Is vinyl record storage on your mind? You’re not alone, as vinyl today may have a larger cult following than it did when it was the primary format for listening to music.
One thing about vinyl today that’s the same as the good old days, they still take up massive amounts of space. Below I will share with you some of the things I have personally used to solve my LP storage needs.
My Favorite Affordable Vinyl Record Shelf
The IKEA Shelf is the best affordable vinyl record storage option in my opinion, and the one I use for my vinyl record collection. I couldn’t be happier with the quality, price, and ease of assembly.
Whether you are a new vinyl record collector, with a few hundred records, or a seasoned collector with a few thousand, storage no doubt has been, or will become a big issue going forward.
Personally I have used the IKEA shelves for many years, as their nice clean style, and sturdy weight capacity have worked for me since 2008.
While there are many other brand names out there, and I will highlight them below, the IKEA does everything I want at the price I can live with. I don’t think I would trade mine for anything.
Great Storage For Small or Massive Vinyl Record Collections
As mentioned above: I liked the look of the Ikea shelves. I went with the chocolate-brown color myself, a nice clean look that looks sharp after a dusting or a good waxing with Pledge.
I became so proficient at assembling these, I was cranking them out within 30 minutes time. Anyone with basic reading skills can put these together.
Here’s a good assembly video I ran across.
Cute IKEA Kallax Assembly Video
Don’t forget you can frame those album covers too
If you’re like me, a serious record collector, the idea of buying frames for those vintage record covers you have has probably crossed your mind.
For years I would pass on perfectly decent classic rock and jazz covers simple because the record looked unplayable, this was a huge mistake.
I have since decorated my home office with many covers, the pictured covers was found at a local Dayton Ohio Goodwill for a dollar, this particular cover didn’t even have a record in it, but the classic cover and artwork looks amazing in my man cave.
The best way to buy these frames, either for a gift or for your own use, is to buy in bulk. you can get deals like the 4 pack featured where you can get basically 4 for the price of three.
Consider a room you may be decorating. Whether a tiki bar theme, or space age pop, or country & western motif, you could find literally dozens of records during your first search of a thrift store.
If you have a plan, and focus on a particular color or style, you might be surprised how many options you will have, all you need are the quality frames to display them.
Portable Vinyl Record Storage Ideas
Vinyl records have made a huge come back, and many companies have burst upon the scene to fill the storage needs of the record collector.
Eurolite and Odyssey have come along with a very fashionable portable LP case in the $40 range with the all important steel reinforced corners.
The hard plastic case is sturdy, but light enough to transport 70 vinyl records without an issue, 70 LP’s is probably the limit anyway weight wise for one person to transport easily.
The case has foam rubber for the vinyl to rest softly inside, but plenty snug when the case is on the move to prevent shifting inside.
There are more expensive storage options out there that hold larger numbers, but the Eurolite 70 LP Case will be easy to move, be plenty sturdy. These could be used just for those 70 records that mean the most from your collection.
A few things to understand:
Might need to air the case out a while before using it. I have heard many of these across brands have some sort of glue foam smell, a new smell that stinks, but goes away after a while. Consider that.
Also some of these models DO NOT HAVE HANDLES, this could be an issue, 50 records or so in the case will weigh nearly 40 pounds I am sure. Some have stated they love the case, yet handles would have been nice.
Also: If you click over to Amazon, you should be able to see many color options as well, I have seen yellow, red, camouflage, and of course black and white.
Double Walled Cardboard LP Storage Boxes
The heavy-duty double walled box has been one of the most indispensable items I own as a vinyl record collector. These boxes are sturdy enough to be used as permanent storage, as long as you don’t stack to high and the humidity levels are regulated.
I loved those boxes like they were my children when I moved my 6000 LP collection 3 different times between 2008 and 2010. I had over 70 of these boxes, and having a box that I could easily carry with the cut handles they have.
Over time they could get a bit worn, but if you take care of them and don’t stack more than 2 high, you should be able to use these for vinyl record storage for many years.
3 Reasons to Love Vinyl Records
The warm sound of vinyl:
Personally, it is a rare occasion that I would choose a CD or download over the original, or a quality reissue LP in top condition. To me, the sound is warmer and much more natural, especially vintage music. I feel those sessions were intended for vinyl, it sounds more natural, like the music was meant to sound.
12 inch cover art:
It’s bigger, bolder, and just feels right to the touch. OK, the feel part might be a bit much, but I do like the way a vintage cover feels, the cardboard is usually thicker and just better quality too. Album covers are just bolder, and dwarf the puny CD booklet. Think about it, the Beatles Abbey Road, CD or LP cover?
