If you decide you need to place your photographs in a self storage unit, you want to make sure that your storage facility has a dark, cool, and dry unit where your photos will be.  Climate controlled storage is key to preserve your photos.  Certain types of photos are more likely to deteriorate, so it’s best to keep the temperature between 65-75 degrees, with the humidity of about 35%-50% to avoid damage or loss of value.

Make sure when you are packing your photographs, before placing them into a self storage unit, you pack them properly.

A few tips for packing:

If photos are loose, you want to make sure that paper is placed between each photo to prevent them from sticking together.  Archival Paper is recommended to be used for documents or photos that will be preserved for a long time.  This type of paper holds colors well to avoid from fading.  Most supply stores sell archival paper for your photographs or important documents; some may refer to it as “Ph neutral” or “lignin free” paper.

Another option for your photos would be to place in an airtight plastic sleeve or folder to avoid moisture, but you want to make sure you avoid the use of PVC plastic if you are using this option for storage.  This type of plastic sleeve can stick to your pictures, and cause the pictures to fade.

Another option would be to put your pictures on a mat board.  This is generally more expensive, but you can do this prior to packing.  When it comes to your actual photo albums and packing, make sure they are on end, and you are alternating the spine of the album, one in-one out, or right/left, etc.  Store the albums in smaller boxes (about 1.5 cubic feet), called book boxes often supplied by moving companies or self storage companies who sell packing supplies.  Because of the density and weight of the photo albums, it’s important to keep the boxes small and to try and avoid stacking too much weight on top of them.

When placing your photos and boxes in storage, try to keep them either directly off the ground, on pallets, or something to raise them up a couple inches, just in case of moisture.  Don’t forget to check with your self storage unit, make sure they have climate controlled units, and to make sure the units are away from light.  Your pictures will be the way you left them by following these simple steps.  These are a few different ways to help you preserve your memories and valuable photos.

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