How To Pack Items Properly For Storage

It may sound silly to have to say this, but there is a right way and a wrong way to pack items properly for storage. You want to protect your valuables and prevent damage to surfaces and ensure you don’t break anything when you are lifting and moving the items around.

We have some tips on the right way to pack more sensitive items like antiques, mattresses, upholstered items and wooden furniture, to help you keep them in tip-top shape during the move and while in storage:

Temperature Control Self Storage Unit.

When making a comparison between storage locations, be sure to ask about the availability of temperature control storage units. This can be essential in preventing damage, specifically to antiques and wooden items, over long periods of time. These storage units use central air and heat to maintain a temperature range of 50 to 80 degrees year round and this reduces the humidity level as well. Some storage locations have dehumidifiers as well, typically for units on the first floor of an indoor self storage building.

Fragile Mirrors, Framed Photos, Artwork and TVs.

Fragile items such as furniture with mirrors and large frame pictures should be wrapped carefully with protective wrapping, such as bubble wrap. Blankets, sheets or felt can also be used to protect these items from being damaged while being moved or in storage. Boxes specifically designed for packing mirrors, TVs or large paintings can be purchased in our fully stock retail shop inside our rental office.

Antique mirrors or framed artwork should be stored horizontally. This will reduce the likelihood of the item tipping over or collapsing under its own weight. Cardboard corners for mirrors and artwork can be added to protect the corners.

Upholstered Items.

Upholstered items such as chairs, sofas and mattresses should be covered with sheets, plastic covers or tarps to help keep the dust from settling, especially on wooden areas of the furniture.


Mattresses need to be stored flat, manufacturers recommend this for keeping it in shape. It may be more convenient to store your mattress standing, but when a mattress is stored upright, the coils and inner workings can shift and the mattress fabric can sag. If you have large boxes or flat furniture where the mattress will be stored, you can lay the mattress on top but don’t store items on the top of the mattress.

Sofas and Sectionals.

Place a sofa or sectional on its legs as if you were using it on top of pallets or boards. Do not store either up on its end, even if it helps create more room in the storage unit – unless for a very short period of time. This can cause stress to the frame of the sofa, especially the large over-sized ones that are quite heavy

Antique Furniture.

Weak or heavy pieces of antique furniture should be disassembled prior to placing them in storage. Parts should be wrapped or boxed and marked indicating the name of the part and the item it belongs to. Screws and other hardware should be kept together and stored in a plastic bag and wrapped with tape or stretch wrap around the furniture piece needing to be reassembled.

Antique furniture should not be stacked on top of other items. Nor should other items be stacked on top of the antique furniture items.

Prior to storage, antique wooden furniture should be cleaned and sprayed with a quality furniture polish. Leather items should be treated with leather conditioner before being placed in a storage unit.  Metal furniture should also be wiped down with oil prior to storage.

All antique furniture should be inventoried and photographed for insurance claim purposes, as much of it can be quite valuable. An estimate of the value of the item and the cost of replacing it should be made and kept on file.


Chair legs, wooden arms and railings should be wrapped with bubble wrap for added protection. Disassemble any large items if you can easily. Clean and polish all furniture before placing into storage. If you are going to place items on top of flat surfaces like on a table or desk, be sure to place a blanket or something similar between the items to prevent damage to the finish.


Separate lamp bases and lampshades and wrap them for protection. Remove any light bulbs and pack them back into the light bulb boxes if you have them, or wrap them in bubble wrap and keep with the lamp. We also offer specialty lamp boxes for sale in our retail shop inside the rental office for added protection.

Your self storage property managers can be a great resource for storage solutions and packing hints like the ones above. Be sure to ask them for guidance, they may have important information you wouldn’t have considered before. If you are ready to get your items packed and into a storage unit, you can rent one online now and get started.