Antiques function as display pieces in most homes, but there are nonetheless times in the lives of many homeowners when it's necessary to put them in storage. Perhaps you're downsizing to a smaller living space and need a place to keep larger pieces until you develop a game plan for either using them in your new home or selling them. Whatever the reason, it's important to follow certain guideline to ensure that your antiques will weather the storage experience well. Following are the basics of storing antique wooden furniture, antique rugs, and antique upholstered furniture.
Antique Wooden Furniture
Before placing wooden desks, tables, and chairs in storage, take the time to apply a good coat of high-grade furniture oil on the pieces. Using a soft microfiber cloth with prevent scratches and lint deposits on the surface of the wood. The oil helps keep the wood moisturized so that it doesn't crack or warp due to low levels of humidity in the storage unit. This is advised even if you are going to be leaving your antique items in a climate controlled storage facility. Cover furniture with cotton sheets in order to prevent buildup of dust and debris, and never stack other pieces on top of wooden furniture.
Dismantling heavy furniture items before placing in storage prevents unnecessary wear and tear. For instance, remove drawers from tall highboys and built in mirrors from vanity tables.
Your antique rugs should be thoroughly washed and dried before putting them into a storage unit. If your antique rugs have significant monetary value, you should consider having them professionally cleaned in order to prevent any possible damage that you may inadvertently caused by trying to clean them yourself. Even if you see no signs of insects on the surface of your rugs, that doesn't mean that insects haven't laid eggs in the fibers of your rugs. Other possible problems include mold and mildew -- even small amounts of either of these fungal organisms will quickly multiply under the right environmental conditions. If you have your rug cleaned professionally, ask them to apply insect repellent designed for use on fabrics before you place the item in long term storage.
Properly rolling your rugs is another important aspect of preparing them for storage. Here's what to do:
- Create a tight roll by starting from the bottom -- find the bottom by petting the rug to find which way the fabric grain goes, and that will point you to the bottom,
- If your rug is fragile or crafted from silk, roll with the pile facing outward to protect the backing. Otherwise, roll the rug with the backing on the outside.
- Wrap the rug in tear and water resistant paper after it's tightly rolled. Unlike plastic, a paper covering will allow a small amount of air circulation that will help keep rugs from developing mold and mildew problems.
- Keep rugs elevated in the storage unit to reduce potential problems with rodents and to protect rugs in the event of flooding. Wooden pallets work well for this.
Upholstered Chairs, Loveseats, and Sofas
As with rugs, make certain that all upholstery is clean and dry before placing the items in storage, and be especially vigilant about checking the furniture for sings of mold and mildew and get rid of it before placing the furniture in storage. If the upholstery is made from wool or is a wool blend, wrap it in the same type of paper that's suggested above for wrapping carpet rather than plastic. Oil all wooden parts of the furniture and place protective pads under the legs. As with any other antique furniture item, never stack anything on top of antique upholstered furniture when storing it.
All of the above items can benefit greatly from being placed in climate controlled storage. This will keep them from being damaged by temperature and humidity extremes. Talk to businesses like Epic Group Inc to see where you can store your items in the way you want.