Last Updated on June 3, 2022 by Jude Robert Caratao
When it comes to long-term furniture storage, many people are entirely clueless. There are common sense things such as keeping the furniture out of the floor and cleaning before storing, among others. But what about some essential storage needs that will ensure your furniture does not get in harm’s way or those that protect them from theft?
When you’re downsizing or moving temporarily and don’t want to sell your furniture, you have to find good storage. Unfortunately, this has been many people’s dilemma. Furniture can succumb to moisture, physical damage, and high temperatures due to poor storage. Burlers are also waiting to take them away as soon as you’re out of sight. Without proper precautions on your storage, the risk to your furniture is out of this world.
So, how do you ensure the safety of your furniture while in self-storage rooms or at the storage facilities? Here is a simple guide that will help you determine how to store your furniture, whether in the garage, basement, or commercial storage units.
Decide If Your Furniture Is Worth Storing
Before you even think about storing your furniture, decide whether it’s worth the effort. Unused furniture can clutter your space and make your house look small. If you plan to move to a bigger house soon, you should store them until you have enough space. But sometimes, you might not be using that piece of furniture because it’s too old or doesn’t blend with your home décor anymore.
Storing your furniture to declutter your space is a good idea, but that will cost you. You should also consider the possibility of your furniture deteriorating over time while you’re not even using it. Your furniture may become useless after some time. Before making the decision to store your furniture, think about how much it will cost you in the long run. If you’re going to spend much more than the value of the furniture, selling might be a better option.
Well, sometimes getting them to a storage facility is worth it. If you have those furniture pieces that hold sentimental value to your family, you should consider storing them. Also, consider storing the high-quality pieces or those that are rarely found anywhere else. It might take a combined output of the entire family to decide whether to store or discard your furniture. Think about it carefully before making the decision.
Find a Storage Unit
The next step to storing your furniture is to find an appropriate storage space. The storage option you choose will depend on the length of time you’ll be storing them for. There are many storage unit options to choose from with varying costs. Your chosen storage option should guarantee perfect storage from elements such as climate changes, temperature, and moisture.
If you’re going to store for a long time, consider going for climate-controlled units. The controlled units ensure your furniture pieces are kept free of moisture and away from high temperatures that can cause damages. If you’re going to store sofas, wood furniture, and music instruments, controlled units should be your ideal storage option. The perfect temperature for your delicate furniture items should be something between 55 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, ensure humidity is kept at balanced levels since too high or too low can pose a danger to your furniture.
Leaving furniture made of wood or musical instruments out of temperature-controlled conditions is the fastest way to destroy them. Don’t expose your furniture to damage by not keeping this in mind.
Consider the Storage Costs
It’s essential to find out how much it will cost you to store your items for a given period. The prices for self-storage units often depend on the size, duration, location, and store condition. If your storage unit is located in close proximity to major cities, the cost of storage can be much higher because of the accessibility.
Compare prices of different stores before transporting your furniture for storage. But while making the comparison, don’t always rush to choose the cheapest one. Consider other services that the storage unit offers before making any decision. For instance, ask if they have insurance that can ensure the safety of your items. Also, consider a unit with temperature controls if you live in areas where the climate keeps fluctuating. You should not forget that any additional feature that your storage unit provides comes with extra fees.
Disassemble Your Furniture
Before you store your furniture, make sure everything is apart and properly handled. Disassemble your desks, tables, shelves, chairs, and everything before even transporting them to the storage unit. Disassembling everything makes them easier to pack in the truck and easy to store. This will also reduce the scratch and breakage of your furniture.
Breaking down large items and compiling the loose ones is also a good step to create more space and make them easy to store. Also, don’t forget to label the separate parts to give you an easy time when you decide to assemble them later on. This will make it much easier if a different person were to assemble them after the storage period is over.
Disassembling also makes your furniture easy to pack and transport. This will also reduce the risk of damage to your furniture as they won’t scratch, hit each other, bump on the wall, and break. Make sure you get expert help disassembling your furniture, so you don’t end up causing much damage even before the storage.
Store Clean Furniture Items
Just because you’re not going to use your furniture for a while doesn’t mean you don’t take care of their cleanliness. You must clean everything before storage. Cleaning will protect your furniture from deterioration even if you have to store them for a long time. Cleaning also helps get rid of any food remains and crumbs that may attract pests to your precious furniture. Clean furniture will be protected from bad smells and molds that can destroy them.
To clean your wooden or plastic furniture, make sure you use mild soap and water. You can also use a wood cleaner for wooden furniture and protect the finish. For fabric upholstery, use a clean fabric or upholstery cleaner. Metal sections will need some polishing or metal cleaner. Make sure you dry everything after cleaning, as moisture can also pose great danger.
Pack Your Furniture
Proper packing of your furniture pieces before storage is also an essential step that you should never overlook. Proper packing will ensure the safety of your furniture throughout the storage period. Use appropriate covers such as plastic sheets, clothes, blankets, or sheets. These items will protect your furniture from dirt, dust, and UV rays.
Padded covers for your wood furniture protect them from dents and scratches. Ensure you use breathing material so you can allow free air circulation for your furniture pieces. Protect the corners and edges of your furniture using some extra padding to protect them from scratch.
There are endless ways to pack your furniture for storage. Find out the appropriate way to pack your specific furniture and protect them from destruction. Proper packing preserves and protects your furniture until you need them again.
Keep Off the Floor
Ensure your furniture pieces don’t touch the floor as this can endanger them. It’s essential to consider this tip, especially when storing your furniture with no climate control. The floor is exposed to moisture, dust, and all kinds of dirt that can endanger the lifespan of your furniture. Raise any furniture pieces that can be ruined when in direct contact with the floor.
