Moving and Packing Tips

Furniture Storage: A Step-by-step Guide on Storing Furniture

Image source: Neil Podoll /

In order to safely store furniture while moving, you should be familiar with the methods and processes involved. Sadly, it’s not as simple as placing the furnishing in a box and calling it done. 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.

But first, let’s start with picking our best storage solution:

Table of Contents:

What are the different furniture storage options?

Besides the common storage options, you may decide to dedicate an entire room to keep your furniture. 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 maneuver them throughout your home. Even if the furniture is disassembled.

You might be better off choosing a professional storage service.

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

Are portable storage containers suitable for storing furniture?

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 portable storage containers. Even if they are stored in a hall, the lack of ventilation inside may cause condensation and mould.

Self-storage facilities for long-term furniture 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.

Containerised storage options

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.

If you want to get more information about the benefits and drawbacks of the different storage options, you can check our comparison post regarding containerised storage vs self-storage.

Learn what storage solutions we offer and what are their prices by visiting our main website.

Clean your furniture before placing them in storage units

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

Cleaning wood furniture

Clean the grime and dust off your wood furniture, 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, apply wax. This will give your wooden furniture a protective overlay. Wax protects wooden furniture from moisture and splitting.

You need to be extra cautious in the case of old wood and antique furniture pieces. Be very gentle when cleaning to avoid chipping the surface. If there is any damage or intense wear on the surface you would want to remove the damaged layer and apply a fresh coat of lacquer before placing it into furniture storage.

If you suspect your wooden furniture is infested with woodworms, it would be best to treat them, before storing your items. Here is how to treat woodworms in furniture naturally.

Cleaning upholstered furniture

Thoroughly vacuum the surface of the furniture and they use specialised upholstery cleaning products. Make sure the item is fully dry before proceeding to place it into furniture storage. Any residue moisture can lead to moulding and mildew, destroying your precious furnishings.

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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 off the furniture, spray and wipe with a piece of cloth as you go. Leave the furniture outside to dry.

Before you put them in for long-term storage, you might want to remove rust spots from your metal furniture. This way the rust won’t spread while your furniture pieces stay in storage and you can enjoy them when you take them out.

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Disassemble items to fit in furniture storage units

Before you move home, you should disassemble all the big furniture pieces. 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 furniture storage units easier. It is at this point that 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.

Also, remember to purchase or borrow steel-capped shoes and gloves with a latex covering. The shoes will protect your feet from potential injury, whilst the gloves will help your hands get less tired by providing you with an extra grip. Check our post on how to move heavy furniture on carpet for more information on this variety.

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 airflow around them. This assures better ventilation and reduces the chance of damage inflicted by high humidity levels.

Scope of your belongings will predetermine the size of a storage unit you will need. To avoid unpleasant situations during your relocation, make sure to estimate the size in advance. 

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Wrap the furniture

Already at the beginning of the process, you may find yourself wondering how to wrap furniture for storage and what to use exactly. When packing furniture for storage you need to consider how long you will be storing your items and the conditions they will be in. Some of the factors you need to consider are as follows:

  • Dust, dirt and grime
  • Temperature fluctuations
  • Humidity and possible moisture
  • Pests
  • Impact

Although most storage facilities have a controlled environment and take great care of their warehouses, those factors are not something you should overlook. Here is what you can do to best protect your furniture when it comes to keeping it in storage:

Protect all furniture corners

Use pieces of thick corrugated cardboard to cover all the easy to damaged corners of your items. Use a good amount of painter’s tape (masking tape) or alternatively plastic wrapping to secure the protective pieces in place so they don’t shift while the furniture is being moved.

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Use the correct cover for your furnishings

When packing your furniture take into consideration the material it’s made of.

  • Any upholstered furniture you would like to wrap in breathable plastic wrap. This will prevent odours from building up and at the same time give enough protection from the surrounding environment.
  • For wooden furniture pieces, you can use moving and packing blankets. Refrain from applying pressure when wrapping such pieces as tension can result in deforming the wood. If you are using belts or tie-downs to hold the blankets in place leave them a bit looser so you don’t cause damage to your furniture.
  • The use of moving and packing blankets is a great solution for leather furniture as well.
  • Metal furniture you can easily pack with bubble and tape to secure the wrapping from sliding off. Make sure you wrap your items neatly but not excessively. Avoid using plastic wrap as this can cause condensation within the plastic and really quickly ruin your metal furniture.

Arrange the furniture in the storage unit

Time needed: 30 minutes.

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 place 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. Keep heavy and large objects in the back of the storage

    Light objects and things that you might need to 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.

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

    Look at it this way. If the object that you are trying to stack, weighs 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Label any fragile furniture

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

Or perhaps you would like someone else to take care of this?

We have various storage options and excellent professionals.

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Protect the stored furniture from mice

  • Furniture wrapping for storage
    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 in several layers. This will not only deter the rodents but will also provide protection against moths.
  • Don’t store any food
    Lots of storage depots have the “no food” rule 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 much does storing furniture cost?

The cost of storing furniture will depend on the type of storage you pick, the volume of items you will store and the duration of time you will be using the storage unit(s) for. Self-storage is among the cheapest on the market. However, you do need to consider the fact that you will need to transport your furniture pieces to the storage facility alone. That can greatly influence the total price.

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How long can you keep furniture stored?

When you correctly prepare and wrap furniture, it can safely remain in a storage unit for as long as you need. If you plan to store furniture for an extended period, however, it’s best to rent a climate-controlled storage space. Such type of storage facility will regulate the temperature in order to prevent drastic climate changes. This is done to protect furniture from conditions that may otherwise harm your belongings.


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.

  • Clean thoroughly all furniture pieces before preparing them for storage
  • Wrap each furniture piece individually using the proper materials based on the material it’s made of
  • When arranging your items in the storage unit, place the belongings you need more frequently towards the front and make sure to leave a path
  • Pick out the best furniture storage option to match your needs

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 on storing furniture. 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.

Did you find our article on storing furniture helpful? How did your gardening furniture survive through the winter? Why not share your thoughts with us in the comments below?

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