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Have You Prepared For Long Term Storage
Regardless of how much you declutter your home, you seem to constantly lack space. You’ve thought that making additional room was possible, but apparently, there are just too many pieces of furniture you can’t part with. Although you don’t need many of them, they hold sentimental value and are, thus, impossible to throw out. But don’t fret! Long-term storage could be the solution you’ve been looking for all along! Of course, it doesn’t involve putting everything away and forgetting about it. Instead, it would be best if you took the time to learn how to prepare your furniture for long-term storage. By doing so, you’ll ensure your priceless belongings remain in pristine condition for a long time.
Does your furniture deserve storage?
Not all furniture is created equal. Some pieces cost more, some less, some are easily replaceable, and some are unique. One thing is for sure, however. They each take up a substantial amount of space. Space that could, ultimately, be used in a better way. Luckily, freeing up your home is entirely possible, thanks to storage units. While keeping your belongings in one will undoubtedly help, nobody said that that help wouldn’t be coming with a price. Typically, a hefty one!
Before you’ve spent thousands and thousands of dollars renting a storeroom, pause for a moment to think about whether your furniture is truly worth keeping around. Ask yourself several questions:
- Is your furniture truly comfortable or just nice to look at?
- How good of a condition is it in?
- Can it easily be bought, or is it one-of-a-kind?
- How much does it cost?
- Is it something you’ve inherited from your ancestors.
Your answers to these should help you distinguish between the furniture you need and the pieces you are just used to. Although storing away the latter group is a waste of money, the first one, arguably, is worth preserving for the future.
It’s important to know that there are many storage mistakes you can make without even realizing it. If improperly stored, the furniture CAN deteriorate. Thankfully, it’s possible to prevent problems with good preparation. Doing everything in your power to prepare your furniture for long-term storage will also save you the trouble of buying a new one later on. Plus, since renting a unit alone is pricey enough, why add additional costs?
Is it possible to store the furniture someplace other than a unit?
YES! While you may benefit from keeping your valuables inside a storage unit during a long-distance or international relocation, nobody said it was impossible to keep it closer by when renovating or needing extra room. If your home has an attic, a basement, a garage, or even a shed, you can use them as safe places for your items. But, first, don’t forget to check:
- Is there enough space for all the furnishings
- Does the area have proper insulation
- Are humidity levels adequate
- Are there any narrow stairs, hallways, or doors that make handling furniture troublesome
We cannot stress the importance of insulation enough! Extreme heat and cold can damage the furniture beyond repair! We can say the same for high and low humidity. However, you can regulate this by introducing a humidifier or dehumidifier to the premises.
If you end up using your garage or a shed as a storage site, use it with caution! Few furniture is suitable for keeping here. Metal and plastic pieces can flourish in them, but this isn’t true about wooden and leather ones. Fluctuating temperatures and moisture, which these places are prone to, are detrimental to the items made of these natural materials.
To prepare your furniture for long-term storage, begin with giving it a thorough clean!
Regardless of where you decide to put your furniture away, always clean it well first! All traces of dust and stains absolutely must be removed before storing. Therefore, to ensure everything’s been cleaned by the book, follow these steps:
- Wipe the furniture using a dry piece of cloth to get rid of dust, hair, and other debris.
- Use a vacuum cleaner for the upholstery. Then, treat it with a cleaner designed solely for the type of your furniture. Allow it to sit for a bit, after which you should clean it with a wet cloth. It would be best if you treated persisting stains a few times until they’ve disappeared.
- Clean wooden pieces with a suitable wood cleaner and a wet cloth.
- Give metal surfaces a nice polish to get rid of oxidation.
- Allow your furniture to fully dry by leaving it in a room with proper ventilation. To prevent mold from forming, double-check your pieces for trapped moisture.
- Protect the wood by applying appropriate polish or wax and upholstery by using suitable fabric protecting sprays.
Take the furniture apart
If the goal is to transform your house into an oasis, storing unnecessary things away is key to achieving that. When doing so, to make transportation easier, larger items are best broken down into smaller pieces. This includes unscrewing everything there is to unscrew, removing drawers from dressers, and separating mattresses from beds.
After you’ve disassembled most of your furniture, not only will you have a drastically easier time packing it up, but you’ll also minimize the risk of it getting damaged. Your furnishings will take up less storage allowing you to further save space.
Just remember – while you prepare your furniture for disassembling, gather the right tools. Equip yourself with the manuals if unsure how to do it the right way and stay on track with the parts you remove. It’s a good practice to take photos while dismantling and keep them for reference when the time to assemble everything comes. Place the screws and other tiny pieces into a zip bag you will fix to the furniture you’ve removed them from. In addition, to avoid confusion, don’t forget to label the bags!
Pack it all up
Packing is an essential part of the furniture preparation process. You want everything protected in the best way possible to ensure it stays unscathed. But how can you accomplish that? Well, for starters:
- Place old blankets, sheets, and other plastic/fabric/paper covers over your furniture to provide protection from dust, debris, and physical damage.
- You should cover wooden furniture with soft blankets with padding. Not only do they prevent scuffs and indentation, but they also prevent debris from piling up. With the blanket loosely placed over the wooden surfaces, there will surely be enough room for the furniture to breathe, thus leaving no space for mold to grow.
- Cover the corners with some additional cushioning to avoid damaging the things around them.
- Use bubble wrap to cover furniture legs and any other parts that may stick out. Instead of a wrap, you can also cover fragile items with soft fabrics.
- Put cardboard over glass surfaces to prevent them from breaking. After securing them with cardboard, add a layer of bubble wrap for additional protection.
- Furniture pieces made of fabric and leather are a magnet for dust. To prevent it from accumulating, place some sheets over them. Certain stores also sell special kinds of furniture covers that you can use for the same purpose.
- Secure the coverings with packaging tape or shrink wrap. By doing this, you’ll keep the dirt, debris, pests, and moisture at bay. You’ll also ensure your furniture remains protected against the adverse effects of an inhospitable environment, for example.
- Using shrink wrap to cover wooden furniture or upholstery is not acceptable! Air must be allowed to circulate around the pieces made of natural materials. By wrapping them thoroughly, we prevent air from entering and, let mold and mildew thrive. However, if you want to prepare your furniture made of chipboard for storage, remember the same rules don’t apply to this material. It can 100% be wrapped in plastic without worrying about it suffering damages.
- Never should you stick the tape onto the furniture itself, but onto the fabric that you cover it with! Glue residue can be a pain to get rid of, and while trying to remove it, you could do more harm than good.
Now that you know how to prepare your furniture for long-term storage, you can rest knowing that all of your treasured items will remain safe and sound over an extended period. Your pieces are best kept inside of a storage unit, preferably a climate-controlled one. Also, it would help if you kept it slightly elevated from the ground, with the heavier pieces staying low and the lighter stacked upon them. And remember, a storeroom is a place solely designed for keeping belongings, not food. Introducing the latter into the unit is a recipe for disaster. A recipe for furniture being chewed at by the pests!