Antique items cannot be stored in the same manner as other possessions — there's a clue in the word 'antique'. They are precious and delicate and should be treated as such by being kept in an appropriate self storage facility. Many antiques can incur damage if stored incorrectly and this will affect their original value, so keep these tips in mind for safe storage of your valuables.
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When sussing out the right storage unit for your antiques, there are three key things to consider - the temperature of the unit, the ease of transporting your items from the vehicle to the unit and the choice of insurance policies on offer.
Firstly, being able to control the temperature within your chosen storage unit is essential. Be sure to ask about whether or not you can control the air temperature and humidity within your chosen unit. Some storage facilities typically stay between 50 and 80 degrees and some even have dehumidifiers to help keep your items in tiptop condition.
Depending on which type of storage unit you choose for your antiques, you could risk unnecessary damage in the loading process. To avoid this, it's a good idea to select a unit on the ground floor or a drive-up unit to ensure minimum disturbance to your items. If you must use an upper level unit, make sure they have an elevator and loading carts for ease of access.
As for covering your antiques, most storage facilities will be able to include an insurance policy within your rental agreement to cover your items against fire of theft whilst in storage. Your storage unit manager will be able to discuss the most affordable insurance option available to you based on the value and quantity of your items.
Take care when cleaning
Certain items can be well preserved in storage if they are cleaned in the appropriate way beforehand. Just keep in mind what items can be cleaned and which cannot to avoid damage. It's advisable to always ask an appraiser for the appropriate method of cleaning your antiques. Be wary when using harsh chemicals such as alcohol-based cleaning solutions as these may not be suitable for specific materials. For very delicate items, moisture-free compressed air is always handy for lifting dust sensitively and with little disturbance.
If you have unopened items in boxes such as toys, jewellery and collectible figures, keep them in their packaging as they are already in their optimum condition! To keep all others looking their best, take care to clean any dust and grime from inside the box and the items themselves with a soft bristle brush. It's also wise to wear disposable latex gloves while cleaning to avoid the transfer of destructive oils and imprints on your antique items.
Cardboard boxes and bubble wrap may be suitable for storing most objects but not in the world of antiques. Bear these points in mind when packing your delicate items away.
- Leave antique furniture free-standing — never stack them.
- Wrap chair and table legs in rugs, throws or any thick cloth material for added protection.
- Sheet-covers are not enough to protect sofas and upholstered items — consider investing in airtight heavy-duty bags to double-up on protective layers.
- Disassemble heavy or weak pieces i.e. mirrors attached to dressers or vintage headboards and wrap these individually.
- Never stack mirrors and artwork flat on top of one another as they will collapse under their own weight. Store them upright in blankets or thick felt and attach cardboard corners to protect the frames.
As you prepare each item for storage, don't neglect to make a thorough inventory — either handwritten or using a home inventory app — to help you keep track of where items have been stored. Detailing things such as estimated replacement values and photos of each item will make things far easier in the event of any loss or damage.
Consult with managers from facilities like Allsafe Self Storage Complex if you have specific questions about storage solutions. They will be more than happy to provide you with insurance advice or suggest tips for packing that you may have never considered. Take advantage of all the help available to you to ensure your antique treasures are stored safely and securely.