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How to Properly Store Photos

How To

March 3, 2016

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5 min

Properly Store Photos

Times have changed dramatically for how we take and how we store photographs. Today, the majority of photos are taken from a digital camera or mobile phone. But we still want to print digital photos to display in a frame or preserve family photos. Every family has boxes of old black and white photos which are beginning to fade due to improper photo storage techniques. Photos have been improperly stored in shoe boxes, taped in scrapbooks, and stored in hot and humid basements or attics. How can you protect these precious family photos and keepsakes for future generations?

How to Keep Photos Protected for Storage

There are many photo storage solutions available to protect photos from damage including specially-designed photo storage boxes, photo albums or frames. Wherever you decide to store your photos, you need to make sure that they are stored properly to prevent damage to the photos. Below are a few of the best photo storage options:

  • Photo Boxes-Store photos in “photograph safe” storage boxes which are specially designed to protect your photos while in storage. Do not store photographs in old shoe boxes or envelopes. These boxes may contain chemicals which over time will damage your photos. If you are placing loose photos in a box, always stick a piece of archival paper between the photos to prevent them from sticking together.
  • Photo Albums- Photographs should be stored in acid free photo albums made with materials that pass an ANSI IT 9.16 Photographic Activity Test (PAT). Do not store photos in photo albums with sticky or magnetic pages. The chemicals in these albums may potentially yellow and fade the photographs over time. The sticky photo albums also can make the photographs tear when you are trying to remove them from the scrapbook. Also, do not put tape on the back of photos to put in photo album as this could also tear the photograph.
  • Film Negatives-If you have a collection of old film negatives or slides, make sure that you properly clean these items before storage in an archival safe storage box.

Digital Photo Storage Ideas

Most people load the photos from their digital cameras or phones directly onto their computers. There are many online photo storage sites including Flickr, Shutterfly, Google Photos or PhotoBucket that are easy ways to store your digital photos “in the cloud.” If you store your photos on your computer, it is a good idea to back up these photos on a DVD or a CDR, just in case something happens to the computer. Even digital photos that are stored on a DVD or CDR need to be protected from extreme weather conditions. Do not store these disks in places with extreme temperature swings as it can crack or warp the disks over time. Also, make sure that you label the photo CDs, so you can easily access the family vacation photos from Disney World, Ocean City or the National Mall.

Where to Store Photos

Depending on the amount of home storage available, framed photos, photos albums and photo storage boxes can be displayed on shelves in the home. If there is not enough room, or you need to remove photos due to a home staging project, photos can be stored in a storage unit. Climate controlled storage units may be a suitable option for storing photos. Photo albums should be stacked flat in a box with filler material added to the top. Properly seal the boxes with packaging tape and label the boxes with the contents.

If you properly store your photos either at your home or in a self-storage unit, you will be able to enjoy and share them with your family and friends for years to come. Taking these extra steps will help prevent damage, warping and fading of the photographs.

For the convenience of our customers, we’ve recently added a contactless rental option. This allows our customers to rent a storage unit from the convenience of their own homes. If you prefer to rent a storage unit in person, ezStorage offers the best household storage solutions in the Baltimore, Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. areas. Stop in to one of our 46 self-storage locations to see how our storage professionals can help with your storage needs.

Start Storing Your Belongings Today!

ezStorage has storage facilities all throughout Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD and Northern Virginia. Find a location near you and reserve your unit from ezStorage today.

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Looking for Tips on Storing Your Belongings?

Explore our solutions tips below to get tips and advice on how to properly store your belongings.

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What size home are you storing?

1 Bedroom Apartment

2 Bedroom Apartment

2-3 Bedroom House

4+ Bedroom House

Single Dorm Room

Studio Apartment

5x5 locker

5' x 5' (25 sq ft) (Locker)

Half the height of our standard 5' x 5', our lockers will hold personal items, clothes boxes, business records and sale rep materials. This is our smallest storage unit. Available at most locations.

5x5 unit size

5' x 5' (25 Sq. Ft.) (standard closet size)

How big is a 5x5? A 5x5 will hold personal items, clothes, boxes, small furniture items, business records and sales rep materials.

5x10 unit size

5' x 10' (50 Sq. Ft.) (walk-in closet size)

Will hold small amounts of furniture, boxspring and mattress, business records and other small items.

10x10 unit size

10' x 10' (100 Sq. Ft.) (standard bedroom size)

Will hold a 1 bedroom apartment w/major appliances, other furniture and supplies.

10x15 unit size

10' x 15' (150 Sq. Ft.) (1/2 standard one-car garage size)

What will fit in a 10x15? This size storage-unit will hold contents of a 2 bedroom apartment or house including appliances and boxes, or commercial storage inventory.

10x20 unit size

10' x 20' (200 Sq. Ft.) (standard one-car garage size)

Will hold contents of a 3 bedroom apartment or house plus major appliances and lots of boxes. Business storage, ideal for storage racks.

10x30 unit size

10' x 30' (300 Sq. Ft.) (standard two-car garage size)

Will hold contents of a 4 to 5 bedroom house with major appliances and room for boxes. Business storage for files, equipment and permanent records.

Renting Online is Simple

  1. Select the storage unit size you’re interested in.
  2. Click on “Rent Now” and follow the steps.
  3. Select the autopay option.
  4. Once completed, you will receive an email with your storage unit number and access code.
  5. To reduce person-to-person contact, don’t forget to bring your own lock. Don’t already have a lock? No problem you can stop by the rental office to buy one on your first visit!