When family heirlooms are mentioned what comes to mind are the things that we treasure the most that help keep the memories of our families alive for longer. It could be a paper document, a book or any other kind of material that one considers precious to them from their family. This calls for us looking for better ways of storing the family heirlooms so as to conserve them. These are the various tips for preserving your family heirlooms. They are according to the type of family heirloom being preserved.
One may be tempted to store their paper document family heirloom in the cupboard. However, it is important to note that the paper document could be easily crumbled or better still it can fade when exposed to too much light, moisture or heat. To preserve them well they should be kept in acid-free envelopes. When looking at the document one should ensure that their hands are clean and also free from oil. To help with this, one can consider having gloves. The other alternative way of preserving them is by putting them in clear bags which have a ply mat board for stiffening them to avoid them be easily created. In case more than one family members need to use it, copies can be made which can then be handled as they please since you will have kept safely the master copy.
Books or book kind of heirlooms
Books are similar to paper documents since they are also not supposed to be exposed to moisture. If the book is dusty one can use a soft brush or a piece of dry soft cloth to wipe off the dust. Some of the pages may be bound with paper clips or the other fasteners. One should remove them since when they stay on the pages for long, the pages will end up stained. One can safely preserve the books in polyethylene bags then store them in an acid-free box in a cool and dry place.
For the scrapbooks, they should be first put in order by sticking them with the film last book tapes since they are just temporarily put together. For the delicate ones, one can use interleaving tissue in between the pages. After doing that they can then be placed in the archival polyethylene bags and stored in the acid-free boxes.
Jewelry should be conserved carefully to ensure that they don’t tarnish. One should also not try to clean jewelry with toothpaste as it is commonly advised. Let the experts do the cleaning for all the jewelry. Silver jewelry should be wrapped in silver cloth bags and should be stored separately from the other family heirlooms such as papers and books. For the diamond jewelry, one should tuck them away separately. This is because diamond may scratch the other pieces of jewelry.
These acid-free boxes that have been used to store the family heirlooms should not be put in the basement of your house. Such places have wide temperature variations which may end up destroying these precious heirlooms.