In a previous post, we discussed what should be stored at a storage facility and items that can’t be stored. One of the items that are gladly welcomed at our self-storage facility in Dallas is antiques. We said to check back for information on how to properly store your antique furniture, art, or clothes so that they don’t crack, warp, or fade. So, here we are. If you’re planning on storing any antiques, here’s everything you need to know about how to prepare items for long-term storage.
First, the beauty of climate controlled units
The Dallas heat is no place to safely store antiques unless they are in a unit that offers temperature control. At both of our Oak Cliff and Love Field locations, many of our units are climate controlled so you don’t need to worry about searching for the right facility and paying a fortune each month in rent. Extreme temperatures can harm delicate materials, including wooden frames, canvas, and fabric. With a climate controlled unit, the humidity is reduced, adding a layer of protection against damage.
Storing Antique Furniture
Furniture most likely has different types of materials, from wood, fabric, or nails that all need to be protected against scratches, color fading, ripping, and rusting. To start, polish the wood with a furniture oil. This will protect the wood and keep moisture locked inside to prevent cracking. You can also add some oil to any metal that is showing to prevent rust. When the wood is prepared, gently begin wrapping the furniture. More fragile parts like wooden chair legs should be wrapped in bubble wrap. You can either wrap couch cushions separately or leave them on the couch to keep the items together. Wrap storage blankets or pads around the top, arms, and bottom of the piece of furniture.
Storing Antique Art
Like the wood on furniture pieces, use polish or oil to prepare the frame and be sure to cover any nails. The important part with canvas art and paintings is protecting the canvas itself. The art requires air flow, so avoid using bubble or plastic wrap that will trap the air and could cause water condensation to form, leading to water damage. Layer the front and back of the art with tissue paper, breathable sheets or blankets, or foam. Both sides should also be supported with a sturdy backing board or cardboard. Add an extra layer of protection to the corners of the piece. When transporting antique art and placing it in storage, always keep them upright, never flat.
Storing Antique Clothes
Unlike other everyday clothes, antique fabric should never be hung on regular hangers. Even hangers with padding can wear out the fabric and add stress to the seams of the shoulders and waistline. Old or vintage clothes should also not be placed in plastic bags as they don’t allow the fabric air and could lead to mold and mildew. Place the clothes folded flat in a box that has been lined with quilt batting and then muslin. If the clothes must be folded, use as few folds as possible to limit wrinkles. Use acid-free tissue paper in between each fold and in between each piece of clothing.
When choosing a self-storage unit, consider how easy it is to access from your home. With antiques, the less they are moved around, the better. This will avoid the possibility of bumping into things and breaking or scratching.
Be sure to purchase insurance for the contents of your storage unit. In the case of burglary, fire, smoke, or any natural disaster, your prized antiques will at least be covered. Having insurance on a storage unit no matter what the contents are is highly recommended, especially if the contents are valuable or there is an emotional attachment.
The most important part in storing antiques is having climate controlled storage units. At both of our locations, you can find these units and many more benefits to give you peace of mind while your belongings are with us. Our storage facility only wants the best for your things, from the highest security, ease of access, available insurance, and of course, climate controlled storage. Call us today for a tour of our facility and to reserve your unit.