Storing wooden furniture can be tricky business. Due to the nature of wood and how it reacts to different climate conditions, there are some precautions you must take in order for your furniture to not get damaged. The same basic rules apply both to all kinds of wooden furniture, from the most modern minimalist designs to the expensive antiques. To save you the trouble of researching bit by bit and to help you avoid any potential pitfalls, we have compiled this guide to storing wooden furniture. So read on to find out how to do it properly.
Where will you be storing wooden furniture?
The first and one of the most important questions to ask yourself when storing wooden furniture is where you will be storing it. Due to climate conditions possible, there is a huge difference between storing it in, for example, your basement, a storage unit with climate control and one without it. Humidity is the first thing to check out. Humid environments present a potential danger to your wooden furniture, as high levels of humidity can cause mold and mildew to form and even rotting of the wood. Another thing to look out for is temperature. Changing temperatures cause wood to contract and expand, which can lead to fractures and cracks. The Wood Component Manufacturer’s Association especially warns about fluctuating temperatures when storing wooden furniture.
Ideally, you want to pick a storage service that offers climate-controlled storage units. They should be equipped for keeping the temperature even and humidity low, to properly store your furniture. Professional services like these will have experts that know how to maintain perfect climate conditions for storing wooden furniture setting your mind at ease. On the other hand, if you will be packing the furniture in your home, try avoiding higher humidity level rooms such as basements. If able store it in a spare room as that way the heating from your house will keep the temperature in it relatively even. If you choose to store the furniture in your own home, pay extra attention to the following tips, to keep your furniture as safe as possible.
Preparations for storing.
No matter if you chose a climate controlled storage unit, or one without it or just a room in your house when storing wooden furniture, there are some steps you always have to take.
Cleaning the piece
Start off by cleaning the whole piece. De-dust it and vacuum all the seating and other fabric components. Then wipe these surfaces with an anti-bacterial cleaner. Just make sure to get one that is safe for your furniture. This way you will prepare the piece for treating and lower the chances of mildew and other problems arising later on.
Treating the wood before storing wooden furniture
It is very important to treat your furniture before storing it. This will help avoid cracking that can happen not only from temperature fluctuations but also from the wood drying out too much. Even worse, if the wood dries out too much it may split, which can range from very difficult to impossible to repair. Something that all good furniture movers will advise you is to apply a coat of polish or wax on all your furniture’s wooden surfaces for protection. Just remember that you have to do this a few weeks in advance to let the polish or wax settle in.
Taking the furniture apart
Depending on the type of furniture you’re storing, you might be able to disassemble more or less of it. Try taking as many pieces apart as you can without damaging the furniture itself. The idea behind this is that you can store the components much easier. Also, this will allow you to treat each component separately, as well as protect them separately. Thus, your furniture piece will be better protected as a whole when disassembled.
Wrapping the furniture
Another very important thing to do is to properly wrap your furniture. Wrapping it up will help protect your wooden furniture from scratches and wood parasites. It’s also very important to choose the right material when wrapping it. Do not use plastic wrapping materials. We’ve seen tips advising on using bubble wrap or even cling foil to wrap wooden furniture for storing, but this is a grave mistake. Due to the fact that plastic wrapping materials will cause humidity from the air to condense, you might end up with water droplets pressed against your furniture, causing the same humidity damage we talked about earlier. Instead, you want to use cloth wrappings for storing wooden furniture. Using cotton sheets, for example, will let your wooden furniture breathe while at the same time protecting it from dust that may collect when stored.
Raising it up
A good idea when it comes to storing wooden furniture is to raise it up. Use pallets, cinder blocks, bricks or any such items you might have to keep it off the ground. Why? Well, two reasons. First of all, the floor will have a different temperature than the upper portions of the room. This might cause more temperature fluctuations in the lower parts of your furniture. But the other danger is much worse for your furniture. That is the possibility of water seeping into either the storage unit or the room you’re keeping the furniture in. Either from a major storm or from flooding, you might find the storage space containing water. Water that will inevitably damage your wooden furniture. However, if you raise it up, it will be protected from such a danger.
Leaving enough room
Finally, what you want to do when storing wooden furniture is to leave enough room. Cramming the storage unit up may cause other items to be pressed up against your wooden furniture hard. This, in turn, might result in irreversible damage to your piece. Avoid stacking heavy objects on your wooden furniture in storage and room around it to keep it safe.
Additional tips for storing wooden furniture
Apart from these general tips that apply to storing wooden furniture despite its type, there are some additional tips you might want to think about depending on the specifics of your situation.
Protect the glass components
If your furniture piece has glass components, take extra care to properly protect these as they are even more fragile than the furniture piece itself.
Empty it out
Make sure to empty out any drawers or similar holding areas your furniture piece might have before storing. The reasoning behind this doesn’t only apply because you might forget something inside that you might need. There’s also the danger of forgetting something that may damage your piece from the inside in the long run.
Get a dehumidifier and/or a heater
Not all homes are made equal. Yours might be lacking a spare room or a dry attic to store your furniture. Or it might be inaccessible. Whatever it is, the circumstances might be such that you find yourself storing wooden furniture in less-than-ideal humidity or temperature conditions. But that’s no reason for despair. Get a heater and a dehumidifier or a heater, depending on your conditions. Or both. Then you can regulate the humidity and temperature levels yourself. Yes, it’s an additional chore, but it will keep your furniture safe.
Storing wooden furniture like a pro
Now that you’ve read through all this, you are equipped for storing wooden furniture like a pro. So take your time and pay extra care to these beautiful, yet fragile pieces. If done right your furniture will be safe for as long as you need it to be. And one day when you decide to take it out it will be in the same condition you left it in. Now, isn’t that great?