What’s the Best Way to Store Furniture? 6 Amazing Furniture Storage Tips!
These amazing tips break down everything you need to know about safely and securely storing all types of furniture items.
Finding the best way to store furniture can be tricky. A lot of our clients use their storage space for storing furniture for a variety of reasons, including before or after moving, as a way of adding space to a home, when clearing an office, or when putting an heirloom into storage for safekeeping. We have compiled this list of six best practices for storing furniture, to ensure your belongings remain as amazing as possible. These six tips are especially important if you plan to store your furniture for a long time. By following these tips, you’re sure to make the furniture storing process easy and efficient, and amazing!
Clean furniture items prior to putting them in storage
Make sure you give your furniture a good scrub a-dub dub before moving it 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 furniture before it goes into storage helps prevent possible deterioration, so this is an essential step to take if you plan to store your furniture items for more than a couple months.
As mentioned, it is important to clean your furniture items thoroughly before you store them. Leaving dust, grime, dirt, or any other residue on your furniture can cause set in 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 the rust will get worse if left untreated 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.
Pro tip – make sure you read the directions on any cleaning product you plan to use to ensure it is the right product for your piece of furniture.
Compile loose items and label while breaking down large items to save space
Gathering the odds and ends is the WORST part of moving. Make sure you keep everything together when it comes to storing accessories for your larger items. Storing a pool table? Make sure to label and separate out all the gear that goes with it. Break down items that you can so you can save space.
If you can safely disassemble your furniture, go ahead and do so. Storing furniture in pieces is helpful because otherwise pressure or gradual warping over time can cause breakage along joints and seams. You do not need to completely break your furniture down, but doing things like removing legs, taking out drawers, or even 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 of time will be covering it with something to it. This protection keeps dust or other airborne debris from settling on the furniture, which can cause 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 specifically designed drop cloths 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 still circulate.
Depending on the surface material 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.
Pro tip – taking an extra step now to prepare your furniture for storage means you’ll be able to love your pieces for a long time into the future!
Choose a climate controlled space with fainted 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 at the mercy of the elements. In Houston, we have high heat and humidity levels which can breed 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 and we’re confident you’ll be impressed.
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 the right “climate controlled” temperature to be 85 degrees! In fact, 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, this “open air” concept uses fences as a replacement for 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!
That’s why when you’re shopping for storage, we suggest you 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. Pro tip – be sure to schedule a visit to the storage space you’re considering ensuring everything exceeds your expectations!
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 an easy decision for most folks, but every day, members of our team hear heart-breaking stories about a unit getting broken into, and the family losing everything at an insecure facility. Make sure wherever you store your furniture, the property and the 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 your unit is monitored because the property has digitally recording colored cameras (make sure they don’t erase the recordings after 2 days, too). Ask if about the gates, too! 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. Pro tip – safety and security should be your number one priority, and it should also be the number one priority of your storage provider!
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 your furniture 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.
If you’ve ever used a professional mover, you quickly learn how effective they are at loading a truck. It’s 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! Be sure to 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: getting help from a professional, like us!
Pro Tip – Make the most of your space and consider using a mover or storage professional to properly stack your items!