Photos are best kept in the coolest, driest area in your home, one that doesn't have a huge temperature fluctuation. That's why the attic, basement and garage are not good ideas. Most people don't have climate controls outside the usual living spaces. Although you can maintain cool temperatures in a finished basement, it's difficult to control humidity below-ground which can cause photos to stick together and eventually mold. That's a combination which can destroy them.
Exposure to light also shortens the lifespan of photos. It's not unlike what happens to potato chips that are set in the sun - they go stale. Since light can wreak havoc on photographs, choose a storage space that protects and shields prints from illumination. Fireplaces, furnace vents, light bulbs, candles and sunlight generate light and heat that can destroy family photos. Interior closets -- not adjacent to outside walls -- that are above-ground are ideal locations to store precious photos since they tend to be dry and cool throughout the year. Display your choice portrait for a few months or weeks, then return it to storage while other shots are showcased in rotation.
You shouldn't let your photos hang out with the wrong crowd either. Click ahead to find out why.