Family pictures are a representation of years of memories. Losing them due to improper organization or storage would be disturbing. Here are some tips for storing your old photos in a safe way:
Factors to Consider When Storing Old Photos
When looking for storage options for your old photos, consider the following:
Temperature – temperatures that are higher than 75 degrees Fahrenheit tend to affect chemicals used in photo processing thus causing discoloration. You should choose cooler temperatures when storing photos.
Ventilation – fresh air combats the growth of mold
Lighting – light fades photographs, so you should store them in dark places
Moisture – choose areas with low humidity levels
Dos and Don’ts of Storing Old Photos
– Store your pictures off the ground
– Store old pictures in climate-controlled areas such as closets and cabinets
– Don’t store photos in garages, attics, and basements because the temperatures in these areas fluctuates.
– Don’t place pictures near cooling or heating vents
If you do not have enough space to store old photos, you should consider using a self-storage unit. Although you will have to visit the unit every time you want to see your pictures, at least they will be in a safe place. Here are the dos and don’ts of storing photographs in your self-storage unit:
– Opt for a climate-controlled unit
– Enclose your photos in boxes and containers
– Do not place photos on the ground of the self-storage unit even if they are inside containers
Preparing Old Photographs for Storage
To preserve the pristine condition of your photos, you should use envelopes and boxes for storage. The ideal container for preserving old photos should be water-resistant and have stiff dividers. Shoe boxes are stiff, which makes them ideal for photo storage but they are not water resistant.
To avoid ruining your photos with acid, you should opt for storage materials made from pure wood pulp or cotton.
How to Organize Photos
To keep your photos in pristine condition, you have to do more than pile them into boxes. Here are some tips that will help you to pack photographs:
Find a good fit – choose the right fit for your prints. You can damage your photos by storing them in tiny containers, as this will result in dog-ears.
Choose non-acidic dividers – if you have ever had to peel photos apart, you know that even with proper storage containers, they can be damaged. You should place dividers between photos to prevent this, especially if they overheat. When it comes to dividers, the stiffer they are the better.
Keep them flat – use stiff dividers to keep pictures flat.
How to Prepare Photo Albums for Storage
Avoid adhesives – they have acids, which ruin photos
Do not overstuff – if you want to maintain the quality of a photo album, you should not overstuff it with photographs.
Choose the right album – avoid materials that attract cloth-eating bugs such as moths. Opt for leather because it is long lasting.
Digitize Photos as a Precaution
Despite your best efforts, your well-stored photos can still be damaged. The best way to store old photos is by digitizing them. You can use a scanner to digitize photos. Digital copies stay on the computer, but you can save them on DVD or memory sticks for extra protection. When you want to convert 8mm film to DVD, you should look for the best professional help.
To preserve old photos, you should use a temperature-controlled self-storage unit. You also need to keep them off the ground, use dividers, and keep them away from water.
This guest post was graciously provided by Wendy Dessler, Outreach Manager on behalf of EverPresent.