Sofas and other soft furnishings are expensive and putting them into storage can be worrying if you don’t protect them properly. Here we look at how to ensure your sofas and other soft furnishings come out of storage the way they went in.
The love of our lives – the soft, squashy, beautiful, expensive piece of furniture we love to spend as much time on as possible – the sofa.
Sofas can be found in living rooms everywhere in the UK, and across the globe. They can be low and vintage, big, fluffy and squashy, bright floral and fuzzy – they come in all shapes, sizes and styles, and they tend to be the focal point of the living room.
There may come a time when you need to store away your beloved sofa. Perhaps you have had to replace it and you need to store it to make way for the new one, eventually selling the old one when you have time. Maybe you need to store your sofa whilst you redecorate, or you need to store your sofa because it’s too big for your new home, but you aim to upsize again in the future and take your favourite sofa with you.
Whatever your reason for using affordable self storage for your sofa, you’re going to need to store it right. Sofas are not cheap, so it makes sense to take the time to prepare it properly so it doesn’t suffer any damage, and comes back out of storage in the condition it was in when you put it in.
Stage One – First things first….
Make sure you choose the right storage facility. This may seem obvious, but, if you don’t have much time or you’re on a tight budget it would make sense to jump at the first place you can afford. This would be a mistake, though.
If they don’t have the best security your unit could be broken into, and even with the best possible insurance, there’s no replacing sentimental items, or items that are no longer available to buy.
If the temperatures aren’t controlled, temperature extremes could affect the sofa. Wood, which makes the frame of most sofas, swells and shrinks with extreme temperatures and over time warps the shape of the wood.
If the unit is not well maintained it could be damp. Damp could result in your sofa going mouldy and smelling of mildew, eventually, with no attention, completely degrading and rotting.
If there isn’t vermin control, you may end up getting your sofa back with some added furry friends you didn’t ask for. Even if those new squeaky pals don’t make a permanent home, their gnawing and nesting will ultimately damage your sofa. Naturally, you may also be hesitant to even want to keep a sofa that has been utilised by rats and mice.
All of these issues are avoidable if you choose the right self storage unit, which might take a little bit of time, but ultimately – your sofa is worth more than a quick, badly thought out decision to store in an unsuitable facility. Make sure you take your time to do your research and choose a facility with:
- Great security
- Affordable but fair prices
- Good hygiene
- Climate control
- Friendly staff
- Attention to detail
Stage 2 – Preparing Your Sofa For Self-Storage
Of course, it doesn’t matter if you use the best storage facility known to man, if you don’t prepare your sofa properly, it’s not going to come out in the best condition.
The first step will be cleaning the sofa. This is so important as it ensures your sofa is protected from being damaged by mould, mildew, dirt and debris already present on or in the sofa. There’s no room for pride here – these kinds of issues can hide inside sofas and we wouldn’t necessarily know they are present or an issue. Once in storage, though, there is room for the smallest issue to get bigger and bigger until some really bad damage is done to the furniture. Mould and mildew spores can also spread to other items in the unit. So if your sofa does start to rot, the spores from the mould and mildew can and will spread to other soft furnishings, furniture and clothes and impact them. First, causing them to smell and staining them with grey, black and white spots, then eventually rotting the material altogether.
Knowing that a small tarnish when a sofa is stored, could rot the sofa completely if it is left to develop in a different environment that may encourage it to go mouldy or to weaken the material, means anticipating an issue and preventing it. Assume the worst to ensure the very best possible storage results.
Before you clean the sofa fully, be sure to take all the cushions off and vacuum, removing any crumbs and other debris like coins and toys, as they can cause damage if left inside the sofa.
When you start to consider cleaning the furniture you must research the type of material you are working with and look at the manufacturer’s instructions. Cleaning the sofa incorrectly could damage it permanently, so it is extremely important to take the time to research how to do it right. Leather, cotton, linen, wool and silk all have very different instructions for cleaning. The materials that give the sofa its structure may also have different cleaning directions compared to the cushions or upholstery.
If you are at any point unsure about how to clean your sofa, or you are worried about your ability to do it yourself – invest in expert advice. There’s nothing wrong with paying someone to do the work for you if it means the job is done right.
When you have cleaned the sofa or had it cleaned, you will then need to cover it over. The priority is to ensure that it is not wet at all.
If the sofa has been cleaned and isn’t completely dry you will get bad smells, mould and mildew which will damage your sofa while it is in storage, as we mentioned above. As we also mentioned, it may also damage other items in storage. Even if you feel sure the sofa is dry, allow it to air dry for longer just in case – it really is better to be safe than sorry.
When you are sure it is dry, you can then place a cover on it. Do not opt for a plastic cover – this is almost always a bad idea, even with brand new sofas. It is not breathable, and if any moisture at all is present, condensation will occur and cause huge problems. Usually, breathable sheets and other materials make more sense and will adequately protect the sofa from dust. The only time you should use plastic sheeting is for transportation when it’s raining, so you can avoid soaking the sofa. This plastic should then be removed when you get to the storage unit, so the material is able to breathe.
As part of the protection process, it might also be worth placing protection on the corners (padding), and around the wheels, so you can protect potential damage from moving the sofa around. Another way to help protect the sofa during moving is to place padding on any corners or parts of the home where you anticipate that there will be bashes or scrapes as you get the sofa out. Door Frames, stair posts – anything where the sofa has to be carefully negotiated around those items. Wrapping some padding around those items will help protect them and the sofa as you negotiate it out of your house.
Furthermore, ensuring everybody moving the sofa knows how to handle it properly will help keep it (and the movers) protected. If you’re not sure you’re able to do it yourself with your partner or friends, do speak to a professional moving company who will have experience getting the job done safely.
Stage 3 – Placing The Sofa In Storage
You need to think carefully when you place the sofa in your storage facility. Some people choose to store their sofa upside down or on the side – we recommend storing it as it sits in your living room. We also recommend you do not place boxes or any items on top of it if possible as these will strain the sofa and may cause long term damage. Ideally the sofa will be able to sit in a space in your unit with room to breathe around it. Obviously, you often do have to use every inch of the storage unit, but if you are able to have space around the sofa so it isn’t completely packed in, that will help with airflow.
Stage 4 – Climate Controlled Self Storage
Climate controlled self storage is a great idea, and should be high on your priority list when you look at investing in storage space. The material your sofa is made from can become discoloured, wear down, fade, shrink, expand or rot if any temperature extremes impact it. For this reason, climate controlled storage is a really great investment and most reputable affordable self storage companies offer this service.
Are You Ready To Store Your Sofa In Affordable Self Storage?
It’s so important to take your time choosing the right self storage, and to take your time cleaning it and protecting it, so that when the time comes to collect it again, it’s as beautiful and functional as it was the day you placed it in your unit.