How To | March 18, 2014
Vinyl records have made a comeback with audiophiles and music fans. For fans, music sounds better when a vinyl LP is played on a record player. The sound is in its purest form with all of its irregularities. Independent bands and musicians release special vinyl LP’s just for collectors and fans. Vinyl records have become the ultimate collector’s item. But, they need to be stored properly in order to keep their sound quality and protect the album cover art. Some collectors even consider the album cover an art form in and of itself. Because vinyl records are delicate, thought has to be given to how to properly store them. There are a variety of tips on record album storage in order to keep the collection in the best condition.
The first step is to sort your albums. Everyone will have their own way to categorize the collection. Some alphabetize by artist and then by release date of the album. Others will further sort their collection by musical genre. In order to keep track of what you own in your collection, create a database of your records, so you have an easy reference and a list for insurance purposes. Make sure to store all of the same size records (45’s, 33’s or even 78’s) together. They shouldn’t be mixed throughout the collection. There are many vinyl record storage ideas that you can follow to keep your records in the best condition. Records should be stored vertically in a plastic bin or in specially built record album storage shelves. Do not pack the bin too tightly. You will want to have enough room, so people can flip through the records. If you stack the albums too close together they can end up damaging the albums and the artwork. Invest in polyethylene sleeves to keep dust, dirt and other damage from the records and the covers. A key point to remember for LP record storage is not to stack the albums on top of one another on a shelf. Stacking can cause the albums to warp and even crack. Older records from the 50’s and 60’s are actually heavier compared to records made from the 80’s on. Your record album storage bin or shelving unit has to be very sturdy in order to hold the albums without breaking. Keep vinyl records away from areas of humidity, which can cause high levels of moisture to collect, which in turn can create mold on the record collection. Direct sunlight and bright fluorescent lighting can cause album covers to fade. If the storage area is excessively cold and dry, it can cause the albums to dry out and become brittle. Do NOT store record collections in an attic or a basement. Basements have the risk of flooding, which can destroy the entire collection. The best record album storage solution is to keep the collection in a temperature controlled room away from extreme temperature fluctuations. If you do not have room in your home to store the collection, consider renting a climate controlled storage unit to help protect your investment. You should always ask the manager at the self storage facility about the temperature range of their climate controlled units. Vinyl record collections can be valuable so collectors need to invest in an appropriate storage solution. By following easy steps, the collection can be protected for generations to come.