How to Store Antiques

Antiques such as dishware, furniture, artwork, and other items have a long history and often are of great importance to the people who own them. These items usually have either sentimental or monetary value or both. Regardless of what exactly makes them valuable, antique owners want to make sure these items are preserved for years to come and aren’t damaged in any way during the packing and storing process. 

Before Placing Antiques in Storage

Before placing your antiques into a storage unit, make a detailed list of what you have. Possibly include measurements, photographs, and a description of each item. For financially valuable items, consider having the antiques appraised and securing insurance coverage.

When you’re ready to pack up your antiques, wear gloves and thoroughly clean everything first, before wrapping each item and gently placing it in a clearly-labeled box.

Where to Store Antiques

In addition to putting effort into how you store your antiques, you should also think carefully about where you’re going to store them. You want to choose a storage location that has the greatest chance of keeping these items safe, secure, and free from damage. Your storage facility should have advanced security and safety features such as tall fences, locked gates, climate control for temperature and humidity, etc. 

Make sure you select a storage unit that has enough space so that you don’t have to stack things on top of each other, as this places pressure on items near the bottom and significantly increases the risk of damage. When placing your antiques into storage, cover the floor with wooden pallets if possible in order to protect your antiques from flooding and increase air circulation in the storage unit. 

How to Store Specific Types of Antiques

  • China: If you’re storing china or porcelain plates, bowls, and cups, make sure to store them on their side, not stacked on top of each other. In fact, none of the pieces should be touching each other– instead make sure there’s a layer of paper or another padding in between each one. 
  • Furniture: If possible, start by disassembling your antique furniture to make it easier to transport and store. For wood furniture, take some time a few weeks before moving the item into storage to treat it with a wax or furniture polish for moisture to prevent the wood from drying out and cracking (if your furniture is made of another material, use a leather conditioner or metal cleaner). Cover it in breathable fabric such as a sheet or an old quilt and tape it down. 
  • Art: Paintings, drawings, and other valuable works of art should be wrapped in glassine, which is a special kind of paper that is air- and water-resistant. Then place a plastic covering over it and place it inside a wooden crate if possible. Always store artwork vertically, and never stack anything on top of it.
  • Paper: Books and documents should be wrapped in acid-free paper inside a plastic bag and then placed in a book box (never store them spine-up). Fill in the space around the books with crumpled newspaper or another material to minimize shifting over time or during transport. 

Self-Storage Units in Cedar City, Utah

If you have antiques you need to safely store, Airtight Storage can help. With locations in Cedar City and Enoch, Utah, our shipping container storage units are made of thick steel and are airtight, keeping your belongings safe from water, pests, dust, and other hazards. In addition, our facility features 24-hour surveillance and a barbed wire fence with gate access to give you peace of mind. Contact us today for more information.

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