5 Tips to Prepare Your Furniture For Storage

5 Tips to Prepare Your Furniture For Storage

The most common item that Americans put in self-storage is furniture, according to recent research by StorageCafe, a nationwide self storage marketplace. About one in three Americans say they keep their extra furniture in a storage unit. That’s a wise decision since self storage provides the right type of environment for safely storing furniture (including antiques and expensive pieces). One prerequisite, however, is to prepare the furniture properly for storage and make sure you rent the right unit for your needs. Here’s what you need to do:

Decide What Storage Unit Size You Need

Picking the right unit size is important when storing furniture. On one hand, you don’t want to rent more space than you actually need. On the other hand, you must have enough room to store the furniture without stacking items one on top of the other. Also, you need to be able to easily access each of the items.

If you’re storing about a room’s worth of furniture, a 10’x10’ storage unit will do the trick. If you have more than that, you should increase the size of the unit accordingly. Keep in mind that 100 square feet of storage space can easily hold the furniture normally found in one room — and a big one, at that (think: large living room) — plus other boxes with various stuff.

Should You Get A Climate-Controlled Unit Or Not?

Once you choose the unit size that’s suitable for your needs, you must decide whether to get a climate-controlled unit or not. Climate-controlled units are slightly more expensive than regular ones but ensure consistent temperature and humidity throughout the year, regardless of the outside weather. It’s important to rent climate-controlled units if you:

  • Are storing furniture long-term.
  • Are storing expensive and delicate items, e.g., antique furniture, leather furniture, upholstered pieces.
  • Live in an area where the weather can get very cold, very hot or very humid throughout the year.

Start The Furniture Preparation With A Thorough Cleaning

The furniture must be perfectly clean before putting it in storage, and you should also make small repairs if needed. Issues like stains, grime, mold spots and so on are very likely to get worse over time. So, fix those issues before packing your furniture for storage:

  • Dust your wooden furniture with a soft cloth or brush, then use a cleaning spray for wood, followed by a protective product (some sort of wax or oil-based polish). If your wooden furniture is particularly dirty, after dusting it, you can wash it with some soapy water. Allow it to dry off completely. Then, apply the protective product.
  • Have your upholstered furniture cleaned professionally if it has stains or ingrained grime. If not, vacuum it gently at a low vacuuming speed and clean it with a product designed for upholstery.
  • Wipe your leather furniture with a damp cloth. Use saddle soap for those areas that are particularly grimy. Treat persistent stains, such as ink, with a bit of rubbing alcohol. Just make sure you dip a cotton swab in the alcohol and don’t pour the substance directly on the furniture. Once the leather furniture dries off, moisturize it with leather cream.
  • Prior to packing the furniture for storage, treat any mildew spots with dedicated products that kill the spores. After applying the product, wait a few days to ensure that the mildew doesn’t grow back. Only when you’re certain that you solved the problem should you go ahead with moving the furniture into storage.

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Pack Everything Carefully

To avoid damages during transportation and storage, you must properly pack any furniture that you store long-term. Follow these simple rules to ensure the best results:

  • Disassemble the furniture that you can, and wrap the parts in stretch wrap. Put any screws and other small pieces in Ziplock bags and attach them to the furniture parts where they belong.
  • Use corner and edge protectors on things like tables, nightstands, or drawer chests.
  • If your furniture has glass doors, take those doors out and pack them separately, using plenty of padding.
  • Use covers on all the furniture, including sofas, armchairs and so on. You could buy special covers or use some old sheets.
  • For furniture that you can’t disassemble, make sure you tape closed the doors, drawers, or other mobile parts before going ahead with transportation and storage.

Storage Rules Inside The Unit

Once you pack everything properly, the final step is to bring your furniture to the storage facility and put it inside the unit. There are some simple tricks that guarantee that your furniture stays in pristine conditions long-term:

  • Raise the furniture on pallets and store it a couple of inches away from the unit walls to ensure proper air circulation.
  • Don’t place anything (boxes, smaller items) on top of varnished wood surfaces, as it can damage the varnish even if you cover the surface.
  • Store mattresses lying flat and not leaning against a wall or against another piece of furniture.
  • Don’t place heavy objects on top of upholstered furniture.
  • Inspect your stored furniture periodically to make sure it remains in good shape.

Following these simple steps helps protect your extra furniture long-term so that you’ll be able to use it again in the future.