Vinyl Records: Do You Know The Best Way to Store Them

Just like comic books and baseball cards, Vinyl Records hold a special place in the hearts of collectors.

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Photo: Vinyl Records: Do You Know The Best Ways to Store Them

Unlike other collectibles, records offer the unique ability to play music and bring nostalgia into our homes.

Whether you have a large or small collection, it’s crucial to protect and preserve your records for long-term enjoyment. Fortunately, there are various storage options available that allow you to showcase your favorite albums while keeping them safe.

In this guide, we’ll share our top storage ideas to help you maintain and display your vinyl collection, ensuring that your records can be cherished for years to come.

Ways to Store Vinyl Records

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Photo: Ways to Store Vinyl Records

Double-Up on Record Sleeves.

When purchasing records, they often come with an inner paper sleeve insert to protect the vinyl.

However, it’s worth considering replacing the original insert, especially if the record is used or the insert is worn out. The original insert may have collected dirt and dust over time, potentially causing damage to the record.

Investing in acid-free paper sleeves or sleeves made of polyethylene can provide better protection.

While most record purchases don’t include an outer protective covering, it can be beneficial to add one to preserve the album artwork.

Look for inserts made of polyethylene or polypropylene. Vinyl bags can also be used to protect all four edges of the record, particularly for long-term storage.

If you’re unsure about what to buy, consult a local record shop owner for recommendations or options available for purchase.

Short-Term Vinyl Record Storage.

If you have a dedicated space in your home for enjoying your favorite records, such as the living area or a music room, it’s important to keep them organized and in good condition.

You can utilize existing built-ins, a standalone bookshelf, or a record player stand with storage. The chosen storage solution should be sturdy enough to support the weight of your collection.

To maintain organization, you can sort the records by genre or artist and use dividers for easy access.

It’s crucial to store records vertically, similar to books, to prevent damage from the weight of records stacked on top of each other. Avoid leaning records on a slant, as this can lead to warping.

Consider using a bookend or a lightweight object to keep the records upright. Additionally, ensure that the shelves are not overcrowded to allow for easy sliding in and out.

Remember to avoid storing vinyl records in direct sunlight or near sources of heat, such as radiators, as they can be detrimental to the vinyl itself and cause fading of the artwork, even with a cover on.

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Photo: Ways to Store Vinyl Records

Long-Term Vinyl Record Storage.

If you prefer to store your records for the long term rather than display them, proper storage is essential.

It’s crucial to keep them in a place with low temperatures and low moisture levels. Experts recommend storing records in temperatures ranging from 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity levels of 30 to 40 percent.

Temperature-controlled finished basements or other storage spaces in your home can be suitable options, while garages and attics are generally unsuitable due to extreme temperature fluctuations and humidity.

To preserve records during storage, it’s recommended to use lidded boxes.

Avoid using cardboard or banker boxes as they can attract pests and deteriorate over time. Instead, opt for plastic or archival boxes specifically designed to fit different-sized albums, with a height slightly taller than the tallest album.

When storing records, it’s advisable to group types of vinyl of the same size.

Allocate separate boxes for 7-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch records, and label the outside of the boxes for easy identification. Utilize dividers inside the boxes to keep the records organized, whether for future selling, passing down, or listening again.

If your collection doesn’t fill an entire box, fill the space with archival paper to keep the records in an upright position and prevent slanting.

Remember to Clean Your Records.

Regular cleaning is essential for all vinyl records, whether they are on display or in storage.

Before playing a record, gently wipe it down with a specialty cleaner and brush, which can be purchased online or at a music store. For records in storage, it’s recommended to set a reminder to take them out at least once a year for thorough cleaning to maintain their condition.

*The information is for reference only.