Some things are just that — things. But some of the seemingly-innocuous stuff around your home is far more than that. A tattered book may not look like much sitting on the shelf, but it that book takes on much greater importance if it’s an original copy of a novel written by a family member. When something means a lot to you, it’s only natural you want to keep it around as long as possible. But paper-based items like letters, photographs, your marriage certificate, and children’s birth certificates aren’t going to last forever simply because they’re made from naturally-derived, biodegradable materials. Here are ways you can ensure those precious mementos and important documents are protected.
Safe Deposit Box
One of the most secure ways to protect your valuable documents is in a safe deposit box. These are individual containers of varying sizes, typically found in a bank or post office. The reason they’re such a great option for protecting your important documents is that you hold the key to your box, but most safe deposit boxes are part of a larger vault for another layer of protection. Generally, safe deposit box setups include protection against fire, flooding, theft, and other comparable issues. Basically, safe deposit boxes are one of the safer ways to store your important documents. However, that does mean you can’t have your important documents on display or easily accessible at home.
Fireproof Box or Safe
A similar at-home option is to get a fireproof, flood-proof box or safe to keep somewhere safe in your home. Again, it means that important items you’d like to display — things like letters written by your ancestors or photographs from decades past — will need to be pulled off the walls and taken off shelves to go into the protective box/safe. The upside is that fireproof boxes and safes are both typically designed to be fire-resistant or fireproof, water-resistant, and to remain intact through earthquakes and tornadoes. However, unless you somehow attach your fireproof box or safe in a secure manner, such as attaching it to the studs in a wall, it can still be carried away by thieves (depending on the size and weight of your safe, of course).
Waterproof Paper and Archiving
If you have delicate paper items that you want to display, but you still want to protect them, we suggest a combination of secure storage and archival methods. First, it’s always a good idea to have digital copies of any important documents. Fortunately, current photography and scanning technology mean you can capture impressively faithful, detailed digital reproductions. It’s a good idea to keep electronic files for your marriage certificate, birth certificates, house title, and tax documents. Save those digital files on an external hard drive, but also upload them to a cloud storage system as a secondary digital archive.
Once you have digital copies saved, you can move on to preserving your documents. We recommend printing duplicates of every important document — things that are important for legal and financial reasons as well as sentimental ones — on waterproof paper. This is a good way to give you a physical duplicate that will last longer than the original. TerraSlate waterproof paper is a colorfast, fade-proof paper option that works with your typical at-home laser printer. The level of detail is limited only by the file clarity and your printer’s capability, so you can reproduce impressively faithful duplicates of valuable original documents. If you need us to print anything in ultra-high resolution on one of our digital printing presses, email your files to firstname.lastname@example.org Once you have your duplicates printed, display those and keep the originals safely preserved in an archival storage box or safe.
Similarly, waterproof paper is also a good proactive method of document protection. Going forward, you can have important documents printed on TerraSlate waterproof paper to ensure it will last for decades to come. You’ll still want to keep a digital copy of everything, but since our waterproof paper is also acid-free, colorfast, and tear-proof, you can trust that any documents you print with your at-home laser printer can last for decades to come.
TerraSlate Waterproof Paper
Protecting delicate documents with archival methods can get expensive, particularly if you want to protect and preserve those items while keeping them on display. Instead, show off duplicates and keep the originals safely stored where they are less likely to be destroyed. Our waterproof paper is archival quality waterproof paper. Not only is it completely waterproof, not just water resistant, but it is also tear proof, acid-free, and heat resistant up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The smooth texture allows for prints with sharp lines and fine details so you can create or reproduce any documents you choose. Best of all, there’s no post-printing finishing process like there is with lamination. You can enjoy all the benefits of our waterproof paper straight from the printer. It may be tear-proof paper, but it can still be cut with scissors or a craft knife, so you can trim documents as needed without losing any of the benefits. Our waterproof paper gives you the freedom to faithfully reproduce any important or sentimental documents for display so you can better preserve the originals.
Our paper comes in a variety of sizes, colors, and weights. We even offer waterproof adhesives and art paper to support a wide range of different needs and projects. Shop TerraSlate online to find the size and weight of our waterproof paper that will work best for your projects.