What material possessions would you save if your house was on fire?
Most people would put family photos – especially old, inherited photos of those we have lost – at the top of the list. And even in today’s digital age, there is something special about keeping that original image, exactly as it was: a piece of your history.
But while you may treasure your photos, there comes a time when you just don’t have the space to display them all. Then what?
Self-storage is one of the most convenient ways to keep all of your memories close without having to house them under your ever-more-cluttered roof. At Budget, we are the experts in self storage, and we will be sharing the top tips and tricks for storing your most valuable assets – from your antiques to your memories.
TOP TIPS FOR STORING PHOTOS
- Digitize! We know that nothing can replace the originals, but make sure you have a backup before you attempt to move photos, pack them away, or store them for any length of time. This will assure you that the images themselves will always be with you, no matter what happens to the physical photos.
- Store at low temperatures (35°F/2°C) and maintain low humidity (30-40%.) Avoid major fluctuations in both heat and humidity.
- Keep out of direct sunlight. Nothing will fade a photo faster than sunlight. Darkness is best, but indirect light, if unavoidable, won’t cause too much damamge.
- Do not store photos with newspaper clippings – the acid in the paper will eat away at your photo. If you really want to keep both memories together, photocopy your clipping on acid-free paper – just be sure to avoid elastics or paper clips, as both can damage photos.
- If you are storing photos still in frames, make sure the frames are acid free, and avoid using tape or glue to keep photos in place.
- Avoid storing photos in envelopes or cheap photo albums. Spend the extra few dollars at a photography store and find an album that has a PAT (Photographic Activity Test) label. That label ensures that the product has passed rigorous testing versus “photo friendly” labels that are just there for marketing.
- Avoid cardboard or wood containers for storing your photos. Instead, opt for PAT containers that are available online and in photography stores.
- Avoid excessive handling of your pictures. Two issues are created by handling your photos regularly: dust gets in between images and can scrape off the photo finish, and the oils on your hands (no matter how clean they are) will damage photo paper as well.
- No matter where you are storing your photos, keep them off the ground. Put them on a shelf, on other boxes, anywhere that is waist-high or higher. This helps with temperature and humidity control while protecting from floods, moving damage, etc.