Downsizing? 4 Tips To Make Sure Furniture Placed In Storage Stays In Great Shape

Posted on: 27 January 2015

If you are temporarily moving from a larger home into an apartment or corporate housing, then you may be placing many of your belongings in a storage unit. If you feel apprehensive about keeping your expensive furniture in storage, then don't worry. As long as you choose the right storage unit and prepare your furniture for storage correctly, your items can eventually be removed from storage in the same condition as when they went in. Follow these tips to keep furniture in great shape while in storage. 

1. Disassemble Large Items 

Disassembling furniture before storing it can help you protect it more efficiently by allowing you to cover each part separately. Breaking down furniture into smaller components can also help you fit more into your unit, and it can help reduce the chance of damaging items when moving them into and out of storage. Don't disassemble items to the point where it will be a huge hassle to put them back together, though. For example, you likely want to keep that home exercise machine you spent hours assembling in one piece during storage to avoid the inconvenience of having to put it back together again. 

Here are some general items and how you can break them down:

  • Beds. Separate all mattresses, box springs, and frames. If the frames have removable legs that can be reattached easily, then remove those as well. 
  • Sofas. Remove cushions and pillows from sofa bases. Many have removable legs, as well. 
  • Tables. Detach legs for much more efficient storage. 

Use your best judgment when determining what how far you should break each item down. Don't take apart something that will be more of a hassle to put back together than it is worth. 

2. Cover Items to Prevent Damage

Before you begin protecting wooden items with cloth covers, cover them with furniture polish. This can prevent moisture damage and even protect the wood from nicks when being transported. Then, cover each item with a proper cover. Many moving supply companies sell mattress bags, sofa covers, and even television covers for just a few dollars each. These covers not only protect your items when moving them into and out of storage, but they can be kept on the items when they are in storage for protection. 

Basic dust cloths can be used instead of specialized covers, but you will have to be extra careful when moving objects covered in loose cloth to ensure no one trips on any overhang. 

3. Opt for a Climate-Controlled Unit

A climate-controlled unit is a must when storing valuable items. Fluctuations in temperature can damage glass and ceramic items, such as glassware and vases, through thermal shock. Fluctuating humidity levels can damage wooden furniture by causing it to expand and contract frequently. Humidity that fluctuates can also damage electronic by causing condensation on them, and it can even damage clothing and upholstery. 

Most storage companies that offer climate-controlled units keep humidity in the units at about 55-percent, which is a healthy level for furniture. Most importantly, it is a steady level of humidity that does not fluctuate. When also opting for temperature control in a unit, any stable temperature above freezing is fine. Other than ensuring your items are not exposed to freezing temperatures, it is the stability in temperature that climate-controlled units that is more important than the actual temperature. 

4. Choose the Right Size Storage Unit

Storage unit companies typically list their unit sizes by square footage, so this is the most important measurement to take of each of your large items. For example, if a couch is 5-feet long by 2-feet wide, then it will need 10 square-feet of storage space for the couch. Add up the square footage of every item you are storing to get one final number, making sure to exclude the measurement of any item you are sure can be stacked on another without damage. 

When in doubt or between storage unit sizes, go up one size to make sure you can fit everything comfortably. 

When you prepare your furniture well and store it in the right storage unit, you can have the peace-of-mind you need when you know it will come out of storage in the same good shape as when it went in. 

You can click here to read more about storage units.