How to Store Keepsakes Prone to Damage and Theft

Posted by Pekin Insurance on Nov 23, 2015

Are your family heirlooms and precious valuables kept safe and secure? Learn how to store keepsakes so they last a lifetime (or more!)

Are your family heirlooms and precious valuables kept safe and secure? Learn how to store keepsakes so they last a lifetime (or more!)

It's hard to believe how much "stuff" we accumulate over the years. Our attics and basements fill to the brim with memories of childhood, handed-down trinkets, family heirlooms, and items we've possibly forgotten about years ago. But those special valuables we hold dear deserve to be kept safe from harm or theft. To secure these items for good, it takes a little bit of planning and thinking outside of the box.

Learning how to store keepsakes is a relatively simple process. Depending on what items you plan to keep, the materials they're made of, and how valuable they are (regarding monetary exchange), you have a host of storage places to choose from. Most of these valuables can be stored in your home, but in some cases, it's best to be extra cautious and consider other options.

In this post, we've outlined a homeowner's guide on how to store keepsakes prone to damage and theft. We're going to show you where—and, in some cases, how—to safely store valuables in and outside of your home.

How to store keepsakes: a homeowner's guide to security

This guide is broken up into sections of available space and what items can be safely stored in those spaces. Remember that there are several factors that play into the quality of a storage area, such as cleanliness, weatherproofing, mold and mildew maintenance, and level of security.

Storing keepsakes in your home

Attic: 

Depending on the quality of your attic space, with adequate weatherproofing, it can be one of the most useful places to store items. If you decide to keep perishable items in the attic, be sure to invest in good containers, such as plastic tubs with tops that seal tightly or metal deposit boxes. 

  • Photo albums
  • Clothing
  • Decorations
  • Childhood toys, drawings, etc. 

Basement: 

Storing items in the basement can be tricky. If you don't have a finished or carpeted space, it's easy for mold and mildew to grow rampant. Be sure to check for these problems before placing anything valuable in the area. It's also a good idea to clean the basement on a regular schedule. Important: if you live in an area prone to flooding, use the basement as a last resort for hard-to-move items. 

  • Furniture
  • Glassware or silverware
  • Hidden and secured heirlooms
  • Tools, hardware, etc. 

Closets: 

A closet is a useful storage place because it's always easily accessible. However, that means it would be wise to keep expensive items elsewhere. If it's easy for you to access, it's also easy for others. 

  • Blankets, quilts, and clothing 
  • Books
  • Small collectibles
  • DVDs, CDs

Garage: 

Similar to the problems with storing in the basement, the garage should only be used for items that won't be damaged by dampness. If you're trying to figure out how to store keepsakes in the garage, consider building shelves on the walls or a small storage area overhead. 

  • Bicycles, sleds, sports items
  • Tools and machinery
  • File cabinets with smaller items

How to store keepsakes outside your home 

For those extra special or expensive items you don't feel safe leaving in your home, there are a few choices for storage. You may have to pay out of pocket to keep these items in a secure place, but oftentimes it's worth it. You never know when disaster might strike or a break-in could occur. Better safe than sorry, right? 

Safe deposit box: 

Every bank is different in how they offer secure storage to their clients. You'll have to request an appointment and likely pay a yearly or monthly fee for the service. Also, be sure to understand fully the terms and agreements your bank presents you and what they will cover (or not) if a robbery or natural disaster happens.

  • Your most expensive items, such as jewels, gold, etc. 
  • Family letters, old pictures
  • Cash

Storage facility:

If you have an overload of things you cannot part with but don't have enough room to store them in the house, consider renting storage space from a local facility. You can also store larger items in these areas that don't fit in your home. 

  • Vehicles
  • Furniture
  • Large collections

A family member's home: 

Sometimes it makes you feel better when your prized possessions are kept safe by family members. It could be they just have more storage space than you, too. Either way, remember that any house can fall victim to accidents. Make sure you weigh your options and do a little research before deciding. 

  • Family heirlooms
  • Kid's collections
  • Childhood trinkets

Overall, it's best to just keep an eye on how you're storing keepsakes throughout the house. To keep your belongings safe in case of an accident, you should prepare an entire inventory of all the items in your house, especially the expensive ones. Your homeowner's insurance policy may cover the damages to these items if you present a documented inventory after an accident. 

Do you have any tips or tricks about storing keepsakes? Let us know if we missed anything, and share your opinions in the comment section!

  

  

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