Storing Antique Furniture

Antiques are usually passed down from generation to generation. No matter how the antique was acquired, its age alone will result in some value. But to ensure that antiques retain their value, they need to be stored properly. An antique’s worth will depend on how well the item was preserved and its condition.

A self storage unit is a great place to store antique furniture items, and several things need to be considered when choosing the right self storage facility for properly storing antique furniture.

  1. Temperature control within the storage unit is essential. When making a comparison between facilities, ask about the availability of climate control. Climate control uses central air and heat to maintain a temperature within the unit of 50 to 80 degrees and reduces humidity. Some facilities have a dehumidifier as well -- usually for units on the first floor of an indoor self storage facility or on subterranean levels.
  2. Accessibility is important when choosing a facility as well. Carrying your antique furniture or art from the truck to your unit can cause possible damage. It would be wise to consider renting a drive-up outdoor unit. When storing antique furniture in an indoor storage facility, it is best to rent a unit on the ground floor. If the unit is on an upper level, use of an elevator can reduce the possibility of the antique item becoming scratched or dented. Many self storage facilities also have dollies and rolling carts available for use to make the move go smoother.
  3. Security at many self storage facilities offers greater protection than storage in the home. Many facilities come equipped with security cameras, alarms, fences and other safety devices.
  4. Insurance can be purchased cheaply to protect your antique furniture from burglary, fire, smoke and various natural disasters.

Preparing antique furniture for self storage

Fragile items such as antique furniture with mirrors and large framed pictures should be wrapped carefully with protective wrapping, such as bubble wrap. Blankets, sheets or felt can also be used to protect these antique furniture items from being damaged while in storage.

Boxes specifically designed for packing mirrors or large paintings can be purchased from moving companies or packaging supply stores. These types of businesses often sell other specialty moving boxes that can be used for the safe storage of antique lamps, vintage or historical clothing, dishes and other hard-to-pack items. All boxes should be marked “fragile” for careful handling.

Antique mirrors or framed artwork should be stored horizontally. This will reduce the likelihood of the item tipping over or collapsing under its own weight. Cardboard corners for mirrors and art work can be purchased to protect the corners.

Upholstered antique items such as Queen Ann style chairs, sofas and mattresses should be covered with sheets or tarps to help keep the dust from settling, especially on wood areas of the furniture.

Weak or heavy pieces of antique furniture should be disassembled prior to placing them in storage. Parts should be wrapped or boxed and marked indicating the name of the part and the item it belongs to. Screws and other accessories should be kept together and stored in a plastic bag and wrapped with tape around the furniture piece needing to be reassembled.

Chair legs, wooden arms and railings should be wrapped with bubble wrap for added protection.

Antique furniture should not be stacked on top of other items. Nor should other items be stacked on top of the antique furniture items.

Prior to storage, antique wood furniture should be sprayed with a quality furniture polish.

Leather items should be treated with a leather conditioner before being placed in the self storage unit.

Metal furniture pieces should also be wiped down with oil prior to storage.

All antique furniture should be inventoried and photographed for insurance claim purposes. An estimate of the value of the item and the cost of replacing it should be made.

The advice on this website is provided as a courtesy for informational purposes only. “Storage Tips” are offered as-is and no warranty is expressed or implied. For more information, see StorageFront’s Terms and Conditions.

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