Saving Your Vinyls: Tips For Long-Term Record Storage

As the online media transition takes hold and music transitions to digital files and downloads, record collections become a priceless long-term investment and a sentimental possession. If you want to hang on to your old record collection and those days gone by, it's time to find a safe place to store them. Here's a look at some tips to help you safely store your vinyl without risking warping, cracking or scratching.

Proper Vinyl Record Preparation

Before you store your vinyl records, you'll want to take a little bit of time to make sure that they are properly prepared to be kept secure. Here are a few things that you should do.

  • Clean all of the records before you pack them for storage. Rub in a circular motion around the record using a soft, lint-free cloth dipped in distilled water. This will remove dust and debris from the surface of the record. If you have a large or particularly valuable collection, consider investing in a vacuum designed exclusively for cleaning vinyl records.
  • Package each record in its proper sleeve and cover. The paper sleeves and outer covers that vinyl records are packed in protect the surface of the record from scratches and warping. If you haven't saved all of the paper sleeves, you can often order them from local music supply stores or even storage material suppliers.
  • Invest in milk crates or similarly-sized boxes. Vinyl records need to be stored in an upright position, much like books. Milk crates and small boxes are great for this because they are sized similarly to the records themselves. That keeps the records more secure. Don't stack them, though. The weight of the records will cause warping and may lead to cracks.

Storage Tips For Moving Day

The day that you're moving your records into storage is an important one. You'll want to be sure that the records are safely packaged for long-term storage in the right possible environment.

  • Secure the right unit. You need a climate-controlled storage unit. Look for something that offers climate control so that you can keep the temperature around a standard room temperature or slightly cooler. You'll also want a unit that's free of moisture and humidity because both of those can be damaging to your records. The goal is to have a consistent, dry temperature that isn't too cold or too hot.
  • Pack the records securely. You'll want to pack the records so that they are secure, but not squashed. Don't fill the box so much that they are squeezed against each other. Instead, add a little bit of tissue paper around them to keep them secure.
  • Store the records on proper shelving. Place the milk crates or boxes on metal shelving. The metal shelving is important because wood could absorb moisture. Metal won't expand or contract from the moisture in temperature fluctuations, so the records will be more stable. If necessary, plastic pallets can be used instead. Just remember not to stack the records if they are in cardboard boxes because the cardboard can weaken and crush the records in the lower boxes.

As you can see, your vinyl record collection can be preserved and protected. Follow these steps to ensure that your investment lasts for years to come. If you're not sure about the best storage facility or you don't have the packing materials that you need, check with a few local storage facilities to see what they have to offer. With the help of a reliable climate-controlled storage facility and the right packing steps, your records will be kept safe and secure until you're ready to break out your turntable once again. Click here for more info on storage units.