antique turquoise wood dresser

How To Store Antique Furniture for Longevity

As you change up the look of your home, antique furniture doesn’t always match the aesthetic. When that happens, you have to make a choice: 1) let the items go or 2) put them into storage.

If their sentimental value prevents option one, then storage is the way to go. But you do have to take the right approach to prevent the items from getting ruined while waiting for their next big debut.

So, if you’re going the storage route, be sure to use these tips to properly store your antique furniture.

Get a Climate-Controlled Storage Unit

If you have the room, it’s possible to store your antique furniture at home. You just have to make sure that the items won’t get bumped around, exposed to high humidity levels and leaking water, or otherwise disturbed.

For true peace of mind, you’ll want to go with a climate-controlled storage unit instead. The storage space allows you to control heat and humidity, preventing mold, mildew, and warp damage. So, you can rest assured that your antiques remain in the best conditions for their long-term preservation.

Prepare the Furniture for Long-Term Storage

As with all items you put into storage, preparation is key in keeping your antique furniture in great shape for years to come. To do that, simply follow these steps for each piece of furniture you want to store.

cleaning antique furniture


Whenever you want to store furniture, it’s best to thoroughly clean all its surfaces first. Just be sure to use the right cleaning products for the material in question. If the piece is 100 percent wood, use a furniture polish to preserve the finish. Leather conditioner helps preserve furniture with natural leather while metal frames might need oil.


In some cases, it’s wise to partially or fully disassemble the antique furniture before putting it in the storage space. You don’t want to remove anything that doesn’t come apart easily. Think: taking legs off tables, drawers out of desks, and so on. Label the pieces clearly so you know how everything goes back together later.

Box and Wrap

If you have any small pieces, carefully pack them away in cardboard boxes. Use newspaper and other materials to cushion each piece.

wrapping antique chair in paper

Larger items will need to get covered to protect them from dust and damage. Wrap your mirrors and other fragile items in bubble wrap. Skip the plastic wrap for wood furniture, however. Instead, use furniture pads and other cloth covers to wrap the wood.

You can now focus on getting the storage space ready and then transporting your antique furniture to the unit.

Place the Antique Furniture in the Storage Space

Cover the self-storage unit floors with pallets or drop cloths to keep your antique furniture from sitting directly on the floor. Then, carefully place the furniture in the storage space while ensuring each item has its own space.  

Never stack any furniture or the friction could damage their finish. And avoid using bubble wrap or mattresses to add cushion between items. When you store furniture for the long term, you want to maximize airflow as much as possible.  

Check On Your Furniture Pieces Regularly

Remember to come by on a monthly basis to check on your antique furniture. Check the heat and humidity levels. Take a peek under the covers to look at the finish on each piece. And make any changes as needed to protect furniture finishes and overall integrity.

You’ll be glad you did when it comes time to bring your signature pieces back out for display in your home – or to pass down through the generations.

Categories Storage