How to Store Your Vinyl Record Collection
Your vinyl record collection is an important part of who you are - even if no one else appreciates it like you do. When your collection reaches critical mass or when significant other “hints” that you might keep your records somewhere else, a small storage unit is the perfect fix.
Don’t take chances with a hot attic or musty basement. Records are fragile and need to be stored carefully. We’ll cover tips to keep your collection spinning smoothly and give you some vinyl record storage ideas to keep your collection safe and organized.
How to Clean Your Vinyl Records
Before you stash your precious LPs, make sure that they’re free of dust, dirt and any harmful substance that could scratch or corrode them. A clean record in a fresh sleeve is free of debris and contaminants that could otherwise harm it over time.
There are many vinyl record cleaning kits available. At a minimum, you want to run a good, static-free brush over both sides of your records. This will not only remove dust from its surface, but it will also reduce static electricity that attracts more dust. Make sure you wash your hands before cleaning your records and handle them by the edges to prevent transferring oils from your skin.
For records that are older or haven’t been played in a long time, use a cleaning solution to clear off built up dust that could lead to scratches and playback issues.
Give Your Records New Storage Sleeves
The sleeves your records came in may not be the best for them. Older paper can attract mold or harmful acid and other contaminants that, over time, can harm your records and their covers.
Place your records is new, acid free, sleeves. Especially for long-term storage, these will help preserve your vinyl. New sleeves are free of dust or dirt that could cause abrasive damage.
Your old record sleeves have value. They contain lyrics, credits, recording information and artist photos. They also increase the value of your albums if you choose to sell them. Keep your factory sleeves separate in archival plastic bags.
Add Plastic Album Covers
Before you organize your collection, place your albums in plastic covers. These add another level of protection and keep your covers looking sharp.
Most record shops sell plastic sleeves in any quantity you want. Some sleeves are open on one end for easy access and others seal entirely like an envelope. You may want to seal up the particularly valuable or prized items in your collection.
Organize in Crates or Boxes
Records are heavy. 50 records will weight between 15-20 pounds. Transporting your collection is a workout of its own. Minimize your stress by organizing your records in easy to carry boxes or crates with dividers to keep them upright.
Don’t use wooden boxes to store your records. Wood contains acids that could harm your collection. Use plastic crates or archival cardboard boxes to store and transport your records.
Make sure your crates are organized and labeled so that it’s easy to find that obscure Roxy Music bootleg when you want it.
Store Your Records Upright
Never stack your records on top of each other. The pressure to the records on the bottom could damage the grooves and the vinyl.
Use dividers to parcel out sections where upright records don’t lean against each other. A record leaning at an angle could warp, especially if other records are pushing against it.
Choose a Safe Location
The biggest enemies for your record collection are heat and humidity. They can warp your albums and lead to harmful moisture and mildew.
A small self-storage unit can hold a lot of records without reducing your music budget significantly. If you live in a warmer region, consider a climate-controlled storage facility where your collection won’t be at risk of heat damage.
Most storage facilities have superb security so that your valuable investment is well protected. Look for video surveillance, gated entry and always make sure you use a high-quality lock.
If you use a shelf to stack your records, make sure its rated to hold the weight. The last thing you want to find is a bunch of damaged records on the ground when you next visit your unit.
Safe and Affordable Vinyl Record Storage Solutions
Check out the Storelocal facility near you. A helpful on-site manager can get you set up. Many facilities also offer online registration in minutes. Not to sound like a broken record, but we’d love to have you store your vinyl record collection safely and securely with us.