Do you value the family and friend photos you’ve collected throughout the years? Do you want to know how to store important documents safe from the elements? Learn how to safely store old photographs and documents so they will last for generations to come.
But before you get started, there are essential facts you must know before handling fragile things.
Things to consider before storing old photographs and necessary documents:
For old photos:
- Wood products, like paper and cardboard, impair pictures and should only be used if labeled “acid-free.“
- Put your photos in a place where you are also comfortable: not too hot, cold, wet or dry.
- Keep photos out of basements, attics, and garages where they’ll be subject to extreme temperature fluctuations and excessive humidity. Store photos in cabinets, closets, Â or under the bed. Your living quarters are good storage areas since theyâ€™re more likely to be climate controlled.
- But donâ€™t store or put your photos near a heating or cooling vent.
For papers and documents:
- Pick a climate-controlled unit. Remember: 75 degrees or colder and low humidity are the best conditions for photo storage.
- Donâ€™t place them on the ground in a storage unit, even if they are packaged up in boxes or containers. Consider using poly bags, zip lock bags, and poly tubing bags in case of flooding or any natural disaster.
- Enclose all documents completely, whether in boxes, containers, or frames.
Now that you know the doâ€™s and donâ€™ts when it comes to filing your photographs and documents properly we can now start storing!
Here are some ways on how you can safely save your old photos and important documents!
You can use this method to keep all of your documents. If you have several of these boxes, use them and put on a label. These are labeled so you can track down what you need and the type of documents. Here are some examples:
- Owners Manuals
- Small Appliances
- Large Appliances
If you don’t have a file box, you could easily find a file cabinet as an alternative. It is still best to have them organized by name or category so you can see what you need at a glance. Don’t forget to use stiff, flat materials and containers to encourage your photos to stay flat. Jamming pictures into a box that is too little in width or length will damage and dogear them before theyâ€™ve even made it to storage. Make sure it has the right fit with your containers and your prints.
Don’t overstuff photos in one box
Shoving too many pictures in one box can have the same effect as using a box thatâ€™s too small. On the other note, leaving too much space in a box can cause items to shift in transport. If you have extra room, fill it with non-acidic tissue paper.
Use non-acidic dividers.
Ever had to peel photos apart from another? Although it might feel meticulous, placing another type of divider between pictures can save them over time, especially if your photos come in contact with water or overheat. When it comes to dividers, the stiffer, the better to keep items flat and in place.
If you want to go paperless, you can use the scanner on your printer. Then, create a file folder on your computer for these items and organize them to your liking. For example, create a folder or drive called â€śHome Items.â€ť Â Under that, make additional folders called Electronics, Appliances, etc. You can now organize your warranties for your electronics or other important papers.
Your important documents can be stored into a sturdy tube, so it is less likely to be crushed. Select a container that is at least two inches longer than the width of the broadest sheet. You can use an archival quality paper tube that is buffered with low-lignin content. In one tube, five sheets may be rolled and just roll all five onto the tube at the same time, not one after the other.
Sleeves or Envelopes
Polyester L-sleeves are a big help if you have brittle, damaged or heavily used documents and they have the added benefit of making text and images visible, so you donâ€™t have to take them out of the sleeves just to see them, reducing the risk of tears if you handle them.
When it comes to sleeves, use the ones that are larger than the original size of your document. Â Any part of the first extending outside of the envelope is likely to be destroyed.
Call the experts in packing and shipping.
We know that packing things that are important to you should be handled with care. You donâ€™t have to worry about that anymore! Hire professionals to keep your memories and vital documents safe from harm.