Is It Safe to Keep My Photos in a Storage Unit

Self Storage Tips

Ryan Moore
August 26th, 2021

Is it safe to store photos in a self-storage unit?
Keeping old photos from your family and your life is a great way to revisit the past and safely store the memories of those who came before. But storing photos in a self-storage unit can be tricky and it requires that you pick out the right storage facility as well as store them properly so that they aren’t damaged. In this blog, we’ll go over how to safely store your photos in a self-storage unit, and what steps you can take to ensure that they remain pristine.

Start By Organizing Your Photos
Although this isn’t about the safety of the photos per se, it is a vital step in keeping your photos organized so that you can find them when you need them. Have the photos you plan to use or look at the most nearer to the front of your storage unit. This saves you from having to unpack and repack your entire self-storage unit every time you need to get something. Organize them by year or subject and label them so that you know what is in each box.

Purchase The Right Storage Supplies
You should be able to find the right storage supplies at your local craft store. They will help to keep your photos protected while ensuring that your self-storage unit remains organized. They include acid-free tissue paper, sturdy boxes that have a lid and can close, plastic sleeves, or if the photos are small sandwich bags and silica gel moisture absorbers. These will guarantee the safe storage of your photos within the storage unit. If your photos are in picture frames, keep them in the frames and store them in picture frame boxes.

Pack Them Thoughtfully
Decide how you are going to store your photos before you get to your unit. There are a few options of how to do this including stacking- which is perfect for loose photos, but be sure to use your acid-free tissue paper between each photo. You can also use file folders and envelopes, these allow you to store photos individually without taking up a lot of space. This way you can have your photos in file cabinets or boxes. But if you’re going to store multiple photos in each envelope that you don’t allow the photos to touch, which brings us back to the acid-free tissue paper. Steer clear of photo albums! I know that many of us keep our pictures in old photo albums where you peel and stick them to each page. Although this is great for photos at home, the chemical adhesives that the albums contain damages photos over a long period of time and can lead to them becoming warped. If you want to keep your old photos in an album, purchase an archival photo album as they have acid-free sleeves, and be sure that the photos don’t lay on top of one another.

Other Tips for Storing Photo

Store Them Up Off The Ground
Keep your photos and photo boxes off the ground to avoid water damage, even if you don’t think there’s a risk of flood. Many storage units, due to the nature of storage facilities being dark and not well ventilated can become damp, so it’s best to keep them on a shelf.

Don’t expose them to light!
Over time, light damages photos by fading them. Make sure that your boxes all have lids, and that they aren’t exposed to sunlight for long periods. This guarantees that the images on your will be protected.

Always Wash Your Hands Before Handling Your Photos
Even if you think your hands are clean, wash them before touching any of your photos, because throughout the day we get grease and sweat on our hands that can be very bad for both old and newer photos you wish to keep pristine.

Pick A Climate-Controlled Storage Unit Facility
The only storage unit facility that is safe to store photos in is one that’s climate-controlled. If not, you risk exposing your picture to humidity and heat, which can ruin photos faster than one would think. Climate-controlled facilities that are kept between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit are best to avoid any permanent damage to your photos.

Photographs can be an amazing way to show your family where they come from and how much things have changed throughout the years, they link you to the past and allow you to connect to past memories that you otherwise may have forgotten about. Storage unit facilities are a great place to keep your photos if you take the time to store them correctly. With proper storage, you will be able to keep your photos immaculate for years to come.

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