Pictures and Memorabilia should be stored if they have any sentimental meaning to you. If proper precautions are taken these memories can last a long time in storage. We have all seen what happens to old photos when they are exposed to UV light for an extended period of time, they begin to fade and white-out until there is no picture left to remember. So we put our pictures in plastic protector sheets in large photo albums and stick them into boxes and hope they are preserved for the future. These albums usually work well under the right conditions but with intense heat or too much moisture these picture protectors can turn into picture prisons. Pictures may begin to stick to the plastic sheets making them virtually impossible to remove without causing damage to your photos.
These days with digital cameras everywhere you turn the need to put pictures in albums for storage is almost non-existent. What you need now is the proper storage of hard drives that you keep your photos on. Hard drives can also be damaged by too much moisture or dust so keeping them in a plastic storage bin is recommended for long-term storage and care. It is also recommended that all hard drives be backed up and stored in a second location to ensure the safety of your memories. You know what they say about keeping all of your eggs in one basket, well the same should go for your photos and memorabilia, keep one copy in a bin up in your garage and send a bin with other copies to your offsite storage facility. Most hard drives are compact enough that they won’t take up too much space in storage if you choose to back them up and keep two copies. Anyone who lost all or most of their photos to a fire or flood would agree to always keep multiple copies of photographs and memories.
There are other things that we keep in storage that are memorable to us and our families. Memorabilia and souvenirs that we have picked up along our adventures and travels are also worth storing. Again, I say if it has meaning to you or if it will help you to remember a fun or significant event in your life then you should store it. I know what you are thinking, if I store everything that provokes a memory, I will be the next featured person on the show Hoarders. But with everything in life moderation is the key to staying ahead of the hoarding curve. Limit yourself to one souvenir per trip or limit the size of items you buy. If your souvenir breaks then you should scrap it, throw it away. Take a picture of it before throwing it away to ensure that you keep the memory. Taking pictures of items before you throw them away will also help you remember that this broke and had to be trashed so you are not stuck looking for it later. Back-up these pictures on a hard drive and label the folder Broken Memories or something that tells you these items were thrown out.
Some souvenirs and memorabilia should not be put in storage at all, they should be used or played with until they can be donated or sold for future use by someone else. Did you get a ukulele from Hawaii? Play it, have a blast, let your kids learn and play with it. Then, when they outgrow it or stop using it, sell it. A quick and easy way to make a few extra bucks and to get rid of some clutter is to have a yard sale. Slash the prices on these items that you have had forever and release them from their storage boxes to be reused by others. It may be hard to give away or sell sentimental items so I again recommend taking pictures of them so that they may be remembered in the future.
A great way to ensure that you are not featured on Hoarders is to follow our advise when putting items into storage.
Store it, Sell it or Scrap it.
Does it hold sentimental value to you or your family? Store it.
If there is no or little sentimental value, is there monetary value? Sell it.
If there is no sentimental or little monetary value, donate it or Scrap it.