Prepare Furniture for Storage: A Step-by-Step Guide

Storage PreparationAugust 3, 2023

Whether you’re moving, decluttering, or simply need to free up some space, understanding how to prepare furniture for storage properly is crucial. It’s not as simple as tossing everything into a storage unit and calling it a day. Each piece of furniture, from the most robust wooden bookshelf to the delicate vintage chair, requires specific care to ensure its preservation. This comprehensive guide will lead you step-by-step through the process to ensure your furniture stays in tip-top shape for years, regardless of how long it lasts in storage. With careful planning and preparation and the help of the right moving and storage Columbus Ohio company, you can safeguard your valuables, prevent unnecessary damage, and make the entire moving and storage process hassle-free. Learn how to expertly prepare your furniture for storage and maintain its value and appeal for the long term. Get ready to store with confidence.

Planning is crucial if you want to prepare furniture for storage

Before you begin to prepare your furniture for storage, effective planning and organization is essential. This initial step is much more than a simple housekeeping task; it’s the foundation that ensures the rest of your storage process proceeds smoothly and successfully. Start by taking a thorough inventory of the furniture you’re planning to store in the residential storage Columbus Ohio unit. Doing this will not only give you a clear picture of what you’ll be working with but also help you better estimate the size of the storage unit you’ll need. An inventory helps you avoid overfilling or underutilizing your storage space and assists in making a comprehensive list of supplies you’ll need for packing.

Storage units with blue doors and white numbers
There are simple ways to prepare your furniture for storage

Remember, every item of furniture is unique, and its size, material, and value could influence how you plan to store it. Knowing what you have in advance will also allow you to research specific packing techniques if necessary. In addition to your inventory, plan where each item will go in the storage unit. Strategizing placement can save you from future hassle and damage to your furniture. Prioritizing these aspects during your planning stage will ensure your furniture is not only well-preserved but also easily accessible for future use.

Gather the right packing supplies

Preparing your furniture for storage is a task that demands specific supplies to ensure that your items are not only well-protected but also remain in good condition throughout their time in storage. Having the right tools for the job can make the difference between an item suffering damage or remaining pristine. Now, before we delve into the packing process, let’s review the essential supplies you’ll need to prepare and protect your furniture properly:

  • Furniture covers or old sheets
  • Bubble wrap and packing paper
  • Sealable plastic bags
  • Quality packing tape
  • Cardboard or hardboard
  • Moving blankets

Of course, you can always play it safe and choose packing services. By doing so, you will be sure your furniture is protected in the best possible way and with high-quality materials.

Clean your furniture

When you prepare furniture for storage, the first step should be a thorough cleaning. Over time, furniture collects dust, grime, and various spillages that, if left unattended, could turn into bigger problems while in storage. This is especially the case if you use long term storage. Even if you keep checking up on your items regularly, you won’t be able to prevent damage that may occur if your items are not cleaned well.

A woman covering furniture
Different types of furniture require different approaches

How to clean different types of furniture

Depending on the material your furniture is made of, the cleaning process may vary. Here are some tips on cleaning furniture made of different materials:

  • Wooden furniture: Start by dusting off your wooden furniture with a dry cloth to remove loose dust and grime. Then, use a wood-specific cleaner to wipe down the surface. Allow it to dry completely before moving on to the next steps. Applying a coat of furniture polish can add an extra layer of protection against moisture.
  • Upholstered furniture: Use a vacuum to clean all sides of your upholstered furniture. You can use an upholstery cleaner for any stubborn stains, but ensure it is completely dry before storing. Any moisture left can lead to mold and mildew.
  • Metal furniture: Dust off any loose grime with a dry cloth. Then, use a gentle all-purpose cleaner to remove any remaining dirt. Lastly, dry it thoroughly to prevent rusting in storage.
  • Leather furniture: Use a leather cleaning solution and a soft cloth to clean the surface. Once it’s clean, apply a leather conditioner to keep the material hydrated while in storage.

By spending time on this initial cleaning step, you prepare furniture for storage in a way that helps prevent long-term damage from residual dirt or spills.

Disassemble large furniture

The next step in preparing furniture for storage is to disassemble large furniture pieces. This task is essential for several reasons. Firstly, it can save a considerable amount of space in your storage unit. Secondly, it makes moving and handling these large items significantly easier and safer.

When disassembling furniture, ensure you follow any manufacturer’s guidelines to avoid causing any unintentional damage. It might be a good idea to keep the instruction manual handy, if available. For most pieces, you’ll want to remove any removable parts, such as cushions, glass tops, legs, and shelves.

It’s crucial to keep all screws, bolts, and other small parts organized. A practical method is to place these items in a sealable plastic bag, then label the bag clearly. You can attach the bag to the corresponding piece of furniture using tape, ensuring that you won’t lose these essential components or mix them up with other items. Remember to take your time during this step. Rushing the disassembly process can lead to damage or lost parts, which can be a significant inconvenience when it’s time to reassemble.

