How to Store Antiques
How to Store Antiques

How to store antiques for repurposing


For years the trend of taking something old and making it like new has swept across the country in a trend that can be succinctly reduced to three words: reuse, recycle, repurpose. From favorite shows like “American Pickers” to local junk stocks and garage sales, men and women are always keeping a keen eye out for the next big find to make their homes or business pop.


But how do you store old, potentially degraded items? Can the old children’s tricycle last in your garage? Will the reclaimed barnwood last a year or two longer outside in your backyard? Will those old tin toys be okay in your closet?


Repurposing is a great trend, but sometimes there may be a bit of time between when you take that old thing and when you can give it new life. Fortunately, with the right steps and some key storage features, self storage can help you along your path to repurposing.


How to begin storing reclaimed items


The first step in storing items for repurposing is cleaning them up. Unfortunately, not every item pickers will find have been lovingly cared for and delivered to you in pristine condition. In fact, most will be covered in mud, muck, and rust from years of exposure and lack of care.


Some cleaning is simple and easy, removing dirt and dust from old wood, for instance, may only require some warm water and a soft cloth. Other issues, such as rust on tin toys or old siding, may take a bit more elbow grease. There are some tricks, such as soaking the item in white vinegar for a couple hours, as well as special cleaning chemicals used to remove rust. For a full list on the ways to take care of this metal-eating problem, check out this wikihow.


Once all your items are cleaned, the next step is taking inventory of everything you plan to store. This list can be easily stored on your phone, but it’s never a bad idea to keep a printed or handwritten hardcopy somewhere. This will also be a good time to place smaller items into clear plastic totes, and be sure to clearly label the contents of the box on the outside for easy viewing later.


What storage features do I need for antiques?


Like antiques, many of these reclaimed items are going to be older and perhaps in need of a little more TLC than new items. Fortunately, there are plenty of storage features for that.


For instance, items made of metal and wood are susceptible to weather-related damage. Water in the air causes rust, and extreme fluctuations of temperatures can cause wood to warp. To prevent such damage, find a storage facility with climate control. This feature maintains a constant temperature and humidity level, keeping your things in pristine condition before you recycle them.


Other storage features to look for with recycled items include:

  • Drive-up access allows you to pull your vehicle directly up to your unit for easy drop off and pick up. This is great when you are bringing home a big haul of items or even larger, heavier things like a recycled barn cupola.
  • 24-hour access is an important features for many, especially business owners. If you seek to reuse, recycle, and repurpose items for a profit, than you may need to get to them way outside of traditional business hours.


Placing old items in a storage unit


Once your items are prepared and your storage facility is selected, the next step is the actual storage. Even at this simple step there are some important things you can do to maximize your self storage experience.


For instance, do your best to keep things managed and easily accessible by lining the perimeter of the storage unit with your belongings rather than stacking them up in the middle or one corner. This allows you to easily see everything that’s stored and grab it when you need it. In larger storage units, it’s okay to place items in the middle of the unit, just be sure to leave some lanes that allow you to reach anything that’s there.


It’s also a good idea to keep items with like items. For instance, keep the barnwood in one corner, vintage toys in another, and dishes in another. This way, there is a semblance of organization inside your storage unit full of beloved “junk”.


Begin storing your old items today


Whether you’re a seasoned picker or someone new to the game, you’d be amazed at how quickly things can stack up around your space. With the right steps and proper storage features, the junk of others doesn’t have to become your own junk.

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