Secure Self Storage

Storing Old Photographs

How to store old photographs

Old photographs can easily be damaged by humidity, heat, and light. That’s why it’s important to know how to store them properly and keep them in good condition for years to come. In this blog, we will share the best ways to preserve your old photographs in a self-storage unit so that you can continue to cherish the memories they provide.


Here are some tips for safe self-storage of your photos:

1. Choose the right size storage unit

Make sure that you choose a self-storage unit that is large enough to store all of your photo albums. Consider the size of your other property in the unit to make sure there is room for both the albums and the individual photographs, together with all your other possessions.

2. Use acid-free boxes or containers

Acid-free boxes help protect photographs from humidity, heat, light and other elements that can cause damage over time. Place your photo albums in acid-free boxes and store them in a cool, dry place in the self-storage unit.

3. Wrap the photos in acid-free tissue paper

Wrapping individual photographs in acid-free tissue paper provides an extra level of protection. This will help ensure that they stay in good condition for many years.

4. Create a moisture barrier

Moisture can be difficult to control, so it’s important to create a “moisture barrier” in the self-storage unit. A climate-controlled storage unit can be very effective. You could also consider using a dehumidifier or a container of desiccant to absorb any excess moisture.

5. Label your boxes and albums

To keep track of all your photos, it’s best to label each box or album so you can easily find them when you need them and avoid having to unpack and re-pack photos unnecessarily.


What to avoid when storing old photographs

Improper storage can cause irreversible damage to photos. So it’s important to understand what to avoid when preserving your precious memories.

1. Choosing your photo albums

Be sure to avoid albums with self-adhesive or acidic pages. Both can damage your photos especially when you are storing them for a long time. Always choose acid-free paper and plastic covers that do not contain PCV.

2. Don’t overfill—or underfill—photo boxes

An overfilled photo box can cause bending or compression of your photos over time. In contrast, an underfilled photo box means that pictures can move around, curl on the edges or get scratched or damaged. Organize your photos neatly and pack boxes in a way that prevents damage.

3. Avoid adhesives and plastic sandwich bags

Never use adhesive on your photos. If you try to move them, they could be damaged, and some adhesives can corrode photos over time. You may think to store your photos in plastic sandwich bags, but many contain an inner coating of a substance called butylated hydroxy toluene which can damage photographs in long-term storage. Again, acid-free tissue paper and photo storage boxes are a safer alternative.

For convenience, security, and cost-effectiveness, climate-controlled Secure Self Storage units are an ideal choice for storing old photos. And by following the safe-storage tips above, you can ensure that your old photographs will remain safe for years to come. Enjoy the memories!