Photo Storage 101 – Part 2

Published on 4/27/2023

In our last post, we shared some helpful tips for organizing, protecting and storing photo prints. Although the vast majority of today’s photography is digital (it’s amazing what you can do with just a smart phone), many families, especially those of that came of age prior to the digital revolution, still have boxes and boxes filled with old photo prints, many of which are of cherished family memories.


Last time around, we began our discussion by offering suggestions like thinning down your photo collection or showcasing some of your most treasured pics by framing them and hanging them in a prominent locations in your home. We then offered a few bits of advice for how to best store your old photos at home.


In this installation, we’ll be going into more detail about the best ways to preserve and store you photos in a storage unit. This is more likely to come into play in cases where you’ve devoted as much home space to displaying and storing your photos as you’re willing to. A storage unit is often a better solution for warehousing collections of photos that you want to keep but don’t anticipate needing to access very often. Sure, this will require a trip to your unit when you need to gain access to them, but in return, you’re freeing up valuable spaces at home such as closets and underneath beds.


Be sure to completely enclose all your photos, whether they’re in boxes, containers or frames. This will keep them protected against any moisture in the air, harsh lighting or direct exposure to sunlight. However, do not place old photos on the ground or floor in a storage unit, even if they are packaged in boxes or containers. Instead, consider using a wire rack or pallet to keep the boxes off the ground on the off chance that your unit suffers some sort of flood damage.


Before you actually relocate your photos to a storage unit, make sure you’re taken some preventive measures first. Start by organizing your photos inside plastic sleeves, envelopes or photo storage boxes. The ideal container for storing printed pictures has a sealed, water-resistant exterior (like plastic) and has soft but stiff dividers for separating prints inside.


Next, it’s time to pack and organize your photos properly. Keep your photos flat, using stiff, flat materials and dividers to assist you. Piling photos on top of each other haphazardly can lead to them bending or suffering other permanent damage. Also, don’t underfill or overfill your boxes. Stuffing too many inside can lead to tears and dog ears, but if you leave too much empty space, photos can shift during transport and suffer damage as well. Finally, consider using non-acidic dividers to help protect your cherished memories from chemical damage.