What’s the Best Way to Store Furniture? 6 Amazing Furniture Storage Tips!
A lot of our clients use their storage space for storing furniture for a variety of reasons, including moving, adding space to a home, clearing an office, or putting an heirloom into storage for safekeeping. We have compiled this list of best practices for storing furniture, to ensure your belongings remain as amazing as possible. These steps are especially important if you plan to store your furniture for a long time. By following these steps , you’re sure to make the furniture storing process easy and efficient.
Clean furniture items prior to storage
Make sure you give your furniture a good scrub a-dub before moving into a storage space. We do so much on our furniture that it is bound to pick up dirt one way or another. Additionally, cleaning prior to storage helps prevent deterioration to the furniture, so this is an essential step to take if you plan to store furniture items for more than a couple months.
It will be important to clean your items thoroughly before you store them. Leaving dust, grime, dirt, or any other residue on your furniture can cause stains over time, and it may be impossible to clean off grime after years in storage. Mildew, rust, or mold will spread, so it is especially important to remove them. Basic cleaning will typically start with using a dry cloth to remove dust and a damp cloth for any stains.
Your exact method for cleaning your furniture will vary a little depending on what the furniture is made from. For wooden furniture, pick a gentle cleaner that will not stain or warp the wood. Use appropriate cleaners and some steel wool to get rid of any rust on metal furniture because it will get worse over time. If the furniture is made from fabric, it is wise to vacuum it and use a color-safe cleaner on the fabric. Consider using a furniture safe pesticide spray on any upholstery or wood furniture to make sure that any fabric and wood eating pests are not hiding in crevices.
Compile loose items and label while breaking down large items to save space
The odds and ends are the WORST parts of moving. Make sure you keep everything together when it comes to your larger items of furniture. Storing a pool table? Make sure to label and separate out all the gear that goes with it. Break down items that you can to save space.
If the furniture can be disassembled, go ahead and do so. Storing furniture in pieces is helpful because otherwise gradual warping over time can cause breakage along joints and seams. You do not need to completely break it down, but doing things like removing legs, taking out drawers, or removing bed rails will make it easier and safer to store your furniture. Another bonus of furniture disassembly is that it will make it much easier to move the furniture to your storage unit.
Pro tip – to make sure you can get the pieces back together again, take a few photos and notes while taking it apart.
Apply Proper Coverings and Prepare Furniture Surfaces
A key part of storing furniture for a long period will be covering it with something to protect the furniture. This keeps dust or other airborne debris from settling on the furniture and causing stains over time. For breakable items like a glass table-top or a ceramic lamp, bubble wrap can be a valuable method of cushioning it. However, bubble wrap and other forms of tight plastic wrappings are not recommended for most other types of furniture. Plastic can trap moisture, leading to rot, mold, or cracks.
The ideal covering for most wood, upholstery, and metal furniture will be something that keeps the surface protected while still letting air circulate around the furniture. You can get drop cloths that are specifically designed for this purpose, or you can get a blanket or sheet made from natural fabric. Wrap or drape the coverings loosely around the furniture to make sure plenty of air can circulate still.
Depending on the surface of your furniture, you may need to take a few extra steps to keep it safe. Wood furniture is particularly delicate because it expands and contracts with humidity and moisture. Even though the units at Amazing Spaces are climate and temperature controlled, it is still a good idea to apply a furniture polish or linseed oil coating to your wood furniture. This will keep the wood from drying out and cracking. To prevent any metal furniture from oxidizing, make sure to polish them before storing.
Choose a Climate Controlled Space with Painted and Sealed Floors
Climate controlled storage units are almost always going to be your best bet for storing furniture. Because non-climate controlled spaces are in full influence of the elements. In Houston, we have high heat and humidity levels which can create mold and lead to a rapid deterioration of your furniture. Still not convinced climate controlled storage is the way to go? Watch our video about climate controlled vs non climate controlled storage.
Not All Climate Controlled Storage Options are Created Equal…
There are varying degrees of what qualifies as “climate controlling” in the self-storage industry. We kid you not, there are many places that still consider “climate controlled” to be 85 degrees. These places often have an open-air system for their climate controlling. When you step into a unit, you’ll see the walls do not go up to the ceiling. Instead, there’s an “open air” concept where fences replace the walls at about 8 feet up. These types of spaces are prone to break ins and do not create a proper climate controlled environment. Store at your own risk!
When you’re shopping for storage, look for storage units that have their own climate controlling ventilation going inside the unit. This is easy to spot, simply walk into the unit, look up, and you’ll see the vent going into the space. You also want to make sure the floors of the unit are painted and sealed – naked concrete or carpet leads to an increased risk of moisture and dirt and dust buildup on your items. If you can’t tell if the floors have been sealed, odds are they are not — few storage properties invest in this type of protection for their clients.
Confirm the Space is Secure to Store Furniture
If you’ve read our posts in the past, you should know how big we are on storing your items in a secure space. This is a no-brainer for most folks, but every day members of our team hear devastating stories about how someone’s unit was broken into and all was lost at an insecure facility. Make sure wherever you store your furniture the property and units are both secure.
That means: your unit has a lock, your unit has an alarm, the alarm on your unit actually works (ask the site manager to demonstrate this to you) and is monitored, the property has digitally recording colored cameras (make sure they don’t erase the recordings after 2 days, too), the gates don’t allow people in, and so on. And please, for all that is Amazing in the world, make sure you rent a space where the walls reach the ceiling. It’s so easy to check that! Learn about what security measures you should ensure are on your space on our self storage security page.
Organize and Place Furniture Strategically and Carefully
The final step of properly storing your furniture will be actually placing it in your storage unit. This might seem relatively simple, but the truth is that you actually need to be quite cautious with placement in long-term storage. If possible, keep the furniture elevated on pallets. This will provide additional airflow around each piece. Avoid stacking anything on top of your furniture because this can lead to warping.
Leave plenty of space for every item to ensure that humidity does not get trapped in tight spaces. Carefully prop them up so that they are not likely to fall into each other and cause scratching. A good rule of thumb is to leave at least two inches of free space on every side of your furniture. It can be tempting to consider packing in your items tightly, but the damage this can do in long-term storage is not worth saving a few dollars each month.
Pro Tip – Make the most of your space: Use a mover to properly stack
If you’ve ever used a professional mover, you quickly learn how effective they are at loading a truck. It’s like like live-action Tetris. They can do the same thing for your storage space. Save space – if your couch can be stored on its side, go for it! Pro tip – ask them to create an aisle in your unit to ensure you can easily access any items you may need. This is seriously the best way to store furniture: help from a professional.