6 Steps to Prep Wooden Furniture for Storage

Quality wooden furniture can last for centuries with the proper care. If you find you need to place your wood furniture into long-term storage, a few simple steps can help protect and preserve your investment. Even if your furniture is not heirloom quality, you still want pieces to look good and be functional after you retrieve them from storage. Prep your furniture for storage with these six simple steps:

1. Clean It Up

This is the first general rule for storing just about anything. Go over your wood furniture with a mild soap solution and water and give it a good cleaning. Make sure the wood is completely dry, then apply a coat of polish or wax. Be sure to check that the product you are using is appropriate for the type of wood from which your furniture is crafted. Polish metal parts, such as hinges, handles and pulls, to prevent tarnish and oxidation.

2. Disassemble It

Take apart your furniture to the extent possible. Disassemble bed frames and remove legs from tables. Collect the screws, nuts, bolts, etc. and place in a baggie. Attach the baggie to the furniture, for example, tape the baggie on the underside of the table top or attach to the bed frame with a rubber band. Do not force pieces apart. If it does not easily come apart, just leave it as it is.

3. Wrap it Properly

Wood will expand and contract with changes in temperature and humidity. Be sure to wrap your furniture with natural fiber sheets, blankets or moving pads to allow air flow. Do not use plastic or bubble wrap on wood furniture as the plastic may trap condensation.

4. Use your Drawers

Remove the drawers from your chests and dressers and use them to store small items. Cover the drawer with a cloth or a towel and stack the drawers on top of each other. Cover the whole stack with a moving pad.

5. Arrange your Furniture in the Storage Unit

When arranging your furniture in your storage unit, avoid placing wood furniture directly onto concrete floors. Use wooden pallets or pieces of cardboard on the floor to place the furniture on. Do not pack your unit too tight (read here for advice on organizing your unit). Leave some gaps to encourage air flow and to make it easier to move things around if needed. Be careful about stacking things on top of your wood furniture. Avoid placing heavy items on top of your furniture, and be sure there is sufficient padding between items to avoid nicks and scratches.

6. Other Tips

Place fabric softener sheets inside your furniture to help avoid a musty smell. You may want to add some dehumidifiers to deter rodent and insect from your storage unit.

You may not be storing priceless antiques, but your furniture is valuable to you. Following a few simple steps can assure that your furniture will be in tip-top shape when you are ready to use it again.