A self-storage unit can be a great place to store the furniture that you don't have room for at home. Whether you're in-between houses, holding on to furniture for your kids when they move out, or storing inherited furniture until you can sell or donate it, a storage unit can give you the extra space that you need. However, you'll need to take steps to make sure that your furniture is as safe as possible while in your storage unit. Take a look at some tips that can help ensure that your furniture comes out of storage looking just the way that it did when it went in.
Your first step is to get the storage unit ready for your furniture. Take the time to inspect the unit thoroughly before you move anything in. Make sure that the unit is free of dust and debris. Look for holes or drafts under the door that could allow water or pests to get into the unit. You will want to have any holes patched before you move anything into the unit. Weatherstripping the storage unit's door can help seal up any drafts below the door.
Once the unit is fully sealed, you're still not quite ready to move things in. First, bring in pallets so that your furniture can rest slightly above floor level. This way your furniture won't be resting on the floor, and in the event of a flood, your furniture is more likely to remain dry. You can choose from either wood or plastic pallets. Wood pallets are less expensive, but they're also prone to pest infestation and can contain splinters, rusty nails, and other things that may damage furniture. Plastic pallets cost more, but they're smooth and sturdy and unlikely to bring in pests.
When you're preparing to move your furniture into the unit, disassemble as much of it as possible first. This will save space. Not all furniture can be broken down into pieces, but much of it can, especially tables, bookshelves, and cabinets. Make sure that you group all of the pieces of a particular furniture item together, and put the screws, nuts, and bolts into a labeled, zipped plastic bag and attach it to the furniture that it belongs with.
Wrap your furniture in large sheets of sturdy plastic wrap – you can find rolls of it available in any packing and shipping store. Use quilts or blankets as padding for sharp corners, or to protect fragile pieces, like glass table tops. Place the larger and heavier items directly on the pallets, and then you can stack lighter items on top of the heavier items. If you're driving a moving truck to the storage unit, you may want to load the heaviest items last so that they're the first things that you take out of the back.
No matter how careful you are, you can't plan for every possible eventuality. That's why you need to make sure that the items in your storage unit are insured against theft, fire, flooding, or other damage.
Your homeowner's or renter's insurance may provide coverage for the things that you have in storage. However, it's important to check and make sure that your insurance company does provide off-premises coverage. If so, make sure that you know what your coverage limits are. It's common for off-premises coverage to only cover about 10% of what your homeowner's insurance covers, so if you're storing antique or rare furniture that has a high value, you may want to ask about increasing your coverage or purchasing a separate policy. The storage rental facility itself may sell insurance policies, but the coverage limits on that are liable to be even lower than your homeowner's policy.
If you prepare your storage unit thoroughly, take care when moving your items in, and insure yourself against the possibility of damage, you can rest easy knowing that your furniture will be safe in storage until you're ready to use it again.