How to Store Photos in a Storage Unit
When you are considering storing your photos, be aware of how necessary a stable temperature and consistent low humidity are to the longevity of your prints. The following are some recommendations on successfully storing your precious photos:
- Organize Your Photos
- Investigate Storage Locations
- Temperature and Humidity
- Copy Your Photos Digitally
- Pack Using Quality Materials
- Label Your Storage Boxes
- Store Your Photo Boxes Off The Ground
Organize Your Photos
Before packing up your photos organize them into categories that make sense to you. It could be family photos, holiday photos, scenic photos, photos by year, whatever best suits your needs. Also, when selecting categories, consider what will make it easy for you and others to find what you are looking for later.
Investigate Storage Locations
Ask yourself, where you want these photos to be stored. Do you have room allocated in your home or do you need them to be stored off site? Do you need the location to be close to your home? Is there easy access at the location you’ve selected? Is security a concern? Does the storage option have climate controlled storage units available?
Temperature and Humidity
You do not want your photos to be regularly exposed to direct sunlight, florescent lights, high heat or high humidity. These factors can result in fading, mold and mildew spores to flourish and general deterioration of your prints.
Renting a climate controlled storage unit will mitigate many of these issues. Also, be aware of the damage vermin and insects may do to your photo collection. Ensure your prints are in a well sealed environment where these pests will not have access to damage them.
Copy Your Photos Digitally
One sure way to preserve photos that have special historical or family memories is to scan and store them digitally, either on a thumb drive or in a ‘cloud’ style storage. Photos are impossible to replace as time has passed and that opportunity may never come again. Keep this in mind when you are packing your precious prints.
Pack Using Quality Materials
If you’ve decided to store your photos in photo albums, use acid-free albums. The glue from peel and stick pages will damage your photos over time. Avoid using tape, paperclips or elastic bands as they too can scratch or damage your photos.
Store photos flat to prevent curling and folding cracks. Make sure that the folders, envelopes, etc. that you may decide to use to organize your photos are firm and flat.
If you are storing photos in frames with glass, use masking tape across the glass surface to minimize the possibility of the glass scratching the surface of your photo if it happens to break or shatter.
Label Your Storage Boxes
Label your albums and containers with a good description of the contents so you can easily locate your desired photos. Do not write on the back of your photos as the pressure of the pen may create dents in the face of the picture. Also, ink from the pen may bleed through the picture. Using light pressure with a soft lead pencil may be a solution if you absolutely need to label the photo.
Store Your Photo Boxes Off The Ground
Do not place your photo storage boxes directly on the ground or concrete. Many floor materials leech up moisture into what is sitting on them. Concrete is particularly known for releasing moisture to the surface.
Placing a pallet on the floor of your storage unit to raise your boxes off the floor will prevent moisture seeping into your boxes. Also, they will give some protection against flooding. Water can do incredible damage to paper. Placing your photo boxes on upper shelves of a shelving unit will also increase protection.
Elite Self Storage in Langford, BC and Edmonton, AB have storage units of various sizes for all your personal or household storage. If you are new to self storage check out our guide on how self storage works.
Rent a storage unit online or give one of our storage rental experts a call to discuss your storage needs. You can rent a storage unit in South Edmonton AB by calling 780-452-8242 or in Langford BC by calling 250-995-2735.