How to Properly Prepare & Store Your Taxidermy Collection
Properly preparing and storing your prized taxidermy collection requires that you follow some simple steps. In the following, we'll outline these steps, and explain how a climate-controlled self-storage unit is the optimal place to store your trophies:
1. Use Wooden Crates
Wooden crates, which are typically sold at your local taxidermist or hardware store, are a perfect solution for insulating a taxidermy. By placing your collection in these crates, you avoid the risk of sunlight, pests, and dust doing damage to the items. Use wood screws to attach and fasten your trophies to the crate's bottom.
As you set the screws, it might be easier to work with a second person who is able to hold each trophy against the interior of the crate. If you are placing multiple trophies in a single crate, make sure you're properly arranging them in such a way to avoid stacking and abrasion. Abrasion can damage the hides by leaving marks.
2. Keeping Away the Pests
After loading your mounts into the crates, the next step is putting them in storage. However, beforehand, it is vital that you guard against the problems presented by pests. All kinds of pests, including bugs, mice, and moths, can do serious damage to your taxidermy collection. For example, insects can chew through hair and other parts of a taxidermy.
The best solution to keep away pests and avoid an infestation is to put poison pellets, No Pest Strips, along with silica gel packets, into the crates. For extra insulation, put a coating of silicone sealant in the seams of the crates.
3. The Importance of Climate-Controlled Storage
Consistency in terms of temperature and humidity levels in a storage unit is critical to preventing damage to the hides. Significant temperature fluctuations cause the skins to expand, which can ultimately lead to cracks in the hides. Climate-controlled storage units prevent these problems by controlling humidity and temperature levels.
The storage unit should be kept at a temperature between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and humidity levels shouldn't exceed 60 percent.
Humidity needs to be carefully controlled within your storage unit. Low relative humidity can result in your hides becoming dry, cracking, and shrinking. On the other hand, high relative humidity can cause the hides to swell and become warped. Given the risks such changes in temperature and humidity pose to your hides, it is important to opt for a climate-controlled storage unit for your taxidermy collection.
4. Make Sure Your Items are Secure in Storage
Taxidermy collections are valuable possessions, and as such, consider selecting a storage facility that has good security measures established, such as on-site management, video surveillance, and locked and alarmed-units. These types of features provide protection against the risk of theft.
If you can find a facility with vaulted storage, that is even better as it offers an additional layer of protection. With vaulted storage, every individual item is stored and packed in the best conditions for the particular piece. Items are then put on storage racks, where they are secure and less likely to attract dust.
5. Clean Your Trophies Every Few Months
One of the advantages of placing your taxidermy in a self-storage unit is that you can regularly clean the pieces and check on their condition. Once you have placed your items in storage, try to keep to a regular cleaning schedule, ideally going to the unit every several months. Use a feather duster, and carefully and lightly clean the pieces. A soft and damp cloth may be ok for some of the mounts. Use glass cleaner and a cotton swab if you notice the eyes are starting to lose their shine; this should help the gleam come back.
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Storage Rentals of America is your convenient self-storage solution. So come into our office or give our storage experts a call at 1-800-457-5678. Our call center is available 7 days a week and can help determine which storage unit size best fits your storage needs.