A person’s collection of books, magazines, and other media can hold tremendous monetary or sentimental value. Care is required when storing these items, since they are particularly susceptible to environmental damage like dust, moisture, and pests. Following these suggestions will help you properly store your collections to preserve them for the future.
- Label all boxes on a side that will be visible when stacked.
- Use relatively small boxes, especially when packing books. Though light individually, several books can soon make a larger box too heavy to lift.
- Use similarly sized boxes to facilitate stacking and maximize space.
- Aim to completely fill boxes to prevent contents from shifting and to keep boxes at the bottom of a stack from being crushed.
- Raise boxes off the ground using wood pallets or place them on plastic or cardboard.
- Wrap boxes in plastic to protect against moisture or use waterproof plastic containers.
- Use locking and fireproof containers for your most valuable items.
- Use climate-controlled self storage units to protect books and magazines.
- Insert sheets of paper between books to prevent covers from sticking. Do not use newspaper, as the ink may transfer.
- Place rigid cardboard sheets between magazines and comic books to prevent bending.
- Alternate which side book or magazine spines are placed.
Tapes, Cassettes, and Digital Media
- Analog recordings including tapes and cassettes are more susceptible to deterioration than discs, so store them in individual cases within archive-quality containers.
- Tape media need to be stored away from any possible magnetic fields to prevent data loss.
- Climate-controlled self storage units are recommended for tapes and cassettes in regions with freezing temperatures.
- Discs are less susceptible to environmental damage than tape media, but must still be stored in scratch-free sleeves or wallets.
Proper storage and archive-quality packing materials are well worth the investment for the protection of valuable or irreplaceable items. A bit of extra time spent preparing all of your media for long-term storage will ensure that they can be enjoyed years down the road.