Where Not to Store Your Documents and Photographs

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Even now during the digital age it is very easy to acquire a wide variety of paper documents and physical photographs and eventually the question will arise of how and where to store all of these materials, especially if digitizing them isn’t an option. Finding the right place or choosing an appropriate binder option to store your valuable documents and pictures is of great importance but it’s very easy to store these items in the wrong place. Here are three places you should not store your documents or photographs.

Magnetic 3-ring binder pages: With so many binder options to choose from for storing valuable pictures, magnetic binder pages might seem like the perfect option but actually the reverse is true. Over time, the adhesive that sticks the photograph (or document) to the photo binder page can leave residue on the pictures even if you use binder sleeves. It’s much safer to use archival photo binders that use acid-free paper and pressure-sensitive adhesive that allow photographs to be safely stored or displayed for a long time without a risk of degradation.

In the garage: It is very tempting to simply organize your documents into storage boxes and stack them in the garage where they can be out from underfoot. But in reality this is a poor environment for storing paper documents because of the temperature extremes. To prevent the growth of mold, documents need to be stored in a place where the relative humidity is below 65%. Garages in the summer can be hot and very humid, which makes them terrible storage environments. Conversely, extreme cold is also bad for paper documents because if the relative humidity falls below 15% paper documents can become brittle.

In picture frames: It may sound strange but picture frames aren’t always the best place to store photographs. Even with mat boards or special frames with ultraviolet glass, exposing old family photos to light can cause catastrophic fading that after a few years can permanently ruin irreplaceable pictures. Instead, the safer option is to make and display copies while the originals are safely stored away. That way, if anything does happen to the displayed copy, you still have the original.

It is very easy to make the wrong choice in how you store your documents and photographs. That is why it is so important to do research and find the archival materials or binder options that will best preserve your documents for as long as you need them. Archival binder options are readily available and should always be used whenever possible. When it comes to storing documents, it never hurts to take the extra time to store and care for them.

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