How To Store Your Printing Paper To Keep It In Top Condition

Printing paper is a crucial element for any business or personal use, and it’s important to keep it in pristine condition by storing it properly. There are many factors that can affect the quality and longevity of paper, such as temperature, humidity, light exposure, dust, and insects. To preserve documents and photos for a long time, it’s essential to have suitable storage areas that can prevent damage from these factors. In this article, we will explore the importance of suitable storage areas for printing paper. We will cover temperature considerations, humidity considerations, light exposure considerations, and dust and insects considerations. So, let’s delve into these factors and learn how to keep your printing paper in top condition for years to come.

Benefits of Storing Printing Paper Properly

Have you ever printed out a favorite photo or important legal document, only to find that the quality has deteriorated over time? This can be frustrating and even costly in some cases. Proper storage of printing paper can help alleviate these issues and extend the lifespan of your paper.

One of the main benefits of storing printing paper properly is maintaining its print quality. Exposure to direct sunlight, fluorescent lights, and humidity can cause the paper to yellow and fade over time. To prevent this, it’s important to store your paper in a cool, dry place away from these elements. Additionally, storing paper clipped or bound together with rubber bands can cause impressions and indentations that affect the overall print quality. To avoid this, store your paper in containers like document boxes, photo albums, or individual folders.

Different types of paper may require specific storage techniques. For example, legal documents and important photos should be stored in archival folders or acid-free photo protectors to protect them from damage. Thicker or heavier papers may benefit from being stored flat to prevent bending or warping. And coated or glossy papers may need to be stored separately to prevent sticking or rubbing against other papers.

Maintaining proper temperature and humidity levels is also crucial for storing printing paper. Ideal temperature ranges for paper storage typically fall between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, with humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent. This helps prevent the paper from becoming brittle or too moist, which can also affect the print quality over time.

Lastly, using acid-free and lignin-free paper can greatly extend the lifespan of your printing paper. These types of paper are specifically designed to resist deterioration from exposure to light, humidity, and insects. They are particularly important for long-term document storage and historic document preservation.

Suitable Storage Areas

Suitable Storage Areas: The proper storage of printing paper is essential to maintaining its quality and longevity. Various factors such as humidity, temperature, light exposure, and improper handling can damage the paper and affect its print quality. 

Temperature Considerations

When it comes to storing printing paper, temperature considerations are crucial to maintaining its quality and lifespan. The temperature at which printing paper is stored can either benefit or harm its long-term use. Therefore, it is imperative to pay attention to the temperature requirements that ensure the paper stays in top condition.

The first consideration to keep in mind is the ideal temperature for storing printing paper. It is best to store printing paper in an area with a consistent temperature below 75°F. Large temperature fluctuations should be avoided, as they can damage the paper over time. Similarly, it is recommended that garages and other areas susceptible to temperature changes be avoided when storing printing paper.

A climate-controlled environment is ideal for storing printing paper, as it controls both temperature and humidity. The maximum acceptable temperature for storing printing paper is 21°C, and the recommended relative humidity is below 50%. It is crucial to note that the lifespan of paper is extended in low temperature and low humidity conditions, but this may also cause the paper to become fragile. Therefore, while low temperatures can be beneficial for paper storage, it is essential to balance this with the risk of fragility.

Humidity Considerations

Humidity is an essential factor to consider when storing printing paper. Excess humidity can lead to distortion, mold growth, and insect activity, while low humidity can make the paper more fragile and susceptible to damage. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain the optimal level of humidity when storing printing paper.

For general paper collections, the ideal relative humidity range is below 50%. This level of humidity helps to prevent excessive moisture absorption, which can damage the paper. It also helps to prevent moisture loss that can cause paper to become brittle and more susceptible to tearing or breaking.

When storing photos, the National Archives & Records Administration recommends a relative humidity range of 15% to 65%. This range helps to strike a balance between preventing moisture loss that can damage the photo and excessive moisture absorption that can cause distortion and mold growth.

To maintain the optimal level of humidity when storing printing paper, it is recommended to store the paper in a climate-controlled environment. This helps to regulate both temperature and humidity levels. Additionally, avoid storing paper in areas that are prone to excess moisture such as damp basements or bathrooms.

It is also essential to keep the paper away from direct sunlight, as this can also affect humidity levels and cause yellowing or fading. At the same time, any paper clips or rubber bands used to keep the paper organized should be removed to prevent any distortion or creasing.

Light Exposure Considerations

When it comes to protecting your printing paper from damage, light exposure is a key consideration to keep in mind. Exposure to light can cause paper to deteriorate at a much faster rate, leading to yellowing and brittleness, particularly in documents or photos that are constantly exposed.

