As you move from one home to another, you are bound to accumulate furniture. From estate sales, flea markets, and bespoke workshops, the pieces you collect are bound to be valuable and unique. Furniture storage is the best way you get to keep your rosewood dining set, mahogany desk, and walnut chairs without cramming your home.
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How Do You Properly Store Furniture?
Even with a spacious unit, you can’t just chuck them into an empty room and expect them to stay the same. You have to consider the size, material, durability of the furniture, among many other things, to ensure that they preserve their value and appeal. Here are the steps you should take to property store furniture:
Before you get started, look up the material of your furniture and identify what it needs to keep it in good condition.
- Does it have silver details that might tarnish?
- Is it fragile?
- How much weight can it bear?
- Is it made out of natural materials sensitive to moisture like wood, cotton, and rattan?
There are so many factors you have to consider, so it is always best to do your research.
If you want to skip the research, you can focus on the best practice methods of the most sensitive items, you know, to stay on the safe side. There is no harm in keeping a metal and glass coffee table in a climate-controlled unit. However, the same cannot be said if you keep a mahogany desk in a damp basement.
Generally speaking, you’ll want to avoid extreme temperatures, moisture, and unnecessary weight on your furniture, especially units made from MDF and solid wood. While it is in long-term storage, you’ll also want to have each item wrapped, or at the very least, covered to protect it from scratches, dust, and moisture.
Disassemble What You Can
The next thing you should do is separate the furniture you can disassemble from the ones you can’t. Again, it is about preserving space. Storing them as-is takes up too much room. Even if you were to hide boxes underneath or keep items in the drawer – it is very inefficient when they can be a fraction of the size when taken apart. Disassemble what you can so you can squeeze more items into your unit.
In the age of mass-produced pieces and DIY culture, you are sure to have a couple of pieces you can disassemble into smaller pieces. Pack it in the original box, if you still have it, or find a new one.
Remember to include the screws, bolts, and washers in a small, labeled container, so you can easily reassemble them when needed.
Clean Your Pieces Before Long-Term Storage
Before you have any piece wrapped, packed, or sent off to storage, remember to clean what you can. Your furniture won’t get the same amount of ventilation it would out in the open. If you leave it with grime, dirt, and bacteria, there is a high chance it will develop mold and mildew.
Wipe down your wooden tables, antique dressers, and chairs with an anti-bacterial solution, and make sure it is completely dry. If you are storing your couch, mattress, or anything cushioned, you can also have them professionally cleaned.
Pack Or Cover Them Accordingly
When everything is clean and dry, it’s time to pack them. For your disassembled furniture, you can wrap it in old newspaper and pack them in a box. It would be best if you had all the small pieces along with the instructions for future use.
For freestanding pieces, you might want to have furniture covers or dust cloths to make sure the surface is protected. You can also wrap the legs with cloth or old newspaper to avoid scuff marks.
Some freestanding pieces have fragile elements like glass. You can either cover it with bubble wrap or have bunched up newspaper strategically placed. If you have a cabinet with glass panels, you might want to tape over it with a big “X” to make sure that if it does break, it doesn’t shatter, or get a scratch. Painting laminate cabinets can be a challenge, so act with caution.
Be Smart With Your Space
With everything packed and ready to go, the next thing you have to worry about is how you organize them in storage. Keep anything large in a vertical position and make sure it is in a secure position. For irregular pieces, you might want to add smaller boxes around it to add stability or install bungee cords to keep them in place.
You should also be able to use the “dead space” in-between furniture pieces. If you have a table, add boxes and bins underneath, so no space is wasted. You can also opt to keep old clothes inside the dresser or cabinets. Just be mindful of how heavy the items are when you do.
Moving Furniture Overseas
When your move goes beyond state lines, and you are heading overseas – is it still smart to store your furniture? Most people opt to start fresh and would rather donate or sell these items before moving. However, when you have valuable pieces in your collection, you can keep them in a storage unit in your hometown or take them with you. When you are taking them with you, you can follow the packing instructions above, then contact an international removals service to transport them overseas.
Self Storage Facilities For Furniture
When you are settled in, you can look for storage facilities. If you are moving to Europe, most flats and houses tend to be on the smaller side, so you might not be able to display your collection. A unit is a great way to keep everything with you. So if you find yourself in London, look for a self-storage facility in Greater London.
Make sure to find a unit that is near you. Your units can come in various sizes and are more affordable than getting a larger flat if you move to an overpriced city like London, Paris, Tokyo, Wellington, and the like. A storage unit would be a more economical option.
Besides being the more convenient option for you or your movers, these facilities are better equipped for long-term storage. Unlike your attic or basement, self-storage units have a climate control feature, which means it is never too hot or too cold.
Besides keeping things temperate, climate control can help with moisture. Moisture can be a problem no matter where you live. When you live in a place with 4 seasons, condensation from the heating system will affect your wooden pieces. When moisture develops, it can affect your hardwood furniture’s quality, causing it to shrink and warp.
If you moved to a tropical country with only 2 seasons, you would then have to deal with the humidity. Since storage units only hold items, the moisture and humidity levels are closely monitored.
You can also add desiccant or charcoal in your unit to help this.
Furniture is a big part of the home. Everyone is aware of their impact on design and function. However, people tend to forget that it can be sentimental as well. Furniture pieces can be generational items passed down from family members. It can also be markers of different eras, like living on your own for the first time or having your first child.
It isn’t easy to say goodbye to pieces that have served you well for so long. If you are hesitant to declutter, keeping them in storage is the next best thing you can do. And who knows, they are bound to be useful or trendy again. For the pieces you want to save, it is best to learn how to store your furniture properly as it would be quite a waste of your hard-earned money.