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Your scrapbooks. Like your photo albums, they’re filled with your musings and memories. Who knew that some simple, but pretty papers, combined with sweet quotes and old pictures could come to mean so much? But they do. That being the case, you’ll want to protect them by placing them in a self storage unit. Here are some tips to get you started.

Treat Them Similarly to Old Photos and Artwork

The bulk of scrapbooks are made from papers and photos. Like paper prints of artwork, these papers can break down and decay over time if they’re not protected properly. According to The Library of Congress, papers and photographs can deteriorate for a number of reasons. If the temperature fluctuates a great or if there’s an excess of humidity, materials like photos or paper will break down. The same can be said for materials that get too much light exposure.

What you expose these materials to can also cause issues. You should try to keep these items clear of dust and dirt. You should also be aware that the oils from your fingers can cause things to break down.

Packing Them for a Stint in a Storage Unit

The American Museum of Photography suggests you  make sure that your scrapbooks are clean and free of any dust and other particles before you pack them away. If the books are fragile, meaning that there’s a danger in the cardboard covers breaking down, it might be helpful to wrap them in tissue paper and then in bubble wrap. This prevents the corners from getting banged up. Additionally, pests like bugs as well as mice and rats can wreak havoc on your precious materials. Be sure to check for the traces of these critters as you clean up your scrapbooks for storage.

Wrap your work in plastic. You can even put them in archival-quality storage boxes, too to keep the moisture at bay. Finally, look for a self storage unit that is temperature and climate controlled. The humidity in the storage unit should be no more than 50% and it’s ideal if the temperatures inside remain between 65 and 70 degrees. Also be sure to keep materials like this out of the light. This applies to your scrapbooks as well as your artwork and photos. The light will break them down over time.

Keeping your scrapbooks in great condition for years to come is possible. The next generation will thank you for  following these easy steps. Happy Scrapbooking!