Colored prints are also particularly susceptible to fading due to light exposure, with color images potentially losing their vibrancy in just a few short years. This is why it is essential to take steps to minimize light exposure and protect your documents and photos from damage.

Two types of light, in particular, are most harmful to your paper: UV and fluorescent lights. These types of light emit high levels of energy and can cause significant damage even with brief exposure.

To minimize light exposure and protect your printing paper, it’s essential to take a few key steps. First, you should turn off any lights that aren’t needed and keep blinds over windows closed to minimize natural light exposure.

Additionally, it’s important to rotate displayed documents or photos and use glass or acrylic with a UV filter. This will help to minimize constant exposure to light and protect documents and photos that you want to keep in top condition.

Dust and Insects Considerations

When it comes to storing your printing paper, it’s not just about protecting it from light exposure. You also need to address the issue of dust and insects to keep your papers in top condition.

Dust and dirt are not just unsightly; they can lead to paper discolouration if left unchecked. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that the area where you store your printing paper is clean and free of dust and dirt. This means dusting and vacuuming the room on a regular basis, and wiping down any surfaces where paper is stored.

Insects and rodents can also pose a serious threat to your printed documents. Not only can they leave unsightly droppings and stains, but they can also cause damage to the paper itself. If you have an insect or rodent problem in your storage area, it’s important to address it immediately.

Recommended Containers for Storage

Proper storage of printing paper is crucial to preserve its quality and longevity. One effective way to keep your papers in top condition is by storing them in the right container. Here are some recommended containers that can help protect your paper from dust, dirt, insects, humidity, and other external factors that can harm their quality over time.

Document Boxes and Photo Albums

When it comes to storing your printing paper, document boxes and photo albums are useful options to consider. These containers can help keep your paper safe and organized, ensuring your documents and photos remain in great condition for years to come.

The first step in storing your printing paper is to choose the right container. Document boxes are available in various sizes and styles, making it easy to find the perfect fit for your needs. On the other hand, photo albums offer a convenient, pre-made option for storing your photos and can be used for documents as well. Ensure that you choose one that is fit for the size of your paper.

When using document boxes and photo albums, it’s essential to use acid-free paper and stable plastics that won’t damage your documents or photos. Acid-free paper is designed to resist deterioration, making it an ideal choice for long-term storage. Stable plastics, on the other hand, help protect your documents and photos from moisture, dust, and other environmental factors that can damage them.

It’s also important to properly handle your photos and documents while storing them. Be sure to keep your hands clean and dry or wear gloves before handling any copies of documents or photographs. This is especially important for fragile, irreplaceable items, such as historic documents and long-term photos.

When using photo albums, avoid overfilling and never use tape, paper clips, or rubber bands to hold your photos in place. Instead, use clear sleeves made from stable plastics that won’t damage your photos or documents. This will help prolong their lifespan and keep them in great condition for years to come.

There are different types of document boxes available, each offering unique benefits for protecting your documents. Individual and archival folders are two options to consider. Individual folders are great for organizing small batches of documents and keeping them protected from light exposure and dust. On the other hand, archival folders provide additional protection, making them ideal for long-term storage of important documents.

Individual Folders and Archival Folders

When it comes to storing printing paper, individual folders and archival folders offer unique benefits for ensuring the safety and longevity of your documents.

Individual folders are perfect for organizing small batches of documents. They provide better support and safety when moving paper documents compared to loose sheets or stacks of paper. This makes them an ideal choice for keeping your documents stored in a compact space.

In addition, individual folders are also useful for recording and organizing cataloguing information about your documents, making them easier to locate when needed. They are available in a variety of materials, styles, and sizes from archival suppliers, ensuring that you can find the perfect fit for your needs.

Archival folders, on the other hand, provide additional protection and support, making them ideal for long-term storage of important documents. They are heavier and more durable than individual folders, which makes them perfect for holding larger quantities of paper and protecting them from light exposure, dust, and other environmental factors.

It’s important to note that using sturdy, acid-free paper or lightweight matboard to create simple folders is key to ensuring the longevity of your documents. By using these materials, you can be sure that your documents will be protected from deterioration caused by acidic paper and other harmful environmental factors.


In conclusion, it is crucial to store printing paper in suitable areas and recommended containers to maintain its quality. Document boxes, photo albums, individual folders, and archival folders provide different levels of protection from various environmental factors such as humidity, light exposure, dust, and insects. Individual folders are ideal for organizing small batches of documents, while archival folders are better for long-term storage of important documents. Suitable storage containers can ensure that your printing paper will not deteriorate easily and maintain its quality for a longer time.