Planning to store some furniture? Before you fill up the trailer and drive to your storage unit, it’s important to properly prepare your items for storage.

These tips for preparing your furniture for storage and maximising your unit space will help keep your pieces in top condition until you need them again. Oh, and this guide requires vodka (but not for the reason you think).

Cleaning Your Furniture Before Storage

Thoroughly clean your furniture in order to preserve its condition while in storage. Furniture that is left uncleaned is more prone to bacteria and other elements that can increase the chance of forming mould. Consider the different types of materials your pieces are made of and use the appropriate cleaning products. You wouldn’t use leather wipes on a timber table, nor would you use timber wax on glass top furniture. You’ll get the best results by using the right cleaning product for each piece of furniture.

Fabric Sofas and Mattresses

Thoroughly vacuum fabric sofas, mattresses and other upholstered items (e.g. ottomans and occasional chairs) to remove dirt or fluff. (Finally, an excuse to use the small brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner!). To get your furniture even cleaner, try these helpful hacks:

  • For extra freshness, sprinkle baking powder over the surface prior to vacuuming.
  • Tricky spills or spots? Try this homemade cleaning solution: Mix 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 tablespoon of baking soda with a cup of warm water and pour into a spray bottle. Lightly spritz onto spots and dab with a clean cloth.
  • Did you know vodka works as a great cleaning agent and disinfectant? Pour into a spray bottle and shower your mattress for the ultimate freshen-up. Then reward yourself with a cocktail, obviously.
  • If your item is stained or in need of a serious deep clean, opt for a steam clean using a water-based detergent. Better yet, hire some professionals to do it while you finish off that bottle of vodka.

Vacuuming Sofa

Dining Sets, Bookcases and Timber Items

As a natural material, timber needs some extra TLC to stay in top shape.

  • Remove dust by wiping down surfaces with a slightly damp soft cloth. Too much water can cause your wooden furniture to swell, so go easy on the H2O.
  • Say goodbye to built-up grime by mixing half a cup of white vinegar with 3 litres of warm water and using this to wipe down furniture. This natural solution is safe for both painted and non-painted items.
  • Use an old toothbrush to get the dust out of cracks and corners.
  • If an item is lacking its original fresh timber shine, add a spray or wax polish with a soft cloth for that just-polished look and smell.

Getting Your Furniture to Your Storage Unit

It’s a truck. It’s a trailer. It’s Superman! However you transport your furniture, you’ll have to take special care to keep your items safe while in transit. Begin by taking apart larger items such as bed frames and dining tables using the following steps:

  1. Make sure you have the right tools for the job, from screwdrivers to small hex wrenches.
  2. Take furniture apart at their joining points.
  3. Tape any screws and fasteners to the relevant piece of furniture so they don’t get lost.

Taking apart large pieces of furniture allows you to fit as much as possible in your vehicle and saves you making multiple trips back and forth. Don’t forget to use plastic furniture covers, sheets or blankets to protect your furniture while on the road.

Safely Storing Your Furniture

Now that your furniture items are clean and dry, you’ll need to consider the safest and most efficient way to place them in storage.

Covering and Protecting

Using protection has never been so important – well, almost never.

  • If your storage unit has a concrete floor, place a sheet down to protect your furniture from the rough surface.
  • Once your items have been unloaded into your storage unit, use drop-cloths, sheets or blankets to protect them from dust.

While plastic covers may be useful to protect furniture while in transit, they aren’t recommended for long-term storage. This is because they prevent ventilation and can cause humidity and condensation, which can result in mould and mildew.

Protecting Furniture

Time Frames

Are you storing your furniture for a couple of months or a couple of years? Time is an important factor to think about. Some items need to be moved or cleaned on a regular basis to maintain their condition. For example:

  • Mattresses stored on their side should be rotated every 2 weeks or so to ensure the coils and cushioning don’t shift. Lying a mattress flat is best for maintaining its proper shape.
  • Both upholstered and timber furniture can collect dust over time while in storage, so you should return each month to wipe items down.
  • Having heavier items resting on cushioned items can permanently affect their shape over time, so it’s best to avoid this if you can.

Useful Gear

Stock up on the right products to keep your items looking great. Your furniture will love you for it.

Must-have handy gear:

  • Plastic covers are great for protecting mattresses and couches while in transit or short-term storage (1-3 months).
  • Corrugated cardboard is perfect for dividing stacked chairs.
  • A thick moving blanket will keep your dining table’s surface safe from dirt and damage.

Handy Hacks

When it comes to storing furniture, not everyone is a seasoned expert. These clever tips may not have been on your radar:

  • Don’t store your mattress and bed frame together. Take your bed frame apart to make more room in your unit and reduce the risk of damage. This also ensures the mattress is better ventilated.
  • Don’t store your dining table standing up. Take the legs off your table and lay the table top flat on the ground (on your handy moving blanket, of course). This maximises space and keeps your table surface safe from any scrapes or dents.
  • While removing drawers makes your dresser easier to carry, once inside your storage unit, place the drawers back inside. This keeps their insides safe from dust and frees up space in your unit.

Maximise Your Unit Space

Cramming your furniture into your storage unit without a plan can lead to damage. You might also find yourself in a dangerous game of Jenga when you return to pick up some items. To get the most out of your unit:

  • Place larger, heavier items (e.g. cabinets and bed frames) at the back of your unit as a foundation for stacking smaller, more fragile items.
  • Store longer items (e.g. sofas) along the sides of your unit for efficient use of space.
  • Leave enough room to move around your unit and access items when needed, keeping the most frequently accessed items closest to your unit door.

If you don’t have plastic covers and moving blankets at home, don’t stress – we have plenty in the Box Shop. We even stock glass socks to keep your bottles of vodka safe. You’re welcome.

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