If you’re moving, renovating, or simply running out of space, you’re probably searching for a safe place to temporarily store your furniture. Whether we’re talking about priceless antiques or inexpensive sofas, you’ll want your furniture to be protected against damage and deterioration until you’re ready to use it again. The perfect solution for any of these situations is self storage. Your belongings will be safe and secure in a convenient storage unit.
In any case, you can’t just move your furniture into a storage unit and hope for the best. Pieces made from natural wood, leather, or fabric need special care and attention to safeguard them while they’re in a self storage unit.
Following are some general tips to keep in mind to protect your furniture in self storage. We also shared a few specific tips for leather, fabric, and wood storage.
Protect Your Furniture in Self Storage
Your first task is to find a safe-secure climate-controlled storage unit of the proper size to protect your furniture from an unstable environment. Here at Handy Storage, we have climate-controlled storage units in the perfect sizes to fit your needs.
Climate Control: You won’t have to worry about humidity or extreme temperatures if your wood, leather, or fabric upholstered furniture is kept in a climate-controlled self storage unit. Climate-controlled storage keeps a unit’s indoor temperature between 55° and 85° F and maintains a humidity level of 55%. As a comparison, the average air-conditioned home stays between 35%-45% humidity. Think of climate control as an air-conditioner, humidifier, and dehumidifier combination to sustain the proper temperature and humidity levels for your furniture.
The Right Size Self Storage Unit: Before you choose a storage unit, measure your furniture carefully so that you know how long your pieces are when placed end to end. The more you try to cram into a space, the greater your chances of breaking, bending, or otherwise damaging your items. As a rule, it’s not a good idea to stack furniture, especially upholstered items. Be sure you have enough space without having to resort to stacking that may potentially topple and damage your furniture.
Protect Your Furniture From a Damp Floor: Even with coverings on your furniture, you should still take precautions against moisture, especially if your area is on a floodplain or in a climate with frequent heavy rains. Line the floor of your self storage unit with a plastic tarp to minimize the risk of water damage to your furniture. Wood pallets are another option to keep your furniture raised and off of the floor.
Clean: Thoroughly vacuum your leather furniture. Get into all of the crevices to remove any crumbs and debris that can cause mold and mildew later. Clean the surfaces with a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water. Don’t soak the furniture. Use a small amount of the solution on a soft cloth, and let the pieces dry completely before storing them.
Condition: After your furniture is completely dry, apply a leather conditioner to prevent drying and cracking. Most conditioners use some oil or wax to hydrate and restore the surface. This will leave your pieces soft and ready for storage.
Cover: After moving your furniture into the storage unit, it needs to be covered with a wrapping that will allow the leather to breathe. Do not use plastic as it could trap moisture and encourage mildew. Use furniture blankets, cotton blankets, or furniture pads to protect the surface from scratches and dust.
Clean: To prepare for storage, deep clean your furniture. Start by vacuuming the upholstery to remove crumbs and dirt. Then apply an upholstery cleaner to remove oils and dried stains. Remember to remove cushions and pillows and clean them separately. If you don’t want to DIY, you can use the services of a professional upholstery cleaner. After the service, they will leave your furniture damp, so give it plenty of time to dry before storage. Residual moisture will cause mold and mildew.
Cover: Once you’ve cleaned your furniture, cover all surfaces with heavy-duty plastic tarps or industrial plastic wrap. You can purchase a fitted, protective slipcover for most sofas. Coverings will prevent accidental snags and tears that can occur during a move.
Wax or Polish: To prevent your wood furniture from cracking or splitting, apply a coat of wax or good furniture polish several weeks before you store your furniture.
Check Drawers and Cabinets: Be sure to empty drawers and cabinets before storing your wood furniture. Vacuum and wipe out these areas to remove all crumbs and dirt. You don’t want to attract unwanted guests that can damage your furnishings.
Disassemble: To reduce the likelihood of breakage during moving and storage, take apart as much wood furniture as you can. This may not be possible with some of the larger pieces, but desks, bookshelves, tables, and chairs should be simple to take apart. Place all screws, bolts, and Allen wrenches in labeled baggies, taped inside of the piece to which they belong. Remember to tape on the inside and not on a finished surface, as tape can leave marks or residue on fine finishes.
Cover: Don’t use any type of plastic wrap to cover wood furniture. Like leather, the wood needs to breathe. Use white cotton sheets, blankets or furniture pads.
Following these tips will save your furnishing from the potential negative effects of poor planning. Give yourself ample time to prepare and store your furniture in a way that ensures its beauty for the long term.