How to Store Furniture in a Storage Unit
Whether you’re moving into a new home and need a temporary storage solution or just inherited an entire dining set you don’t have room for, there are many reasons why you might need to put your furniture into storage.
Unlike clothing or random household items, furniture is larger and (usually) can’t be put into uniform boxes. You’ll have to prepare your pieces specifically for storage to prevent them from getting damaged.
Big and bulky means easy to drop or bang against another item, and fragile surface materials like fabric, wood and glass can get ruined if exposed to harmful elements. Here are a few tips to help you properly store your furniture and avoid damage:
8 Tips for Protecting Your Furniture in Storage
- Clean your furniture beforehand. Moisture and dust can damage the material of your furniture, and food particles can attract pets. It’s best to completely clean and sanitize your pieces to avoid this.
- Line the floor with protective material. Wood pallets, tarps and moving blankets provide a layer of protection against the bare ground. Depending on your unit, putting furniture straight on the ground invites scratches and moisture issues.
- Avoid plastic wrap. While some pieces of your furniture will need to be wrapped for protection (ex: table legs, sofa arms), doing so in plastic wrap could create moisture that leads to mold or water damage on specific and fragile material.
- Put padding around the corners and edges. This will prevent their tough corners from scratching other items in storage or banging against something else.
- Place cardboard over glass. Glass table tops, doors and curio cabinets are extra vulnerable to breaking or cracking when in storage, but cardboard pieces can act as a barrier to protect them. For even more cushioning, wrap the whole unit in bubble wrap.
- Use furniture covers or drop cloths. Covering up your furniture can protect the material from extreme temperatures, moisture, dryness and dust. This is especially important for wood and metal items that can tarnish with just air exposure over time.
- Disassemble large furniture pieces. Some furniture can be broken down into smaller pieces like tables, beds, drawers and cabinets. By dismantling them, you free up space – just make sure to keep track of all the pieces so you don’t lose them.
- Store large items vertically (if possible). Some pieces of furniture like mattresses, sofas and cabinetry can be turned on their side to maximize space. So long as the item can rest without breaking, it’s great for freeing up space.
How to Prepare Specific Material for Storage
Different materials require a certain level of care when going into storage, especially if it is delicate. Depending on what your furniture is made out of, you may have to put a few extra steps in to prepare them for long-term storage.
Wooden products are easily susceptible to staining or rotting due to moisture exposure – as such, you have to take extra care of the material. Before putting your piece away, make sure to completely wipe down its surface with wood cleaner to remove all the dust and dirt.
Once the surface is sparkling, apply a coat of wood polish or wax seal to prevent it from drying out. This will also protect the surface from getting in contact with moisture that leads to mold.
When going to clean your couches, rugs or upholstered chairs, make sure you vacuum the surface first to remove the large particles and crumbs. Then, use an upholstery cleaner or steam cleaner to spot–clean any visible stains. If the entire material needs cleaning, there is special shampoo you can use or invest in a professional to take care of it for you.
Once your furniture has completely dried, apply a fabric protector to the upholstery. This should prevent the colors from shading and the strings from fraying.
Similar to upholstered furniture, you want to take extra care with leather. First, wipe the material down with a wet cloth to get rid of dust and debris. Don’t get the leather too wet or else it will warp or ruin– just spot-clean the areas that need it. You might want to vacuum the couch or chair entirely depending on its condition.
Once your furniture is dry, apply a leather conditioner. While most storage units notably keep out sunlight, make sure this is especially the case for your leather pieces – if it dries out, the leather could crack. Draping a sheet over the leather is a great way to prevent this.
Paintings and Wall Decorations
Depending on the material, most paintings and wall hangings are delicate. Canvas is easily ripped and frames can get bent or warped, so the best way to put these away is in special picture packing boxes. These come in different sizes and have unique corners that keep the paintings in place.
Use Climate-Controlled Storage for Your Furniture
One of the best ways you can protect your furniture is by storing your sets in a climate-controlled storage unit.
When you’re preparing your furniture for storage, the main concern is making sure the delicate materials and surfaces don’t get exposed to harmful elements like moisture, humidity, heat or sun. These elements aren’t a problem when you have a unit with regulated temperature because then they don’t exist.
By keeping a consistent temperature in your unit, you prevent condensation and humidity from creating moisture that turns into mold growth. This decreases the risk of damaging your furniture.
Storage Solutions in Martinsville, VA
Storage Center has a varietyof storage options in Martinsville, VA for those who are looking to store their furniture in a safer place. All of our indoor facilities have climate-controlled storage units if you want to take that extra level of precaution. We also have numerous storage unit sizes, so you don’t have to worry about getting your large dining sets and deep couches to fit.
Contact us today and see what we have available.