How to store family heirlooms
Family heirlooms can come in all shapes and sizes, albeit ornaments, photographs, paintings, clocks, home furniture, cars, and items of clothing. Such things are of special importance to us, so storing them correctly is key.
Here at Currie Easy Self Storage, we understand the value of keeping your items in a safe environment. Occasionally, with little time to plan where inherited family items can be kept, the stress of becoming the caretaker can take its toll.
In this guide, we will take you through our best tips for storing those precious items within a self storage unit. Follow these, and you can be sure that your items will stay protected in a safe environment.
Grandfather clocks can be of high monetary and sentimental value to many, so ensuring they are stored safely is a priority.
Sharp changes in temperature and humidity can have devastating effects on antiques, particularly clocks with wooden cases. Cracks or warping in the wood may affect the clock’s movement, and how it keeps time. So to keep your grandfather clock on time, the best thing you can do is store it in a steady environment.
When transporting an antique clock to self-storage, you want to ensure it is packaged well. Many parts are small, fragile and easy to damage. You should always disassemble the parts inside, wrap in both bubble wrap and paper, and place them into named boxes.
While grandfather clocks vary depending on when and where they were made, each freestanding clock should feature a pendulum, clock face and several weights, as well as a set of cables or chains to suspend the weights inside of the tall clock. So keep in mind that these parts should be named, and remembered which order they were assembled in!
When unloading into a self-storage unit, it is good to note that the clock should be reassembled and protected with a breathable cover.
Our last tip – for transporting an antique clock, it is important to always move the clock in an upright position – never on its side or lying down. Unlikely to fit upright in a car, we would recommend hiring a van or external moving company to assist in transferring your belongings. Moving these antiques is not something that should be rushed, so take your time.
Whether they are stored in photo albums, frames or loose, a picture can tell a thousand words. So, it’s best practice to store these safely.
Having the time to sort your photo collection is one that many don’t have the opportunity to do. So if you can, take your time, and organise in a way that works best for you, whether it’s by type of photo, size, age, or memory.
Some top tips from us to ensure your photos will be protected for years to come:
- Store photos off of the ground
- Use acid-free paper between photos to help preserve them
- Dry storage methods that don’t let in air or moisture are best
- File folder boxes are handy and stack well in self-storage units
- A cheaper alternative, use envelopes and folders to organise your collection
Photo albums are a great way to not only organise but to look through your photos. A common mistake some make is to use a ‘peel and stick’ album. These often use chemical adhesives that will damage photos over time. Look out for archival-quality photo albums to store long-term.
Store your photos off the ground, perhaps on pallets, or on top of sturdy furniture or shelving. This prevents them from being damaged by other boxes or items being piled on top of them. It also keeps out unwanted dust and moisture.
There are so many different types of furniture, and all are made from different materials. With most family heirlooms, furniture can be fragile, old in age and difficult to move. We recommend a few methods to remember when packing and storing antique furniture.
- Ensure everything has been wiped down and cleaned before storing
- Raise furniture off the floor on pallets to prevent damage
- Bubble wrap and breathable sheets depending on the material
- Put all screws, bolts, and other small items in a labelled bag, and tape it to the furniture piece to which it belongs
Clean fabric items like sofas and seat cushions with fabric or upholstery cleaner. Check that everything is completely dry before you start packing it up to avoid a damp smell or mould.
Polish any metal items with a polishing cloth and metal cleaner. This step will help remove any oxidation and prevent the build-up of tarnish.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is choosing a storage unit that’s the wrong size for their needs. They either go over budget on too large of a unit or choose one that’s not large enough with the aim to save money. If you’re unsure or need help estimating, check out our handy self-storage space estimator.
How to store a car depends on a handful of factors. How old is the car, how long will it be in storage and how much will it be driven? The facts below will help you maintain the quality of your vehicle when it’s not being driven.
- A 10′ x 20′ unit is the most commonly used unit for storing cars
- Use a car cover to protect the exterior of your car
- If possible, drive the vehicle every few months
- Keep lifted from the floor, use lifting ramps or a quickjack.
A car cover is a worthwhile investment to help protect the exterior of your vehicle while it’s in storage. It’s an inexpensive product that will help keep dust, water, sunlight, and other contributing factors from damaging the car. Purchasing one made out of breathable material is best, so avoid plastic sheets.
If possible, start and drive the car a short distance every couple of months. Driving the vehicle helps keep the mechanical and hydraulic parts in working order. You should not leave fuel in the car if putting it into long-term storage. Petrol degrades over time, which will lead to problems starting and loss of performance. It’s best to bring fuel in a petrol can when taking your vehicle out for its monthly spin!
Renting a self-storage unit is one of the safest places to store family heirlooms. At Currie Easy Self-Storage, we offer storage spaces for our customers in units from as little as 16sqft right up to 500sqft. We can assure you that your possessions are kept safely and securely by using high-quality, 24-hour security and CCTV at our storage facilities.Get in touch by calling us on 08000 556 556 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be happy to answer any of your queries.