It’s been a while but we’re back with the next installment of our Storing Stuff at Home series. If you missed the first two posts, be sure to check them out here and here. It’s been hot, hot, hot! here in Iowa so it’s the perfect time to “think cool”. And here’s the thing: stuff likes to be cool. Clothing, paper, photographs, even plastic prefers to be stored away from the heat. Some items such as photo negatives prefer to be cooler than others. In fact, a well-funded photo archives will store their collections in special, frost-free freezers. For a mixed-media collection, meaning items made from different kinds of materials, the ideal is to keep the space around 65°F. That temperature will help to slow down natural deterioration without causing too much hassle. But that temperature can still be a little hard to achieve for most home-owners.
And one more thing about that ideal temperature: I used to work in an office/reading room that was kept at a consistent 65°F and wow I froze every single day. I would even sneak coffee to my desk just to keep my fingers from literally being too cold to type. So while the collection was content, I most definitely was not. Yikes!
So, assuming you don’t want to wear long underwear all summer long, a 65°F home may be a bit extreme. If you have items that really need special care, contact us and we can brainstorm solutions for you such as finding an appropriate climate-controlled storage site or other specialty options.
But for the rest of us, remember that when we’re thinking about storing heirloom garments and other treasures at home, everything is relative. With the goal of “staying cool”, take a mental tour around your home and think of where a good place might be to store your valuables. The spot should not only check all the boxes on our DC⚡DC list (Dark, Cool, Secure, Dry, Constant) but should also be convenient for you. For me, our guest room closet is the perfect space for my wedding dress. For ephemera and archival items, my basement is ideal. The guest room closet has all interior walls and isn’t used much. Our basement checks all the DC⚡DC boxes and there’s plenty of space to store my childhood choir programs, my kids’ artwork, and my great uncle’s personal papers.
But check this out: if you normally keep your home at a balmy 75°F, remember that you are not running a museum and you do not need to alter your life, your thermostat, or your power bills, just to keep your garments cool. As we’ll learn in a future post, a constant temperature, even a high one, can actually be more important than a cool one. But if you are able to relocate your garments and other treasures to a cooler part of the house, do it today! Your stuff will thank you for it.
So there you have it. We’ve now launched the Secure, Dark, and Cool parts of our DC⚡DC series. Stay tuned for the next installment and be sure to contact us with any questions you may have about storing heirlooms at home.
And come back soon for Part 4 - Dry. (And trust me, the blog post will be anything but dry. We’re having lots of fun over here, right?) #AC/DC