Whether it is your treasured photograph albums or just a few boxes of books that you can't bear to part with, storing them properly is a must. This is especially true if you are putting the books and albums into a storage unit for long-term storage. The following tips can help you keep these items safe.
Tip #1: Inspect Each Book
Any type of moisture in a book during storage can quickly lead to mold or mildew. Take a few minutes as you pack to check the page edges and spines for any sign of moisture or for the tell-tale black spots that indicate mildew. If a book feels damp, allow it to dry before packing. If you notice mildew, you will either need to toss the book or have it treated with a fixative that kills and seals in the mildew spores so they can't spread. These fixatives are available from restoration services or from some library suppliers.
Tip #2: Wrap Individually
Taking the time to individually wrap each book or photo album will further protect them. Use an acid-free packing paper, available from moving suppliers, to ensure the paper doesn't react with the books or the photographs. You will need to insert a sheet between facing pictures in albums so they don't stick together. For all other books, simply wrap each one in a sheet of the packing paper.
Tip #3: Pack Them Right
You can use boxes or plastic tubs for storage. If you use cardboard boxes, line them first with a plastic garbage bag to keep out moisture. Then, stack the books and albums flat inside the box. Don't pack too tightly and don't stand the books on end – this can damage the spine or break the binding. When the box or tub is full, place a couple of packets of silica gel inside before sealing it up. These will absorb any remaining moisture.
Tip #4: Choose the Right Location
Cool and dry is the aim for a storage unit when it is books and albums that you are storing. If you live in a humid climate or an area prone to high heat, you may want to consider a climate controlled unit. Once you have your unit, stack the boxes on shelves or on top of pallets. Don't place boxes of books directly on the floor, as moisture can seep through concrete and eventually cause damage to the items.
For more tips on preparing your belongings for storage, contact a company like South Town Storage.