Preparing for Retirement: Storing Furniture and Antiques

Winter Car Storage
11676888 - vintage car in garage for winter

Ahh, retirement. I don’t know about you, but I look forward to retiring — sporting a tracksuit, eating dinner at 4:30 and playing cards at the club house amidst sunshine, palm trees and friends with plenty of free time.

Most likely, moving to a retirement community means downsizing on space. Mom and Dad’s new Florida retirement condo might not accommodate the beautiful mahogany Duncan Phyfe dining set on which you’ve been eating your Christmas dinners all your life.

But just because their retirement condo doesn’t have room for a 12-seat vintage dining set, you don’t have to part with your family’s antiques and treasures. You can safely store the items in a self storage facility for as long as you need.

Here are a few tips for storing those precious antiques in your preparation for retirement:

storing antiques for retirementFurniture – Polish wood pieces to give them an extra layer of protection, then wrap with an old blanket. Wrap table and chair legs in bubble wrap or blankets secured with tape. Leather pieces should also be conditioned prior to storing. Dissemble large pieces but be sure to keep all parts and hardware together.

China and Silverware – Stack plates and cups with a piece of paper in between. Store them in fabric boxes made specifically for china. Silverware should be polished before storing, and placed in a felt-lined box or bag.

Linens and Textiles – Wash them, but don’t bother ironing or starching them. Place them in an acid-free cardboard box lined with acid-free tissue paper to prevent yellowing.

Books and Records – Use acid-free boxes and tape. Store large, heavy books flat to avoid warping. Smaller books should be stored upright. Records should be stored in their individual sleeves and packed upright, but not too tightly. Use smaller- or medium-sized boxes and store the boxes on shelves to avoid crushing.

Remember that moisture, sunlight and extreme temperatures are usually the culprits when it comes to damaged antiques. Choose a storage facility that is climate controlled, heat controlled and most importantly secure. Inspect the items every few months to ensure they are being preserved, so you or your grandkids can enjoy them again someday.

If you have any other tips to share in regard to retirement and storing sentimental and family history items in self storage, feel free to drop us a line?


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