How to Store Family Heirlooms

When you’re taking family heirlooms to your local storage company to put away, it’s important to store them properly. Proper storage is part of honoring your family heirlooms’ legacy and the future it could have with future generations. How can you make sure you’re storing family heirlooms correctly? Here’s what you need to know.

Paper Documents and Goods

If you’re storing something like a birth certificate or another document that’s important to your family’s legacy, it’s important to keep it away from any light sources. Light and heat could result in fading and bleaching, which you don’t want. In addition, you should make sure to keep paper goods as dry as possible during storage. Moisture can lead to mold and rot in paper, which isn’t something you want when using storage companies. Make sure your paper goods are stored without being folded, stapled, or crumpled, as well. Altering the structure of your paper document could result in it breaking down or ripping when taken out of storage. Always place paper goods flat in a file box for the most effective storage.

Clothing or Fabric

Fabric, like paper, is also sensitive to external factors like heat and light. If you need to place fabric or clothing that’s also a family heirloom in storage, it’s essential to place it in a special preservation box. These boxes typically contain tissue paper, muslin stuffing, and cedar chips or mothballs. Cedar chips are excellent at repelling moths and don’t have the same smell as mothballs, if you’re looking for a less pungent alternative to keeping your family’s clothing heirlooms in good condition while they’re in storage. If you’re hanging these items, make sure you use a padded plastic hanger. That said, you should do your best to avoid hanging heavier items that may stretch or tear while they’re staying in a storage unit.


Jewelry makes up a decent percentage of the family heirlooms that need extra care when you rent storage space. If you need to store a family heirloom that is also a piece of jewelry, make sure you’re keeping it in a velvet or satin lined box. Ideally, this will be the box it was already preserved in while it was in your home. If you’re having trouble finding a suitable box, don’t hesitate to visit your local jeweler and ask if they have boxes for sale for just this purpose. Any silver jewelry should be wrapped in paper or kept inside a soft cloth to reduce the risk of patina and tarnishing while in storage. In addition, it’s a good idea to keep all of your jewelry stored together in the most secure location within your storage unit. If you have a small safe where you can store your jewelry, consider placing it inside your storage unit as an added layer of security for your family heirlooms.

If you need to rent a storage unit in the Jackson, TN, area and you have questions about how best to prepare family heirlooms for storage, contact Markham Self Storage today! We’re happy to help you begin your storage journey.

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