Storing Pictures, Collections, and Heirlooms

Storing Pictures, Collections, and Heirlooms

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Holding on to heirlooms and preserving pictures is important, but a lack of storage space can make storing these items impractical and burdensome. Renting a self-storage unit can solve your storage shortage, allowing you to preserve memorabilia for future generations. 

The following storage tips will help you to keep your belongings in tiptop condition. 

Storing Photographs and Photo Albums 

  • Clearly label all boxes so that their contents will be more readily accessible 
  • Use airtight plastic bags or containers to store photos to hamper the harmful effects of humidity 
  • Only use quality photo albums that are designed for archiving purposes 
  • When stacking photo albums, magazines, or books, alternate placing the spine to the right or the left to prevent the spines from cracking 
  • Place paper between pictures to prevent them from sticking together. Archival paper is recommended and can be purchased from most craft stores 
  • If photos are loose, sandwich groups of photos between bound pieces of plastic, wood, or cardboard to prevent photos from warping 

Storing Heirlooms and Other Collectibles 

  • Create a separation between your boxes and the storage unit floor by laying down a wooden pallet, a plastic tarp, or sheets of cardboard 
  • Ensure that fragile items and boxes are marked as fragile on all sides 
  • Use packing peanuts or crumpled up packing paper to fill empty spots of boxes to prevent items from shifting during transit 
  • Organize items in boxes so that they sit snugly, but not too tightly 
  • Consider cutting pieces of cardboard to create dividers to partition items in boxes that may collide or tip over during lifting or transportation 
  • Use packing paper to wrap items for added protection. Do not use newspaper, as the ink from the newspaper can transfer onto your belongings, especially in humid climates. Packing paper can be purchased from most self-storage facilities 
  • Use sturdy boxes that are the same size so they can be easily stacked and stored. Old boxes may collapse under the weight of boxes stacked above them, causing chaos 
  • For fragile items, pack the bottom of your boxes with foam or dishpack padding for further protection 
  • Stack glasses, vases and other fragile items in rows. Use dishpack between objects to prevent them from colliding and cracking or chipping 

Taking Advantage of Climate Control
Climate controlled units are the best kept secret at self-storage facilities. Photo albums and photographs are especially at risk when exposed to extreme temperatures. Storage units utilizing climate control are kept cozy between 50- and 80-degrees Fahrenheit, which can prevent minimize the effects of yellowing and fading that so often harms photos with the passage of time. 

For your convenience, many storage facilities sell sturdy boxes, packing foam, dishpack, and other helpful storage supplies. Be sure to let your storage manager know your storage plans so she or he can let you know what items and options are available to help you get the most out of your self-storage experience.