Antiques, original paintings, silk carpets, tapestries, silverware and other objects d’art have to be properly stored if they’re to maintain their intrinsic value.
Many of these collectibles are old and fragile, and susceptible to damage. For example, too much natural light or heat can cause the rich colours and fibres of Persian carpets, tapestries, watercolours and oil paintings to fade.
Damp also poses a major threat. Rare wood artefacts and furniture can rot in damp or humid conditions, fabrics can literally disintegrate and mould can irreparably damage the frame and canvas of a genuine Warhol, Stern or Pemba.
Preparing your valuables for self-storage
Before storing antiques, valuable carpets or works of art in a self-storage facility, it’s important to prepare them properly.
Antique furniture requires a thin coat of wax, rather than the furniture oil applied to modern fixtures. Wax is stable and long lasting yet not permanent, and is the ideal coating for protecting items against moisture, dust and abrasion.
Silverware should be polished and stored in its original wooden case to prevent tarnishing. Paintings should be methodically dusted with an artists’ brush and wrapped in protective material.
Transporting an antique to your chosen self-storage facility also takes a bit of planning. All loose appendages, such as drawers, shelves and doors, should be removed, wrapped in bubble wrap and transported separately.
An antique item of furniture, be it a Chippendale chair or a solid yellowwood table, should be lifted only by the apron, legs or seat rail. Although it’s recommended that you disassemble the entire piece, covering it in bubble wrap will do. This applies to paintings, china and glass artefacts also.
Choosing a self-storage facility
It’s vital to choose a suitable self-storage facility, where your valuable belongings will be properly protected. Units must be clean and dry, security has to be tight and storage units should be protected against fire and other natural hazards. Drive-in access is a major plus, and you should be able to lock and unlock your storage unit yourself.
A storage company that offers value-added services such as trailer and trolley hire, domestic courier services and a helping hand, will make a good temporary home for your priceless possessions.
The self-storage process – do’s and don’ts
- Do use durable cardboard boxes or plastic containers to store your breakable items.
- Do wrap all your collectibles in cotton dust sheets or bubble wrap.
- Don’t stack items on top of each other.
- Don’t roll or fold carpets or tapestries. Store them flat on a covered surface, with a clean sheet placed in-between.
At XtraSpace we offer cost-effective self-storage at multiple facilities in Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg, with clean, fire-protected storage units available in a range of sizes. We also offer a range of value-added services designed to take the hassle out of moving.