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Rugs and carpets need some special care and attention if you are placing them in long-term storage. Despite being trod on daily and having to put up with spills and muddy feet, rugs and carpets are surprisingly fragile if not stored correctly.

However, with a little preparation and careful storage, rugs and carpets can be kept in perfect condition. This article details some top rug and carpet storage tips as suggested by U-Store-It’s in-house storage experts.

Top Tips for Storing Rugs and Carpets

Storing rugs and carpets can be more involved than storing other household items. These can’t simply be placed in boxes and forgotten about. Rugs and carpets are susceptible to damp and mildew, moth and insect infestations, warping, and a general degradation in quality.

But the following tips can help you safely store your precious floor coverings and help keep them in perfect condition.

1.    Clean and Dry Thoroughly

The most common mistake people make when storing rugs is to just give them a quick vacuum and roll them up and call it a done deal.

This can be a recipe for disaster! The problem with rugs and carpets is that the weave tends to hold onto all sorts of nasties! This is fine when the rug is in use, frequent vacuuming, an airy atmosphere, and day-to-day traffic all prevent the worse from happening.

But left to its own devices, and given time, dirt, crumbs, and other debris trapped in the carpet can become mouldy, and this can quickly spread throughout the rug. In some cases, this can also cause insect infestations.

For similar reasons, storing a damp (even slightly damp) rug can cause a range of mould, smell, and mildew problems.

Our recommendation is to thoroughly clean your rug or carpet and leave it to air for a couple of days before storing it.

One proviso – Always check the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions first. If you have any doubt, do a test clean on a very small area first.

2.    Roll the carpet or rug with the grain

Rugs and carpets have a natural “grain” that is determined by the manufacturing process. The easiest way of establishing which way the grain runs is to run your hands over the surface of the carpet. The carpet pile will “flatten” if you are brushing with the grain and raise if you are brushing against it.

Heavier rugs will also not roll “naturally” if you try to roll them against the grain.

Making sure you do this puts less strain on the rug during storage and helps it to flatten out quickly when it is unrolled.

3.    Let them Breathe!

It is tempting to wrap them in polythene sheeting to protect them from the elements. This isn’t a bad thing, and we would recommend that they are wrapped in high-quality dust covers. However, if the rugs are going into long-term storage and particularly if plastic sheeting is used, then remember to leave some breathing holes.

This allows any potential build-up of damp or nasty odours to escape and helps keep your rugs and carpets fresh.

4.    Store Rugs Vertically

Given that rugs spend their entire working life horizontal, some people may find it surprising that rugs and carpets are best stored vertically.

There are a couple of reasons why this is the case. First, storing rugs vertically prevents “flat-spots” from occurring. These can be difficult to remove when they are used again and, in the worst cases, can cause permanent creasing and damage.

The second reason is that it helps to keep them dry. Consider it something like a chimney, the damp air will naturally flow upwards and away from the rug.

5.    Store them off the Floor

Always store rugs and carpets raised off the floor. Concrete floors can hold onto any damp residue and transfer this to your rug or carpet. Also, raising them off the floor and using something like a pallet will allow airflow right around the rug, helping to keep it fresh.


Taking a little time to prepare and plan your rug or carpet storage will pay dividends when the time comes to retrieve them. We hope these few simple tips will help keep your carpets and rugs in perfect condition.

At U Store It, we want to make your storage experience as smooth as possible. All our units are clean, dry, and well-maintained. When combined with sensible storage procedures, this ensures there are no nasty shocks when those rugs are unrolled again.

If you want to know more about our self-storage solutions or need any help or advice, call us today and speak to one of our storage experts.