People rent out storage units for all sorts of reasons, and we love seeing all of the different things that go in and out of the front doors! But one of our favourite things to be stored is art. Valuable pieces like fine art, antiques and paintings are often stored in self storage units because they are too bulky to fit anywhere else, or need the extra security of a manned storage unit. However, if you’re thinking of storing any artwork in a storage unit, there are some things you should avoid doing.
Anything you put into storage should be clean and dry. That’s advice we give all of our tenants to avoid pests, mould or damage, but if you’re storing art it’s even more important. Furniture can gather dust and dirt in crevices that could damage other things in your unit, and even paintings can benefit from being wiped down before you put them into storage. That way they aren’t going to sit with dirt, dust and bacteria festering on them.
Unlike other items you might find in storage, art and antiques need room to breathe. In other words, they shouldn’t be jammed in alongside your old microwave, or have other boxes stacked on top of them. You should try to leave space in between each item, which means you need to choose a unit with adequate space. Luckily there are a lot of different unit sizes on the market, so you should be able to find something that can give your art some breathing room.
Before putting anything (not just art) into storage, you should always check it for damage. Older pieces and antiques can collect damage over the years, so it’s important to understand what damage was already there. Take photos of any damage present and write notes, so that you can easily reference it in the future. Collecting this data also means that if any damage is done to your pieces while in storage, you can identify and prove it to the insurance company.
Depending on the type of art you’re storing, you might need to pay attention to light levels in the unit. Direct sunlight or bright lights are generally not good for fine art or antiques, mainly because the light can cause warping, discolouring, tarnishing and fading. When choosing the unit your art will be stored in, check the lighting conditions and ask about accommodations that can be made to protect your artwork.
If you’re storing valuable items, then you need to make sure they are properly insured. While some units will require you to have insurance before you can rent a unit, many people will opt for the lowest amount to save money. However, while self storage units are secure, they aren’t everything proof. Natural disasters and other incidents can happen (though they’re incredibly rare), so it’s always worth having adequate insurance in place.
Storing art of any kind is more than just leaning some paintings up against the wall of a storage unit. You need to put some effort into planning the storage and making sure your art is protected. Otherwise, you’re risking damage to some very precious, valuable items! If you’re not sure where to start, the team at Blue Box Self Storage are always here to help. Just drop into one of our branches or get in touch with our team to find out more.