How To Store Photographs

How To Store Photos

In the age of digital dominance, physical photographs often feel like relics from a forgotten era. Yet, these tangible mementos hold an irreplaceable value that transcends the digital realm. Whether it’s vintage family portraits, cherished wedding snapshots, or RV travel adventures frozen in time, safely storing physical photographs requires careful attention, especially when stashing them away in a self-storage unit.

While self-storage units offer convenience and extra space, they are not ideal for storing still shots. Self-Storage units are not immune to the elements that can deteriorate and damage photographs over time. Fortunately, we have some tips to help protect your photos while they are stored in self-storage:

  1. Choose the Right Containers: Invest in archival-quality storage supplies. Acid-free boxes, folders, and photo sleeves, and photo albums are essential for preserving the longevity of your photographs.

  2. Place photographs in acid-free envelopes or sleeves before storing them in boxes to provide an extra layer of protection.

  4. Handle with Care: Prioritize gentle handling when preparing photographs for storage. Wear clean cotton gloves to prevent the natural oils from your hands from transferring onto the prints. When stacking or organizing photographs, be cautious not to bend or crease them. If handling larger prints or fragile materials, consider using acid-free tissue paper as a buffer. It is highly recommended to use acid-free tissue paper as a buffer between each photograph to ensure they do not stick, and to prevent the ink from bleeding should moisture ever enter the storage container.

  6. Mindful Placement: When packing photographs in storage boxes, arrange them in a flat, upright position to prevent bending or warping. Avoid overstuffing boxes, as excessive pressure can damage delicate prints. Place heavier items at the bottom of the box to prevent crushing lighter ones. Label each box clearly to facilitate easy identification when needed.

  7. Elevate from the Ground: Keep your storage boxes off the floor by placing them on pallets or shelving units. This precaution helps mitigate the risk of water damage in case of flooding or leaks. Additionally, elevated storage prevents direct contact with potentially cold or damp surfaces, reducing the likelihood of moisture seepage.

  8. Regular Maintenance: Schedule periodic visits to your storage unit to inspect and maintain your photograph collection. Check for signs of moisture, pests, or mold growth, and address any issues promptly. Rotate boxes occasionally to prevent prolonged pressure on specific areas.

  9. Digital Backups: Consider creating digital backups of your photographs as an added precaution. Scan prints and store digital copies on multiple devices or cloud-based platforms. While digital backups won’t replicate the tactile experience of holding a physical photograph, they offer an extra layer of security against loss or damage.


In conclusion, self-storage is not the safest environment for storing family photos, but by investing in proper storage supplies, maintaining a controlled environment, and implementing careful handling techniques, you can ensure that your cherished memories remain intact for generations to come. Remember, the effort put into preserving these tangible connections to the past is a testament to their enduring significance in our lives.