How to Prepare Your Furniture for Long-Term Storage

Published on 3/22/2022

How to Prepare Your Furniture for Storage

A long corridor lined with storage units

We can all agree that one of the most valuable benefits of having a self-storage unit is the peace of mind it provides. That being said, you can never be too cautious when storing your prized possessions of expensive furniture in an out-of-the-way location. That doesn't mean you can't do anything to make your furniture more secure in storage. On the contrary, we'll show you how to prepare your furniture for long-term storage, so you never have to worry about it again.

Clean Everything

The first step in prepping furniture for storage is carefully cleaning all the pieces. If you don't, the dust or grime accumulated on their surface may cause irreparable harm to the objects while kept in a storage unit. Dust is especially a problem when it comes to long-term storage.

Before you start putting things away, you should lightly dust the surface of all your furniture. Using a soft, non-abrasive, dry cloth, remove dust and other loose particles from the furniture's surface. Avoid pushing or rubbing the dust particles down onto the cover.

A yellow spray bottle in the grip of a hand

Before storing your furniture long-term, you need to clean it thoroughly.

There are various cleaning strategies available depending on the type of furniture you want to store for an extended period of time.

Preparation of Leather Furniture

Lightly clean the upholstery to remove any coarse particles. After dusting the surface, go over it again using a high-quality leather cleaner. You should leave the leather cleaner on as instructed by the manufacturer of the cleaning agent. After doing that, wipe the leather with a dry towel to complete the cleaning procedure.

Preparations of Wood Furniture

Prolonged storage is not kind to wooden or antique furniture. To keep valuable pieces safe, apply an appropriate wood cleaning product to the wooden surfaces. You should gently wipe the cleaning product off with a moist towel. After that, apply a layer of furniture polish to all wooden surfaces to keep the wood from drying out while the furniture is put away.

Preparation of Metal Furniture

Ensure the furniture is completely dry to keep metal from rusting during long-term storage. If you don't do this, you could have a disaster on your hands. Aside from that, you can polish all of your furniture's metal surfaces for added protection. Polish will provide an additional layer of security.

Packing Everything Accordingly

One of the most important things when thinking about how to prepare your furniture for long-term storage is how you will pack your possessions.

Disassemble Everything You Can

The shipping and storage processes may cause scratches and dents to your furnishings. It is a good idea to disassemble furniture to avoid this from happening. Disassembling will allow you to organize and stack the furniture during the transport and allow for more space in the storage unit itself.

With that said, disassembling and reassembling furniture is hard. Thankfully you do not need to do it alone. At, you will find professionals who will gladly help you move your furniture wherever needed.

Wrap Things That You Can't Disassemble

You can cover the furniture with old sheets, blankets, drop cloths, or plastic wrap. This will preserve the pieces from dust and moisture. Don't wrap the furniture in thick plastic coverings that trap moisture since this can cause condensation, making the wooden furniture expand and the metal furniture rust. Wrap furniture to allow it to breathe by lightly hanging the cloth over it.

Everything Fragile Should be in a Box

Use a medium-sized box for glasses and other glassware rather than a huge box. Big boxes may become cumbersome to handle. Things that you can put in the box with the glassware to keep it from breaking are:

  • Packing Paper: To protect your dishes from scratches, scuffs, bumps, and bruises; nevertheless, it will not prevent breaking if your boxes get tossed around.
  • Newspapers: If you do not want to spend money on packing paper, using newspaper is the next best thing.
  • Towels: You can wrap the glassware with towels that you do not need anymore.
  • Bubble Wrap: A good choice, but keep in mind that it is difficult to recycle and costly to purchase. Other free materials work just as well.
A white box on a table
Fragile possessions should be placed in boxes to ensure their safety in long-term storage.

You can use anything that can easily be wrapped around each glass or a pair of glasses that you want to store.

Look for Storage Facilities

Additionally, you need to make sure that you are picking the right storage facilities when looking to store something long-term. No matter if you just have a lot of unwanted furniture in your house, if you're downsizing, or perhaps moving to a new city. There are many great storage facilities throughout the country. You should easily find one with a convenient location and excellent security, climate control, and so on.

If you live in a humid climate, you should consider renting a climate-controlled storage unit. Similarly, you should rent a climate-controlled storage unit if you live in a location with large seasonal temperature changes.

A digital thermometer showing 63 degrees Fahrenheit
When considering how to prepare your furniture for long-term storage, it is good to consider a climate-controlled storage unit.

Temperature variations and excessive humidity are particularly damaging to wooden and upholstered furniture. Quick temperature swings may cause wood to expand and compress, while moisture can cause rotting, discoloration, or mold development. As you can see, there are many things to consider. Because of this, you should make sure that you know what you need from a storage unit before you go out looking for one.


In summary, proper preparation is critical for keeping furniture in storage. Additionally, it is important how you store the objects. With that said, we have covered all you need to know about how to prepare your furniture for long-term storage.