DIY Classics: How to Preserve Memorabilia

Mementos, keepsakes, and souvenirs are part of every American family. They are special items that instantly call to mind memories and even transport people to the past.

Of course, these objects need to be preserved and taken care off. Tree Classics gives you a quick and easy guide on how to preserve these precious objects for the next generation to appreciate.

a wonderful collection of photographs

1. Organize Your Memorabilia

a collection of precious mementos beside a staircase

Organizing keepsakes is always the first step. Take all the memorabilia you want to preserve and display. Arrange them by material. Make sure all the objects made of paper are together. Keep everything made of wood separate from those made of metal. For items composed of two or more materials, place them in the pile of the material they have more of.

2. Choose a Suitable Location in Your Home 

a superb collection of mementos elegantly displayed

The location of your memorabilia is vital in the preservation process. Most materials are affected by factors such as heat, light, and moisture, so it’s important that the environment is ideal.

First off, attics and basements are not good choices. These are usually breeding ground for dust, and the extreme temperatures in these locations are especially harmful to delicate items. The best locations are those that are found at the end of a corridor or in the corner of a room.

The temperature has to be between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The light coming in from the outside must be minimal. Most importantly, the location has to be far away from hazards, such as pipes, air conditioners, and any ventilation shafts. It’s also smart to put memorabilia in a place where children or pets won’t be able to reach them easily.

3. Store Your Items Properly 

mementos encased in safe and elegant frames

There is a difference in how paper mementos and normal items are stored. Objects made of paper are usually encased in frames. Before being sealed off, however, they have to be mounted on acid-free or archival copy paper. This is especially important for photographs.

When attaching clippings and pictures, use acid-free mounting corners. Pins, paperclips, rubber bands, and tapes can damage your mementos. For comic books and newspaper clippings, transparent polyester sleeves are excellent options. When it comes to frames, pick out something with a thick glass frame. This will be additional protection against light and moisture.

an elegant display cabinet filled with precious mementos

Cases should have glare-free conservation glass. This will prevent any discoloration caused by sunlight and heat. It’s also important to pick out a stable and durable case that has several levels. The multiple levels will give you the opportunity to arrange your items properly.

When mounting the items in your display case, avoid using pressure sensitive adhesives, such as tape, glue, and superglue. Use acid-free mounting corners. This is the safest option for your mementos.

4. Clean Your Memorabilia Regularly

Maintenance is vital to taking care of your memorabilia. Cases and frames need to be wiped clean at least once a week. Using a normal cleaning spray can do the trick.

Paper does not need to be cleaned. In fact, it’s actually better if it remains untouched inside the frame. Wiping the frame with cotton swabs dipped in warm water is enough. Make sure to clean every inch of the item and leave it to air-dry before displaying it once again.

Keep your precious memorabilia and mementos safe for the next generation to enjoy with the help of this guide from Tree Classics.