How To Preserve Your Photographs In A Storage Unit

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Storage units are great because they allow you to keep the things you love while preserving your space at home. You can store just about anything, including important photographs. Photographs are extremely sensitive to light, temperature and moisture. Just putting them in a box or on a shelf is out of the question. If you are considering storing your photographs, following a specific protocol will help you preserve your images for many years to come.

Prep Work

Before moving delicate photos into storage, they need to be cleaned. Luckily cleaning them is very easy and will only take a few minutes of your time. If you are handling vintage or delicate photos, handle with extreme care and wear cotton gloves when possible. The oils from your fingers can damage the prints.

Lightly dust each picture with a soft, dry cloth. Don't apply too much pressure. Even the smallest of particles can scratch the surface. The purpose of cleaning is to remove any dust, dirt or debris that may have found its way into your stack of photographs. Over time dust and dirt particles will wear on the print, causing permanent damage. By dusting each one carefully, you will remove any harmful particles.


For extremely old, delicate photographs, individual storage is recommended. Look for sleeves or enclosures that are:

For non-vintage photographs, you have a little more leeway when packing them for storage. You can store them in plastic enclosures that are made of uncoated pure polyethylene. The important thing to remember when packing photographs in plastic enclosures is to protect them from light exposure. Prolonged exposure will fade the colors. After putting your photographs in the plastic enclosures, put them in an album or box to protect them from light exposure.

When packing photographs in boxes, be sure to lay or hang completely flat to avoid creasing. There needs to be even pressure if they are in a a stack and even spacing if hanging vertically.


Before putting your sentimental photographs in any storage unit, look for units with temperature and humidity control. If those aren't available, find the darkest, driest space you can to store them in. Your photographs will be best preserved when they are kept cool and dry.

Photographs are an important part of most people's lives. With the availability of cameras and printers, there is no shortage of photographs to be found. If you have a stack of pictures you aren't quite sure what to do with, don't be afraid to put them in storage. With proper cleaning, packing and storing, you can protect them for future generations to enjoy.

AAA Flying Trolley Self Storage is a local storage facility you can contact with questions.