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Tips > Packing Tips > Photos, Collectibles and Mementos

Photos, Collectibles and Mementos


Preserving memories and handing down family heirlooms are important parts of family life, but lack of space can turn treasures into clutter. Self storage provides the extra square footage that you need to save things you would otherwise have to sacrifice for lack of space .

To keep your photos, collectibles and mementos in good condition while in storage, consider the following tips:

Packing Photos and Photo Albums
  • Always put paper between photographs to prevent them from sticking together (archival-quality paper is recommended – this can be purchased at most photography and craft stores)
  • Place a piece of strong cardboard, plastic or wood between groups of loose photos and pack them tightly in boxes to prevent warping
  • Only use photo albums that are archival quality
  • When placing photo albums, books or magazines in boxes, alternate placing the spine to the right or left
  • Seal photos in airtight plastic bags to prevent exposure to moisture
  • Label boxes and containers for easy reference

Packing Fragile Collectibles and Mementos

  •  Use same-size, quality boxes for easy stacking
  • Pad the bottom of boxes with foam sheets used for packing dishes (dishpack)
  • Wrap each item separately in clean paper; do not use newspaper (the print can transfer)
  • Stack glasses, vases and other tall fragile pieces in rows
  • Place double layers of paper between rows of packed items
  • Pack items firmly next to each other but not too tightly
  • Fill empty spots in boxes with packing peanuts or paper to prevent shifting during transport or lifting
  • Cut pieces of boxes or cardboard to use as dividers in boxes to prevent shifting
  • Reinforce the bottoms of boxes with extra tape, taping the box tops equally as well in case they topple during transport
  • Mark boxes as fragile on all sides
  • Use wood, cardboard or plastic to raise boxes off the floor

Climate Control

Climate control is extremely important for the preservation of photographs and photo albums, as it prevents damage from extreme temperatures. (Ask your self-storage facility manager about this option which is often available for moderate additional cost).  

There are many kinds of packing materials specifically designed to preserve valuable and fragile items. At Extra Space, our facilities offer professional-quality boxes and supplies for your convenience. Ask your facility manager about how to get the best use out of these materials, and for other creative storage solutions.