Tips for Storing Antique Furniture

Tips for Storing Antique Furniture

Antiques are often items which can be passed down through the generations and which can be valuable heirlooms and have sentimental value – although, that does not mean you necessarily want to give them house room!  Often antique furniture is too big for modern houses or simply does not fit in with your décor or style and so self storage can be a good option.  Antiques usually increase in value over time and, whilst you don’t necessarily require specialist storage, you will want to ensure that the conditions are not detrimental.   Have a look at our tips for storing antique furniture below for more information.  


Firstly, things to consider for the actual storage unit itself….


Temperature controlled?


For antique furniture, we would not recommend storage in an external metal container.  The fluctuations in temperature would be potentially damaging to delicate finishes and upholstery.  Generally speaking something indoors, in a temperature controlled environment would be a better idea.  


Check access


This does create potential problems with access however. As mentioned above, antique furniture can be large and bulky so make sure access is suitable for larger pieces.  You may be able to safely break some items down with a view to moving/storing more efficiently.


Our recent blog post looks at the security of self storage units – you will want to satisfy yourself that your valuable heirlooms will be safely stored – have a look at our advice for more information.


Preparation for storage


Having identified a suitable storage facility, there are a few steps you can take in preparation for storing antique items to help to ensure they are maintained in good condition whilst stored.


Clean and inspect


Before you start – give your items a good clean/wax and check for evidence of wood boring insects and mould or fungal growth.  Issues of that nature, left unchecked for prolonged periods in storage have the potential to cause damage your items.  Take good, clear photos and notes of what you are storing, noting any damaged areas for your records.  It is also prudent to make sure you have an up to date valuation of the items you are storing.  Remember – storage insurance should be taken out for the full replacement value of stored items.  Keep an inventory of your stored items and ensure that any included storage insurance cover is sufficient and covers the appropriate risks. For instance, not all policies will cover you against damage from moth and vermin – Storage Insurance from Store Insure does provide this cover for certain storage types – please check with us if you are in doubt.  See our policy details for more information on available cover.


Wrap and protect


Taking care to protect your furniture by wrapping and packaging will keep it safe during storage and transit to and from your storage facility. Think about covering upholstered items to protect delicate fabrics from dust and keep them clean.  Protecting the corners of furniture with cardboard is a good way of protecting them from bumps and using blankets or sheets to cover them will help to protect the finish.  For additional peace of mind, all storage insurance policies from Store Insure include goods in transit cover.


If it is possible to disassemble items, this may make storage more efficient.  Make sure you keep all pieces and fixings together for re-assembly.  Bag up and tape or tie fixings to ensure they don’t get lost.  It may also be helpful to take photos of the disassembly process and keep them with the items to help when it comes to putting it back together!


Pay special attention to fabric finishes to protect them against moisture and dust, but make sure you use something breathable for this – plastic wrap may cause any inherent moisture to be trapped and cause damage.  Treat leather to a nourishing treatment before storing to help to prevent it drying out and cracking.


As with any items of value in storage, we would recommend taking the time to visit and inspect your items every few months to check them over.  Hopefully, you will not need to make a claim on your storage insurance – however, should a claim be necessary, our policies now come with Zero excess on standard policy claims so you can store your precious items  with confidence.

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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.