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How to prepare and pack furniture for self-storage

How to store furniture for self-storage

Are you thinking about short-term or long-term storage for your furniture? If so, it’s good to know what you need to do to make sure it is not damaged during the move or while in storage.

Firstly, make sure that storing furniture is really what you would like to do. Sometimes selling furniture and buying new furniture is the more economical choice especially if the storage period is long-term. However, if your furniture is precious to you, this may not even be an option.

It’s essential to prepare and store furniture properly to avoid any damage which would make the cost of storage worthless. Here is a step-by-step guide which will help you.

1. Clean and dry your furniture

Clean your furniture well before it goes into storage as dirt, oxidization, oily residue will damage your furniture. Cleaning furniture can also ensure no food stains or oils remain which could become set in over time and attract pests to your storage module.

Here is a quick guide on how to clean different surfaces:

  • Wood – Dust, then wipe with a cloth slightly dampened with a gentle soap solution. Dry any excess with a dry cloth, then coat with furniture polish to make sure the wood doesn’t dry out while in storage.

  • Leather – Vacuum, then use a leather cleaner/protector.

  • Metal – Dust, then use a cleaning solution (vinegar and bicarb or a multipurpose spray). Finally, polish to remove any accumulated oxidization.

  • Glass – Dust, then use a glass cleaner or vinegar and dishwashing liquid solution.

  • Upholstery – Vacuum, and use an upholstery cleaner or if you can remove it from the item (e.g. the covers for the cushions and seats), run them through the washer.

Make sure the furniture is bone dry before packing it up for storage to make sure that no mold or mildew will build up.

2. Disassemble your furniture

Disassemble all the large furniture that can be disassembled particularly beds, legs off tables, modular lounges. The disassembled parts can then be wrapped individually for optimal protection. They will also store a lot better as they can be packed in a more space-efficient way and fit more snugly with other items in storage. Disassembling furniture will also make it a lot easier to move.

3. Wrap your furniture

Wrapping your furniture before moving it will protect it from dust, temperature changes and humidity if it is properly wrapped. Wrapping furniture before moving it will also prevent damage in the form of dents and scratches which are the most common damage during packing, loading and unloading.

Make sure you have clean blankets or furniture pads for each piece of furniture. Do not use plastic wrapping as this will trap moisture in the furniture and potentially lead to mold and mildew issues or cause the furniture to swell. Use a protector for the mattress and bed base. When wrapping, make sure that the corners and edges are well covered as these are prone to causing the most damage as well as being damaged.

Any glass parts should be wrapped individually in butcher paper or bubble wrap and then in a sheet for a blanket.

Secure the sheets or furniture pads with straps to make sure they do not fall off while being moved.

4. Pack it carefully into the truck and storage module/unit

A general guideline to loading the truck with your furniture is the last items you pack will be the first ones to go into the storage module or unit. Accordingly, you should aim to pack furniture and appliances last in the truck as these will need the most protection once in your unit. Also keep in mind that small items such as boxes and more awkwardly shaped items such as lamps are best placed on top of the large items.

When you move items yourself, watch out for tricky corners and access points such as doors, staircases. Sometimes the furniture is damaged and causes damage during loading and packing not so much when it is in storage.

Put a blanket on the floor of the storage module, Mobibox or unit to make sure the furniture is not touching the ground which will protect it from any moisture coming from the floor. When you load items into the storage unit or module, wardrobes, tallboys, cabinets should be stored vertically as they are kept. Storing them on their side, while saving space can expose them to damage.

Heavy items such as furniture and appliances should all be at the bottom of the storage unit but with the weight evenly distributed through the entire module or mobibox.

5. Do not overpack your self-storage module!

While it is important to make sure the items fit snugly to ensure that nothing moves while in storage, you may be instead tempted to overpack. Cramping too many items in a Mobibox or storage module can lead to scratching and denting. It also prevents proper ventilation which avoids mold and mildew problems.

When you’re packing the storage module or mobibox it’s good to give yourself an aisle to freely move around in. This will not only make it easier to pack your module but you will need this aisle when you need to pick things up from your self-storage module.

6. Check and clean if it’s long-term!

For storage under a few months you may not need to check your items at all. However, for a year or more, it’s important to check your Mobibox or storage unit from time to time. Items may have fallen and you may also want to clean the furniture occasionally to make sure no dust build up occurs which could damage your furniture.