How to store collectibles safely

People collect many different items, the most common being coins, paintings, jewelry, records, etc. These items might have monetary value, but they are probably also valuable for sentimental reasons. We all want to keep our collectibles safe and protected. If you are moving, it’s not always easy to find the right way of storing them. On the other hand, you might just want to clean some space in your house. Whatever your reason, you should find the proper way to store collectibles safely. The way you store them can make a big difference in their value and lifespan. Read our guide to safely storing your valuables.

Reduce clutter before you store collectibles safely

It takes time to prepare your collectibles for storage. You need to know how to protect each item the right way, as well as how to store it. That is why you shouldn’t overcrowd your storage with things you no longer want. Before you put your collectibles away, sort through them. You will likely find some things that are not worth as much as you thought. You can sell these things online to earn some extra cash on the side. Moreover, you will also save money, because you won’t need as much storage space.

Sell antique furniture online.
All your valuable furniture might not fin in your new home.

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Properly organize your collections

Preparing your collectibles for storage can also take some work. The first step is to sort the items into their right collections. Keep all the items in one category together. For example, all your coins should be kept in the same box. Use original packaging for your collectibles if you still have it. That is the best way to store them safely.

Additionally, create a list of all your items. Have a copy of this inventory with you, as well as taped in the storage. This way, you will always know what goes where, and you won’t have to search through boxes.

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Store collectibles safely away from sunlight

Direct sunlight can cause a lot of damage to your collectibles. If you have antique furniture, the textile can fade and even get thinner over time. When you handle paintings and other paper materials for storage, sunlight can cause the paper to fade and disintegrate. Moreover, wooden furniture should be stored properly as UV rays will also harm it. With these reasons in mind, you need to keep your collectibles in a dark place. Some storage units have built-in protection against UV rays, which will protect your items from sun exposure. Finally, choose an opaque box when you pack collectibles to ensure as little light as possible.

Keep paintings away from sunlight when you store collectibles safely.
Paper items such as paintings can fade from sunlight.

Keep humidity constant

Too much humidity is never a good thing. If you have wooden or paper items, it can cause them to grow mold and tear. Metal items, such as coins, are also affected by humidity. High humidity in the air causes the metal to rust, so your coins will become worthless. On the other hand, there shouldn’t be too little humidity either. Ceramic and porcelain can crack and break in places with not enough moisture.

For this reason, you should store your collectibles in a place with control over the levels of humidity. The best option is to find storage with a humidity controller. If storage is not an option, the best way to store items is to avoid basements or attics. These are the places in the house with the biggest shifts in humidity.

Avoid extreme temperatures to store collectibles safely

The place where you store your collectibles should not be too hot or too cold.  Big fluctuations in temperature can cause damage to items made of organic materials, such as wood or textile. Cold temperatures, on the other hand, can damage items made of metal. That is why basements, attics, and garages are not the best places to store them.

A garage can get very hot during summer months, while a basement might freeze over during winter. Instead, find a place that is between 62° and 65° for optimal storage. You should feel comfortable in the room where you store your items. Again, the safest way to protect your valuables is to put them in climate-controlled storage. That way, you won’t have to worry when the weather hits extremes.

Find a storage that doesn't get too hot.
Both hot and cold extremes will damage your collectibles.

Don’t handle them too much

When you prepare your collectibles for long-term storage, it is necessary for you to touch them. However, avoid touching them more than you have to. Pack everything once and don’t move touch separate items once they are packed. Your skin has natural oils which can damage the materials of your valuables. That will cause these items to decrease in value, and you won’t save them by keeping them in storage. Moreover, you should buy special gloves for handling easily damaged collectibles. They are not expensive but will save you money in the long run.

Keep documents when you store collectibles safely

Any collector worth his salt knows that these items are worthless without proof of their value. So when you store collectibles safely, keep original paperwork together with these items. You can tape the receipt or some other evidence of ownership to the box with corresponding items. That makes the organization of your storage much easier. However, make sure that you tape on the outside of the box. The tape can damage your items and ultimately undo all of your hard work.

Finally, create an inventory list of all your collectibles in storage. Number each box and write a short description of its contents. Keep this list in a visible place in the storage unit, so that you always know what goes where.