Books help us relax from the problems of the current world and place us in the middle of fantasy land. They open our minds to new ideas and remind us of the lessons we learned when we were young. However, whether you are reading history or entering the kingdom of Lord of the Rings, these beloved sources of knowledge and entertainment can fill your house very quickly.
With different size of options present, a storage unit can handle your personal book collection, which is messing your apartment or cluttering your room. In addition to cleaning, amenities such as climate control can help in preserving the state of your books during their extended stay in the storage unit; this way, you do not have to worry about damage.
Using storage units is a good advantage for book collectors, but there are some things you should keep in mind when choosing a storage unit for your pages. These are:
1. CHOOSING A CLIMATE CONTROLLED UNIT
One of the most essential features to keep in mind when storing important documents and a collection of books is a climate-controlled storage unit. These units usually provide customers of the following amenities, a heater, humidifier, air condition, and dehumidifier. These help to maintain a constant humidity level and temperature within the unit.
When storing books and documents, humidity is the main concern. Humidity tends to create moisture on the paper, and this leads to the production of mold. Mold has the ability to ruin any book and paper product. However, it is not only high levels of humidity that create problems; low levels do the same.
Extremely low levels can lead to the paper becoming very brittle. Even the slightest fluctuation in humidity can lead to physical deterioration as your books can contract and expand depending on it. So knowing the ideal temperature to store your paper items is very important.
2. A SECURE STORAGE FACILITY
Even though a climate control facility is important for protecting the condition of your book, storing it at a secure storage facility that takes precaution against burglaries is very important as well. Books and documents are something that people carry around and value tremendously, whether it is monetary or sentimental. Keeping them in a secure safe is very important as it makes sure that they remain protected.
So in order to make the facility secure, what are things you should look for? Well, the most important is monitoring who is entering the facility and who is exiting it. Moreover, having video surveillance is a plus point. Both these things help in making sure your important documents are secured.
3. PACKING OF BOOKS
Before putting the books away, it is important that you make sure they are dirt-free and clean. The reason behind doing this is that dirty books can easily transfer grime and dust, and this can pass on to the clean books and damage them.
To add an additional of protection, it is a smart idea to wrap these books in a cloth. Also, write down the books you are putting away as this will save you a lot of time or label it on the box according to genres.
As for the types of boxes to be used, investing in lignin and acid-free boxes are ideal for paper products. Acid-free boxes cannot damage the collection you are storing as they will have no acid, and since they are stable, they will remain sturdy and intact.
Moreover, it is important that you are aware of the books you are placing in each box. Since a big box of books is heavy and can tear up easily, you can divide your books in a smaller cardboard box. This will make moving around easier.
4. ORGANIZING YOUR BOOKS IN STORAGE
Given the potential weight and size of the books and documents, it is a wise decision to place each set of books on top of the other in order to avoid them from tripping over and getting damaged. Additionally, avoid stacking boxes higher than your shoulder height. This is important to do because when removing the boxes, you may want to remove from the top first and avoid hurting yourself.
Also, when choosing the storage unit, keep in mind that the lower floor unit is vulnerable to flooding and can get damaged easily under heavy rain and snow. To avoid this, you can place wooden pallets on the floor so that moisture is not absorbed in from the concrete base. Another alternative is to buy shelves and use them in the unit.
ADDITIONAL HELPFUL TIPS
Some other storing tips to follow are:
- Keep the boxes away from direct sunlight and also away from heating vents and radiators.
- Pack your books in plastic containers that are moisture and weatherproof.
- For limited and rare books or signed books, extra precautions must be taken. You can wrap such books - in a paper cloth or towel in order to protect the surface from residue built-up and dirt.
- When storing similar-sized books, make sure that you store them lying flat inside the box. Do not place - them on their spines as this can tear the book over time.
- Make sure that you place the heaviest books at the bottom of the box and the lighter ones at the top. - - - - Make sure that the boxes are tightly packed, and then you can make use of filler material to finish filling the container.
- Don’t forget to seal the box using packing tape. Label them with the contents as well.
After following all the instructions above, your work is still not done. Make sure that you visit the facility at least once a month in order to take a look at your documents and book. This will further protect the books and help you figure out if an alteration in temperature is needed. Also, books that have torn pages should be well bound before storage; otherwise, they will tear up over time, and you won’t even know how to fix it.