Whenever someone gets into listening to music on vinyl they might simply have a few records laying around. However as the collection grows, we realize we need to store them somewhere. There are bad and good ways of storing your music and this is the subject of today’s post.
How To Store Your Vinyl Records Properly
Check out this video with all the details and examples:
New to vinyl? Check out our Beginner’s guide to turntables.
1. Keep you records away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
The heat will warp your records and they will become unplayable with time. Make sure to keep your vinyl records away from heaters and other sources of heat. For example my receiver runs pretty hot and the ventilation openings are on the top cover. So I need to make sure to never put an LP on top of the receiver.
Direct sunlight is also a heat source. Additionally, bright sunlight damages the paint on cars over time. Just imagine what it will do to your records! If you value the covers of your records that usually come with amazing artwork then make sure to keep them away from the sun.
2. Storing Your Records.
If you have just a few records you might get away with a box or even a milk crate. Just make sure that the records fit freely into the box without you having to force them in. You don’t want to apply any unnecessary pressure on your LPs.
For a bigger collection you’ll need to find a better solution. Ikea’s Kallax (affiliate), formerly known as Expedit shelving units have become a very common record storing solution. They are inexpensive, sturdy, good looking and of perfect size for your records. You can buy them on Amazon, directly at Ikea or even through Craigslist and Kijiji. They come in 1X4, 2×2, 2×4, 4×4 cubes and a few other variations.
If you’re thinking of another vinyl storage solution you’ll need to pay attention to the size. It must be about 12″ deep (30.5cm) and at least 13″ (33cm) tall. It’s also preferable to have a divider every 10″-13″ (25-33cm). The dividers act as supports for your records and help you distribute the weight in a much better way. You don’t want 100 LPs leaning to one side.
It is very important to store your records vertically. Never pile them up on top of each other. Stacking them up will result too much weight on the records at the bottom.
Do not put too many records between the dividers. If you have too many records stacked into a box or a shelf, you will create ring-wear on your covers (that big visible ring in the shape of a record). It’s also annoying when you’re trying to pull out a single record and 3 of them come out.
When you don’t have enough records in your case, they will fall on the side and lean on that last record. Once again, too much weight being applied on a record will damage it.
3. Inner and Outer Sleeves
Outer sleeves are the transparent sleeves that protect your cover. These sleeves are great for protecting your records from dust as well as protecting your covers from dirt and physical damage. When using an outer sleeve, make sure to have the opening facing upward or downwards. If your outer sleeve opening is in the same direction as your cover opening, the dust will get in there. Also every time you’ll be putting your record back on the shelf, there is a chance that the outer sleeve will slip off.
Inner sleeves are usually the paper sleeves that protect your record. These sleeves go inside your cover. Just like with outer sleeves, make sure your inner sleeve opening is facing upwards. The first reason being that when the inner sleeve is facing up it’s actually protecting your record from dust. Also, if your inner sleeve opening is facing in the same direction as your cover opening, there is a chance your records will simply slip out and fall. This has happened to me more than once, before I learned I was storing my records wrong.
Putting your outer and inner sleeves in the same direction as your cover opening is certainly more convenient however it isn’t the proper way to handle your records. If your main objective is convenience then you should probably listen to music on your computer. Vinyl is not a convenient format and if you enjoy and value your records then you must take care of them.
4. Storing 7″ Vinyl Records
Just like your 12″ LPs, the 7″ records also need to be taken care of. Personally I’d suggest finding a covered box just like the one I show in the video. Most of the 7″ vinyl records will have very cheap and thin paper covers which will rip, bend and wear out. Having a closed box helps you protect them. It will also help you keep your covers looking great since they won’t get faded by the constant exposure to the sun light.
Flipping through your 7″ records is also a lot easier in a good box. I also store my CDs in the same box for convenience.
I might have missed some details in this post so make sure to watch the video.
If you have any feedback, suggestions or comments, please do submit them in the comment box below. If you want to share your own vinyl records storage solution, tag us on Instagram @longplayvinyl