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How to Prepare Patio Furniture for Moving and Storage

Posted in Packing on Jul 22, 2015, tagged with furniture, household goods, how to

Whether you are getting ready to move to a new home or just packing things up for the winter, prepping patio furniture for storage is an important task. Properly preparing of your patio set can help to prevent any damage and ensure your furniture stays looking like new for years to come. The following tips will help you to protect your patio furniture for both a move and storage until next summer.

Preparing pads, cushions, and pillows

Most patio furniture include pads or cushions that need to be protected differently than the rest of the items.

First, you need to make sure they are clean and dry. Launder removable pillow covers, and wash umbrella fabric with a brush and mild detergent. After you wash any fabrics, it's important to ensure tha tthey are completely dry beofre you put them away. The easiest way to do this is to simply leave them out in the sun, making sure to flip them over every few hours. After a day in the sun, they will be ready to pack up. Once the pads are dry, wrap them in plastic to keep any moisture out. You can also use bubble wrap, but if bubble wrap isn’t an option, plastic wrap from the kitchen will work as well.

When wrapping the pads, make sure you protect all the edges to help keep moisture out. Once they are fully wrapped, it is best to place the pads into a large, labeled cardboard box for added protection and convenience.

Preparing metal patio furniture

Preparing metal patio furniture for moving and storage typically isn’t too difficult because metal is quite strong and durable.

Before you start packing up your furniture, give it a wash with water and detergent, and inspect all surfaces for rust or other oxidation. Treat any rust spots with silicone sealant, and apply a thin protective coat of car wax to all surfaces so it comes out looking like new next spring.  

If your furniture can be disassembled, break down each piece as much as possible. Once it's broken down into smaller pieces, you can wrap them individually in bubble wrap and place them in a box for safe moving or storage.

Not all metal patio furniture can be broken down for moving or storage. If that is the case with your patio set, the biggest risk to your furniture during a move is that it will get scratched or cause damage your other belongings. To help reduce this risk, wrap the legs of the furniture with bubble wrap, and then wrap the entire piece in a moving blanket or other cloth-like material. If you have a large enough box, you can place them inside; otherwise, they can be stored as they are. Remember, some patio furniture is designed to be stacked—stacking these styles may reduce the amount of room they require, and decrease the amount of packing materials you will need (also decreasing your costs!).  

Preparing wicker patio furniture

Wicker patio furniture is lighter and easier to move, but requires some special considerations when storing or moving to minimize the risk of possible damage

Start wiping down the furniture with a bleach-and-water solution, then a dry with a fresh towel. This will help remove any moisture, which can damage wicker more quickly than metal. It will also keep the furniture clean during the move.

Avoid stacking wicker furniture, especially if it will be in storage for a long time. Wicker can swell with temperature or changes in climate, and stacking could cause the furniture to stick together, in addition to other forms of damage. If you are prepping wicker patio furniture for storage, a temperature-controlled moving truck and storage space is highly recommend for added protection.

Beyond these special considerations, prepping wicker patio furniture for a move is similar to preparing metal furniture—protect the legs with bubble wrap, then enclose the furniture in a moving blanket or other soft material. Boxing it is ideal, but not strictly necessary in most cases.  

Conclusion

Regardless of whether your patio furniture is metal, wicker, wood, or plastic, always start by cleaning it. Moisture and dirt left on outdoor furniture before it's packed up can cause mold or mildew to grow and spread quickly. Make sure each piece is completely dry before packing it up, then disassemble as much as possible. Then wrap individual pieces in moving blankets, secure the blankets in place with packing tape, and hunker down till spring!