How to Store a Rug

Jon Fesmire |

Of all the types of household items you may need to put in storage, rugs are one that can easily become ruined if stored improperly. The good news is that preparing a rug for storage isn’t too difficult. Follow these instructions to keep your rug in the best condition possible over the long haul.

Clean That Rug

If the rug has serious stains, you may want to contact a cleaning service to take care of them, and to get it completely clean. Otherwise, you can clean it yourself.

You don’t want to store a rug with dust or food particles in it. That will only tempt pests and make the rug stink when you retrieve it later. So, the first step is a basic cleaning.

On a dry day, take the rug outside. Wave it a few times, like a sheet. This will get some of the dust and debris out. If possible, you should do this next part with a friend. Have them hold it up, and beat the back of the rug to knock out excess dust.

Vacuum

Once you’ve removed much of the grime from your rug with the previous step, bring it back into your home and vacuum it. The last step will also loosen debris, making it easier for your vacuum cleaner to remove the rest.

Once you’ve vacuumed the carpet, turn it over, and vacuum the back side to get it really clean.

Protect from Insects

There are two types of pests that may be attracted to items in your storage unit: rodents and insects. Self storage facilities do their best to keep both out, and as long as you have cleaned your rug well, it should be safe from rodents. However, insects have a way of getting through unseen cracks and will be a bigger hazard.

So, for the next step, we recommend you spray your rug with an insect repellent, like Off! Or Repel. Apply a coat to both sides.

Give your rug a couple of hours to dry, both from the insect repellent, and any drops of water that may have gotten on it from outside.

Roll it Up

Once the rug is dry, roll it up, with the pile on the inside, the bottom on the outside. Pile refers to the rug’s fibers. You should be able to roll it nicely into a tube shape. This is something you’ll want to do with a partner if possible, so that one of you can hold the rug after you’ve rolled it, so that it won’t unroll or loosen too much.

You should never fold a rug. That can crack the bottom or cause the carpet to become misshapen.

Next, roll Kraft paper around the rug, then duct tape around that in several spots. The paper will allow the carpet to breathe, while the duct tape will allow the roll to keep its shape. Whatever you do, don’t wrap your carpet in plastic, which can trap lingering moisture inside.

Where to Store Your Rug

Most self storage facilities offer units with climate control, and these units are designed to keep items like rugs, art, clothing, and even musical instruments safe and in their best condition. A climate-controlled unit rents for about 25% more than a standard unit, and is well worth the price.

How to Store Your Rug

When you put your rug in storage, make sure nothing gets stacked on top of it, and that it is off the floor. Options include its own shelf or on top of a couple stacks of sturdy boxes. We recommend placing the roll on its side, not upright.

With all this done, your rug should stay in good condition indefinitely. If you feel like checking it periodically, you can do that. Remove some of the paper from one end and see how the pile looks, and smell the rug to make sure it isn’t becoming musty. Otherwise, take the rug out once you have a new place for it, and take it home.