5 Simple Steps to Storing Old Family Photos Correctly

Don’t Learn the Hard Way by Preserving Your Family Pictures the Right Way

How to Store Old Family Photos Correctly

Photo Credit: Ken_Mayer via Compfight cc

Preserving old family pictures is a wonderful way to keep your family’s legacy fresh for future generations. However, it is unfortunate that most mementos are usually not stored properly, leading them to deteriorate and become damaged before their time. Luckily, there are some simple ways to ensure that your treasured family photos can be stored for posterity so you can add even more of these stories to your family tree. All you have to do is follow these five photo storage steps!

Best Ways for Storing Old Family Photos Correctly

1.) Gather and Centralize

One of the most frustrating aspects of storing your family photos is realizing that boxes and scrapbooks are dispersed throughout the house, most likely in a myriad of albums and boxes. When you’re starting your photo storage project, it’s good to realize that the best ways to preserve old photos include separating pictures by time period—as best you can—and labeling each picture with as much information as you have about where it was taken and the people who are featured in it. Make sure that you are using a pen that will not damage the photo. There are pens sold specifically for this purpose, so be sure to purchase one of these archival pens.

Photo preservation tip! Do not use a ballpoint pen on your family pictures, as these can damage photos irreparably. And do not press down too hard when you are writing.

2.) Make Photo Preservation a Family Affair

Holidays can be a good time to ask older relatives about the people in each picture. You never know what you’ll discover. If you happen upon a picture that isn’t of high quality or doesn’t feature any subjects that the family is familiar with, then it may be best to let go of the photo. Use your discretion to pare down the photo collection so that it will really mean something to your family.

3.) Consider Photo Storage Conditions

When you ponder how to store old photos, you must consider the environment is which you’re keeping these family heirlooms. Think Goldilocks when you’re storing your family photos; you want to keep the photos in a room that is relatively cool so that the pictures won’t deteriorate quickly. One of the most popular places for people to store old photos happens to be the attic, and this is actually one of the worst environments for photographs. The heat can cause pictures to degrade rapidly. Basements have a tendency to flood at times, so this is also not the best place to put your mementos. Ideally, you want your photo storage room to possess a humidity level between fifteen and sixty-five percent. If the humidity level rises any higher than this, mold can grow on your photos.

4.) Strategize and Organize

One of the best ways to preserve old photos is to organize them into albums. However, it is of the utmost importance that you select the right types of photo albums. Prior to purchasing an album, make sure that its materials are free of acids and lignin, both of which can do major harm to old pictures. Specifically, you want to avoid albums with PVC plastic. Although this material has been commonly used for in photo albums for years, it has a tendency to stick to pictures and also damage them. Remember that you are seeking an album for heirloom and archival purposes; it’s best to buy the highest quality products you can.

5.) Don’t Forget to Digitize

In order to give yourself peace of mind, you’ll also want to scan your photos to preserve them in a digital format. Online family tree builders like Crestleaf give you the wonderful opportunity to meld your passions for photography and ancestry. By keeping everything in one easy, accessible place, you’ll actually look forward to being your family’s personal family historian.

When a project is as important as this, it’s crucial that you take the reins and set your family up for success!

Do you have other photo storage techniques to add to our list? Let us know in the comments! Then preserve your family memories for a lifetime with an online Crestleaf Family Tree