One tenant of successful staging is that it's best to rid your home of personal items and create as much open space as possible. Placing extra furniture in storage is a great way to free up space while you're showing your home, but before you drive off to your local self-storage facility, you'll want to exercise a little care first. Get started with these tips for protecting and storing extra furniture so it'll be ready for you when you're ready to move into your new house.
What to Consider When Choosing a Self-Storage Unit
Ease of access. Furniture usually falls into one (or more) of these three categories: large, awkward or delicate. Before you rent a self-storage unit, make sure it's easily accessible. For furniture that's hard to move, try to get a unit on the ground level, or one that's close to the elevators. Most storage facilities will be able to provide you with furniture dollies or carts that you can use as part of your rental agreement. If not, you may want to rent one or both of those items from a place like Home Depot or U-Haul so you have a way to easily transport the furniture from your vehicle to the unit.
Climate-controlled. When it comes to storing furniture, it's extremely important to control the temperature and humidity of the unit where your furniture is stored. Changes in temperature or moisture may cause wood, vinyl and leather to crack or split, and fabric to mold. The typical climate-controlled unit ranges from 50-80 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the season.
Insurance. Insuring your storage unit is absolutely necessary. You'll typically need to prove that you have insurance up to a certain level (depending on the facility and/or local laws) that covers your use of the storage unit. Do a little research before storing your furniture to make sure the policy covering your items is adequate. In most cases, an insurance policy needs special provisions for antique or high-value items.
Tips for Storing and Protecting Extra Furniture
• Cover your furniture with a drop cloth or canvas to keep dust and debris off. Bags designed especially for furniture may be available at the storage facility or from a local furniture store.
• Keep furniture off the ground using furniture blocks or wood pallets, and for cloth-covered items, make sure that no portion of the fabric touches the ground.
• Disassemble tables, chairs and beds before storing. If they cannot break apart, stack the chairs on top of tables. Keep mattresses and sofas upright or on end to save space.
• Use cardboard to protect art frames and mirrors during storage. Take special considerations for the corners, as these are easily damaged.
• When storing a dresser, stack lightweight items on top and fragile, awkward or small items inside the drawers. Use a cotton drop cloth to protect the top of the dresser if damage is a concern.
• Use a protective, storage-safe furniture spray (as directed) on all furniture before placing it in storage to protect the finish and integrity of wood or fabrics.
• Don't seal anything inside of a plastic bag. If plastic is used, leave at least one end open for ventilation. Condensation or "sealed in" moisture may lead to mold or mildew growth.
Follow the tips above, and you'll experience hassle-free storage. Remember: Keeping your furniture protected is the ultimate goal. While some people will haphazardly throw their belongings into storage and assume all is well, that's not always the case. Taking a few moments to prepare your items for storage, then carefully storing them, is the only way to ensure they'll be in the same condition you put them in when you pull them out.
Jenn Young is a freelance writer working with Uncle Bob's Self Storage. She is passionate about beautifying her home, and she currently writes about anything and everything related to storage units.