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Avoid Costly Mistakes: What NOT to Do When Storing Furniture

Before your furniture embarks on its journey to a storage unit, taking the time to prepare it properly is an important step.  Think of it as giving your belongings a protective shield against potential damage, ensuring they emerge from storage looking as good as new.

Properly preparing your furniture isn't just about preventing scratches and dents. It's about preserving its value, extending its lifespan, and saving yourself from costly repairs or replacements down the line.  Imagine the relief of knowing your cherished sofa or antique dresser is safe and sound, even if it's tucked away in a storage unit for months or even years.

Here, we'll cover everything from cleaning and wrapping to specific considerations for different types of items. With a little effort upfront, you can rest assured that your furniture will remain in top condition, ready for its next chapter when you need it again.

Prepping Your Furniture: A Clean Start for Safe Storage

Before your furniture embarks on its storage journey, giving it a thorough cleaning is the first step. Think of it as a spa day for your belongings – a refreshing cleanse that sets the stage for a safe and healthy storage experience.

Dust, dirt, and grime aren't just unsightly; they can attract pests and create an environment where mould and mildew thrive. By removing these unwanted guests before storage, you're protecting your furniture from potential damage and ensuring it emerges looking its best.

Here's how to give your furniture a proper cleaning based on its material:

  • Wood: Start by dusting with a soft cloth, then follow up with a wood-specific cleaner or polish. For added protection, consider applying a coat of wax.

  • Leather: Wipe down with a slightly damp cloth, then apply a leather conditioner to keep it supple and prevent cracking.

  • Upholstery: Vacuum thoroughly to remove dust, dirt, and crumbs. If you have concerns about stains or odours, consider having your upholstery professionally cleaned before storage.

  • Metal: Dust with a soft cloth, then wipe down with a damp cloth to remove any residue. If you're planning to store your metal furniture for an extended period, consider applying a rust inhibitor for added protection.

After cleaning, ensure your furniture is completely dry before wrapping and storing. Trapped moisture can lead to mould growth, which can damage your belongings and create unpleasant odours. Take the time to air out your furniture thoroughly, especially if you've used any cleaning solutions.

By starting with a clean slate, you're not only protecting your furniture but also creating a hygienic environment within your storage unit. Remember, a little effort in cleaning now can save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

Need a safe haven for your furniture? Denix Moving offers short-term and long-term storage solutions in London. Contact us for a quote and let us care for your belongings while you focus on what matters.

Disassembly: Simplifying Storage and Safeguarding Your Furniture

Before you start packing up your furniture for storage, take a moment to consider which items can be disassembled. This simple step can make a significant difference in how efficiently you can transport and store your belongings.

Disassembling large furniture items like beds, tables, and bookcases not only makes them easier to move, but it also helps prevent damage during transit and storage. By separating components, you reduce the risk of breakage or scratching, ensuring your furniture remains in pristine condition.

To disassemble your furniture safely and efficiently, gather the following tools:

  • Basic toolkit: This should include screwdrivers, a hammer, pliers, and an adjustable wrench.

  • Label maker: Label each part and its corresponding hardware to ensure easy reassembly later.

  • Ziploc bags or small containers: Use these to store screws, bolts, and other small pieces.

As you disassemble each item, carefully label the parts and place the hardware in labelled bags or containers. Attach the bags to the corresponding furniture piece using tape or string. This will save you time and frustration when it's time to put your furniture back together.

Not all furniture needs to be disassembled. Smaller items like chairs, nightstands, and dressers can usually be stored as is. However, if an item has removable parts, like drawers or shelves, consider taking them out for easier handling and to prevent them from getting jammed or damaged during transport.

By taking the time to disassemble your furniture, you're not only optimising your storage space but also protecting your belongings from potential damage. This simple step can save you time, money, and stress in the long run, ensuring your furniture remains in top condition.

Wrap and Protect: Shielding Your Furniture from Storage Hazards

a couple wrapping a chair to protect it in storage

Now that your furniture is clean and disassembled (if necessary), it's time to give it a protective layer that will keep it safe from dust, scratches, and accidental bumps during transit and storage. Think of it as wrapping a precious gift – a thoughtful act that ensures your belongings arrive at their destination in pristine condition.

