Living a downsized life means that you have to adjust how you live. This is especially true when it comes to storing your stuff.
One of the most difficult things to properly store is furniture. This is because weather conditions are not always kind to wood and metal.
How do you store furniture long-term? You need to control the temperature and the moist. The temperature shall be between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit, and you should keep moist around 40%. You also need to wrap the furniture to protect it from dust and dirt.
Here are ALL the details you should know before you store your furniture away.
Storing Furniture In The Attic
An attic is an ideal place to store wooden and metal furniture. This is because while it is out of the way, it is still part of the home. This makes it easier to control the temperature as well as the moisture in the attic.
Being able to regulate temperatures is a very important part of protecting your furniture.
How Does Temperature Affect Stored Furniture?
Colder temperatures can warp wooden furniture. This means that the furniture can lose its shape which can affect the overall purpose.
On the other hand, when the temperature is too high, the wood can be to give off moisture. Then water can damage wood down to the center.
It won’t only change the way the wood looks. It can weaken the structure of the furniture and basically make the piece useless. This is why it is so important to be able to control the temperature and moisture of your storage room.
How Do You Correctly Store Furniture In An Attic?
It is important to remember that the problems that arise with stored furniture are completely avoidable. By following the correct steps when storing furniture, you are helping to ensure that your pieces will emerge damage-free.
Here are the best steps to take in order to properly store furniture in the attic:
Step 1: Clean It Up!
You want to make sure that you give your furniture a good scrub before storing. This is because dirt and food can eat away at the surface of furniture. This is especially true since you won’t be checking up on your furniture while it is stored.
Cleaning your furniture will depend on the type of material it is made out of. You want to make sure to avoid oil-based cleaners and try to stick with something more natural.
Food extra measure, if your furniture it wood, give it a quick wax seal before storing. This will help to trap out moisture and extend the life of the wood.
Step 2: Wrap It
The next step to correctly storing furniture in the attic is to wrap it up. This will be the extra layer of protection your furniture needs from moisture and cold. The first thing you will want to do is protect the corners. You can find special corner padding at any hardware store.
This keeps the corners from getting bumped and damaged.
After you have the corners properly secured, you can begin wrapping the furniture as a whole. Some people prefer to use plastic or Styrofoam sheets to wrap their furniture, but there is another way! A more “environmentally friendly” way to protect your furniture is to use old sheeting and comforters.
The one thing to remember about this is that cloth won’t protect from water so if that is a concern of yours, stick with the plastic!
Step 3: Raise It Up
The last thing you will want to do is prepare for the worst. One thing that could kill your stored furniture is leaking and floods. Even in the attic, this can be a problem due to faulty pipes. If you can, try to find a way to keep the furniture off the ground.
This could be done using furniture lift pads or even wooden blocks. You want to make sure that it doesn’t wobble or move once it is lifted.
Storing Furniture In The Garage
Storing furniture in the garage is a whole different story. This will also depend on what type of garage you have. Garages that are attached and have access to the home will be easier to regulate.
Stand-alone garages – or sheds – will take a little bit extra preparation to ensure your furniture is safe.
Can You Store Any Type Of Furniture In The Garage?
You can store any furniture you want in the garage. However, this doesn’t mean that your furniture will be safe from the elements. This is especially true in the case of metal furniture. Metal that is not properly taken care of will rust over time.
The rusting process is sped up by wet weather conditions like rain. snow and low temperatures. Because it is difficult to temperature control a garage, metal isn’t ideal furniture to store. But, it doesn’t mean that you can’t store it in the garage.
This means that you will have to regularly oil and care for the metal even while in storage.
What Is The Best Way To Store Furniture In The Garage?
Storing furniture in the garage takes a little bit of preparation. However, the best way to ensure that your furniture will be safe is to try to plan ahead.
If you know that you live somewhere that is prone to brutal winters, plan for it! Here is the best way to store your furniture safely in the garage:
Step 1: Treat Any Metal
The first thing you will want to do is weatherproof any metal on the furniture. There are plenty of oils specifically designed to protect precious metals. However, there is a better way!
Beeswax does an amazing job of shining and cleaning metal, but it does more than that.
Beeswax also creates a waterproof seal around metal. This way you can prolong the life of your furniture without having to worry about rusting.
For extra measure, wrap your stuff in furniture protecting plastic material.
Step 2: Prepare Your Garage
Your furniture will only be as clean as your garage. It is important before storing your furniture that you completely clean out your garage. Pay extra attention to areas that are prone to moisture. It is also a good idea to deal up any holes or points where air flows in easily.
Even small cracks in your garage can expose your furniture to damaging weather. You will also want to be sure that the area is clean from dust and debris. While dust will collect over time, it is always a good idea to start with a clean slate.
Step 3: Keep The Ground Clear
The best part about storing furniture in the garage is that you have options when it comes to where to place your stuff. The best way to keep furniture protected is to get it off the ground.
This is especially important in garages since they are difficult to weatherproof.
Look for creative ways to get your furniture off the ground. High-weight bearing shelves are a great option for smaller pieces like chairs and side tables. Larger pieces can be hoisted up using a strong tie and a pully system.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure that your garage has the right support system to hold your furniture.
Storing Furniture In A Warehouse
The last option you have for storing furniture is a warehouse. Most people don’t own warehouses or large storage centers which means you will have to rent one. The best part about using a warehouse to store furniture is that you get the help of professionals.
Here is everything you need to know about storing furniture in a warehouse and what you can expect from the process:
How Do You Store Furniture In A Warehouse?
Storing furniture in a warehouse is a different beast from storing your stuff at your own home. The first thing you will need to know is how much space you will need.
Warehouse rentals offer a wide range of sizes and prices for their storage units.
It is also key to find a warehouse that internally controls the temperature of the unit. This way you know that the changing weather won’t harm your stuff. The last thing you will have to do is find a way to transport your furniture.
Depending on how big and bulky your stuff is, you may have to foot the extra cost of a rental truck.
What Are The Perks Of Using A Warehouse For Storage?
Why should you pay for warehouse storage when you may be able to store your furniture at home? The first thing to remember is that renting a storage unit isn’t a grand cost. You can find smaller units for an average price of $40 a month. But, what are the main reasons why this is the best option for you?
Here are some of the biggest perks of using an outside source for storage:
Your Stuff Will Be Safe
The first thing to note when using a warehouse to store your furniture is that your stuff is safe. This is because rental units are protected with a lock and key so you have a peace of mind knowing your furniture is only accessible to you.
Keep Your Home Clutter-Free
The biggest perk of using a warehouse for storage is that you don’t have to worry about furniture cluttering up your space. This is especially important if you are trying to downsize your life. While you may have a little extra space for storage, the more clear space you keep, the better!
Easy To Rotate Furniture
When you know exactly where your stored furniture is, it is easier to retrieve. Furniture can be like clothing. Its needs change with the season.
Having your furniture stored at a warehouse allows you to access it any time of day without having to dig through a cluttered garage. This way you can easily take out what you need without any hassle.
When it comes to storing furniture, you have options! Whether you find that you have plenty of space in your home or want to rent a unit, there is no reason why you can’t safely store away out-of-use furniture. Just remember that it is vital that you protect your furniture before storing. This way you can be sure that your furniture will last for years to come. Take care.
Maria is the founder of GoDownsize. While studying architecture in Denmark she became fascinated with designing living spaces for boats, tiny houses, RVs, and other small spaces.
She mainly writes about space optimization, interior design, and downsizing. She’s also in charge of our YouTube channel. Read more about Maria here.