4 Steps for Long-Term Furniture Storage and Preservation

8 Comment(s) | Posted | by Norm Kotoch, Jr. |

From antiques that don’t quite fit your décor, to items you’re saving for your children, we can all gain quite the collection of furniture items over time. Instead of having these pieces take up valuable space in our homes, it may be time to move those in good condition to a home of their own before they overtake yours.

Self storage provides you with the room you need to keep the furniture you love, while you simultaneously remove clutter from your home. Below, we highlight four steps to successfully prepare and protect your furniture items for self storage.

1. Clean and Prep

Before you store, be sure to give each item a thorough clean. Begin by wiping down your pieces with a clean cloth. Then, use an appropriate cleaner for the type of material (metal, wood, glass, etc.), and wipe down once more for an added layer of protection.

As a final cleaning step, let the item breathe in a well-ventilated area and dry completely.  This will ensure no patches of trapped moisture can reside on your item as you cover and pack the piece for storage. Patches of trapped moisture left alone can damage your item over time, and create marks of discoloration.

2. Disassemble for Easy Transport

For larger items, such as dressers, beds, tables, and couches, prep for smoother transportation. Take pieces apart before their trip to the storage unit.

Remove legs from tables and sofas, take out drawers from dressers and cushions from couches, and remove planks from bedframes. Group and wrap these pieces together to stay organized.

3. Cover and Protect

After you’ve prepped your furniture, protect it with the right materials. Bubble wrap can be useful to wrap items that easily break, such as framed pictures, mirrors, lamps or blunt parts like chairs and table legs.

As a general rule, avoid plastic package materials when possible, as it can suffocate certain materials like wood and fabrics. This can lead to condensation or unpleasant smells in your unit. Instead, use drop cloths or covers, sheets, or blankets to keep dust away and allow air to circulate.

4. Strategically Store

To maximize your unit’s space, you may be tempted to fit in as much as you can without a real plan. However, there can be consequences to sloppy storage.

An important tip to remember: leave space in between items.

The benefits are two-fold: you’ll allow air to flow freely between the furniture, which will help protect your items from damage; and you’ll reduce the risk of accidental damage to your pieces should you ever need remove them from your unit.

Save Space Without The Sacrifice

You don’t have to get rid of your furniture favorites due to lack of space. Now, you can realistically consider storage of larger items, even if you lack the space at home.

With the added benefit of climate control, these spaces will help maintain your furniture’s condition over time, versus storing it in a humid attic or damp basement.

By properly prepping your items for long-term storage, they will be ready for use upon removal, whenever you, or your family, may need them.

Additional Resources:

What items do you have around the house that could use a new home in a storage unit? We’d be interested to hear in the comment section below.

Image credit: Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License.


  1. Denis O'Leary's avatar
    Denis O'Leary
    | Permalink
    Could yo please give me a quote for 2 years storage for the contents of 3 bed property

    Thank you
    Denis o'leary
  2. sean's avatar
    | Permalink
    I'm glad that you mentioned covering and protecting your furniture. It is easy to forget that things like changes in the weather can affect the items you are storing. protecting them with the right materials can help a lot.

  3. Edmond Vandergraff's avatar
    Edmond Vandergraff
    | Permalink
    I completely agree that you should give all of your furniture a thorough cleaning before storing them for a long time. Without giving them some kind of a covering, they are only going to get dirty right away though. You want to make sure that they're still functional and in good condition down the road. It really is an art to strategically fit everything into the space that you have. http://www.usstorage.us
  4. Sheri Wallace's avatar
    Sheri Wallace
    | Permalink
    I am moving abroad and I will store my furniture in some friends warehouse. Never did it before, I guess will take some time to prepare everything and to store it correctly. Thanks for the tips!
  5. Jack Mulligan's avatar
    Jack Mulligan
    | Permalink
    I really like your tip to cover and protect all of your furniture. We stored a nice couch in our shed for a long time uncovered and it soon became so ingrained with dust that you couldn't sit on it without have dust poof out all over you. We could have saved a lot of trouble with proper storage with a simple cover.
  6. Norm Kotoch's avatar
    Norm Kotoch
    | Permalink
    I’m glad you found this tip helpful, Jack! Proper preparation prior to storing your furniture can help increase protection and longevity.
  7. Faylinn's avatar
    | Permalink
    I am moving next week and so I am planning on storing some of my furniture in a unit until I can come back for it and move it to where I will be living. I can totally see me wanting to cram as much as I can in one place and so I really appreciate your tip about leaving space in between items. I'll he leaving some expensive furniture pieces behind and so I definitely don't want any damage done to them. However, is there any type of covering or wrapping that I should have put on them so that that doesn't happen?
  8. Norm Kotoch's avatar
    Norm Kotoch
    | Permalink
    Thanks for taking the time to read this post, Faylinn! I would recommend utilizing a climate-controlled storage unit to ensure the longevity of your household items, such as furniture, clothing, electronics and documents. When storing furniture, I recommend using cloth covers, such as blankets or moving quilts or plastic covers, to allow your items to breathe and avoid dust from collecting. If you are utilizing standard storage, which is not recommended, consider Rubbermaid bins and plastic “pouch” type bags. Also consider keeping items off the floor with pallets, as cement will “sweat” during seasonal temperature changes and avoid using cardboard boxes.

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