Paper is more fragile than many other things that can go into storage. It’s sensitive to time and age, it can be completely destroyed by water, and to store it properly takes some special consideration. We’ve already covered how to properly store old photographs, but we’re here today to make sure your other paper products can be stored safely, too.
Make sure you’re using special protective film when storing artwork
Artwork is especially sensitive compared to other paper goods because of the sentimental and, frequently, the monetary value it possesses. When you're putting art that you want to preserve in a storage container, you must do a few things.
First, you need to encase it in polyester film. This film will prevent it from being damaged as you roll and store it in protective tubing. There are other options for flat storage, but we recommend tube storage because it invites less potential for incidental damage.
Only store paper goods in climate-controlled units
This is fairly self explanatory. A climate-controlled storage unit will significantly lower the potential of moisture, light, or similar damage to any paper products you store.
Verify that the boxes you’re storing paper documents in are acid free
While most storage boxes are already acid-free, it's a good idea to double check your packing supplies before storing any paper documents - especially important ones - away inside of them. Boxes that aren't acid free can understandably eat away at the fragile paper if stored inside long term.
Do the work to make sure no moisture builds up
For posterity’s sake, you’re going to want to store paper goods in a cool and dark place. Most varieties of paper are best suited to being stored between 45 and 65 degrees fahrenheit at a 50-60 percent humidity level.
They can survive reasonably well within a few degrees or percentage points of those numbers, but if you seriously want to avoid any potential damage it's recommended to manage conditions closely.
Physically handle any documents as little as possible
If you're storing paper goods like newspaper clippings, prints, and similar pieces, it is ideal to store them flat so you can avoid potential ripping during the process of folding and unfolding.
Ideally, though, you want to handle any paper goods with your hands as little as possible. Our skin contains oils that, when transferred to paper, can cause discoloration and damage. It may seem silly, but if you're going to be handling a lot of paper documents you can always invest in a pair of white cloth gloves to avoid this.
Our last tip? Rent a unit from Storage Direct for all the paper goods you want to protect if you’d like to keep your documents safe, secure, and accessible.