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Record Shelves: The Perfect Way To Store Your Vinyl

There are a lot of ways to store your vinyl collection. Each method has its pros and cons, from aesthetics to preserving the best sound quality. Here at Sound of Vinyl, we think the perfect way to store your vinyl is a good old-fashioned record shelf.

In this article, we’ll explain what record shelves are and why they’re so great for your collection. We’ll also give you some tips for what to look for when you’re shopping for record shelves.

What Are Record Shelves?

Record shelves are exactly what they sound like — shelves that hold your records. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials that are easy to match with your home or studio decor. Almost any shelf can be repurposed as a record shelf, although you can find shelving units specifically made and marketed to hold vinyl collections.

Why Should I Use Record Shelves?

When you think of record storage, you probably think of the popular image of a dusty milk crate with record sleeves poking out of the top. But record shelves are preferable to standard crates or stylish racks for many reasons, which are listed below.

Record Shelves Save Space

Like most shelves, record shelves take up space vertically, not horizontally. Using a shelf allows you to keep your records high off of the ground without sacrificing valuable floor space. You can also put a lot of records into a relatively small space if your collection is very large.

Record Shelves Protect Your Records From Warping

The standard milk crate has a certain aesthetic appeal, but it might actually not be a great choice for your precious vinyl. When your records are packed together in a small space without dividers — or worse, stacked on top of one another — there’s a risk that they can warp.

Warping is when a record bends because of heat or pressure. When a record warps, the grooves in the vinyl that create the music are damaged. A warped record might play badly or not at all.

Storing your records properly can ensure that your records are playable for a long time.

As long as you are sure to put them up in a place that doesn’t get too much heat or sun, record shelves can help protect your collection. They provide a little more space for your collection, preventing any accidental warping because you won’t have to stack records on top of each other or cram them together in a crate.

Record Shelves Look Good

Record shelves come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. You can customize your record shelves to your decor easily. If you can’t find ones that fit you perfectly in the store, it’s easy to paint, stack, or customize your shelf in another way to match your style.

Record Shelves Keep Your Collection Organized

It’s important to keep your record collection organized, especially as it grows to hold all your favorite tunes on wax. Record shelves can store a lot of records, and because the sides of the shelves are open, you can easily see and catalog your vinyl. Keeping your records well organized is one of the best ways to make sure you get the most out of your collection, and record shelves can help you with that.

Record Shelves Can Store Other Things

It almost goes without saying, but one of the best things about shelves is that they’re multipurpose storage tools. If your vinyl collection only covers half of your shelving unit, you can simply use the rest to store something else you collect. A set of good shelves are never wasted space, even if you use them for a different reason than you originally intended.

How Can You Pick the Best Record Shelves?

Once you’ve decided to buy record shelves, there are a few things you need to think about to make sure you get the best ones for your growing vinyl collection. Here are some tips to assist you in choosing the shelves that are right for you.

Record Shelf Shopping Tip 1: Think About Your Collection Size

When you're shopping for shelves, the first thing to think about is how big they need to be. If you only have a few records, you probably don’t need to get floor-to-ceiling shelving just yet. If your collection is already taking over your house, you might want to get more than one shelf or shelves with special features like drawers, racks, or stackable expansion cubes.

While you’re thinking about the size of your vinyl collection, it’s also good to consider how much vinyl you regularly buy. If your goal is to have a house full of records, it’s best to buy shelves that will hold your collection now and as it expands. If space or cash is a concern, look at shelves with stacking cubes or easy expansions you can purchase and add over time.

Record Shelf Shopping Tip #2: Think About the Weather

Vinyl records are sensitive not only to pressure but to light and heat as well. When you’re buying record shelves, make sure you’ve thought about where they’re going to go in your house or studio. Record shelves need to be set up in a cool, dry place with little to no direct sunlight to keep your vinyl collection in optimum condition.

If you can’t find a place that meets all the requirements, try and get shelves that compensate for that. For example, if the only place for shelves is a sunny space, get a shelving unit with a cover to keep the records from getting too hot and warping. If you’re worried about moisture, get shelves that are plastic, metal, or another material that doesn’t draw or hold moisture from the air.

Record Shelf Shopping Tip #3: Think About Your Decor

One of the reasons that vinyl is making a comeback is that it looks pretty cool. Make sure your shelves do your records aesthetic justice by picking ones that match the general decor of the room. Pick the shape, color, and material of your shelves carefully so that you can highlight your record collection in the most appealing way.

Where Can You Find Record Shelves?

Record shelves are an essential part of a vinyl enthusiast’s home decor. They keep your records safe and protected and upgrade the look of your home or studio by attractively displaying your retro tunes.

Finding record shelves is easy. You can turn almost any shelf into a record shelf — just put your records on it. If you want something made specifically for records, the first place to check is the same place where you buy your records. Your local record shop, audiovisual store, and even garage sales will have a lot of options for shelving at all different price points, with a wide variety of looks and features.

Of course, before you buy shelves, you’ll need to have some vinyl to put on them. If you want to expand your collection, check out our expansive online inventory and grab a couple of your favorite artists on vinyl.

Sources

Care, Handling, and Storage of Audio Visual Materials | Collections Care - (Preservation, Library of Congress)

Useful Guide: How to Store Vinyl Records? | TechyIce

Storing Vinyl Records | What Is Vinyl

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