Vinyl records have made their way back to mainstream media as the leading format for album purchases. According to an article by Billboard, 43.46 million vinyl albums were sold in 2022 (up 4.2% from 41.72 million in 2021). Whether you are craving nostalgia, a desire for an intimate sound, or your collection of choice, there is a clear distinction that older and newer generations cannot get enough of vinyl records.
So, if you are packing to move to your new home or your collection has become uncontrollable, knowing how to properly pack and store your records is important. Here are some essential tips to keep your precious collection safe and sound!
Packing Your Vinyl Records
Pro tip: Before handling any records, it is important to wash and dry your hands thoroughly. Make sure they are free of lotion or oil — as this could damage your collection.
Use a small moving box or a book box to perfectly pack and store your vinyl records, so they can last a lifetime. (Quick note: a book box does not have handles to help carry it.) The correct size and square shape are ideal because the corners of the records can lay flat. If the corners cannot lay flat and are not supported well, the records will begin to warp (warping is when your records become bent or deformed due to pressure or temperature changes) under their own weight.
The next step is to reinforce the small box to ensure it is record ready. Seal the box with box/paper packing tape on any seam where dust or debris could enter and damage your records. Label which side is up on your moving box.
Vinyl records should always be stored vertically! If you stack your records, you put them at risk of warping. Don’t do that! Organize by size; different sizes should not be placed together. There is a delicate balance when deciding how many records should be placed in a single moving box. The objective is to create an environment where they can sit upright and on other edges without pressure and overcrowding. Your records should be tight enough, so they do not lean against each other but not too tight that you cannot pull one out. Loosely packed records that lean start to warp over time and can become damaged.
Use Enviro-Bubble to line the sides of the box to provide extra protection and absorption against any bumps or shock when on the road.
Storing Your Vinyl Records
Vinyl is a mature technology that can cost lots of money to replace– this is why it is essential to store them right. You should want to preserve your collection as best as you can! Moisture, mildew, mold, and heat are kryptonite to records. Those conditions can cause damage not just to the record but to its value and playability. Climate-controlled storage is the best option because it keeps the temperature and humidity levels consistent, ranging from 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. When transporting your vinyl records, move them to the passenger side of your moving truck or car. This way, they can get direct air and avoid placing them in direct sunlight.
Your collection is your pride and joy! Make sure your records get from point A to point B in the best condition.
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Editor’s Note: This blog was originally published in April 2016 and has been refreshed and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.