Whether you are moving offices and need to store your current furniture until you have decided on a layout or have sold your home and are moving into rented accommodation until your new property is ready, there are plenty of reasons people opt to store furniture into storage.

If you need that furniture later and are holding it to protect it, you need to prepare it for storage. Do you need to take the furniture apart? Is it okay to stack the furniture in your storage unit? How do you prevent damp developing while your furniture is stored?

These are all questions that might need answering when you think about how to prepare your furniture for storage. Thankfully, at Smart Storage, we have years of expertise in domestic and business storage, so we’ve put together some tips to help you prepare.

Choose the Correct Size Storage Unit

When looking into storing furniture, the first step is to ensure the storage unit you choose is suitable for your needs. There’s nothing worse than preparing your items for storage and then realising you can’t store them where you expected to.

The size of the storage unit you use will depend entirely on how much furniture you are storing. Suppose you are looking for domestic storage where you will store almost all of your furniture and belongings while travelling or moving to a new city. You will need anything from a 35sq ft unit that could hold the contents of a small studio apartment to a 175sq ft unit that could offer enough storage for a three or four-bedroom property.

Small to medium-sized offices will require between 100sq ft to 150sq ft of space. We’ve got a handy self-storage size guide to help you decide which size unit you need.

Ensure your Furniture is Clean and Dry

Once you have chosen your storage unit, the next step is to start preparing your furniture for long term storage. You must clean your furniture correctly to protect it from dampness and mildew. To keep your furniture in good condition, clean it thoroughly and dry it before it enters your storage unit.

Remove any food crumbs or other debris before moving your furniture, and ensure it’s clear of mud when you store it. If there’s any possibility that pests, such as woodworm, could have got into your furniture, get it treated ahead of time.

We recommend a thorough scrub with mild soap and water for wooden and plastic furniture, or you could use an oil soap to protect your wooden items. For fabrics or leathers, clean them with upholstery cleaner and make sure they are dry ahead of time. Polish any metal objects to remove existing oxidisation and delay tarnish build-up on the products. Furniture polish, wax or fabric protectors can be applied to furniture to help.

Disassemble Larger Items

You need to make the most of the space you have available, and disassembling items will help you maximise that space. Desks, bookshelves and even some sofas can be taken apart, and pieces stacked to use less space stacked than together. Take the drawers out of units, take your bed apart and remove the mattress and remove the legs from desks too.

Remember to take photos during this process if you no longer have the instructions on hand, as this will help when it comes to putting everything back together when you take it out of storage. Also, keep all the screws, bolts or hinges from the items safe. We recommend putting them in a bag, which can then be sellotaped to part of the item.

Remember to stack the components of one piece of furniture together so you know where all the pieces are, or label everything so that you can piece it back together quickly.

Line the Storage Unit Floor or Raise Furniture Off The Floor

Items that can’t be affected by dampness or mould need space to breathe. Furniture shouldn’t be placed directly on the floor of a storage unit as they are usually made from concrete, a porous surface.

You can line the base with a tarp or a large roll of fabric to provide a barrier between the floor and your items. Alternatively, you can raise furniture off the floor using wooden pallets or cinder blocks.

Wrap Your Furniture

If you are storing any breakable items such as glass desk tops, glass office dividers, mirrors or tables, make sure you wrap them firmly with bubble wrap to avoid breakage. It’s a good idea to use dust sheets or old bedsheets to cover more oversized items. This will stop dust from settling on them and causing damage or colour fade.

Wrapping chairs, sofas, desks and other large items loosely with a fabric cover will allow them to breathe while in storage and let the air circulate. It’s worth avoiding plastic sheeting as this can trap moisture and cause wooden furniture in particular to swell.

It can be a good idea to wrap the legs of items in bubble wrap to stop them from damaging other items in the unit. At Smart-Storage, we offer boxes, bubble wrap and more in our box shop to ensure you have everything you need to wrap and pack items effectively.

Store Your Furniture Properly

When putting your items into the storage units, make sure you stack everything well, with heavier items at the bottom and lighter items higher up. Avoid placing anything with sharp edges on top of upholstered items and placing items in the unit in a way they were not designed to be used.

By putting sofas on their sides for a long time, for example, you increase the chance of damage because the joints of the piece can have too much pressure put on them. Don’t overfill your storage unit either. By allowing enough space for everything to breathe, your items are more accessible and you decrease the chances of items being damaged by mildew or mould build-up.

It’s a good idea to keep in mind how you will take the furniture out of your unit as well. Think about what you need to get out first and put these items towards the front. If you are packing up an office and know you need to get people back to work as quickly as possible once you’ve relocated, then put the computers, desks and chairs at the front and the old paperwork required to be stored for so many years at the back.

The same theory applies to house moves. You are more likely to need your bed and sofa back before the wardrobe for the spare room or your keepsakes from when you were a child.

With these handy tips, you can store your furniture safely and enjoy peace of mind that all will be well once you go to retrieve your items. Contact the Smart Storage team if you need any more advice about using a storage unit to store your furniture. We offer domestic storage in Liverpool, Preston and Altrincham as well as three other locations across the North West. Find out more about our domestic storage near you today.