Home » How to Store Artwork Safely in a Storage Unit
Self storage Article

How to Store Artwork Safely in a Storage Unit

Published On: 28 June, 2024|5.3 min read|

Table of Contents


Storage units provide accessible, affordable storage solutions for people who are moving and those who don’t have space for all their items at home. You can use self-storage for all kinds of belongings and possessions from outdoor clothing and winter boots to sports equipment, furniture and pieces of art. When it comes to finding a new home for items that have significant monetary or sentimental value, it’s natural to wonder about safety and security. In this guide, we’ll share tips and tricks to help you store artwork safely in a storage unit. 

How to store artwork safely in a storage unit

Have you run out of space at home? Are you worried about exposing a masterpiece to sticky fingers or muddy paw prints? Has your style changed and you find yourself with a painting that doesn’t quite go with a new design? Have you inherited a piece of art, or are you holding onto a drawing or canvas to hand down to future generations? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, you may be looking for storage solutions for your artwork. Pieces of art can be tricky to store at home due to their size, shape, weight or value. If you’re struggling to find a suitable location to store a painting, sculpture or framed picture, have you thought about self-storage?


Self-storage offers multiple benefits, but it’s important to know how to store your artwork safely. Here are some tips to keep your pieces in pristine condition:

  • Research self-storage businesses

The first step is to research local self-storage businesses to find the best company in your area. Look for safe, secure units, which offer easy access to customers. Read reviews and client testimonials and focus on reputable businesses with a proven track record. It’s helpful to ask people you know for recommendations. You can also get ideas from local social media groups. If you have valuable items, it’s wise to look for companies that specialise in offering storage for items like artwork and antique furniture. 


It is critical to choose a storage unit that caters to your belongings. In some cases, you may need climate-controlled facilities. This will help to preserve paintings, tapestries and woodwork and reduce the risk of fading, warping and cracks. 

  • Prepare your artwork

Once you have chosen a self-storage provider, the next step is to prepare your artwork. Clean the piece very gently with a soft cloth to remove dust and debris. Wrap the item using cloth. You can apply extra layers of bubble wrap for enhanced protection but it’s important to note that plastic wrapping can cause moisture to build up. If the painting is valuable, or it carries sentimental meaning, it’s best to stick to cloth wrapping as this will allow the painting to breathe. When you have wrapped your painting or canvas, place it carefully in a cardboard, wood or plastic box. You can buy boxes specifically designed for artwork. If you are storing photographs, use a sealed container to prevent fading. 

  • Transporting your artwork

Before you set off for the storage unit, make sure your artwork is fully wrapped and protected in a box or airtight container. Lift it gently into the vehicle and place it on a level surface to prevent it from falling. You can lie it flat if there are no other items around it, or position it on its side if you’re transporting multiple items. This will help to prevent damage caused by other objects falling. Secure the artwork to the inside of the vehicle to ensure that it doesn’t move during the journey. 


If you are storing large or heavy items, it’s beneficial to consider using a professional moving service, which specialises in transporting artwork. Some use vehicles that have dedicated racks to move paintings quickly and safely. 

  • Filling your storage unit

When storing artwork, it’s best to keep most items in an upright position. Avoid laying paintings or sculptures on the floor or stacking items on top of each other. 

  • Keep an eye on your artwork

Once your masterpieces are safe in storage, keep an eye on them. If you plan to keep them in a unit for a long time, it’s beneficial to visit frequently and air the items to prevent moisture damage and mould. 

  • Insure your art

If you decide to move your artwork from your home to a storage unit, you’ll need to check the terms of your insurance policy. Possessions that are no longer kept at home won’t be covered by your home and contents insurance so you will need additional protection, which covers items in storage. Use the Internet to search for suitable policies and compare prices and plans. Make sure you have an accurate idea of how much the piece is worth to ensure that your policy is robust enough. 

Is it safe to store artwork in a storage unit?

You may have reservations about moving artwork to a storage unit, especially if it means a lot to you or it has substantial value. It is safe to store art in self-storage provided that you follow the steps above. Look for companies that specialise in storing artwork and offer options, such as enhanced security and accessibility and climate-controlled facilities. Read reviews and ask for recommendations. Don’t be afraid to ask questions before you decide which business to choose and take a tour of the units if you want to see what you’re paying for. Clean, wrap and pack your artwork carefully and consider using professional movers if you have a very large or heavy item. Place your artwork in an upright position away from any other items that could fall and check it regularly. Make sure you have suitable insurance before you leave it in storage. 




It can be difficult to find room at home for huge paintings or pieces that don’t complement your interior design style. If you’re looking for storage solutions for artwork, self-storage is an excellent option. Take time to research local facilities, prepare your artwork and transport it carefully using your own vehicle or a professional moving service. Place your items carefully in the storage unit and keep an eye on your pieces. 


Contact us

Get in touch with one of our staff

The team at KeepSafe are ready and waiting to assist. We’ll be back to you as soon as possible!