Storing antiques and collectibles requires a delicate touch and attention to detail. These items often hold significant monetary and sentimental value, making their preservation especially important.
In this guide we’ll go over a few things that you can do to properly store your items:
Clean Before Storing
Before placing your antiques in storage, ensure they’re clean and dry. Dust, dirt, and residues can cause damage over time so it’s best to remove as much as possible.
It’s recommended to always do a spot test on items before using any sort of cleaner to ensure it doesn;t damage the item.
Use high-quality packaging materials to protect your items. Acid-free tissue paper is ideal for wrapping most antiques as it prevents yellowing or deterioration. For fragile items, bubble wrap provides an additional layer of protection. Remember, though, not to wrap oil paintings in bubble wrap as it can damage the paint surface.
For extremely delicate or valuable items, consider using wooden crates or padded boxes. These offer an extra layer of protection against physical shocks.
Using shelves in your storage unit not only makes it much easier to access and organise your storage, but it also aids in keeping good circulation around the items, helping them to stay in better condition.
Consider Silica Gel Packs
Silica gel packs can be a great choice if you want to ensure you keep moisture around your items to a minimum. They work by absorbing excess moisture in the environment, ensuring a drier atmosphere for your antiques. Consider using a few of these and replace them overy now and then to ensure moisture is kept to a minimum.
While it might be tempting to use every inch of space in your shipping container, overpacking can cause damage. Items might shift, and without adequate room for each piece, they can press against one another, leading to potential breakage or wear.
Clearly label all boxes and containers. This not only helps in organisation but also ensures that anyone handling the items knows they are delicate and need to be treated with care.
Dust can be abrasive, and over time settled dust can scratch the surface of your antiques or become ingrained into fabrics. To avoid this, keep the storage area clean and consider using dust covers or sheets to keep items pristine.
Even with the utmost care, accidents can happen. It’s a wise decision to get your valuable items insured, so in the off chance that they get damaged or lost, you can have some financial security.
Avoid Storing with Harmful Materials
Some materials, like certain plastics or rubber, can release harmful gases over time, which can damage sensitive antiques. Be sure you’re aware of what you’re storing alongside your antiques and aim for materials that are inert and won’t cause degradation.
With careful planning and a proactive approach, you can ensure the longevity and preservation of your treasured items. Remember, the key is to mitigate potential risks, whether they’re environmental, physical, or pest-related. Your antiques have stood the test of time; with the right care, they’ll continue to do so for many more years to come.