You can have several reasons for needing to store extra office furniture, including downsizing to a smaller office space temporarily or going from working in an office environment to working from home due to changes caused by the coronavirus in 2020.
In any case, if you find yourself having to stow away furniture such as desks, tables, and chairs, you need to be conscious of the right way to do it to avoid damaging your furniture.
Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when putting furniture away for long periods of time.
Keep It Accessible — Don’t Overstack and Overcrowd
In order to maximize floor space in your storage area, you might be tempted to stack your chairs and tables on top of each other as high as possible. When you do this, you not only pose a dangerous risk to anyone entering the storage area, but you cause undue stress on the furniture itself.
While organizing where things should be placed, be intentional. Don’t stack boxes on top of boxes carelessly, or create high towers of chairs. Large items should be stored toward the back, and secured, while height limits should be set on stacks of furniture.
Leave an aisle or space to otherwise move around your objects so that individuals can safely go in and out of the storage area and find what they need easily. Keep things you might need to access more regularly in front, instead of buried in boxes.
Choose a Climate-Controlled Unit
Choosing a climate-controlled storage space for your office furniture is essential.
Furniture stored away needs to be protected from the elements such as changing temperatures even if they’re left untouched through all seasons. A climate-controlled storage unit keeps the inside temperature consistent year-round and maintains proper ventilation.
A non-climate controlled area could cause damage to your furniture, especially wood pieces, upholstered furniture, and paper documents, and lead to expensive replacement and repair costs.
Disassemble What You Can
Larger pieces of furniture may need to be disassembled when possible in order to be more properly and efficiently stored. Disassembling chairs, tables, and sofas can also provide further protection since you can wrap individual pieces and place them more securely within the storage space.
Wrap and Cover Everything
Wrap your furniture before storing to add an extra layer of protection from the elements and from scratches, dents, dust, and dirt.
Use padded covers, blankets, and sheets to wrap and cover wooden furniture. This will allow ventilation but also prevent the furniture from collecting debris and getting scratched up. Avoid using plastic wrap since it can generate moisture and cause mold.
If you aren’t able to disassemble pieces such as table or desk legs, wrap them to prevent them from breaking. Cushion glass items with bubble wrap and cardboard and hold these wrappings with plastic packing tape, but never apply tape directly to your furniture.
Thoroughly Clean and Dry Everything Beforehand
Before storing office furniture for any length of time, you should thoroughly clean and dry all materials.
If you’re cleaning and protecting wood finishes, wipe them down with a soft cloth and use wood polish to protect the finish.
For preparing upholstered furniture items to be stored, you’ll want to remove all cushions and vacuum all of the nooks and crannies of couches and chairs. You can also clean upholstered parts of furniture with a steam cleaner.
If you’re preparing leather furniture to be stowed away, use a mixture of dish soap and water, or vinegar and water, to gently wipe down the leather and allow it to dry. Before placing it in the storage area, treat leather furniture with a conditioner to further protect its exterior.
Consider the Future of Your Furniture
Following the aforementioned tips for storing your office furniture will protect the condition of these pieces and give them long lives, in and out of storage. However, when the time comes to retrieve your furniture from storage, you might find that it’s time for an upgrade. This is when professional commercial upholstery is a great idea.
QA Group has over 80 years of experience with furniture restoration and commercial upholstery in Seattle and the greater Pacific Northwest — from antique wooden dressers, to comfortable leather couches, and everything in between. QA Group is also happy to help you with any questions you might have on updating antique pieces and preserving stored furniture.