Important mementos and family heirlooms are more than just bits of junk, they are an important part of your personal history. No matter what material, size, or quantity of your prized possessions, it is important to store them properly. Your family heirlooms and treasured mementos should be enjoyed, but they also need to be protected in order to keep the memories alive. If you are wondering how to safely store mementos, our tips below can help.
How To Safely Store Mementos & Heirlooms
Photo albums and scrapbooks are a great way to safely store mementos and imagery over the span of many years. Over time, these keepsakes will start to show signs of wear and tear. It is important to always handle these items with care and try to keep them as intact as possible. Most scrapbooks are crafted out of older paper and use a less efficient type of adhesive. While they may have been okay at the time, they will eventually dry out and lose their tackiness. Consider rebounding the pages with Filmoplast book tape to preserve the binding. You can also place acid-free interleaving tissue in the middle of each page for extra protection. Place the whole book in unsealed archival polyethylene bags to keep them safe. You can store these in the same acid-free boxes as your photo albums and books for storage. Just make sure that those are all in a place that is dry and cool.
Storing Paper Documents
Paper items are the most at risk of getting damaged or simply decaying over time. Of all artifacts, paper is the most sensitive. Light can cause it to fade and crumble while heat and moisture can cause it to rot. The best way to safely store mementos that are paper products is by placing them in archival file folders or acid-free flap envelopes. When viewing or handling heirloom papers, wear gloves, or ensure that your hands are free of oil and other debris.
A lot of people have heirloom jewelry passed down through the ages. Not many people are quite sure how to store it when not in use, however. Even keepsake items that are newer purchases can benefit from proper storage. Let’s start with cleaning. Always get your jewelry professionally clean, avoid bleach and toothpaste at all costs. Not only can it damage the surface, but those methods also don’t work. Silver items should be wrapped in silver cloth bags to prevent tarnish from setting in, they should also be stored apart from books and fabrics. Diamonds are hard by nature and can scratch anything they are stored with, so make sure to bundle and store them on their own. Other stones should get a layer of archival tissue wrapping and stored in an acid-free box.
Books are made up of mostly paper, which we have already established are particularly sensitive. Heat, light, and moisture can cause a book to decay as quickly as in on generation. Clean your book with a soft brush or dry cloth. Make sure there are no metal clips or fasteners on any of the pages. Consider storing your books in unsealed archival polyethylene bags that are placed in an acid-free box. This, of course, should be stored in an area of your home that is cool and dry.
Final Thoughts On Safe Storage
No matter what type or amount of keepsakes you have, they should never be stored in the basement or attic. Both places have wide temperature variations that can damage your prized possessions. Make a point of keeping your things in a generally dry space, away from direct sunlight and one that has a steady temperature.
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