There’s a quote that says, “A picture is worth a thousand words, but the memories are priceless.”
Photographs capture moments and take us down memory lane on the days we’re feeling nostalgic. They’re a way to capture a glimpse of the past and all the memories we spent at a certain place or with certain people. We also want to preserve them so we can hand them down to future generations, so they too can catch a glimpse of the things we experienced.
It is essential, then, to store pictures (especially the printed ones) the right way. You want to be able to preserve these photographs (and therefore these memories) in a way that will allow you to keep them for a very long time.
Don’t store them in basements or attics where the climate is prone to change when the weather does. They are also more accessible to rodents and insects there. It is also better if you store your photos in an enclosed container to preserve it longer and better.
In order to store your photos properly, we recommend getting a storage box suitable for the purpose.
Below are some of the best options for proper and safe storage of your treasured photos.
1. IRIS USA Photo and Craft Keeper
This storage solution is a perfect way to organize and protect small craft items and other keepsakes that you have, including photos. It is one big box that houses six smaller cases where you can store individual items. When it comes to storing printed photographs, each of the smaller individual cases can store up to 100 photos that are 4 x 6 inches in size. You also have the option to remove the individual cases if you need more space and just want to use the bigger box.
The cases all come with a snap-tight enclosure that will keep your contents secure and protect your photographs. This is a good way to store your photos, as you want to put them in a place where they won’t be affected by molds or moisture and where they will be free from dust particles.
This IRIS USA photo container has rounded corners as well, which helps to prevent damage to the contents. No need to worry about your photos getting all wrinkled while in storage. They will now be kept in a good shape and condition. An in-molded handle on the storage box makes it easy and comfortable to transport wherever you need to bring it. The cases and the box are also BPA-free, PVC-free, and lignin-free, so you can be sure that they will prevent any damage to your photos.
2. ArtBin Semi Satchel With Removable Dividers
Made from acid-free polypropylene, this container is durable enough to resist wear and tear. It features one open core compartment that comes with three removable dividers to help you customize your space and make the storage more versatile. If you need more room to store things, you can also easily remove the dividers and make use of the space however you wish to use it.
This ArtBin Storage Satchel helps you organize, store, and protect anything from craft supplies to stickers, pre-cut fabrics, and photographs. Its acid-free plastic and firm lid keep the printed photos from harsh climates and dust particles. Its snap-tight closure also secures your photos, keeping the contents safe from spilling out or from anything getting in. It has rounded edges to protect the corners of your photos and the additional depth of the core compartment allows you to store bigger and more photos.
This storage box is also made of transparent plastic that allows you to see what are the contents inside which will help when you are organizing your photos, so you don’t need to open each one. The ArtBin Storage Satchel is also stackable so if you have a lot of photos, you can organize them accordingly and stack the containers on top of each other.
3. Pioneer Photo Albums Storage Box
This heavy-duty storage box might be just what you’re looking for if you’ve got loads of photos to store. It comes in different colors, in case you want to color-code your items so that it helps you organize them better.
The Pioneer Storage box measures 11.2 inches in length and 7.8 inches in width. You can store up to 1,100 4×7-inch photos there! It is also durable and is a great place to store recipes, collectibles, photos, and other keepsakes. Its cover fits snugly on the box, keeping dust and moisture away from the contents. Its acid-free board construction keeps your photos from damage. It is also lignin-free and PVC-free so you can be very sure that your photos will be safe for a long time.
Since the box is covered all around, it comes with a metal identification plate where you can write down the contents of the box as you store and organize your photos. The Pioneer Photo Storage Box also comes with divider index cards that let you write the dates where the photo was taken, the place, and so on. This will help you in identifying and organizing, especially if you like storing your photos chronologically or by location. Because of its size, you can also opt to store albums and scrapbooks safely here, aside from just individual photographs.
How to properly store your photos
Here are some things you need to consider when looking for a place to store your photos:
1. Is the place well-ventilated?
You need to store your photos where the air circulates freely so that they can last longer. A well-ventilated area keeps the molds away from clinging to your photos.
2. Is the temperature ideal?
Storing your photos in places where the temperature is above 75 degrees Fahrenheit can do a lot of damage to your photos.
High humidity doesn’t help either as that will cause moisture to gather. Heat and humidity will also most likely interfere with the chemicals used in the processing of your photos, which will, in turn, lead to discoloration of your photos. Thus, it is better to store your photos in cooler places with low humidity.
3. Is there too much light?
When your printed photos are exposed to too much light, it can cause your photographs to fade, especially if they aren’t stored completely in enclosed containers. As much as possible, make sure that you store your photos in dark places.
Some of the best places to store your photos are in any one of the following areas:
- Under the bed
Related: The Best Storage Boxes for Books
Tips & best practices
Before storing your printed photos, here are some other necessary tips and precautions you might like to take:
- Keep your photos flat. If you can’t put them in photo albums or scrapbooks, it helps to put them in cases (such as the ones suggested above) where you know that they won’t bend or curl.
- Don’t squeeze in too many photos in one container. While we all want to save on space, putting too many photos in one storage box can also damage the photo if they end up sticking together or they might end up more damaged and crumpled. In case you’re worried about the extra space, you can always fill them with non-acidic tissue.
- If your photos are in albums (and you’ll be putting the albums in the storage boxes), make sure that your albums have acid-free sleeves. Materials like polyester, polypropylene, or polyethylene work well with printed photographs.
- Don’t use adhesives. As much as possible, don’t use anything that will stick your photo anywhere, as the acids that come with the adhesives can deteriorate the quality of the printed photos.
As long as you take good care of your photos, you should have no problem preserving these precious keepsakes even when you take them out from time to time for a trip down memory lane. We all want to keep these treasures for the longest time possible and you can do just that so you have something to show to your children and grandchildren in the years to come and they can catch a glimpse of these priceless memories you’ve made.