With the popularity of digital cameras and camera phones, storing actual photographs will soon be a problem of the past. However, chances are you still have a bunch of physical pictures from recent years or as historical archives. There was a time before Facebook when actual photo albums were the only way to show off your pictures! So what do you do with them all? If your family pictures are still piled sloppily in a closet, attic, or spare room somewhere, here are some storage tips for optimal preservation.
Organize Your Photos
Store similar pictures or pictures from an event together, depending on the size of your storage containers and the amount of photos you have. For example, you could keep all of your son’s baby pictures in the same container. Or if you have so many baby pictures that you can’t keep them all together, organize by event or time. For example, keep all his baby pictures from his first birthday party in one container.
If you have the time, label the containers with details such as time and place it was taken. This will help you easily find and identify your photos when it’s time to show them off again. If you are labeling individual photos, be sure to include names and ages of people in the photo as well. Don’t ever use a ballpoint pen because this could damage the photographs. Stick with a pencil or permanent marker instead.
Handle your photos carefully. Try to touch the front side of the photo as little as possible because oils from your fingers can deteriorate the photo quality. If you can, use a protective covering or place photos in a album or book.
Control Your Storage Location
Store photos in a safe place for optimal preservation. Temperature, humidity, moisture, and light are important to consider when deciding where to store your photos. A mild temperature, moderate humidity, and very limited light is ideal. Too much light or a high temperature can make your photos vulnerable to fading and cracking. Too much moisture in the air can cause your photos to stick together or mold. Basements, attics, and garages are a bad idea because of the variation in temperature and humidity. The best place to store your photos is a climate-controlled location that stays between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Climate-controlled storage units are the best place to find this.
Whether you choose to have your photos matted, put in a photo album, or stored in a container, make sure these materials are non-acidic. For extra insurance, look for materials that pass the Photographic Activity Test (PAT) which tests whether a material will cause fading or staining.
Always Have a Backup Plan
Always keep backups (negatives or a second copy) in an alternative location if you have them. That way, in case either copies are ever damaged, you will have a backup in a separate location.
Alternatively, if you don’t have backups, scan the most important photos into a computer. You can also pay an office supply store to do this for you if you don’t have the time to do it yourself. They will provide you with a thumb drive so you can access your photos on any computer. The plus side of this is you can then create custom gifts with your photos. You can also print another copy whenever you need it.
As summer 2014 comes to an end, we say goodbye to glorious beach days and sunny family barbecues. We say hello to back-to-school and crisp fall evenings. It’s sad to see the summer go, but the fall is inevitable and comes with some things to look forward to as well, like warm apple cider and cozy sweaters. Changing seasons means a change in your routine and the items you need on a regular basis. Here are some self storage tips to help you prepare for fall:
1. Decide What You Won’t Need
Keep track of all the items you won’t be using until Memorial Day and need to store. Planning is key to a smooth transition and to make sure you don’t forget any summer items that will take up valuable space in your house over the winter.
- Lawn chairs and outdoor furniture
- Pool floats and toys
- Beach chairs and umbrellas
- Summer clothing
- Camping, fishing, or hiking gear
- Garden tools or decorations
- Golf clubs, bikes, and other sports equipment
2. Decide What You Do Need
What do you need for the coming fall and winter? Visit your storage unit and figure it out before you try and squeeze all your summer gear into it. Organization and advance planning is important for minimal stress and a smooth, easy transition. It’s difficult to fish out that small box of holiday ornaments if you remember them after you’ve already loaded your lawn chairs and beach umbrellas into your unit.
3. Properly Store Everything
Make sure every summer item is properly stored for the winter. Anything exposed to the elements like sports equipment or outdoor furniture should be washed and dried before you store it to prevent rust, damage, or odor. Make sure any sports equipment is in working order before you store it as well. You don’t want to risk an injury by forgetting it’s broken and using it next year.
