Best Way to Store Photographs: a Guide

The best way to store photographs is to keep them in a cool, dry place. Here’s how:

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

What Is the Best Way to Store Photographs?

Some say that time travel will never be possible. Others, though, say that photographs are the way humans time travel, bringing us back to people, places, and memories long gone. However you look at them, photographs, especially those that are very old, need to be stored correctly. If they aren’t, they can be damaged so severely as to make them virtually worthless. 

If you have many old photographs and don’t know how to store them, you’re in luck. We’ve collected our top tips on the best way to store photographs just for you! There are many methods you can use, most of them easy and relatively inexpensive. If you’ve got a time machine made out of photographs, and you want to keep that portal open, read on!

Best Way to Store Photographs: Cool, Dry Place 

Photos, especially those taken during the last century, don’t store as well as you’d think. As they age, inks and toners fade, paper deteriorates, and memories vanish. There’s no way to prevent this 100%, but you can slow down the process considerably. The best method is to store your photos in a cool, very dry place. Below are a few of the choices you have that provide this, and their features and drawbacks:

What Is the Best Way to Store Photographs?

Best Way to Store Photographs: A Home Closet

Not bad, but not great. The average home has months where the temps vary considerably, which can negatively affect photos. It’s not the worst choice, but not the best either.

Best Way to Store Photographs: The Basement

No, never, not a chance. Your basement is possibly the worst place to store photographs. It’s much too damp and can ruin your pics in record time.

Best Way to Store Photographs: The Attic

Depending on where you live in the United States, the attic might work for storing photographs. On the other hand, if you deal with extreme cold or heat every year, that can be problematic. Extreme temperatures are the worst for photographs.

Best Way to Store Photographs: Temperature Controlled Storage Unit

If you have an extensive collection of antique photos, a climate, and temperature-controlled storage unit is probably your best choice. By controlling both the climate and temperature, your photos will stay cool and dry all year. You can choose to have one, or both, with iStorage.

What Is the Best Way to Store Photographs?

Use Acid-Free Boxes and Paper To Store Photos

Antique photos are very fragile; there’s no way around that. One excellent way to keep them from deteriorating faster is to store them in acid-free boxes with acid-free paper. Here’s the thing; all paper has acid, but acid-free paper and boxes have had it removed. That’s good news because the acid in paper products can damage photos. You can find the acid-free paper at most hobby stores and use it to wrap your precious photos for storage. Acid-free boxes are just as easy to find, and both will protect your pics while in storage.

Make Your Photographs Count

Storing photographs well takes time, effort, and a few bucks. That’s why it makes sense to make sure you get the very best photos! How can you do that? Well, there are many different methods, but most employ one strategy; practice. Practice taking photos wherever you go and whatever you’re doing. Try taking photos with family and friends, and shoot until you become as smooth as a well-designed aperture.

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