Storing Records

Storing Records

Difficulties with storing vinyl

If we all had a big (temperature-controlled) warehouse to store our records ...

Last week I ran into some trouble with my LPs. As it turns out, our shelving was partially blocking the airflow in one of the rooms, and that seemed less than ideal. The solution turns out to be relatively simple, we just need to shuffle our shelves over a little bit, but it did get me thinking about some of the difficulties involved with storing vinyl.

Over the summer I wrote about the challenges with physical space. Arguably most of the subsequent issues I’ll mention link to space as well, because if we all had a big (temperature-controlled) warehouse to store our records, there really wouldn’t be much of an issue. But, then again, how many of us have access to something like that when even The Archive of Contemporary Music in TriBeCa is struggling. So challenge number 1: space.taking care of

Challenge number 2, which causes so much damage, is heat. This used to be relatively common knowledge, but the recent vinyl revival means new generations are engaging with LPs – great – however some of them are doing it without advice from previous LP enthusiasts. Arguably that’s great, too, but knowledge on handling is sometimes not passed on, and in the past five years or so I’ve seen many younger fans with warped LPs.

Sunlight is another problem. Just like with so many other things, direct sunlight will bleach the sleeve. Not to mention that sunlight generates heat… And guess what. If you pack items away from sunlight and heat they become susceptible to mould.


  1. Space

  2. Heat

  3. Sunlight

  4. Mould/mildew

Excellent. With that in mind, it is understandable why the CD was so revolutionary when it first arrived – just like how the virtually indestructible vinyl replaced brittle and heavy shellac.

There are, of course, very practical ways around all of these challenges. Personally I recommend the IKEA Kallax shelves in whichever configuration suits you best. Most of my LPs are stored in one, 5x5 unit, but you could use several smaller (2x2) ones if you don’t have the wall space for bigger shelving. The divisions make it easier to browse through big collections, and the price is relatively affordable.

How To Store Your Vinyl Records