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How to safely store antiques

April 11, 2017     News Packaging Self Storage

Learning how to safely store antiques and valuables will ensure they do not become damaged or ruined. Whether you are a museum curator, an avid collector, or you are in possession of a family heirloom that has been passed down from one generation to the next, antiques deserve a lot of love and care.

safely store antiques

For many, these precious items hold sentimental value – they offer a way to capture the memory of a loved one and provide us with a link to the past. For collectors, there may be a genuine interest in a particular piece or a high monetary value attached. Whatever the reason, the condition of your antiques is largely down to how well they are preserved and cared for when they are stored away.

At Your Store Exeter, we’ve been helping people and businesses store possessions for years, ensuring they are kept in tip top condition. Follow our guide below and discover how you can safely store antiques and other valuable items.

Top tips to safely store antiques


1.Make a list

Begin by creating a list of all your antiques. You may also want to include specific details such as measurements and a description of the condition. Speak to a specialist to find out the true value of the item, and keep any receipts or invoices close by.

2.Capture it

Take a picture of your items so that you can determine their condition from the outset. Once each item has been successfully inventoried, you may want to consider taking out insurance coverage to give your items an extra level of protection.

3.Location, location, location

Find the right location to store your antiques. At Your Store Exeter, we have a range of self-storage units to suit any size and cost requirements. A self-storage unit is a perfect solution to your antique storage needs – not to mention, it’s secure, so offers you total peace of mind.

4.Consider the environment

Consider the air moisture, temperature and light exposure and their impact on antique furniture, paintings, artwork, etc. A moisture or climate controlled storage unit beats any basement or attic space every time.

5.Pack items carefully

Get ready for moving your items into self-storage by ensuring they are packed carefully. Even small dents and scrapes can reduce the value of an antique dramatically. Check for any detachable features – particularly with fragile items such as mirrors. Wrap individual items up separately before transporting them.

Read our blog on how to pack fragile items for self-storage here.

6.Purchase the mandatory materials

This includes boxes, bubble wrap, thick blankets, ‘fragile’ stickers. Whether you need to protect a mirror or some weak areas on a painting, be sure to use the right materials to keep your antiques safe. For example, some paper may contain acids that are damaging to your belongings.

7.Avoid stacking your antiques

While your first thought may be to stack items in order to save space, we would avoid doing so. Laying items on top each other could leave a permanent imprint or break under pressure and cause serious damage.

8.To wrap or not to wrap

Slow down on the plastic wrap – it could cause more harm than good to your items. Antiques need to breathe – particularly larger items like sofas – and restricting air exposure could lead to a range of issues. For example, dampness and moisture can appear in plastic wrap and ruin your items.

9.Hands off

Keep your antiques in top condition by avoiding excessive handling. Oily residue on the skin might cause deterioration, which is why some curators wear gloves when handling such commodities.

10. When in storage

So you’ve successfully moved your antiques into self-storage. But how should you arrange your storage space? Here are a few helpful tips on doing so:

  • Use furniture polish for added protection on wooden items, or leather conditioner for leather products.
  • Mirrors and paintings should be left standing upright, not face down.
  • Rub a little oil on metal items to prevent rusting.
  • When storing lamps, detach the shade and base and remove any light bulbs.

Contact Your Store Exeter

For a quality storage solution and peace of mind, contact Your Store Exeter and let us help you safely store antiques and other valuable possessions. We offer personal and business storage, whether you are looking to store a valuable collection of items, or you run a company dealing with antiques.

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