In life, some things are irreplaceable; among these things are family photographs. Family photographs help to protect the loving memories of your family and also to create a pictorial family history for generations to come.
Rules for storing family photos and pictures
Protecting and preserving your precious family photos could be one of the most important things you could do for your generations to come. Family photographs represent decades of memories and history through visual aid. It would be devastating and disheartening to lose these memories because of inappropriate wear and tear or storage.
Below are rules to engage for storing family pictures.
1. Store in safe places
The issues of humidity and temperature have already indicated that the attic, basement, and garage are not suitable locations for storing your photos. However, there are other issues you need to think about when deciding to preserve your photo; one of those issues is where to store the photos.
Another issue to consider is how you can protect the photos from rodent’s damage. Rodents and insects love paper, and so you must make sure you keep your pictures out of locations where these pests can get to them.
Moldy and damp photos can also be a major problem; so, make sure that you keep your photographs away from areas that are susceptible to leaks and flooding. You should also keep your photos off the bare floor just in case of any floods. So that the memories of your family can be preserved from getting damaged.
2. Store in proper conditions
Photos are printed on paper, and they contain pigments and ink. With time, both the pigments and paper can degrade, which will leave your photos in adverse conditions. For this very reason, the conditions at which you store the photos will make a huge difference in how they’ll age over time.
When choosing the location where you will keep your family’s photos, you need to consider the following three conditions:
Storing photos in a dark location will help preserve them; this is because it keeps the pigments or ink from fading. In general, light, especially fluorescent and UV lights, breaks down images.
If you have a favorite picture you’d like to display simply ensure, it’s a duplicate; keep the original in a darker environment, where it is completely safe so that you can keep enjoying the memory it provides while on display as well as protect the original for the future.
Temperature is another factor to consider during storage. The lower the temperature of an area, the better the photos can be preserved. This is because low temperature slows down the fading of ink and paper, and it also prevents insects.
You should always make sure you store your photos in a location that is below 75° F. Hot attic is not a favorable place for storing photos. Large fluctuations of temperatures are not nice for photos either. So, garages are not a good place for storing photos, since they often vary from hot to cold as the weather changes.
It is best to store your photos in a climate-controlled environment, which will keep both humidity and temperature under control.
Photos should be stored in an area whose relative humidity is less than 65% and higher than 15%. Photo paper can become quite brittle in exceedingly dry environments. Make sure that your photos are not kept in an environment with too high humidity.
If your photos are stored in your damp basement, it facilitates mold growth, which can result in the photos sticking together as they get moist, and causing the pigments and ink to fade. High humidity can also cause more insect infestations on the paper, which will without any doubt destroy your photos.
3. Select the right containers
When storing and organizing your photos, it’s essential to select the right container for storing them. The two major types of containers used for storing photos are photo boxes and photo albums.
In the past, people used to purchase all kinds of cheap boxes or albums for storing their photos; they later regret their decision. The majority of these cheap materials will damage your photos. The best materials for storing photos are those that are of archival quality, that are PVC-free, photo safe, acid, and lignin-free.
4. Load your photo containers properly
Even the safest of photo storage containers would not be effective if they’re not properly arranged. Don’t overfill a photo album; doing so can cause the photos to get creased or bent. Generally, photo boxes are incredible ways of storing photos, but they must not be under-filled or overfilled.
An overfilled photo box can result in several problems as that of an overfilled album. If you don’t have a full box, you can make use of something that is photo safe in the box, something like archival quality dividers to ensure the photos don’t move around too much.
5. Handle your photographs & negatives properly
Finally, when organizing or storing your photos, and the negatives, make sure your hands are clean and dry. Even with dry hands, always hold negatives and photos by the edge. Don’t put your fingers directly on the surface of your photos and negatives because your fingerprints contain chemicals that can damage your photos and negatives.
If you are not sure what to do with your family photos to preserve memories, you should consider the tips above; they are safe guidelines for storing your photos. By following the tips, your family memories are likely going to last for generations to come, just as you’ve envisioned and always wanted.