Furniture is one of the types of items that people most commonly need to store. Whether you’re moving home, renting out space or have recently bought new items, you may need furniture like couches, dining room tables, beds, wardrobes, cabinets and more out the way until you’re ready to rehouse, sell or donate them.
Furniture protection tips
Following certain, simple steps can protect furniture while it’s in storage.
Your first step is to ensure the items are clean and dry.
Run the vacuum cleaner over mattresses and upholstered items, and spot clean any stains. Wipe down hard surfaces with a damp cloth, and clean glass and shiny surfaces with Windolene. Check steel fixtures and fittings for rust, and use a rust remover if required.
Leave mattresses in direct sunlight for two to three hours to get rid of dust mites, and place wiped down furniture in a well-ventilated room to air dry.
Also consider applying a protective coating to repel dust, dirt and moisture. Use furniture polish or oil for wooden items, leather conditioner or cream on leather upholstery, a fabric protector on upholstery and an oily lubricant on steel or metal.
Disassemble into smaller components
Disassembling large pieces of furniture makes it easier to pack, transport and store.
Remove table legs, drawers, cushions and headboards, and place hinges and screws into clearly marked sealable plastic bags. Affix each bag underneath the corresponding piece of furniture with packing tape.
Avoid taking antique furniture apart. Other than the fact that it’s usually held together by wood joinery rather than screws, age and fragility make it remarkably easy to damage.
Furniture storage wrap and pack best practice
How you package or pack furniture is dependent on the item’s size and material. The first rule is never wrap cushions or upholstered items in plastic.
It can make the pieces “sweat” and encourage the rapid growth of mould and mildew. Rather wrap each item in a moving blanket or dust sheet, and use packing tape to seal down the ends.
Wrap smaller, more fragile items in bubble wrap, and pack them tightly in sturdy, clearly labelled cardboard boxes. Fill spaces with packing paper or soft items of clothing to prevent the boxes from collapsing.
Package up chairs, tables, dressers and book cases using blankets, old sheets or dust covers and adhesive tape.
Tricks for protecting furniture in-transit
If you want your belongings to survive the journey from your home to the self-storage facility, place the large, heavy, bulky items in an upright position on the outer edges of the van’s cargo space.
Fill the space in-between with boxes and smaller items, but avoid stacking the boxes too high. Plug large gaps with moving blankets, and secure the load with straps or rope.
Remember to keep your speed down and your driving smooth and consistent, or you’ll be storing damaged goods instead.
How to pack furniture into a self-storage unit
There’s an art to packing your furniture into a self-storage unit. Our first tip is leave sufficient space between pieces to enable easy access to the items you want, when you want them.
Pack smaller pieces of furniture under larger pieces for added protection, and store chairs seat-to-seat. Place boxes on top of flat surfaces, like table and dresser tops, and stow large furniture in an upright position, away from the walls.
Store mattresses flat on a canvas tarpaulin on the floor, and put lightweight items on top of the mattresses, provided they’re evenly distributed.