October is the perfect time to pore over past issues of The American Philatelist, visit the National Postal Museum or introduce someone to the hobby of stamp collecting. It’s National Stamp Collecting Month! National Stamp Collecting Month was established in 1981 by the Council of Philatelic Organizations and the United States Postal Service. Although this organization only operated for a few years, the holiday that it created lives on today.
The idea behind National Stamp Collecting Month was to introduce new people to the joy of this lifetime hobby. At the time, the postmaster general said that stamp collecting was the world’s most popular hobby, and it certainly is something that you can do from childhood and through your adult life. The problem is that you might run out of room for all of your postal treasures. That’s where a hobby storage system can help you preserve and organize your entire collection. After a certain point, it’s no longer practical or wise to store valuable collectibles at home.
Serious collectors are well-aware of the intricacy of this hobby and the techniques used to remove stamps from paper materials and store them properly in an album or display. Even someone who is not a philatelist – one who collects or studies stamps – understands that paper is susceptible to temperature, humidity, sunlight, air and even artificial light. Providing ideal storage conditions all the time is difficult. Fortunately, climate controlled storage can meet all of these needs.
Caring for your valuable stamp collection requires a number of measures. Follow our helpful tips to ensure that your stamps stay in pristine condition.
- Buy a waterproof stamp album. Make sure to buy an album that has enough space for each stamp. Keep this album away from places where it may come into contact with food or drink to avoid accidents.
- Don’t use your fingers when handling stamps. Experts of philately know that outside matter can damage a stamps value. Use a process called “steaming” to remove stamps from envelopes and use a pair of flat bladed stamp collector’s tongs.
- Avoid using both sides of an album page.
- Use inserts between album pages to keep stamps from contacting each other.
- Use stamp mounts or clear plastic sleeves to handle stamps that are in mint condition.
- Never let stamps come in contact with direct sunlight, which can cause discolorations and melt adhesive on the back of the stamp.
- Store albums standing up, like books, and not laid on top of each other.
- Store stamps in an area without great temperature fluctuation and free of excess humidity.
Crafters and musicians have found ways to use self storage units for their hobbies, and stamp collectors can take advantage of this ingenious solution that solves many hobby storage issues ranging from space considerations to temperature, humidity and organization.
Use FindLocalStorage.com to find a storage unit near you that serves all your stamp collection storage needs!