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Storing and Preserving Family Heirlooms

Family heirlooms are important. They tell the story of our ancestors and inspire the next generations. You may have a strong connection to certain objects because of who they belonged to. When you look at that vase your grandmother owned you may think about her and the good times you shared. When you look at that Navy photo of your great-grandfather, you may feel a sense of pride.

These items need to be properly preserved and stored so that they can last for many years to come. Many of them may be old and fragile and need special care. If you don’t have the room or right conditions to store these items at home, DAK Self-Storage can help. Located in Leesport, Pennsylvania, we have a variety of storage units to keep your antiques safe.

Questions to Ask

Before you decide what to do with your heirlooms, there are some factors to consider. Be sure to take your time and make sure you make the right decision.

Is It Worth Keeping?

The first aspect you need to consider is whether you want to keep it. Sometimes relatives feel like clearing the clutter from their home. Yet, they may not want to throw certain items away. Their solution may be to give it to you. This way it is still in the family and being used. Sometimes these items don’t hold sentiment with you.

If the item isn’t important to you, don’t feel obligated to keep it. Don’t just throw it away, though. Be honest with your relative and explain that you do not have room for it. Find out if they are willing to let it go. If not, look for another relative or at least a family friend to take it. Alternatively, you can rent a DAK Self-Storage unit and store your items until you find a home for them.

Do I Know the Story Behind It?

If the item is connected to a story, it should probably be kept. Most people are attracted to a good story which makes these items popular to pass along. If your ancestor was someone great, your kids will be inspired to be great as well when they look at the special item. Be sure to document the story and keep it with your item if you store it at DAK Self-Storage.

Do I Have Room for It?

To keep an item, you need a place to put it. Your antiques need to be placed in a safe place so that they don’t get ruined. They should be kept away from young children, pets, and other potential accidents. If your home is not this place, consider storing your items at DAK Self-Storage. Choose an indoor unit with climate control for the best protection.

Cleaning and Preserving

Before storing your items, you need to clean and protect them.

Paper

Protect them by placing them in a Mylar or acid-free envelope. Place the envelopes flat in a file box. Consider creating a digital copy before storing.

Photos

Keep them away from direct sunlight. A frame with UV Protection glass can also be helpful. Lay them flat in a strong box with a layer of acid-free tissue paper between each photo. You may also want to scan your pictures and save them on your computer before storing.

Clothing

Certain fabrics and clothing need extra protection. Your best bet is to get a special preservation box. Add tissue paper, muslin stuffing, moth balls or cedar chips to help prevent damage. Be sure to check if your garment needs special care before storing at DAK Self-Storage.

Jewelry

With jewelry, you need to worry about tarnish. Keep your trinkets in velvet or satin-lined box for the best protection. You can also wrap them in special tissue paper or keep them in a cloth bag.

Antiques

Different antiques will need different treatment. Be sure to clear the dust or dirt off of each item before storing. Protect them from falling and breaking by wrapping them in bubble wrap, cloth, or foam. Check out DAK Self-Storage’s blog for more tips on storing certain items.

Keeping Them Safe

Finally, you will need to take some extra precautions to keep your items safe. DAK Self-Storage offers 24/7 surveillance and locks on all our units. Some other ways you can keep your items safe include:

  • Keeping them in another safe within your unit.
  • Storing them in toward the back. This makes them more difficult to get to.
  • Never leave your unit unlocked and unattended.
  • Keeping other low-value items in your unit. This makes your unit less appealing to potential thieves.

Be sure to remember where you store your items so that you don’t lose them. You can draw a map and keep it at home or store directions on your phone.

 

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