How to Store Art

There is no limitation to the variety of things you can store in self storage units. This flexibility in storage is especially useful when you need to store more than just household items, such as vehicles, tools, antiques, art etc. Whether you are a gallery owner, aspiring artist or an artwork connoisseur, when you are putting valuable art pieces in a self storage unit, you want to make sure that the works remain undamaged and as good as new for years to come.

Even if you don’t have a gallery of art work but are simply storing the ones you have, along with the rest of your household belongings, into a self storage room until your home is decorated or you have finished the move, you need to know how to properly store your art so that it is not compromised. Even though storage facilities do have insurance policies for items damaged due to their negligence, you would rather be safe than sorry. So here are some things you can do to prevent damage and ensure that the value of your art increases instead of diminishing.
How to store art
1. Packaging
Before you put the item in storage, dust it and remove any debris that has gathered on the piece. Storing with dust and dirt on it will only worsen the state of the art and may even cause them to form residues over time which can get difficult to remove. After you have brushed and dusted, wrap the piece in a few layers of acid free paper, then in layers of bubble wrap.

Acid free paper is ideal for storing documents and artwork for a long time. Keep the edges and any other protruding part from chipping by protecting them with cardboard. Sheath the entire work in a few layers of cardboard to provide further damage or bending before you put it in the box. If the item is of an irregular shape, you will need to add adequate cushioning, either packing peanuts or old linen or pillows and cushions.

If you are concerned about whether you are packing it right, then you might want to remember and follow the way it was packed in the storage box when it arrived in your possession. This is also a good reason why you should not throw away the boxes in which they came.
How to store art2
2. Climate controlling
In order to preserve art properly, you need to store them at an appropriate range of temperature and humidity. This range is determined by the materials that have been used to create the work, how old it is and other specifications. If you are not aware of this information, you can acquire it from the person or company that is selling you the artwork or hire an expert who can conduct the necessary assessment to give you the appropriate storage temperature.

This is a crucial part of choosing storage units. Before you settle on one storage service, make sure you have a list of the materials which make up your art and what temperature suits them best and discuss with the manager about what options are available to you. While climate controlled storage rooms have a controlled environment, they mostly oscillate within a range and not at a specific temperature.

3. Store upright
When you are storing it in the unit along with other items, you need to make sure it is not accidentally placed in harm’s way. For example, always put the work upright, propped up against the wall so that you do not step on it by mistake and the chances of anything heavy falling and damaging it is lessened.

It is common sense but needs reiterating – do not stack art work unless it is stored in crates. Even in crates, the weight of the additional boxes above can damage the piece underneath, so at all times, be mindful of how much pressure you are putting on any surface of the packing.

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