The variety of antiques can make it difficult for people to know how to store each different kind of piece that they own. By definition, an antique simply has to be an aesthetically pleasing artifact that is a minimum of 100 years old. This could apply to toys, furniture, paintings, dishware and many more categories. Each separate category must be stored correctly to avoid damage.
How to Store Antiques
Antiques are a great addition to collections and decor, but exposure to temperature, humidity and pests can cause serious damage to these fragile treasures.
Preserving your special antiques
Whether you like to store your antiques packed up and in a safe place or you're interested in keeping them out in the open for display, you need to know how to do so properly to avoid damage. The tips that are listed below will help give you an idea of how to keep antiques from a variety of different categories safe and free of damage caused by climate and weather changes.
Storage of Antique Oriental and Persian Rugs
Antique Oriental and Persian rugs can be used in your home, but you should be careful to use them in a room that does not have much foot traffic. If you do choose to display an antique rug by using it in a room, it may be a good idea to ask guests and family members to remove their shoes before walking on the rug. This minimizes dirt buildup and any damage that could be caused by the soles of shoes.
If you prefer to store your antique rug packed away in a closet, remember that bugs often cause damage to cloth items that are stored this way. Choose a room that is very clean and is not subject to excess moisture. For example, the basement is not an ideal choice for antique rug storage. Cover your rug with an acid free paper before storing it to protect it from the environment.
Cleaning your antique rug regularly may seem like a good idea, but do not personally take on the task of cleaning an antique rug. Instead, take it to a professional cleaner who has experience with antique rugs. An experienced cleaner will know how to properly handle the piece to avoid unnecessary damage.
Storage of Antique China, Glassware and Porcelain
These antiques can be difficult to store because of the possibility of breakage. If you choose to store these items in a box, take the time to use bubble wrap to protect the antique. Opt for a sturdy box that is made of plastic instead of cardboard. Cardboard is easily bent and does not protect breakable antiques as well as plastic.
Keep breakable items in a controlled climate. These items are more likely to break when exposed to extreme temperatures. The ideal climate for antique china, glassware and porcelain is a cool and dry room with no extreme changes in temperature.
Displaying these items can be tricky if you have children in your household. Because china, glassware and porcelain is all very susceptible to breakage, use a glass display case to keep your antiques out of the reach of children.
Storage of Antique Furniture
Antique furniture that is made of wood is very prone to damage. Heat and humidity are especially damaging to wooden antiques, so keep your antique wood items in a cool room that stays as dry as possible. Blankets can protect furniture from bumps and scratches. Because antique furniture pieces may be fragile due to age, do not attempt to stack pieces. Upright storage is recommended.
It is generally recommended that you do not use your antique furniture on a regular basis. Even if an antique piece of furniture seems sturdy, regular use could cause excess wear and significant damage over time. Antique furniture is best stored away or used as a display piece in a cool, dry room rather than as a functional piece of furniture.