as many dishes as you, but I’m not far behind. Take care.

  26. I don’t always comment, but always love your blog 🙂 Best ideas, and recipes and have shared with many friends. This last blog made me immediately go to Pier One’s site. I ended up buying the bicycle napkin rings, the beautiful star beaded runner, navy blue check napkins, patriotic plastic sandal dish, and the other runner with the bicycle and the red balls on the end and the bicycle dish bowl. Love these, and they were all on sale for 25% off, plus another $10.00. I have paired them with my England treasures for a little wedding party tomorrow. I think I am going to need another cabinet very soon too!

  27. Cyndi Raines says

    Glad you are home safe and sound and had a great visit, in spite of the touch of stomach flu. I too was wondering if you looked around at any housing. But then again,you would have to winter in the south as you would absolutely freeze if you stayed up north, lol. Your cabinets look great. It is a wonderful feeling to have a major project finished and adds such organization, good job, Susan. Here’s to summer and lots of fun!

  28. Cyndi Raines says

    Susan, glad you are home safe and sound and that you had an enjoyable time, in spite of the touch of stomach flu. I too, wondered if you were checking out the housing, but know very well that you would still have to winter in the south as you would literally freeze in the north, lol. Your cabinets look great! It is a wonderful feeling to finish a large project and it adds to being better organized. I love that! Here’s to sumer and lots of fun! ♥️

  29. Deena Salvatore says

    Hi Susan, there’s nothing like organization and having your “tools” close at hand is there, lol! You did a beautiful job. I’m curious, we do a lot of traveling back and forth to Johns Hopkins where our son is a PhD. Can you recommend a few good audiobooks? Many thanks! Deena

  30. Cyndi Raines says

    Glad you are home safe and sound and over the stomach flu. Cabinets look great! I too love it when a major project is finished and it adds more organization to life. Thought you may have been house hunting, but with the understanding you’d still have to winter in the south as you would literally freeze if you stayed in the north, lol. Looking forward to lots of fun this summer! ♥️

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