Whether you are storing your great-grandmother’s armoire or a turn of the century chest of drawers you picked up for a steal at a garage sale, it is important to preserve antiques in a way that protects their delicate condition; thus maintaining their value.  Using a self storage facility is both a convenient and secure way of storing your antique possessions.  Although climate controlled units are the preferred method of storage for antiques, it is not always budget friendly or easy to obtain.  So if you must use a garage-style storage unit with cement floors, here are some helpful hints to keep your antique furniture protected from the elements.

PicturePreparation:  Before storing antique furniture, it is important to prepare it for storage, regardless of how long you intend on keeping it stored.  Often times a move can be hectic and stressful but taking the extra time to correctly care for your antiques will safeguard their condition.  Here are some suggestions:
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  • Place disassembled pieces in boxes or bags with an identifying label.  It is often helpful to fasten screws or other accessories to the appropriate furniture piece using plastic wrap or another type of non-adhesive tie.
    Do not stack antique furniture on top of other items or place items on top of antique furniture, especially during long term storage.
  • Wood furniture should be sprayed with a high quality furniture polish.  Many antique dealers recommend using wax instead of a polish so it is advisable to see which is best for your particular piece.  Cover furniture after polishing.
  • Leather furniture should be properly conditioned to avoid drying out and cracking.  Do not leave furniture uncovered.  Metal furniture also needs to be wiped down with oil.
  • Photograph all pieces of antique furniture to have a proper inventory for insurance purposes.  In addition, it would be wise to have items appraised if the value could be substantial.
Indoor Storage: Many storage facilities, including North Valley Self Storage, offer ‘indoor’ units.  This type of unit is usually accessed through a hallway and is virtually dust free.  In addition, indoor units tend to be cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter as they are located in the center of storage buildings.

 

Moving:  Whether you choose an indoor storage unit or prefer a drive-up, it is important that you take special care in moving antique furniture as the wood can easily be dented or scratched and parts broken.  We offer several types of hand carts and furniture dollies to use on the property at no extra cost to you!  Cement floors can often retain moisture even in dry climates regions.  So it is important to place something under your antiques to lift them off the storage unit floor.  Often times our facility has pallets available to provide to customers upon request, free of charge.  Alternately, use of plastic sheets placed under the furniture has proven effective as have styrofoam furniture blocks.
Humidity (or lack thereof):  Since humidity is typically not a problem in Northern Nevada, you should not have to worry about your wood getting moist and warping.  However, many are concerned about the other extreme: over drying.  There are a few precautions you can take in this regard that are both inexpensive and simple.  One option would be to place 5 gallon buckets full of water near your antiques to create a natural humidifier.  Simply refill the bucket when the water level gets low.  Another precaution that can be taken to keep your wood furniture properly hydrated is to apply oil prior to storage as mentioned in the “Preparation” section.  If you are storing long term, it is suggested to rehydrate your wood with oils if possible once or twice per year.

 

Security:  Not all storage facilities are created alike.  That being said, make sure the unit you store your antiques in has security cameras, secure fences, alarms and other safety devices.  North Valley Self Storage is a state of the art facility with individual door alarms to assist in keeping your antiques and other valuables as safe as possible.
Insurance:  Whether your possessions have material or sentimental value, it’s always a good idea to protect them against the unexpected by getting insurance.  Check with your insurance agent to see if if your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance covers a storage unit located outside your property.  If not, most facilities offer an outside insurance specifically for storage units.  This insurance protects against burglary, fire, smoke, vandalism and various other natural disasters.  Our staff is happy to provide you with information and pricing on insurance for your unit. By taking a few extra precautions and preparing your antiques you can feel confident it will be safe during the time it is in storage.  If you have questions or concerns about the proper storing techniques it is always prudent to speak with an antique specialist for suggestions.