Whether it's just for a few weeks, several months, or for years, storing your upholstered furniture requires a little bit more than simply sticking it in the storage unit. This is because you don't want insects or moisture to damage the furniture. The following tips can help you avoid problems so your furniture comes out of storage looking as good as when it went in.
Tip #1: Grab the vacuum
Crumbs, hair, and skin oil can all provide a feast for rodents or insects. This can lead to major damage, including excrement stains and holes, in a short period of time. Before storing, remove all the cushions from sofas and chairs and vacuum everything thoroughly. The cleaner the better when it comes to storage.
Tip #2: Consider a shampoo
If you have the means, cleaning the upholstery even more deeply with a furniture shampooer is also a good idea. Some hardware stores even have these available to rent if you don't already have one. Your carpet shampooer may also have an upholstery attachment. At the very least, check to see if the cushion covers are removable and machine washable, since this will further remove anything a pest may see as food.
Tip #3: Dry it out
Moisture is also an enemy, since this can lead to mildew or mold growth. Make sure the upholstery is completely dry, especially if you wash it or spot clean it before storage. Wash the fabrics a week before you plan to store so you have seven days for everything to dry out in your climate-controlled home.
Tip #4: Take it apart
Certain parts of a piece of furniture are more likely to break. In the case of sofas and chairs, the legs are the usual suspects. Check to see if the legs are removable since many simply screw on and off. If so, remove the legs and place them in a bag. Label the bag and keep it with the furniture piece the legs belong to once you put everything into storage.
Tip #5: Elevate for safety
Concrete floors can seep small amounts of moisture, which can damage the furniture. Line the floor with a tarp to provide a moisture barrier. If minor flooding is a concern, such as in low-lying areas or areas prone to major rainfall, consider setting the upholstered piece on top of a pallet or bricks to lift it above any minor flooding.
Tip #6: Put it under cover
A cover is a must to keep dust and dirt off the upholstery. The key is the cover should be fabric and breathable, so that moisture doesn't become trapped. White sheets or drop cloths work well. Why white? If there is any moisture, you don't want the cover to leach dyes and stain the upholstery.