Storing furniture is one of the most popular reasons for using secure storage, and it’s easy to see why. Furniture is bulky and heavy, and if it’s not being used, it’s just taking up room and often getting in the way.
Many people use storage as a temporary home for their biggest items of furniture when they’re moving house, enabling them to deep clean, de-clutter and generally get on with the business of moving without having to weave around table legs and armchairs.
There’s another good reason to put furniture in storage: it’s a great way to keep antiques safe, sound and out of the way. If you’re lucky enough to have an antique piece of furniture in your collection – perhaps a Victorian Chesterfield, or a French-footed Hepplewhite – then you probably want to preserve it in the best condition you can.
Clearly, you don’t want to subject valuable pieces of furniture to mugs of steaming coffee and scratch-happy pets, but not many people have enough room to keep a big table or sofa that they don’t want to use – so the only other option might be to sell it.
This is when long-term storage can really come in handy, offering a highly secure place to put even the biggest and bulkiest items for years at a time, until they’re ready to be passed on to the next generation.
How to store furniture - step by step
Clean it thoroughly
Giving every item of furniture a thorough clean helps to remove contaminants, and get rid of any nasty corrosive materials that could cause long-term damage.
Use a soft cloth to wipe down every surface, using the appropriate cleaning products if needed. Once they’re clean, wipe off any remaining residue and leave to air-dry for a full day in a well-ventilated room. For wooden furniture, a coat of polish can help to provide a protective layer.
If your item is upholstered and has stains on it, it’s a good idea to get it professionally cleaned before putting it into storage. The stains will be harder to get out the longer they’re there.
You can do this before the cleaning step if it’s easier. Carefully take apart as much of the furniture as you can - this will make it easier to transport and store. Obviously, don’t try to take it apart if it’s antique furniture!
Retain the instructions for assembling the furniture and put it in a labelled bag, along with any nuts and bolts.
Protect with cloth
Use an acid-free cloth to cover wooden and upholstered furniture, and an extra layer of bubble wrap to protect delicate items like picture frames and lampshades.
Avoid plastic wrapping, as it traps moisture which can breed mould and mildew. Natural fibre sheets from a builders’ merchant or DIY store are the best way to protect furniture - they maximise airflow and trap dust.
If you’re worried about breakable items like mirrors and picture frames, make a large X across the surface in sticky tape.
Try to avoid cramming all your furniture into as small a space as possible - as well as making it harder to remove later down the line, it’s important to leave a few gaps for airflow. If you need more space, ask about a slightly bigger storage unit.
Sofas and other soft items should be stored sitting normally, just as they are when they’re in use. Don’t store them on their sides, as this can put excessive strain on them which can lead to damage over time.
If you’re stacking your furniture, put the heaviest items on the bottom and make sure everything’s sitting comfortably before you leave. Avoid stacking on items with fragile joints or flimsy edges if possible.
Once you’ve stored your furniture, it’s safe and sound with us until you return to collect it. However, you might want to do a quick spot check every month or two for any signs of mould or wear.