How To Store Your Scrapbooks
So far in our Keep Your Photos Safe series we have talked about why you should scrapbook, and why you should use Acid Free and Lignin Free products in your scrapbooks.
So you know what to do with your photos and why to put them into a scrapbook.
But what do you do with that scrapbook when you have spent your time and energy making sure your photos are in the safest place possible.
Where do you store these scrapbooks?
A place that is not great to store them is near a window or a radiator.
Scrapbooks and photos in general do not do well in extreme temperature changes. Going from high heat and humid weather to cold, dry weather back to high heat (due to a radiator) and wet weather will ruin your photos, they will speed up the aging process and will make them crack and split and become brittle.
Keeping a scrapbook in a humid environment is one of the worst places to store your scrapbook. Humidity warps your photos, it can allow mould to grow on your photos and can make the pages stick together in your scrapbook. Resulting in a ruined scrapbook and a whole load of photos and memories ruined.
You could have the safest album, with only safe products in your album but nothing will protect the photos in the album if they are stored in this situation.
So how should you store your albums?
Firstly you should NEVER stack your albums on top of each other. Albums should always be stored side by side.
Albums can become very heavy.
For example we have a scrapbook of our holiday in Egypt it has roughly 50 pages in the album, all full with photos most pages on average have 4 photos in. That is a lot of photos and a lot of paper and a lot of adhesive it is a heavy scrapbook. If this was stacked on top of another scrapbook, and a scrapbook on top of that the pages would get squashed. There is no doubt about it. The compression of each page would cause the scrapbook covers to bow and would eventually ruin each scrapbook.
Just imagine how many pictures you have your children or your wedding, and how heavy those scrapbooks could potentially be and how each page would end up ruining the pages underneath them.
To keep your scrapbooks at their ultimate best condition they need to be stood up next to each on a shelf, with their spines showing so you know what scrapbook is what.
Secondly, we have spoken about humidity and temperature but it is so important it needs to be mentioned again, the ideal humidity for a scrapbook is 20-50% humidity any higher and it will ruin your scrapbook. You can buy different items to decrease your humidity or just move to another place.
The best temperature for a scrapbook storage is under 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 degrees Celsius. A space with a steady temperature is the best place to store your scrapbooks, especially if they are coloured photos, as fluctuations in temperatures can make the chemicals in a coloured photo very unstable and end up ruining the photos.
Some of the best places to store your scrapbooks, are in a basement, if it is cool and doesn’t get humid. Or in an interior cupboard that does have an external wall in your house where the temperature remains constant and it isn’t humid.
Or within a room that doesn’t get humid, or have extreme temperatures throughout the year.
However there is one room, where most people’s photos live that is actually the worst place to keep them.
That is the attic / loft space.
The temperature fluctuates dramatically up here, as if you don’t use it, it doesn’t have any heating. It is freezing in the winter and boiling in the summer. Your photos are receiving the extremes of both heats, and it is more than likely humid and damp and they are sitting up there, probably in a box hidden away – safe, decaying and aging dramatically.
So if you have photos in boxes being kept safe in your attic or your loft, get them out today. Move them as fast as you can and put them somewhere safe.
Somewhere that isn’t damp, humid, too hot, or too cold.