Have you recently inherited an old family heirloom from a parent or other loved one? Do you want to keep it in good condition so you can pass it on to your own children one day?
There are plenty of reports out saying that Millennial children don’t want their parents’ antiques. You never know what your kids might want when they get older, though.
If you have valuable antiques or family heirlooms that you want to preserve for your kids or for yourself, here are some tips that can help.
Reasons to Hold Onto Family Heirlooms
Even if you don’t think your kids will want them, there are still plenty of reasons to hold onto your heirlooms and antiques and keep them in good shape. Here are some reasons you may not have thought of:
Even if your antiques and heirlooms don’t have a lot of monetary value, that doesn’t mean they don’t have sentimental value. When you preserve items that belonged to your grandparents or great-grandparents, you also get to preserve the memories of those people you loved so much.
Save Money on Decor
You don’t necessarily have to stash your antiques and heirlooms away. You might be able to display them right now and save money on redecorating your home. Just make sure they’re displayed in areas where heat or moisture won’t damage them.
When you hang onto and preserve heirlooms and antiques, you help to keep them out of landfills. This is a good way to reduce your carbon footprint and help the environment.
Create Your Own Style
You can use old family heirlooms and antiques to create your own unique decorating style. Why display the same items that everyone else is using? Spread your wings and show off some items that are one-of-a-kind instead.
Build a Nest Egg
You can also hang onto antiques and heirlooms to build a nest egg for your children. Some items hold their value very well and will be worth a lot of money later on.
If you want to make sure you can leave your children something when you pass away, saving antiques and heirlooms might be a good idea.
How to Preserve Family Heirlooms
Are you convinced now that you ought to keep track of your family heirlooms? Remember, it’s not enough just to store them. You also need to make sure you’re preserving them in the proper way.
Here are some tips that will help you ensure your heirlooms remain in good condition for years to come:
Set the Right Temperature
Start by making sure you’re storing your belongings in a temperature-controlled area. The wrong temperature or humidity level could spell disaster for your beloved antiques.
Aim to keep the temperature around 72 degrees Fahrenheit, and try to keep the humidity between 45 and 55 percent. This will prevent mold growth, warping, and other types of damage caused by high temperatures and humidity levels.
Write Down What You Have
It’s a good idea to take inventory of what you have and write it all down. That way, you’ll know if something goes missing one day.
If you do this, you’ll also have an easier time deciding who will get what if you plan to pass your items on to children or other loved ones someday.
Keep the Sunlight Out
No matter what kind of heirlooms you have, from furniture to dishes, it’s best to store them in a dark room. Long-term sunlight exposure can lead to discoloration and fading and make certain items more fragile.
If you don’t have a totally dark room where you can store your items, at least cover them with thick cloths or keep them in boxes so you can shield them from the sun’s rays.
Address Pests Immediately
You’ll also need to take steps to protect your heirlooms and antiques from pests. Rodents and insects can cause all kinds of problems if they have easy access to old items (or any items, for that matter).
Keep an eye out for signs of a pest problem, such as teeth marks around boxes, droppings, or odd smells coming from the room where you store your heirlooms. If you notice any of these signs, call an exterminator right away.
Use Caution with Cleaning Products
Be careful about the types of cleaning products you use on your antiques.
Many cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that can lead to discoloration or smeared paint. Because of this, it’s best to stick to a solution of mild dish soap and water when you’re cleaning old items.
You might also want to talk to a professional before you try to clean a particular item. They can give you insight into the best approach so that you don’t accidentally damage or devalue it.
Invest in Insurance
If you have heirlooms and antiques that are worth a lot of money, it’s worth it for you to pay to have them insured.
Even if your homeowner’s insurance policy covers theft of your personal belongings, you may have to make note of high-value items like antiques in order for them to be included in the policy.
Have your antiques appraised by a professional and report back to your insurer to find out what you need to do to ensure they’re covered.
Keep Them in a Storage Facility
If you don’t have anywhere in your home that’s temperature- and humidity-controlled, you may want to seek out more information on a storage unit for your heirlooms.
There are lots of storage facilities that are designed to preserve antiques and family heirlooms. Reach out to one in your area and find out how much it will cost for them to hold onto your belongings.
Preserve Your Family Heirlooms Today
If you want to keep your family heirlooms and antiques in great condition for a long time, these preservation tips can help.
Whether you have a closet full of old items or just a few that you want to keep looking nice, be sure to keep these tips in mind.
Do you want to learn more about preserving items so that you can hand them down to your kids later on? Check out some of our DIY articles today for some additional tips and tricks.