Preserving Family Memories

February 21, 2020

Why you should preserve family memories.

Did you know that the single most important thing you can do for your family may be the simplest of all: develop strong family stories.

This conclusion comes from studies done by Marshall Duke & Robyn Fivush of Emory University.  Their “Do You Know?” survey asks children 20 questions about their family stories.  The more the children know about their families, the more resilient they were in the face of the challenges they faced.  All of the questions involved information that would have happened before the child was born, such as “What high school did your father go to?”   If the children have been told family stories about their father’s time in high school they will know the answer.  The more stories of our family’s history we have, the more tightly knit and stable the family usually is. 

Preserving your family stories and the memorabilia that can give them life, is very important.

Little boy with camera is shooting his dog

How should you preserve family memories?

Photos, papers, quilts, wedding dresses, baseballs and artwork may all need to be stored.  Some will be displayed, but others will be put away to be pulled out and enjoyed during family get-togethers or other special times.  Taking care of these items are especially important. 

The environment in which you preserve photographs, papers, and other family documents is very important.  Light, water and vermin can all damage your precious memories.

Many experts believe that cardboard boxes make the best storage for papers and other items.  Cardboard, on the other hand, breaths and allows for airflow to remove humidity and dampness.  A great way to store your photos is in our decorative photo boxes.

Use buffered acid-free paper when storing papers.  Use unbuffered acid-free paper when storing clothing, quilts, and other fabrics.

Do not use staples, tape, or paperclips when storing papers or photos.  Paperclips can rust over time, staples also rust and create holes. 

Neatness and cleanliness is important for storing photographs.  Having them organized in boxes designed to hold photos  is the best way to keep them.  The same goes with other papers and ephemera that you wish to keep.  A memento box designed to hold larger sized papers or other objects is vital to successful storage.

Shot of a little girl sitting with her mother and grandmother and reading a book

Where should you preserve family memories?

Where you store your precious artifacts is just as important as in what you store them.  Water, temperature/humidity changes, and vermin are the biggest threats to photographs and family documents.  It is best if you do not store anything important in basements or attics or the garage.  The best places are places you prefer – in the closet, preferably one that does not have an outside wall, or any pipes running through the walls.  If you will access your photos and other items regularly, in a decorative box that can be left out in a living or family room.  Not the kitchen, laundry room or anywhere with pipes that could leak or burst.  Keep them away from vents, and off the floor.

Remember, these are the precious items that help to tell your family story and to keep it alive for generations to come.


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