Heirlooms are an important part of many families and possibly yours as well. Family heirlooms are great visible ways to pass down family information from generation to generation. You would hope that your priceless heirlooms last for many more years, but that is not always the case. Since most heirlooms are many years old and irreplaceable, they need to be properly cared for. The following four tips will help ensure that your family’s treasures last man more generations.

Never Attempt Repairs by Yourself

Over the years, it is very likely that your family’s heirlooms have become scratched, cracked, ripped, smudged, or plain broken. Be mindful about attempting to restore them yourself. If you make a mistake, you could possibly end up destroying a piece of history.

Even if the damage looks extremely easy to repair yourself, do not attempt to fix it yourself—unless, of course, you are a professional. Often times you just end up causing more damage than there was to begin with. If you really want to have your heirlooms repaired or restored, take them to a professional who can fix it correctly.

Display Them Properly

Many families display their priceless heirlooms on shelves, mantles, tables or on the wall. While it is great that they are out for everyone to see and appreciate, you might actually be causing them damage.

Be careful about exactly where you put them. Never place them on surfaces where there is a lot of foot traffic as this can lead to people bumping into them and possibly knocking them over.

Also, be sure to keep them away from warm and humid parts of your home. Items like paintings, posters, photographs, or cards can deteriorate when exposed to hot, damp air. If you start to notice any changed to any of your heirlooms, move them into a darker, cooler area as soon as possible.

You should also be careful about placing them in locations where they will get direct sunlight. If your heirloom is a furniture piece and made of wood, this can actually change the color of the wood.

Make Copies or Recordings

Sometimes, no matter how hard to try to preserve them, some heirlooms reach a point where you can tell they do not have many years left in them.

Before they completely fall apart or fade away, try to document as much as you can about them. Take pictures of your family’s heirlooms. Write down any stories or memories you have attached to it. This way can still pass down the item’s history and importance to future generations in the unfortunate event of losing your family’s heirloom.

Store Them Away Safely

If you think that you do not have a place to properly store or display your family heirlooms, consider renting a storage unit from a service, such as I-70 Self Storage. Storage units are available in many different sizes so that no matter how large, how delicate, or how many heirlooms you have, you can keep them somewhere safe and secure.

All family heirlooms are priceless, regardless of how old or rare they are. The memories and stores associated with them make them one of a kind and worth saving. Instead of just placing them on a shelf or packing them away in your basement or attic, take proper care of them. Doing the above four tips will help make sure you are able to pass them down to future generations.