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Wood, Leather, and Wool: How to Store These Sensitive Materials

Leather Shoes
Some items, like plastic goods and glasses, will stay in great shape in almost any storage situation. But other materials, such as leather, wood, and wool, are harder to store properly. Wood may develop rot, leather can mold or crack, and wool is prone to attack by moth larvae.
The first step toward proper storage of any of these materials is to choose a climate-controlled storage unit. Beyond that, here are some tips for ensuring your wood, leather, and wool items do not suffer damage while in storage.

Wood

Always clean and condition your wooden items before putting them into storage. This will remove dust that may become stuck to the wood in storage.
A good wood conditioner, preferably one made with natural waxes and oils, helps seal moisture into the wood so that it does not become overly dry and crack while in storage. It also serves as a barrier to keep the wood from absorbing extra moisture from the air.
Never store wooden furniture directly on the floor. Instead, place it on a tarp or pallet. This way, if the floor of the storage unit becomes moist, then the furniture will not absorb that moisture. Cover the wooden furniture lightly with a sheet or moving blanket to keep dust off without trapping moisture inside. Do not use a plastic cover.

Leather

As with wood, clean and condition your leather before putting it in storage. Do this a few days before packing your storage unit so that any extra conditioner has time to fully absorb into the leather. If your leather goods feature metal embellishments, then polish these as well so they don't tarnish as quickly in storage.
Store leather furniture off the ground, and cover it lightly with a sheet or moving blanket. If you store leather shoes, jackets, belts, or other small goods, then place a few packets of silicone desiccant in the box with the leather goods. The desiccant packets will absorb moisture and keep your leather goods dry.
Never zip leather clothing into non-breathable, plastic garment bags. Instead, use breathable linen bags. Make sure none of your leather items directly touches the walls and ceiling of the storage unit because this may lead to staining or moisture damage over time. Opt for boxes over plastic totes.

Wool

Moths love to lay their larvae in woolen items. Over time, those larvae feed on the wool — leaving holes in it. All woolen items, from sweaters to rugs, are prone to this type of damage in storage. Luckily, you have several ways to protect your wool.
  • Dry clean your woolen items before putting them in storage to remove any moth larvae that might be present.
  • Vacuum seal clothing, blankets, and other smaller woolen items within plastic cases.
  • Place some balls or blocks made from cedar wood in the vacuum bags with your wool items. Cedar repels moths and does not leave the harsh scent that mothballs may leave behind.
Storing larger wool items, like rugs, can be a bit of a challenge. Try rolling these items up in a big sheet of plastic. You can even use a shower curtain! Toss in a few pieces of cedar wood, close the ends of the plastic with rubber bands, and store the packed wool items off the floor.
If you take the time to properly prepare your wooden, leather, and wool items for storage, then they will emerge in great shape. Contact Florence Blvd. Self Storage when you need secure storage options in the Florence, AL, area. We have indoor facilities to suit both your long-term and short-term storage needs.