China, crystal, and fragile antique serving pieces deserve TLC, attention, and special storage consideration. If you house china in a cabinet, make sure to put felt pads or other cushioning material between layers to prevent scratches and chips. Stack cups no more than two high to avoid tumbling. Hanging them from small hooks is even better. If your china is behind closed doors, cushioned storage pouches will keep the pieces protected and dust-free. And don't forget the padded layers. Should you lose a piece in an accident, there's hope. The International Association of Dinnerware Matchers (www.iadm.com) is a group of independent dealers that can help you locate hard-to-find and even discontinued china, crystal, and flatware pieces.
Crystal and other delicate glassware should be stored stem-side down so there's no undue pressure on the rim. Keep a little “breathing” space between the glasses to head off accidental chipping. If possible, it's always a good idea to store fragile dishware in a cabinet that's segregated from your everyday, heavily used dishes so it doesn't accidentally get tussled about.
Not everything should go in the dishwasher. Wash delicate crystal and china by hand, especially those that are antique or have hand-painting or metal trim. When hand washing, put a rubber pad at the bottom of the sink as a cushion for extra protection. Dry immediately so you can put items away—and out of harm's way.