Choosing the right materials is key to effective protection. Here are some popular options:

  • Blankets: Soft, thick blankets provide cushioning and protect against scratches.

  • Furniture pads: These quilted pads offer excellent protection and are often reusable.

  • Bubble wrap: Provides cushioning and a protective barrier against impact. Consider using larger bubble wrap for larger items.

  • Eco-friendly alternatives: If you're looking for sustainable options, consider using old sheets, towels, or even packing paper made from recycled materials.

The wrapping technique will depend on the type of furniture you're storing:

  • Sofas and chairs: Drape blankets or furniture pads over the entire piece, ensuring all surfaces are covered. Secure the wrap with tape, ties, or rope, avoiding direct contact with the furniture to prevent residue.

  • Tables: Wrap the legs and top separately. This allows for better protection and easier handling.

  • Mattresses: Invest in a dedicated mattress cover. These covers are designed to protect against dust mites, moisture, and stains.

  • Mirrors and glass: Wrap these fragile items with multiple layers of padding and place them in a sturdy box. Label the box clearly as "Fragile" and store it upright whenever possible.

Avoid using plastic wraps on certain materials, especially wood and leather. Plastic can trap moisture, leading to mould or mildew growth. Instead, choose breathable materials like blankets or furniture pads.

Item-Specific Care: Tailoring Your Approach for Optimal Protection

Each piece of furniture is unique, with different materials and sensitivities. To ensure your belongings receive the best possible care during storage, it's essential to tailor your approach based on the specific item.

  • Appliances: Before storing appliances like refrigerators or freezers, thoroughly defrost and clean them. Leave the doors slightly ajar to prevent mould and mildew growth. If possible, consult the manufacturer's instructions for specific storage recommendations.

  • Electronics: If you still have the original boxes, these are ideal for storing electronics. Otherwise, wrap them carefully in blankets or bubble wrap. Remove batteries from devices to prevent leakage and corrosion. Wrap cords neatly and secure them with tape to prevent tangling.

  • Mirrors and Glass: These fragile items require extra attention. Wrap them in multiple layers of bubble wrap or furniture pads, and place them in a sturdy box. Label the box as "Fragile" and store it upright whenever possible.

  • Artwork and Photos: Wrap paintings, prints, and photographs in acid-free paper to prevent yellowing and deterioration. If you have valuable pieces, consider storing them in a climate-controlled unit to protect them from fluctuations in temperature and humidity.

  • Books: Pack books upright to prevent spine damage. Place them in sturdy boxes, filling any gaps with packing paper to prevent shifting during transport. If you have a large collection, consider storing books on shelves in your storage unit to keep them organised and accessible.

a couple wrapping a chair in bubble wrap

Maximise Your Storage Space: Expert Tips from Denix Moving

Now that your furniture is prepped and ready to go, it's time to make the most of your storage space. Denix Moving's experts are here to share tips for efficiently loading and arranging your items, ensuring they remain safe and accessible throughout their stay in our secure London facilities.

  1. Prioritise Stability: Begin by placing the heaviest items – appliances, sofas, mattresses – at the base of the storage space. This creates a stable foundation for lighter items, preventing them from being crushed or toppling over.

  2. Balance the Load: Avoid concentrating all heavy items in one area. Distribute weight evenly to prevent the storage unit from becoming unbalanced or causing structural damage.

  3. Air is Key: Resist the urge to pack items tightly together. Leave space between furniture pieces for air circulation, which helps prevent the build-up of moisture and potential mould growth.

  4. Think Vertically: Make the most of the height of your storage unit by stacking boxes and smaller items on top of furniture. You can even use shelving units or sturdy crates to create multiple levels, further optimising your space.

  5. Create a Pathway: If you plan on storing items for an extended period, or if you think you might need to access certain items more frequently, leave a clear walkway through the centre or along one side of the unit. This will make retrieving belongings much easier.

  6. Label, Label, Label: Clearly label all boxes and furniture pieces with their contents. This will save you time and frustration when you need to locate a specific item.

If you're unsure about the best way to arrange your belongings, don't hesitate to ask for help. Our Denix Moving team is always available to offer advice and guidance on maximising storage space.

Contact us today to discuss your storage needs and let our experts help you find the perfect solution.

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