How to Store Antique Furniture

How to Store Antique Furniture

Antique furniture embodies not just artistic craftsmanship but also a tangible connection to the past. These pieces often carry sentimental value, historical significance, and sometimes, considerable financial worth. Given their importance, storing antique furniture requires more than just finding available space. It demands careful preparation and attention to detail to preserve the integrity and beauty of these timeless pieces. Whether you're transitioning between homes, downsizing, or simply reallocating space, this guide will walk you through the essential steps to store your antique furniture safely.

Choosing the Right Storage Environment

Temperature and Humidity Control

Antique furniture is particularly susceptible to changes in temperature and humidity. Fluctuations can cause wood to expand or contract, leading to warping or cracking, while excessive moisture may encourage mold growth or rot. Opt for a storage facility that offers climate-controlled units where temperature and humidity levels are kept constant.

Security Measures

The value of antique furniture extends beyond its monetary worth; it's irreplaceable. Ensure the storage facility has robust security measures in place such as 24/7 surveillance cameras, secure locks, and restricted access to safeguard your treasures against theft or vandalism.

Preparing Your Furniture for Storage

Cleaning and Inspection

Before storing your antique furniture, it’s crucial to thoroughly clean each piece. Dust off surfaces with a soft cloth and consider applying a coat of wax to wood items for added protection. Inspect each item for signs of pest infestation or existing damage. Addressing these issues beforehand prevents further deterioration during storage.

Disassembly Where Appropriate

If possible, disassemble larger items of antique furniture for easier transportation and storage. Remove legs from tables or chairs, take apart bed frames, and remove drawers from dressers. Keep all hardware (e.g., screws and bolts) in labeled bags attached to the respective piece of furniture.

Packing and Protecting Your Antiques

Wrapping Materials

Use soft packing materials like bubble wrap or foam padding for added protection during transit and while in storage. Avoid plastic wraps directly on surfaces as they can trap moisture; instead opt for breathable fabrics like cotton sheets or blankets.

Strategic Placement

In the storage unit itself, never stack heavy items atop upholstered furnishings as this can cause irreversible damage over time. Allocate sufficient space around each piece to ensure good air circulation and prevent any potential compression damage.

Regular Check-Ins

Even with meticulous preparation and ideal storage conditions, it’s wise to periodically check on your stored antiques. This allows you to catch any potential issues early on – whether it’s a sign of pest infestation or an adjustment needed due to shifting contents within the unit.


Storing antique furniture requires thoughtful preparation and ongoing vigilance to ensure that these cherished items remain in pristine condition for years—or even generations—to come. By selecting an appropriate climate-controlled environment, preparing your pieces carefully before storing them away, ensuring they’re well-protected while stored, and regularly inspecting them for signs of trouble, you can rest easy knowing that your antiques are preserved no matter how long they need to be stored away.

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Patrick Pellens

Author: Patrick Pellens

I started in the insurance industry in 2003 specialising in Personal Insurances such as Motor Bike, Car and Home Insurance.