Stackable plastic storage bins can keep smaller items like summer clothing and decorations organized and protect from dust. Make sure to label the bins so it’s easy to sort through your items next year.
When you think of self storage, what comes to mind? Most likely, moving to a new home or changing locations. While many people use self storage for belongings while they move, there are many other reasons as well. Here a a few top reasons you might want to use self storage.
Are you an active seller on eBay, amazon marketplace, or other online stores? Self storage is a great place to keep your merchandise when it outgrows your home or office.
To Reduce Clutter
Is clutter taking over your house, but you just don’t have the time for spring cleaning right now? Don’t risk giving away stuff you might need someday. Move some of your stuff to self storage until you have the time to sort through it.
For Special Activity Items
Do you play sports or participate in other activities that require special items? Self storage can be a great place for these items because they tend to be bulky and require a lot of space. Some examples are mountain bikes, skis or snowboards, climbing or hiking gear, and paintball equipment. Simply pick up these items on your way to the activity site the day you need them.
For Seasonal Items
Are there certain items you only need during a specific season? Put them in self storage when they start taking up too much room in your garage, or basement. Some examples are holiday decorations, lawn chairs, party or event tables, and bulky winter gear.
For Your Collection
Do you collect items and need a clean, dry, cool, place to keep them safe? With climate controlled indoor units, you’ll never have to worry about damage or wear and tear to your collection. Some examples are antiques, dolls, wine, historical artifacts, jewelry, paintings and records.
To Maximize Security
Self storage is a great place for valuable items that need optimal security. If you live by Leesport, PA, DAK Self Storage is fenced-in with key code entry and 24/7 video surveillance. All units have quality locks and climate control units have an additional key code access for optimal security. In addition, storage insurance is often much cheaper than home insurance if you need to insure your belongings.
You might have items that need to be secured for safety and self storage is a great place for these items. For example, power tools or legal weapons that need to be kept out of reach of the children in your home.
(Please note the following items are prohibited: gasoline, explosives, stolen items, drugs, animals, flammable liquids and aerosols, medical waste and infectious substances, counterfeit money and other items, environment waste, peroxides and chemicals, poisons and pesticides, dry ice, illegal or dangerous possessions in pennsylvania. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding the items you may store in your unit.)
If you live in or near Berks County, DAK is a convenient self storage location. Our units range in size from small lockers to ten feet by thirty feet to fit a large range of items.
1. Don’t Move Everything
You have probably collected some items over the years that have become outdated, broken, or no longer needed. Start fresh in your new home by using your move as an opportunity to organize your belongings and let go of the excess items. As you pack, decide what items you can donate, throw away, or sell. Call a charity to come pick up your gently used items before you move.
2. Find Supplies in Advance
Don’t go crazy trying to buy all the moving supplies you need. You can save some cash and stress by looking online at local sites or posting on facebook. Your neighbors and friends probably have gently used moving boxes and other tools you may need.
Collect old newspapers and plastic shopping bags a few weeks in advance to use for your move. These can be used to pad boxes and as a layer between items if needed. Rather than pack all your towels and sheets in one box, use these to pad fragile items. Packing and padding with the same item is a resource saver!
3. Keep Essential Items Handy
You probably won’t have time to unpack all of your items the first night in your new home. Keep a couple days worth of clothes and toiletries accessible to use in the meantime.
Pack a suitcase full of essential items for each family member like you are going on vacation. This way, you can live out of your suitcase until everything is unpacked. You don’t want to have to dig around a bunch of boxes for your toothbrush, clean socks, or pajamas!
4. Use Self-Storage Centers
It can be difficult to move all of your belongings to your new location in one day. To reduce the stress of making sure everything gets there safely, store some items in a storage unit. If you have more than you can take in one trip, consider keeping your belongings in a storage unit until you can collect them.
If you are moving in or around Berks county, DAK Self Storage can ensure your personal belongings stay safe and secure. We offer high quality outdoor units and climate controlled indoor units at affordable rates in Leesport, PA.