Preserving Personal Treasures
When we acquire something rare or valuable, we should always immediately think about ways to preserve and protect it. This includes anything of a high financial or sentimental value. It can be a complex process, so let’s examine it one step at a time.
Remember first and foremost to decide whether you are simply storing the object or displaying it. If you’re just trying to keep it somewhere safe, then a home safe or a bank deposit box may be your best options. These will protect them from fire and theft, and the correct type will also reduce damage from aging.
If you have an item that you want to have out for viewing, though, the strategy will need to be quite a bit different. That also goes for items that are expensive or impractical to store, such as vehicles or furniture.
Understand Appropriate Methods
Look first at the vulnerabilities of your item and make sure you are protecting it from more than just dust or theft. Many items like newspapers need protection from sunlight, so if you have your grandparents’ New York Times front page from V-E Day, consider windowless locations to make sure that the many days it will spend on the wall won’t undo its 70 years of survival.
Think about the location in your house as well. Air movement from heating and cooling can dry items out and make them more fragile. Paper documents like autographs from the Raab Collection need full climate management to survive. Also, anything fragile should be well-secured if you live in an area prone to earthquakes.
In the case of an item like an antique sofa, you may be not be able to do anything but put it in your home. To minimize wear and tear on it, try to place it in a room where it will receive less traffic. Consider a guest room or infrequently used parlor as opposed to the main living room.
Link The Item To Its Storage
The way you store the item should make sense with the item itself. For example, a beautiful glass frame isn’t the best match for a photograph of your ancestors returning from a day in the fields. Instead, rough lumber could be used to mount it. A loved one’s hand tools could be hung from a tool belt inside a curio. Old hunting rifles could be mounted on hooks made from horseshoes.
If you have a series of seasonal items, such as annual Christmas photos, incorporate them into your holiday décor instead of simply putting them away in a box. This will not only help them seem more appropriate by the calendar, it will also enhance the personal quality of your decorations.
What about that vehicle? Old cars, trucks, or tractors are big users of space. Perhaps a vintage tractor would be best kept in an old barn, or a luxury car placed on loan to a museum. Any operational vehicle should be driven periodically and have appropriate routine maintenance as well.
Insure Your Items
Some things are priceless. If your home burns, no amount of cash will bring back family items that have been passed down for years. But there are other reasons to insure them.
For example, insurance can be used to pay for repairs or cleaning of certain valuable items. In the event of damage to your home, you may need to utilize special methods to restore objects to their original condition. This can be costly, so if you have properly insured them, you will be covered. Remember that ordinary household messes that you would clean with soap and water should not be handled that way with valuable objects!
Additionally, insurance helps document what you have. This is meaningful in case of a theft. A hurried burglar may grab several objects in your home that have cash value and several that do not. If the thief cannot liquidate those items, they may eventually be recovered. Your insurance policy will help get them back to you.
Keeping heirloom items or other treasured objects can preserve wonderful memories for you. As you take possession of these items, get to work right away on a plan to preserve and protect them as you store or display them.