How To Store Furniture in Storage Units

storage units
In order to reliably store furniture while moving, you should be informed about the methods and processes involved. Preparation is key. If you want your furniture to be well preserved in the storage unit, you need to do a couple of things prior to storing them.

Table of Contents:

Clean your items before placing them in storage

Residue such as dust, bacteria provides conditions for mould and mildew growth onto grow on your furniture. Damaging your furniture while in storage would be a disaster. It might turn into a substantial budget set back if you need to buy new sets.

Clean Wood Furniture

Remove all dust and wipe the surfaces with a piece of cloth and a bit of detergent. Don’t use aggressive cleaning solutions, you don’t want to damage the gloss finish (if any). Give some time for the cleaning solution to vaporise off the wood and when it is absolutely dry, wax in them. This will give your wooden furniture a protective overlay. Wax protects wooden furniture from moisture and splitting.

Clean Old Wooden Furniture

You just need to be cautious with the lacquer coating. Often, it chips off while you try to clean the furniture. You need to remove the damaged layer. Clean the furniture and then apply a fresh coat of lacquer. You need to know the type of wood the furniture is made of in order to pick the correct lacquer.

Cleaning Metal Furniture

Make sure you remove all the dust. Pay extra attention to any hard to reach corners and decorative details. After brushing off, spray the furniture with a cleaning solution. You may use something with alcohol to disinfect it as well. Don’t let the solution drip of the furniture, spray and wipe with a piece of cloth as you go. Leave the furniture outside to dry.

Disassemble furniture pieces

Before your move home, you should disassemble all the big pieces of furniture. This will ensure a quick and easy loading in the van. It will also make the packing process of the furniture before sending it to the storage unit easier.
It is at this point where you will need a toolbox. Prepare a magnet. It will help you avoid losing any bolts and screws, that you will need later on when reassembling the furniture.
Remove the glass first and wrap it in safety blankets and bubble wrap. Then remove drawers from dressers, doors from wardrobes and headboards from beds. You can later pack those separately.
This will not only make loading easier. It will allow you to store the furniture while leaving enough space for other household items. You can put the pieces of furniture vertically, enabling air flow around them. This assures better ventilation and reduces the chance of damage inflicted by high humidity levels.

How to store clothes in a storage unit

Step 1: Wash and dry all your clothes
Step 2: Place clothes in plastic containers
Step 3: Add cedar balls against musty smells and moths

Clothes must be washed and well dried before going into storage, for several reasons. When clean, they will stay fresh for a longer period of time. The lack of nasty smells, on the other hand, will not settle into the fibers and will not attract vermin and insects. The clothes need to be dry as to prevent mould build up.

As far as containers go, use plastic ones. They will protect the clothes from dust, mold and potential pests. Vacuum bags are also a good alternative, but only for a short period of time. Cardboard boxes, even though cheaper, will not provide you with this level of protection. Avoid plastic bags as well, as they trap moisture.

Your storage unit should have a temperature of about 23°C (73°F) with a humidity level of 40-50%. It also has to be dry, cool and clean. You might want to add some cedar balls in the boxes as well. They will aromatize your clothes and protect them from musty smells and moths. Way better alternative than chemical products.

How to protect furniture in storage from mice

Step 1: Wrap furniture pieces in plastic
The large pieces of furniture such as sofas, armchairs and mattresses can’t be stored in plastic boxes, so plastic wrap is the next best thing to protect them against rodents. Wrap the furniture is several layers of wrap. This will not only deter the rodents, but will also provide protection against moths.
Step 2: Don’t store any food
Lots of storage depots have the “no food”rule and for a reason. No matter how well you think you can pack it, mice will pick up the scent of food and will find their way into your storage unit. Food crumbs or even the slightest scent can be enough to attract the vermin. Make sure all your items are absolutely clean and be careful not to accidentally transport a mouse hitchhiker.

How to correctly cover furniture for storage

Wooden

The ideal way to preserve a wooden piece of furniture in storage is to cover it with a soft blanket. Make sure that you protect all the edges. You can use pieces of cardboard to wrap all the corners. The cardboard will protect them from scratches. You can secure it in place with tape. Keep in mind that if the glue is too strong it might be hard to remove it later. Use painters tape (masking tape), if you need to.

Metal

You don’t need to pack this type of furniture too carefully. The only thing you need to keep in mind is to prevent any moisture from coming in contact with the furniture. This depends mostly on your chosen storage method. Yet, don’t fall a victim of the common misbelief that plastic wrap will keep your metal furniture safe. Plastic wrap will block any water coming from the outside. But the truth is that the process of condensation can still develop on the inside, ruining your garden metal furniture. Please, avoid plastic wrap as packing material for long-term storage.

