Heirlooms and treasured antiques are precious, timeless and sometimes irreplaceable. However, there may be times when you will need to put these in storage, perhaps to free up more space in your home or to store them while you are in between moving from one house to another.
You may also be looking at updating your home with more modern décor and furniture but can’t bear to part with your antiques. In cases like these, storing your antiques in a self storage facility may be a good idea.
If you do your homework – learn to pack and store your antiques properly and make the right choice with regards to a storage facility – you can be assured that your antiques are safely stored and will be in excellent condition.
Climate controlled storage
To make sure that antiques are well preserved, you need to store these in a climate controlled unit. Extreme temperatures can adversely affect delicate materials, especially aged wood. With climate controlled storage, even if it is cold or hot outside, the climate inside the unit remains consistent throughout. With the use of a heating and central air system, humidity is effectively reduced inside the unit.
Look for a storage unit that provides easy access so that you don’t have to lug your antiques very far. If the unit is on the upper floors, make sure the building is equipped with an elevator. Transporting antiques only increases the probability of damage.
Although you will make the necessary precautions, it is worth insuring your antiques. That way, you provide an extra layer of protection against the loss of these precious heirlooms.
Consider a self storage facility that has good security features – individual alarms, CCTV TVs, burglar alarms connected to the local police station and security guards.
Here are some key packing tips you should remember when dealing with antiques.
– Get the necessary packing materials. These include boxes, bubble wrap, felt fabric or thick blankets, tape, clear plastic wrap, cardboard corners and “fragile” stickers. There are boxes that are specially designed to store large paintings or mirrors. Cardboard corners, on the other hand, protect a mirror or a painting’s weak areas which are the corners. Be sure that these materials are safe to use for antiques – there are some paper that may contain acids that may cause damage.
– Wrap furniture that are upholstered (i.e. sofas, mattresses) with blankets or cloth covers.
– It is best to dismantle heavy furniture, particularly those that are already weakened. This will prevent unnecessary stress to the furniture during storage. Remove the headboard of a bed or a dresser’s built in mirror. When dismantling, be sure to mark which part comes into which parts. Of course, you should use material that will not damage the patina or varnish of the wood. Keep the bolts and screws in one labeled container. It may also be advisable to tape this container into a portion of the furniture such as the underside of the table or bed.
– Wrap table legs and chair legs with bubble wrap.
– When in doubt, don’t. If you don’t know how some pieces should be packed, it is best to have professionals do it for you.
– For paintings and framed items, wrap with glassine paper. Then, wrap with clear plastic wrapping first then place cardboard cutouts (for both sides) and use packing foam during transport and storage.
– Make sure that you have a complete inventory of the contents of your storage unit. Each item should have estimated replacement values to facilitate insurance claims should anything happen to the antiques.
– For added protection, spray some furniture polish onto wood furniture before storage as well as leather conditioner for leather products.
– Store mirrors and paintings standing on end, never flat.
– Never stack the furniture.
– To protect metal objects from rust, wipe these with a little bit of oil.
– When storing lamp shades, separate the shade and the base. Make sure to remove the light bulbs.