Whether you’re a collector, hobbyist, or even someone who inherited a vinyl record collection, there’s little doubt that you enjoy the vintage sound and all around cool feel of placing a record on the turntable and enjoying some analogue sound.
But while enjoying your record collection may be one thing, storing it may be another task entirely. For instance, if you’re relocating and don’t have room for all your records in your new apartment, there are key things you must due to preserve the quality of your music and overall collection. Thankfully, with a few simple steps, a storage unit is a great solution for your record storing needs.
How to prepare your vinyl records for storage.
The first step is ensuring your record is in either its original sleeve or a replacement. This sleeve is the first line of defense against bumps, scrapes, and dust collecting in the grooves that can cause smaller and much larger scratches over time. From here, it’s all about finding the right box to place them in.
You’ll want a box that can fit the records vertically, as records left horizontal over time can warp. However, make sure that the box has squared corners, as rounded corners and bottoms can also cause warping that will diminish the quality of music. Another key thing is finding the right balance when fitting the records in. The vinyl records should be tight enough that they don’t shuffle when moving, but just loose enough for you to pull out the record you’re searching for.
This is a good time to note that if you’re storing your records for the long term, then place the opening of away from the opening of the box. This will further help reduce the risk of dust and dirt getting into the sleeve and damaging the record. The last step is securely closing the box with clear moving tape, again to seal out any dust and contaminants.
Best storage practices for vinyl records
Once you have your records packed, the next step is knowing the best storage features for your vinyl records. First, and especially if you live in an area with distinct seasonal weather, find a storage unit with climate control. This feature will maintain a constant temperature and humidity level within the unit, which is crucial. Heat can cause records to warp or crack, and high amounts of water in the air can cause sleeves to mold over, which at the very least reduces the worth of your record collection if not completely damages the record itself.
Another key feature, especially if you have a larger or more costly collection, is to protect your vinyl records with security features such as video surveillance and onsite management. You can even find storage facilities protected with electronic gate access, requiring a keycode to enter.
Then when it comes time to place your boxes inside your storage unit, make sure not to stack anything on top of your records to avoid warping over time. You may also want to place a wooden pallet or plastic sheet on the ground to avoid direct contact with the floor and any moisture it may collect.
Storing your vinyl records can give you more space at home and preserve your valued collection for years and even decades to come. Just remember to:
- Keep your records in a sleeve.
- Store vertically and tightly in a squared box.
- Preserve from high heat and humidity with climate control features.
- Protect your collection with security features.
- Avoid stacking boxes of records.