How to prepare furniture for storage to prevent damage or mould. 

preparing furniture for storage

Following some simple guidelines on how to prepare furniture for storage can protect your items from damage.


Cleaning furniture and appliances for storage

Making sure furniture is clean and completely dry helps protect it from damage due to mould, pests or rust when it’s in storage.


Upholstered furniture and mattresses

It’s ideal to have upholstered furniture and mattresses professionally deep cleaned before they go into long-term storage. Mattresses should also be wrapped in plastic covers.


If professional cleaning isn’t viable, give furniture and mattresses a thorough vacuum beforehand.  If you do any spot cleaning, make sure the treated areas are 100% dry before the furniture goes into storage.


Wood furniture

Wooden furniture such as tables can just be given a dust and a wipe-down. A protective wood polish can also help protect the wood, sealing it against dampness while in storage.



Drain appliances of any stores of water. Clean with a mild detergent and a spot of bleach. Then ensure that they’re completely dry.


Towel-dry and then leave standing open, with plenty of air circulation, for long enough to dry out any residual moisture. A fan or even a handheld hair dryer can speed up the process.


How best to cover furniture for storage

Covering furniture gives it an extra layer of protection from dust, moisture, scratches and dents.


Loosely secured furniture blankets are ideal for covering all types of furniture. Bubble wrap and aerothene work well for protecting parts like feet, knobs and handles.


Wrapping furniture entirely in plastic is not recommended. This can lead to condensation. In turn, this can cause mould and moisture stains.


Packing and moving a flat-screen TV

Sensitive items like flat-screen TVs might need a little extra care when packing, moving and storing. If you still have the original box and packaging, this is ideal but if not, you can get alternatives.


Buy a flat-screen TV box and some aerothene and bubble wrap. Use a loose sheet of aerothene to protect the screen. This can be loosely draped over the TV before it goes into the box.


Then use the bubble wrap to pad the box so the TV fits snugly and its corners are protected.


Don’t put bubble wrap directly on the TV screen, and don’t put tape on any TV surfaces. It will leave marks.


Moving heavy furniture safely

Moving heavy furniture improperly can lead to injuries and damage. Always follow these guidelines when moving heavy furniture items:

  • never move heavy furniture alone
  • secure doors or loose shelves before moving heavy furniture
  • plan your route, checking for and removing any obstacles beforehand; also measure doorways to make sure big items will fit through safely
  • use the proper lifting technique – feet apart with one foot slightly forward, knees bent, back straight and the load held close to your waist
  • when an item is too heavy to lift safely unaided, use appropriate tools – for example, a moving trolley or moving straps, depending on the item – and get help
  • take stairs one at a time, facing up when moving down the stairs or down when moving up them.

Packing furniture in a storage unit

When packing a storage unit, you want to make the most of the space but still keep access to items near the back. You also don’t want to pack things in a way that could damage them.


We recommend following these guidelines:

  • place larger items or items you’re less likely to need towards the back of the unit
  • leave an access passage along the middle or side of the unit
  • pack upwards, from the heaviest items at the base to the lightest items on top
  • avoid placing heavy items on sofas, upholstered chairs or mattresses
  • leave appliance doors ajar to help prevent mould
  • don’t store mattresses on their sides or, if you must due to space restraints, turn them every couple of months
  • where possible, place items on pallets, cardboard or furniture blankets to protect them.

Flexible self-storage with XtraSpace

At XtraSpace, we offer secure self-storage units that are ideal for furniture storage. Our larger units have garage-style doors. This makes it easy to move larger furniture items, such as couches and dining tables, in and out.


All branches of XtraSpace also offer cardboard boxes and packaging materials (including plastic mattress covers) for sale onsite – convenient if you need to prepare furniture for storage.


We have branches in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape. Browse to find a branch near you or contact us on 01 09 777 777.

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