leather sofa

How to store furniture in a storage unit

Whether you’ve downsized and need a clean space to keep your extra armchair safe or you’re in between houses at the moment and are looking into how to store furniture in a storage unit, we have the tips and tricks you need.

Some furniture requires a little prep before it’s squirrelled away, to ensure it’s in the very best condition when you take it back out again. From wood furniture to leather upholstery, read on to learn more about how to protect your furniture while it’s safely stored in a dedicated storage unit.

Tips for storing furniture in a storage unit

  1. How to find the right storage space
  2. How to clean your furniture
  3. Why you should disassemble furniture
  4. How to protect wood furniture
  5. How to store leather furniture
  6. How to wrap furniture for storage
  7. How to safely store furniture

Finding the right storage unit for your furniture

The first step is to choose a storage unit that is clean, dry and secure. Here are some other things to look out for:

  • Individually alarmed units – This ensures your furniture and whatever else you choose to store is protected.
  • Cool and dry space – This will prevent the build up of any mould on furniture in a storage unit.
  • 24/7 security CCTV – This offers peace of mind that your belongings are secure.
  • Well lit corridors – You want to feel safe too when accessing your unit.
  • Various sized units – Storage units aren’t a one size fits all kind of deal, you’ll need to find a unit that is big enough for your furniture to fit comfortably. Take a look at our storage unit size guide for guidance.

Cubic Storage offers all this and more in our Southampton and Farnborough locations, so if you’re located nearby, consider our units when you need to store furniture.

How to clean your furniture ready for storage

It’s important that your furniture is clean before being stored away. Any mess or food residue left on surfaces can damage the material over time or invite unwanted pests into your unit which may damage your items.

Use warm soapy water

If you’re cleaning wooden furniture or leather, this should remove any surface dirt and grime. Use a soft sponge and ensure the furniture is fully dry before moving into your storage unit.

Get into grooves

If you’re storing a sofa, for example, be sure to get into all those nooks and crannies where dirt can hide – or where crumbs from those snacks from that last movie night may have found themselves.

Consider a professional clean

If you’re looking to store a fabric sofa, it’s a good idea to have it professionally cleaned. This ensures that any dirt and grime that’s built up over time doesn’t get worse while in storage.

Polish any metal features

If your furniture has metal brackets or decorative features it’s a good idea to give these a polish before they go into storage. This ensures any build-up of rust or dirt doesn’t continue to tarnish your furniture.

Why you should disassemble your furniture before putting it in storage

Before moving your furniture out of your home it’s a good idea to disassemble it. Why?

  • It makes it easier to transport – This means you may be able to squeeze it into a car or a smaller van, reducing the need to pay for larger transport.
  • You could save money on a storage unit – Disassembling your furniture may make it easier to fit into a smaller space, this means you can save a little money on your storage unit.
  • You can clean the hard to reach areas – Disassembling your furniture allows you to get in between those harder to reach spots where dust and dirt can build up.

Top tip – If you’re removing nuts and bolts pop these into a lunchbox or a sandwich bag and label this so you know what they’re for when you get your furniture back out. It’s also a good idea to take pictures of your furniture before disassembling it so you can work out exactly how it should be pieced back together.

How to protect wood furniture in storage

That expensive dining table or that bookcase handed down from your parents are things you want to keep safe when moving them into storage. Here’s how to protect wood furniture before putting it into storage:

  • Put bubble wrap on edges and corners – This ensures the wood won’t be damaged if it’s knocked during transportation.
  • Cover your wood furniture when in storage – It’s a good idea to cover wood furniture with a dust sheet while it’s stored away to prevent dust building up over time. Avoid plastic wrap that may collect moisture and lead to dampness in the wood, instead let some air circulate around the furniture while it’s packed away.
  • Consider waxing your furniture before putting it into storage – Waxing wooden furniture gives it a protective layer, ideal for keeping the wood in good condition while it’s stored away.

How to store leather furniture in a storage unit

Leather is pretty hardy, it’s made to last and looks great even with wear and tear. However, when it comes to storing your leather furniture there are some key things you need to do before moving it to your unit. Keep your leather sofa or chair looking like new while in storage with these tips.

  • Clean your sofa beforehand – Have your sofa professionally cleaned or do it yourself with an at-home leather cleaner. Ensure it’s fully dry before moving into your storage unit.
  • Cover your leather furniture – We recommend that you use a thin material covering that allows air to reach the leather. This ensures the material can breathe while still being protected from dust.
  • Avoid stacking items on a leather sofa – It’s tempting to use your leather sofa as a base for boxes and other items you may be keeping in your storage unit but over time these can create indents or even damage leather.

How to wrap furniture for long term storage

If you’re keeping your furniture tucked away for long periods, it’s a good idea to cover it. While most storage units don’t allow natural light in and are cool and dry, dust can still build up over time and so to protect your furniture you’ll need wraps and covers. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Plastic wrap – This type of wrap is fine for plastic and metal furniture but avoid it for fabric and wood as moisture can get trapped between the wrap and the furniture, leading to mould and dampness.
  • Fabric coverings – Clean and lightweight sheets are ideal for protecting furniture from dust. Leave them loose to allow air to flow to reduce moisture from getting trapped.
  • Purpose made coverings – You’ll discover that you can buy wraps for sofas and mattresses that are made for that job alone, these can be pricey but worth it to ensure your furniture stays in tip-top shape.

How to safely store furniture

  • Don’t overpack your unit – This ensures that there’s plenty of air flow and that furniture won’t get damaged if it’s resting on something else over a long period of time.
  • If you can, place items on wooden pallets – This keeps them off the floor and reduces the risk of rising damp. Although this is unlikely in a quality storage unit, it’s still worth considering. Alternatively, you could place sheets of cardboard on the floor and your furniture on top of this.
  • Cover any glass with bubble wrap – A glass top table looks great so you’ll want to ensure it survives storage by wrapping it in bubble wrap or tissue paper. This should protect it from knocks while moving. Ensure it’s propped up safely once you get there and avoid stacking items on top of it that could lead to breaks or scratches.
  • Use blankets as padding – If you do need to put more than one item of furniture into storage and squeeze them close together then use blankets as padding between them. This ensures they don’t suffer damage over time.

Whatever your reason for moving furniture into a storage unit, we hope that with these tips, you can keep those important items out of the way, with little risk of damage. Take a look at our storage options and get a quote today.


  • I like how you mentioned it’s a good idea to get a fabric sofa professionally cleaned before storing it. This keeps any filth and grime that has accumulated over time from getting worse while in storage. When I was in college I think about it differently, there is really numerous information in this article that helps me. I’m grateful for your advice about furniture storage.

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