Between all of life's major transitions, it can be challenging to keep track of your printed photos along the way. Even in a highly digitalized world where most of our photos are stored on devices, many of us still have many precious photos we intend on keeping forever. Photos are beautiful memories we have to look back on and one day pass down to our kids or loved ones. Here are some ideas to consider while storing your photos so they can last a lifetime.
Factors to Consider:
The National Archives and Records Administration recommends storing photos in less than 65% relative humidity. High humidity causes mold and ink from multiple photos to stick together. Typical storage areas such as your garage, attic, and basement are not ideal locations for storing your photos.
It is best to store pictures in lower temperatures, as high temperatures draw in insects and slowly melt the ink and paper. Store photos in climate controlled storage where temperatures do not fluctuate often and stay between 50 - 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bright, UV, and fluorescent lights fade the ink and pigments on photos. If you want to display a photo in the open, make sure to store a duplicate copy in a darker room.
Photos are precious memories you have made with your family and friends. Avoid storing them in places that could result in damage due to leaks or even flooding. Make sure your photos are nowhere near the floor and are properly stored on a shelf, away from any foot traffic. For those moving around often, it's best to consider self storage as a place to safely keep these treasured memories along with other family heirlooms.
Choose the Perfect Container
Look for containers that are photo safe, acid-free, and PVC free. Once you find the right container for your photos, avoid stacking your photos alltogether (which can cause them to get stick to one another) and if you don't have high-quality albums, it's best to purchase them before storing. Cheap photo album pages are prone to get stuck together and could cause a tear in your photos when you decide to flip through them again! Poor quality albums can also cause your photos to discolor over time due to the page adhesives.