Old photos and crafts – whether they’re piled in a box or placed neatly in a photo album – hold some of our most cherished memories. It’s why it’s so important that you take extra care of your photos and valued crafts in self-storage. Luckily, there are some simple ways to prevent wear and tear, so your crafts and photos stay in the best possible condition and are enjoyed for generations to come.
Follow these tips to store your photos and crafts in a storage unit successfully.
1. Organize Your Photos and Crafts
Prepare your photos and crafts by organizing them. This will make the move-in process much easier. Sort your collection in a way that makes sense to you, whether it’s by type of photo, size, age, or memories. With your collection organized, you can plan how you’re going to pack and store them.
Pro Tip: Wear cotton gloves when handling photos and try not to touch the printed side as a precaution.
2. Use Craft Storage Supplies
These supplies will help protect your crafts and photos while keeping them organized when in storage:
- Acid-free paper/tissue
- Sturdy boxes that close
- PVC-free plastic sleeves/sandwich bags
- Picture frame boxes
- File folders and file boxes
- Silica gel moisture absorber
3. Choose a Photo Packing Method
There are several ways to pack and store photos. What works best for you will depend on your needs and the types of photos you want to store. Here are a few common methods and why you might want to use each.
Stacking is an easy way to organize and store large quantities of loose photos. If you’re not adamant that your photos are stored in an album or individual container, you can stack your photos in a picture box while placing a sheet of acid-free paper or tissue in between each.
If you have photos in “peel-and-stick” photo albums, remove them and look for an alternate storage method. These photos albums often use chemical adhesives that damage photos over time. If you want to store photos in an album, us an “archival” photo album that has acid-free sleeves.
File Folders and Envelopes
These aren’t just for paper documents! File folders and envelopes are great for storing sets of photos or photos you want to store individually. When storing sets, be sure to place acid-free paper or tissue between photos. You can consolidate files and envelopes in an accordion folder or File Box.
Picture Frame Boxes
Any photos that are in a large picture frame can remain there. Simply use a U-Haul Picture Box and the store it as is. Just be sure to make a large ‘x’ on the glass with tape to prevent shattering.
4. Use the Right Sized Storage Supply
Choose the right sized storage supply when storing your crafts, whether it’s an envelope or box. Using an item that’s too large can cause shifting and bending. On the same subject, avoid overstuffing envelopes, boxes, or photo albums to prevent crushing, folding, and bending. This will damage your crafts over time.
5. Pick Sturdy Storage Supplies
Photos are best kept flat, so only use folders, envelopes and other packing materials that are firm and flat. Only use boxes with thick walls and lids that shut all the way and are made from acid-free materials.
6. Keep the Light Out!
Prevent light sources from penetrating your storage containers. Close boxes tight and block the carrying handles on the side. Photos exposed to light over extended periods of time will fade over time.
7. Keep Boxes off the Ground
Store your photos and crafts high above the ground on top of sturdy furniture or shelving. This prevents them from getting crushed or damaged by other boxes being piled on top of them.
8. Choose a Climate Controlled Facility
When it comes to choosing a storage unit, don’t consider anything that’s not climate-controlled! High heat, humidity and dust can do a number on photos, which is why having a climate-controlled storage unit is so important. Crafts that required adhesives will be in need of climate-controlled storage as well. We recommend storing your photos at 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit or below to ensure they avoid any damage.
After reading these tips, any crafts or photos you may need to store will be certain to remain in perfect condition. If you are in need of a storage unit, consider a U-Haul storage location near you.