How to Wrap Furniture for Storage

Home Tips

There are many reasons you may need to put furniture in semi-permanent storage.  Whatever the reason, you want to make sure that furniture is still good when you get it out of storage.  Here’s what you need to do to prevent damage. 

Where Can You Keep Extra Furniture

The first thing you need to do is to choose the storage wisely.  Many basements are musty and, even if the furniture is well-wrapped, the moisture will seep in quickly. This can lead to a mold problem.  The smell may ruin the furniture even if the actual mildew can be removed. 

Many people consider the attic, but in most cases, the attic floor is too weak to stuff furniture up there. Furthermore, an attic has extremes of heat and cold based on the climate where you live.  This is bad for furniture even for short periods of time. 

The garage or a shed may be a good temporary storage spot, but you don’t want to leave good furniture there for very long. It may have moisture problems like the basement or temperature fluctuations like the attic. What’s more, there will be more bugs and potentially rodents.

You may want to find a storage unit that is air cooled or even air conditioned.  It would be good to find one that is truly temperature controlled. 

Many people use storage units to keep furniture that is too big for their current home or to store recently inherited furniture.

Other common reasons people store furniture are splitting up a household, blending two households, taking on a family member in your home, establishing a home office, or leaving on military deployment.

How to Prepare Different Kinds of Furniture for Storage

Before we get into the list, here’s what you may need: dust cloths, appropriate cleaners for wood, leather, glass, laminate or upholstery, a vacuum cleaner, and scented dryer sheets.  You will also need to gather or buy sheets, blankets and other large covers.  

For the purposes of wrapping furniture, certain types of soft, old clothes without buttons can be used.  Furthermore, you should have plastic baggies, clear tape, packing tape, and possibly some boxes. If you are doing the work outside, place the furniture on clean composite crane mats to ensure that they aren’t damaged by rough pavement, dirt or grass.

Clean Hard Surfaces

First, wipe away all dust using gentle motion and a clean cloth.  Then, using the appropriate cleaner for wood, laminate or glass, clean each part of the hard surface.  Be careful not to let a cleaner stray from a mirror to the dresser or vice versa.  

If the surface is actually wood, you should apply actual furniture polish. This should seal the wood and prevent it from drying out while in storage.  For all metal parts, protect it from the furniture cleaner or glass cleaner. Then take a dry cloth and dust the metal to discourage further oxidation.

Clean Leather and Soft Surfaces

Before using any actual cleaners, you can use a vacuum cleaner to lightly dust any leather surface and to catch crumbs and other loose dirt on soft surfaces such as a sofa.  A good leather cleaner will help seal the leather, keeping out bad smells and keeping in the natural oils that keep it supple.  

You can launder the sofa and pillows with an appropriate cleaner.  Then, to help the sofa stay smelling good, you can put dryer sheets in between the pillows.  The same is true for recliners and other soft chairs.  If storing a mattress, you may want to pin multiple dryer sheets across both the front and back before you wrap it.

How to Wrap Furniture for Storage: A Step-By-Step guide

First, make sure everything that has been cleaned has had time to thoroughly dry.  You don’t want to wrap up unwanted moisture.  Second, determine what could be taken apart. If this requires hardware, be sure to put the hardware in a plastic baggie. Then you can tape the baggie securely to the back of the furniture, ready to be assembled some day.

If there are pieces that will fit in a box, definitely do that. It will help protect them.  You will still need to wrap them.  If you are packing up mirrors, take extra care by cutting out thick cardboard pisces to go over the front and back.  Using packing tape, attach the cardboard pieces to each other without touching the actual furniture.

You will also need to wrap mirrors like this if they are attached to a bureau or chest.  Once the glass has been secured, you can concentrate on the rest of the furniture.

Next, add a scented dryer sheet to any enclosed space. This includes all of the drawers and anywhere else that one might be safely tucked. As they heat, dryer sheets will let off a scent, reducing the musty smell common in stored furniture. It may be tempting to use natural sachets, but remember those may be tempting to bugs or animals as well.

Now, use sheets or other soft padding to wrap around each piece of furniture. You can secure it with packing tape or duct tape to keep it in place. Do not let the tape touch the furniture.  

Use extra wrapping for chair arms, chair legs, and other weaker pieces.  Soft clothing that can fit snugly over a chair or other item can be quite useful. 

Once the furniture is well-wrapped in a soft cover, then you can take a roll of plastic or bubble wrap and cover it again. This outer cover should not be allowed to touch the actual furniture. Yet it is vital to keeping moisture out and helping to prevent dents or breaks. 

Lastly, if you can’t do this at the storage spot, you will need to check your work when you get the furniture moved into the place where it will stay.  Just a few minutes of checking the tape and wrappings will reassure you that the furniture really is covered up and ready for storage.

These measures may take a bit of time, but this should help your furniture handle a long stint in storage.