Vinyl demands your undivided attention:
Don’t get me wrong, I am not a vinyl snob, I have 3 iPod’s filled with music. I listen to music sometimes in the background as I work, or go for a walk.
With an LP, I really like to sit and focus on the music without any distractions. I enjoy listening, I mean really focused listening to each instrument, noticing the production of the album, all the little nuances. Of course you can do this with any format in your own home.
It is interesting, it wasn’t easy at first disciplining myself to not do other things while listening, I didn’t realize how far off the deep end I had gone with treating music as just noise in the background.
Honestly, the only negative I can think of is the space vinyl records take up.
Large Capacity Vinyl Record Storage
If you have a large collection, the pictured Ikea Room Divider might be the best choice for your collection. Basically this unit would be two of the Kallax 4 cubes, a Kallax 8 if you will.
Collections of a thousand or more would be ideal for one of these larger units. Personally I like to use the smaller Ikea Kallax 4, I just stack 4 of them to basically equal what this pictured unit accomplishes.
You would have less work to do with the larger unit, as you wouldn’t have to repeat the construction, plus you don’t have parts and pieces 4 separate times.
These larger capacity units may need wall stud mounting for secure worry free storage.
I also would not stack the 4 slot units more than 2 high.
Ultra Affordable Way Basic Storage
Way basic is what the name say, WAY BASIC. These shelves are held together by a super strong adhesive glue and not screws or nails. So keep this in mine if you’re using these for your vinyl record storage, stacking too high could cause failure.
Though a very economical option for record collections, you must be mindful of the weight limit of these. I would absolutely not stack these on top of each other.
Ideally you would use this as a standalone unit, perhaps on top of a chest of drawers, or on top a load bearing shelf in the back of closet or something.
Of course these could be used for any other storage need.
Vinyl Record Storage for vinyl 45’s
Are you looking for quality 7 inch storage boxes to protect your collection of 45’s? You need something that will not only be sturdy enough to protect your vinyl, but also have the ability to withstand the shuffling and moving around of the box its self.
I was surprised at collectors who do not collect both formats, many people I know collect 7 inch vinyl only. Also when you see some of the exorbitant prices being received for the rarer 45’s, your eyes will bug out of your head.
If you’re just looking for a basic cardboard box with a lid, the pictured box “to the right” would probably fit the bill. You could easily stack these if you desired, and you could also use index cards to alphabetize the 45’s.
If you’re serious about collecting vinyl, you definitely want to go the extra mile to protect your collection from sunlight and dust particles. Plastic sheets and white paper sleeves are also a must, especially if you are one that does the thrift store and flea market thing.
Quality Inner and Outer Vinyl Record Sleeves
Are you are a serious collector of thrift store vinyl, and one of those who think a record shop without a bargain bin is not a real record shop.
You probably understand the need for a large supply of paper inner sleeves, and gallons of record cleaner. When you’re hunting these records down, many times they will not have the paper inner sleeve it originally had.
Sometimes the original sleeves would have been wax paper, rice paper, or even plastic… and sometimes none at all.
Since I am also a seller of records, and buyers absolutely do not like a record coming their way without an inner sleeve of some sort, it’s imperative I always have sleeves, both inner and outer on hand.
I am not too picky about what inner sleeves I buy, I just know I need the rounded corner ones, and not the kind that get dog-eared.
Why are Outer sleeves so important?
If you clean your vinyl, it’s pretty obvious you want to minimize the dust particles that can make their way to the record grooves. If you use a machine like a VPI, or a Nitty Gritty, you’ve spent a tidy sum first off, those machines in fact do a great job at removing dirt.
If you use cover/jacket sleeves to keep dirt out, it’s very likely it will be great while until you have to clean again. Other than a quick dry run with an anti-static brush, these sleeves do protect from dirt, and keep you from having to re-clean over and over again.
Why are inner sleeves so important
Inner sleeves more than anything will keep the record from getting scuffed up by the cover its self. Of course sleeve scuffs could still be an issue over vast amounts of time.
Plastic inner sleeves may be a better choice in the long run, I don’t see too many sleeve scuffs happening from the plastic.
A lot of the thrift store vinyl I get won’t have a sleeve at all. It’s nice to put that vintage record you rescued from becoming a warped bowl, or some record label coaster, into a nice new sleeve.
In case you’ve wondered, here’s a great list of the places I find cheap vinyl to sell and add to my collection.
*All photos are my own or used with permission via Amazon.com*
Note: Clicking photos or links in this article could send you to another site where I am an affiliate, and I could be paid a small commission should you purchase a product.