Leather sofas look plush and luxurious in a home, but only when they're in good condition. If you don't take the time to prepare your sofa properly for storage, it may emerge cracked or moldy—and nobody wants to see that in a living room! Follow these tips to prepare your sofa for storage and store it properly.

Apply conditioner several days beforehand

About three or four days before you plan on putting your sofa in a storage unit, apply a thin layer of a leather conditioner made specifically for leather furniture. This will help keep the leather from drying out and cracking while in storage. Do not over-apply the conditioner, as this can lead to mold growth. After a couple of days, wipe the furniture down with a dry, soft cloth to absorb any conditioner that's lingering on the surface.

Vacuum it thoroughly

A few tiny crumbs beneath the cushions may seem harmless, but they may attract rodents that could chew your sofa or urinate on it. So, remove the cushions and use the wand attachment to your vacuum to suck any dust or debris out from under the cushions and the seams.

Cover it loosely with a breathable cloth

Do not use a plastic furniture cover or any other non-breathable cover. This will just trap moisture in and perpetuate mold growth. Drape a white cotton sheet over the sofa or use a breathable cotton cover to keep dust out while allowing the leather to breathe.

Place it on a pallet

Don't rest the sofa directly on the floor. If even a small amount of moisture seeps in, it can travel up the legs of the furniture and lead to mold issues. Place your sofa on a pallet—preferably one that has been waterproofed, though a plain wooden one is better than nothing.

Choose climate-controlled storage

You'll pay a little more for a climate-controlled storage unit, but it's absolutely necessary when you're storing leather. It's not so much the temperature that you need to worry about, but the humidity. Changes in moisture levels in the air can cause the leather to crack or grow mold, but in a climate-controlled unit, humidity is kept relatively constant.

If you have any questions about storing leather sofas, speak with a representative at your local storage facility. They can let you know what has and has not worked for their previous customers and give you more specific tips.