When it comes to furniture, often metal is combined with glass. If you have such a piece, you should pack it in bubble wrap. Do not wrap the entire piece, only the glass. This is done in order to reduce the risk of breaking the fragile part while transporting. You can remove the bubble wrap once you have stored your items.

Plastic

There is not much that can happen to your plastic furniture. It is already light and easy to transport. You just have to keep it from strokes and heat. It won’t be a problem, even if you plastic wrap your plastic furniture. Just keep them out of direct sunlight.

How to store furniture efficiently

The first rule of filling a storage space: Keep heavy and large objects in the back of the storage. Light objects and things that you might need stay at the front.

This simple rule can save you a lot of hassle. Not to mention that it can save you time if you desperately need something that happens to be right behind the three wardrobes…

Other than that, there are a couple of tips and tricks that will prove valuable when you are preparing your furniture for storage:

1. Always lay a protective layer on the floor.

Put a layer of synthetic sheet and an old carpet on top of it. You should not store your items directly on concrete.

2. Do not pile heavy items on top of each other.

Look at it this way. If the object that you are trying to stack, weights more than the item you want to put it on, it is a no go. You risk finding yourself in a situation where, everything, falls at your feet.

3. Always leave a small gap between your items and the walls of your storage.

This improves ventilation and is important. Especially if you have wooden furniture stored near the walls.

4. Leave a marking on all fragile items

For example your garden table with a metal frame and a glass top. There are instructions on how to pack a piece of the sort for removals a few paragraphs above. Please, mark such items with an easy to see marking. Something that will notify the removals team and yourself to handle this item with care.

5. Store boxes under tables.

There is no need to waste perfectly good space. You should stack items on top of solid tables also. Just make sure not to overload it. A couple of boxes won’t do any harm.

6. Couches may be stored vertically.

If your couch has flat sides you can put it up vertically. Make sure that the surface underneath is perfectly flat. You can remove all cushions and store them separately.

7. Make sure that there is some space between your belongings.

It is crucial to have proper ventilation between your items. It will limit the risk of mildew and moss. Air should be able to float around in order for the air conditioning to work. Provided there is such in your storage unit.

It is now time to talk about your furniture storing options.

Furniture storage options

Besides the common storage options, you may decide to dedicate an entire room to keep your furniture in. When you are renovating your home, you may transfer the furniture from one room to another. This is definitely not the perfect solution. It will only slow down the process of your renovation. The time while moving the furniture around will be lost. On top of that, you increase the chance of inflicting damage to your belongings with each move.

It even causes a health risk. Some furniture pieces are heavy and it is hard to manoeuvre with them throughout your home. Even if the furniture is disassembled.

You might be better off choosing a professional service.

Let’s list some pros and cons of each storing option when it comes to furniture.

Portable Storage Containers

There is a chance of rain leaks if they are stored outside. This can destroy your furniture. There is also the problem with the humidity levels inside the metal containers. Even if they are stored in a hall, the lack of ventilation inside may cause condensation.

Self Storage

You will need to do all the heavy lifting yourself. Some self-storage facilities are not air-conditioned. Which, again poses a threat of condensation. There is always the possibility of roof leaks, directly on your furniture.

Storage

Well ventilated facility. The goods are stored in breathable wooden containers, with no contact with concrete. A completely dry and safe environment to store wooden furniture, even if they are antic.

You need to call in before visits, in order to warn the security of your arrival.

More information on each service in our storage option comparison post.

In Conclusion

Relocation and renovation tasks demand lots of resources. You need to invest energy, time and money in order to get those chores done. And you would love to finish them ASAP and get back to your normal day to day life.

So, in order to achieve that in the least stressful way, you need to be well prepared. This post has the sole purpose of giving you the information you need. If you have additional questions or you need to know more about other similar topics, just ask. Leave a comment below and we will do our best to help you out.

Image Source: Shutterstock

Posted in Storage Tips

Last update: February 1, 2019
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1 Comment

  • Amethyst Boheur

    It sure was nice when you pointed out that it will be easier to disassemble the furniture before moving them because not only will the packing be easier, loading and unloading them will also be easier. If so, then I will start figuring out how to disassemble the large couch in the living room. After all, that is the one that I intend to store, and I am sure moving it without disassembling will be hard considering its size.

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