Storage for your collectibles, from comic books to fine art, can have a huge impact on the long-term value of your collection. Sure, storing it in your old bedroom at your parents’ house or in your parents’ attic might be convenient, but if you’re hoping to maintain or even increase the value of your collection, you may want to choose preservation over convenience.

Here are some tips on the best storage for your collectibles so that you can enjoy it for years to come or pass it on to the next generation to love.

Art

If you have storing artwork, the first thing you should do is look at the framing. Lithographs, prints, and watercolor paintings should be matted using acid-free mats and acid-free paper. If they are framed and on display, consider adding UV protected glass to prevent light from causing the prints to fade.

For oils and acrylics on canvas, the length of the intended storage should be considered. Canvas must be stretched for framing, but if it is being stored long term, the frame might be detrimental as the canvas may sag. If the canvas is unframed, consider rolling it for storage, but only if you can be certain to avoid having painted surfaced touch another painted surface. The art may be damaged by too much exposure to girt, dirt, or even air pollution. Avoid touching the surface of the the artwork.

When you are storing artwork, be sure to choose climate controlled storage and check your lease fr value limitations which might keep your artwork from being covered by insurance.

Books

Whenever paper is concerned, one of the keys to safe storage of collectibles is to keep it dry. For many people, the default storage for books is to place them in cardboard boxes. DON’T DO IT!

Cardboard is porous and will draw humidity from the air, leaving your cardboard feeling a bit soggy. Even if you can’t feel the moisture, your books can and it will lead to mildew or even mold. When pages become damp they may also stick together further devaluing your book.

Books should be stores in plastic containers with a vent to allow air to circulate, but to deter moisture collection.

China

Ever wondered why china cabinets have glass fronts? The key is to allow your china to be viewed, but to reduce exposure to the air. While china is actually sealed and less susceptible to airborne particulates than some collectibles, long term accumulation of dust and grime can mar the delicate surfaces and make cleaning your china difficult.

If you intend to store your china long term, consider wrapping the pieces individually in plain brown paper or paper towels. Avoid newspaper as the ink might rub off on your pieces, creating stains that could decrease the value of your china.

Comic Books

The preferred storage for comic books is in an individual plastic bag with an acid-free cardboard backer in the bag. The backer helps keep your comics from being bent by providing a rigid surface. Your comic books should be placed on the backer and then slid into the bag. The bag should be sealed and then stored upright in boxes designed for that purpose. Storing comics in stacks can lead to moisture collection and damage to the pages on the books lowest in the stack.

Additionally, for most collectibles, consider storing them in a climate controlled area rather than a shed, garage or attic. This will help preserve the life and value of your collection.