How-to Store Photographs Properly in a Portable Storage Unit

While you may be under the impression that simply stowing your photos away in a storage unit will keep them safe, this isn’t the case. You’ll need to take specific measures to make sure your photos are protected throughout the months or years that they are in storage. Use the following tips when storing photos in a portable storage unit:

1. Choose a Climate-Controlled Unit

Climate-controlled units cost a bit more than the average portable storage unit, but this is the best option for storing photographs. Photos should be stored at or around 65 – 70 degrees Farenheit. This temperature will help to keep humidity and condensation from destroying your photos. With truly valuable photographs, climate-controlled units are the way to go.

2. Keep Bad Photos out of the Mix

Photos that are starting to decay should be stored away from the other photos. When bad photos are mixed with those in good condition, this will accelerate the decay of the good photos. If you notice that your photo has begun to smell like vinegar, this is a sign that it is in the process of decaying.

3. Separate Your Photos

As you store your photographs, be sure to keep them separated. When placed directly against each other, the photos will stick together, potentially ruining the image forever. Consider storing your photos in albums or in between sheets of acid-free paper.

4. Store Photos with the Proper Materials

Don’t store your photos with regular paper as this will cause your photos to yellow over time. Instead, use materials that are completely acid-free. Try to use boxes and papers that are archival quality, as this will ensure your photos will be well protected from any pests, dirt, light, and dust.

5. Avoid Writing on Your Photos

It is a common practice to write information on the backside of photographs, but this compromises the integrity of the photos. Ink from felt or ball-point pens isn’t safe for photos. Instead, use pens or markers that have acid-free ink. Alternatively, write down any information on labels that accompany the album or box you are storing the photos in.

6. Monitor the Photos for Pests

Check the portable storage unit on a regular basis to ensure that no pests have infested your photographs. As you do this, be sure to regularly clean and dust the unit to help keep pests away. With proper storage methods, your photos will be well protected against any vermin that may find their way in.

Don’t lose your photos to improper storage methods. Keep these tips in mind as you work to protect your photographs. With the right acid-free materials and careful storage processes, you’ll be able keep your photographs picture-perfect for years to come.

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