You can raise your furniture off the floor using pallets and cinder blocks. You can also consider adding a layer of protection between the furniture and the floor. Sometimes a piece of cloth under your furniture can do more good than you think. Do anything to raise your furniture off the floor but don’t put anything underneath that can cause more destruction.
Protect Glass Items
Glasses are delicate items that need more specialized care than other items. Glass furniture pieces include pictures, mirrors, and glass-made tabletops. All these pieces call for extra precautions when packing, transporting, and at the storage facility. The glass pieces are too expensive, and the last thing you want is to find anything broken in the storage.
To protect your glass pieces, bubble wrap and corner protectors should come in handy. Avoid sticking any kind of tape directly on the glass, as this can leave a residue that will take a lot of time and effort to clear. Consider placing small glass items such as picture frames in boxes to provide extra protection. Doubled walled boxes provide enough strength for stacking all your glass items. Avoid putting anything on top of the boxes that contain glass furniture pieces.
Take Care of Your Sofa
The sofa is another piece of furniture that is quite difficult to store. Sofas come in weird shapes that can occupy too much space no matter how hard you try to squeeze them in. They might even refuse to fit in the storage space completely. You should take modular sofas apart and wrap them separately to maximize the space.
Another thing about sofas is that they’re made of different fabrics that require different handling techniques. How you treat a sofa made of suede is not the same way you’ll treat one made of leather. Make sure you clean the fabric of your furniture using the right cleaning agents.
Avoid wrapping your furniture with a plastic shrink as it can trap moisture, which is dangerous for the furniture. You can use blankets for wrapping the furniture, so you allow room for breathability. Ensure you place your sofa in the correct position and don’t put any items on top of it.
Avoid Cramming Your Furniture
To store your furniture appropriately, you need to find a spacious storage unit. It should be spacious enough to fit everything without squeezing them all up. Cramming everything together will only expose the furniture to more damage while at the storage unit. Think about the number of items you have with you and their sizes. You should then decide the amount of space all the pieces will need without cramming.
The best way to avoid cramming is to pack appropriately. You can start by placing large pieces in the storage units and placing smaller ones or boxes under them. Also, don’t forget to leave a central aisle that you can use to access the storage room. Don’t clutter or stack pieces on top of each other as this may cause breaking and damage when they fall. You don’t want to imagine a piece of furniture falling on your head while you try to get something from the room.
Avoid Storing Hazardous Materials
Keep away hazardous or flammable materials from storage units unless you want to endanger everything inside. There are many materials that are considered hazardous and are inappropriate for storage. Things like gas cylinders should not be kept in a storage unit. There are also cleaning materials that are combustible and pose a great danger to the environment when stored.
Also, keep out gas-fueled machines such as cleaning machines, lawnmowers, and more. Storing such items can put everything else at risk. Sort out hazardous materials when packing and dispose of them. You can even consider selling some and keeping the money so you can buy new ones when the storage period elapses.
The Security of Your Furniture Matter
Regardless of how well you prepare your furniture for storage, all the work will go to waste without proper security measures in place. Many people only think about securing the furniture against damage. Make sure your storage location is in a safe place. The least you want is to find some of your essential pieces missing when you go back to collect them.
To ensure security, make sure you get a secure lock system for the door. You can also consider installing an alarm system, so no one even gets near your belongings. You can also have a security guard manning your items day and night. Because unexpected things can still happen despite the tightened security, make sure you rent a storage unit with insurance. This way, the insurance will be the one to pay you in case of robbery or damage to your items.
Don’t Forget to Track Your Inventory
Knowing what you’re going to store and their value is important, so you don’t end up with squabbles with the storage guys when you go to pick them up. Forgetting to take inventory means you risk losing your precious items in a pull of boxes. With a clear inventory on your hand, you won’t have to worry about the whereabouts of some of your stuff, wondering which one in-store and which one is still with you.
You should write down every little detail about your furniture and its specific storage location. Do this while packing, so you don’t miss out on anything. Include the serial numbers, brands, model numbers, and a brief description of the item. If there’s any pre-damage, note it down. If you have very expensive items in there, note down their monetary value.
Don’t forget to note down the name and location of the storage facility. Have the storage unit owner sign your inventory, confirming that the information you put in there is correct. Of course, they’ll do this after checking everything and ensuring they’re all accurate.
Get Your Own Insurance Cover
Your storage unit probably has an insurance cover for their business already. However, having your own insurance cover for your valuable furniture gives you complete peace of mind. Some storage facilities also insist that you have your insurance if you’re storing extremely valuable items.
If you’re lucky, you might have homeowners or renters insurance cover for your belongings for self-storage. So, if you’re going to store your furniture in your garage or basement, you don’t have to worry about a separate insurance cover. If you’re storing at a facility, get specialist insurance provided by third-parties. This insurance will come in handy for you if you’re going to store unusual furniture items.
Storing away your furniture can be one of the hardest decisions to make. But if you’re moving or traveling, you have no option but to look for a storage facility. If you prepare yourself well and plan everything, the whole storage process will not be so complicated.
Keep all the above tips in mind so that you ensure the safety and perfect condition of your furniture, whether for long-term storage or short-term. You don’t want to take out your furniture after a long period of storage only to find out they’re not as good as you stored them initially.
Consider hiring an expert to help you plan the entire storage process. This way, you won’t have to worry about all the work and the challenges that come with storing furniture for a long time. The experts will even guarantee that you’ll get your precious furniture as good as they were before storage.