A person picking up a couch
Disassemble large pieces to prepare furniture for storage

Protect glass components

If your furniture pieces include glass elements, you need to take extra precautions to protect these fragile components when you prepare furniture for storage. Glass items can be a real challenge due to their fragility, but with careful handling and proper packing techniques, you can keep them safe.

Start by cleaning the glass components as described earlier. After ensuring they are completely dry, wrap them in packing paper. The paper creates a buffer against scratches and minor impacts. After wrapping the components in packing paper, add a layer of bubble wrap. Bubble wrap offers excellent protection against impacts, effectively cushioning the glass and reducing the risk of breakage. Ensure that the wrap is snug but not too tight, as excessive pressure can cause damage.

For added protection, consider using hardboard or cardboard to shield the glass further. Cut a piece to size and tape it over the bubble wrap. This layer provides additional structural integrity and protects against punctures. By paying extra attention to glass components when you prepare furniture for storage, you ensure that they remain intact and in excellent condition, ready for use when you retrieve them from storage.

Cover your furniture nicely

Covering your furniture is a fundamental step in the process when you prepare furniture for storage, even more so if you’re planning on long distance moving. It can add extra challenges in the transportation process due to the extended time your items spend on the road. As such, safeguarding your furniture with the proper covers can go a long way in ensuring their protection.

A woman holding bubble wrap
Cover your furniture

Begin by using old sheets or specialized furniture covers to protect your items. These covers act as a first line of defense against dust and potential scratches. They keep your furniture clean and reduce the risk of superficial damage during the moving process, especially if multiple items are being transported together. There’s an additional step you can take to ensure extra protection – the use of moving blankets. These thick, padded blankets provide a higher level of protection compared to regular sheets or furniture covers. They can absorb shocks and impacts during transportation, reducing the risk of damage.

Wrap the moving blankets around your furniture and secure them with packing tape or bungee cords. Ensure they’re wrapped tightly enough to stay in place but not so tight as to cause pressure damage. By taking these steps, you’ll not only prepare your furniture for storage but also ensure they’re equipped to withstand the rigors of moving. Whether you’re storing for a short while or embarking on a long-haul move, your furniture will remain in excellent condition, ready to serve you when you need it again.

Load wisely

When loading your storage unit, it’s crucial to think strategically about where each item will go, whether you’re dealing with a large commercial storage space or something smaller, like dorm room storage. Proper placement can maximize your storage efficiency and significantly decrease the risk of accidental damage to your furniture.

Lighter items and boxes should be stacked on top of the heavier items, ensuring that the weight distribution won’t lead to any accidents. Furthermore, always make sure that the heavier items are not blocking access to the lighter ones. When it comes to delicate or valuable items, consider placing them in less accessible areas or even in separate, specially-designated safe spots if available. This could reduce the risk of these items being bumped or knocked over during visits to the storage unit.

Regularly check on your stored items

Even in the best storage conditions, it’s wise to check on your stored items periodically. This holds true whether you’re using commercial storage for your business or storing personal items in a different setting. When you check on your items, look for signs of potential problems. This could include moisture buildup, which could lead to mold and mildew, particularly on wooden or fabric furniture. If you notice a musty smell or see dark spots on your furniture, that could indicate a moisture problem.

A storage unit
Check up on your items regularly

It’s also crucial to look for signs of pest infestation. Look for droppings, nibbled corners, or any other signs that pests might have infiltrated your storage unit. Early detection of these issues can save you from significant damage down the line. The frequency of your checks might depend on the items you’ve stored and the storage conditions. However, a general rule of thumb is to check on your stored items every 2-3 months. This ensures that even if issues arise, you can address them quickly, keeping your furniture in the best possible condition during its time in storage.

How to store specific furniture items

In preparing furniture for storage, certain pieces demand special care. Whether you’re utilizing temporary warehouse space or a smaller unit, it’s vital to know how to store specific household items. For example, sofas can be stored upright to optimize space usage. Keep them elevated on pallets and ensure they are properly covered to fend off dust and scratches. Mattresses need thorough cleaning and vacuuming before being stored flat, preventing warping. Special attention is required for wooden and metal furniture. Wooden items benefit from a quality furniture polish treatment, creating a barrier against moisture and pests, while metal furniture should be treated with a rust protector. When it comes to antiques, professional advice is recommended before storing. These valuable pieces often require a climate-controlled environment to maintain their integrity. As you prepare furniture for storage, consider each item’s unique requirements to ensure their preservation.

A couple packing
Follow these tips, and preparing your furniture for storage will be easy

Preparing furniture for storage can be simple

The process of preparing furniture for storage might initially appear overwhelming. However, when tackled systematically with appropriate cleaning, careful disassembling, meticulous packing, and diligent regular checks, the task becomes more manageable. This careful attention to detail will safeguard your treasured pieces, ensuring they maintain their condition and value over time. So whether you’re transitioning between homes, decluttering your living space, or merely in need of some extra room, knowing how to prepare furniture for storage properly is an invaluable skill that will serve you well now and in the future.

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