Sure, art is subjective – but a water-damaged painting, disfigured sculpture or mouldy photograph can be more upsetting than arty.

Whether you fancy yourself an up-and-coming artist or your Polaroid photos are your most prized possession, you’ll want to keep your artsy stuff safe while in storage.

Learn how to store your art and photograph collections like a pro with these tips.

 

Did you know? Most of our centres are equipped with 24/7 CCTV and PIN code entry, and we also offer insurance for your stored items. This easy add-on can provide peace of mind.

 

How to Store Paintings

Sausage dog painter concept

Paintings are needy little things. They don’t do well with fluctuating temperatures, dust, humidity, and a whole long list of other environmental factors. If you want to keep that portrait of your dog in top condition during storage, you’ll need to apply some TLC.

Clean Them

You’ll want your paintings to be looking their best before you place them into storage. To clean your paintings, start by gently removing any surface dust with a microfibre cloth.

  • For metal frames, add a little oil to prevent rust.
  • For timber frames, a little bit of polish can add a lot of protection.

If your paintings are particularly special or valuable, you can also opt to have them cleaned by a professional.

Handle with Care

Be sure to remove any jewellery and wash your hands before handling your paintings. And we know it might be tempting to speed things up and carry several at once, but you should always carry just one painting at a time. Keep a hand on each side of the frame instead of carrying with a single hand at the top or bottom.

Store on Their Side

Laying your painting flat can cause the canvas to collapse under its own weight. Always store paintings vertically and separately. If you simply must store your paintings stacked on top of each other, place padding in between each painting for protection. Acid-free paper, cotton, felt or cardboard is best.

Cover Them Up

Once you’ve positioned your paintings in storage, protect them from dust and debris with a clean moving blanket or cloth. Don’t use bubble wrap or plastic to cover your paintings as this can trap condensation and lead to mould and mildew.

Keep Them Cool

When it comes to paintings, a climate-controlled storage unit is a must. Extreme heat and cold, fluctuating temperatures and humidity can all cause damage to your paintings, so it’s not worth the risk.

Did you know? Some National Storage centres feature temperature-controlled units. Give your nearest location a call to find out if these are available.

 

How to Store Sculptures

Dog wrapped in bubble wrap

While these bad boys generally require less maintenance, sculptures still require a bit of prep before placing them into storage.

Give Them a Clean

Dust your sculptures off with a soft-bristled brush. Using a cloth can leave fibres behind, which can lead to damage. Take your time brushing away any dust and debris – and for the love of all things holy, if you have a lively dog or a busy toddler, make sure they’re otherwise preoccupied during this process.

Get Wrapping

Most damage to sculptures is caused by carelessness, not long-term storage. Fragile glass sculptures are particularly susceptible to chips and cracks if you’re not careful while handling and moving. Be sure to protect your sculptures by wrapping them in bubble wrap before transporting them. Like, go crazy with the bubble wrap.

Keep Them Covered

Again, bubble wrap and plastic can trap in moisture and cause damage, so once your sculpture is in storage, swap for a clean moving blanket instead.

Opt for a Consistent Climate

  • Things sculptures like: Feeling safe and cosy in proper packaging.
  • Things sculptures don’t like: Fluctuating humidity and temperatures.

Stone sculptures are especially sensitive to changes in the environment, so be sure to store in a climate-controlled storage unit to prevent weathering or disfiguration.

 

How to Store Photos

Dog photographer concept

Disposable and Polaroid cameras are back and cooler than ever before. But you know what’s even cooler? Keeping your precious memories preserved for years to come.

Choose the Right Container

The first step to keeping your photos in mint condition is to choose the right container. We recommend keeping them in an archive box or folder that is photo-friendly and free from acid and PVC. Don’t overfill your photo box or album, as this can cause bending and frayed edges. And don’t use rubber bands or paperclips to hold your photos together, as these can cause marks, dents, and discolouration.

Keep Your Hands Clean

Your hands should be clean and free from moisturiser when handling your photos. Be sure to pick up photos by the edges or corners to avoid finger prints and damage caused by the oils from your skin.

Protect Them from the Elements

Photos are easily damaged by extreme temperatures, humidity, and long-term exposure to light. A climate-controlled storage unit is essential to keeping your photos comfortable.

 

Now learn how to store your electronics properly (and check out some more photos of cute dogs, obviously).

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