Moving Blog

Preparing Your Furniture for Long-Term Storage: A Guide

December 24, 2019

So, you’re finally downsizing! Or you’ve taken a temporary assignment in a new city. Maybe you’ve been deployed or have decided to travel long-term and are giving up your apartment. Or you just don’t have enough space for your furniture.

Whatever the circumstances are that led you here, you’ve found yourself in need of a long-term storage solution for your furniture. To keep your furniture in quality condition for its maximum potential lifespan—and out of the way when you need it to be—take these steps to prepare it for hibernation!

Is my furniture worth storing?

Before you spend all the time and money it takes to prepare your furniture for long-term storage, you’ll want to determine whether it’s worth holding onto at all. Depending on where and how much you choose to store, storage costs can add up. Don’t waste any space on items that aren’t worth keeping in the long run.

To decide if a piece of furniture is worth storing, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is it functional and comfortable?
  • Is it high-quality or expensive?
  • Is it in good condition?
  • Does it have sentimental value?

If your answer to one or more of these is yes, it’s time to get it ready for storage!

Where should I store my furniture?

Once you know which of your pieces you’ll be storing, it’ll be easier to decide what type of storage solution will work best for you.

The first option you might consider for furniture storage is somewhere in your own home.

Depending on your situation, it may be more convenient and cost-effective to keep extra pieces in your basement, garage or shed, or attic. These are all excellent options for short-term furniture storage, but if you’re leaving them for an extended period then you’ll need storage space that’s better suited to maintaining the quality of your furniture over time.

If you’re storing your furniture long-term, a storage unit is the only solution that can guarantee you’ll find your pieces in the condition you left them when you need them again.

A storage facility is your best option for ensuring the quality and value of your furniture over time. Because a lot of the materials used to make furniture are affected by fluctuations in temperature and humidity, a facility with climate-controlled options will be ideal.

How do I prepare my furniture for long-term storage?

After you’ve determined what furniture you’re storing and where you’re storing it, it’s time to start prepping! So, what’s first?


Dirt and debris left on the surface of your stored furniture can cause permanent damage over time. Make sure you clean each piece thoroughly, taking the appropriate steps based on the material it’s made of.

A few furniture-cleaning tips to keep in mind:

  • Wooden furniture should be wiped down with a damp cloth or wood cleaner and sealed with furniture/wood polish to protect from moisture.
  • Vacuum and shampoo upholstery before applying an upholstery protector.
  • Wipe down leather furniture with a dry cloth or use leather cleaner, then cover in a layer of leather protector.
  • Don’t forget to polish the metal sections of your furniture to remove and prevent oxidation buildup.
  • Make sure everything is 100% dry before storing. Leftover or excessive moisture can lead to mold growth.


Larger furniture pieces will be much easier to pack and move after being taken apart. Anything that can be disassembled should be, before entering long-term storage.

Breaking your furniture down will also reduce the risk of damage. Just make sure you’re keeping all parts of the same piece close together, bagged, and labeled.


Now that you’ve cleaned and disassembled your furniture, it’s finally time to pack it away! Here are a few key things to remember as you prep:

  • Instead of using plastic wrap directly on your pieces—and risk trapping harmful moisture and debris on the surface—wrap them in old sheets, blankets, and cloths. The soft material will help with air circulation.
  • After wrapping, you’ll also want to pad the corners and edges of your furniture to prevent them from scratching other items or getting damaged in transport.
  • Put down a layer of plastic sheeting, tarp, or even wooden pallets in your storage area to protect your furniture from moisture, temperature fluctuation, and other damage it might be more susceptible to resting directly on the ground.

Once you’ve taken these steps, all that’s left to do is carefully stack and organize your furniture, and you’re good to go!

Rest easy knowing your furniture will be well-cared for indefinitely when you choose to store it with Dowell’s Moving & Storage! Our climate-controlled warehouse is an ideal long-term storage solution for your valuable furniture, clothing, collectibles, and other treasured belongings.

Give us a call at 250-361-9866 to inquire about renting our storage space and finding a home for your prized possessions as long as you need it!