Thursday, January 24, 2008

Storing the Vinyl Record Collection: What to Do with the LPs

man drinking beer; record collection in background

You know much of the world has moved on to CDs or iPods, but you've got a record collection you really want to keep. Here are some options on how to store them.


bookcase - right dimensions for LPs

When this question gets asked, you can always count on someone recommending the EXPEDIT bookcase from IKEA. But there are certainly plenty of other options, in two basic categories: boxes and shelving.

Boxes and Cases


cardboard box with lid; right size for LPs

The most basic answer might be simple cardboard boxes. This one holds 50 LPs.


box with records stored inside

A step up would be an archival-quality box. This one holds 33 records.


two types of record storage boxes

Bags Unlimited also sells basic cardboard boxes, archival boxes, and plastic corrugated boxes made from "acid-free, waterproof and vermin-resistant material."


white box with lid

For a greener option, this box (which holds 45 LPs) is made from recycled fiberboard.


tan record carrier case

Crosley makes this record carrier case, which holds 30+ records.


LP carrying case,camouflage pattern

And Eurolite makes a case that comes in a variety of colors - plus this camouflage option. Update on March 3, 2009: This looks like the case from Odyssey Innovative Designs.

Shelving


wood LP storage stand

Crosley makes this storage stand. Update on Dec. 10, 2014: I'm no longer finding this stand on the Crosley website.

two steel shelves with LPs

Boltz makes steel furniture, including some shelving designed for LPs.


lp rack with cherry shelves and black poles, on casters

This LP rack from Musicdirect has steel-reinforced 3/4” MDF shelves - and you can add on an additional shelf. Update on April 2, 2011: I'm no longer seeing this on the Musicdirect web site.


3-shelf unit with LPs

The Billy Bags LP storage rack can be made to fit your needs; you can specify the number of shelves and the dimensions.


large record shelf on casters

These DUAL record cabinets come in three sizes; this largest one holds 900 LPs. They are hand crafted from maple plywood and are faced with maple hardwood. Update on April 2, 2011: This product is no longer listed on the company's web site. DUAL does have other shelving options, though.


lots of records in modular shelving system

The modular RACKIT system can accommodate as many LPs as you have. Update on Oct. 5, 2009: The web site for this product has disappeared; see the comments for more information.

wall of storage boxes full of vinyl records

Tony's Woodshop provides another modular option, with these custom made storage boxes designed for LPs.


wood media center - four shelves with cabinet below

Room & Board has a lovely media center that's just the right size for LPs. Here's a picture of how someone has used it for a record collection. Update on April 2, 2011: Room & Board no longer has this specific product.

Update on September 12, 2008: I've found three more options worth a look!

Update on March 3, 2009: I've found a number of other interesting options!

Update on April 3, 2011: I've found six more vinyl storage products you may want to look at!

Update on January 10, 2014: And I've found three more!

Credits: About half of the original suggestions came from Steve Hoffman Music Forums, Metafilter, and Apartment Therapy: Chicago. First photo from Beautification Syndrome / Chris Ibsen.

Related Post:
But Those Old LPs and Cassette Tapes Might Be Worth Something!

55 comments:

Arlene said...

I can totally vouch for those fabulous white cardboard boxes with lids from the 2buds.

I bought 10 of these about four years ago to stash my husband's "beloved" (but never actually played lately) vinyl collection.

I rationalized that the stacks were better containerized than strewn everywhere...and these boxes totally did the trick.

We have since moved TWICE, both long-distance. The boxes have stood up wonderfully to repeated loading, stacking, and unloading.

Best of all, entire months go by when I don't even to think of (dust, trip over, be annoyed by) the "priceless" record collection, now neatly containerized.

Jeri Dansky said...

Arlene, thanks so much for your comment. There's nothing like hearing from someone who's actually used the product - and successfully! The right containers can really make things so much better, as your story illustrates.

Record Nerd said...

Fantastic resource, thx!

Will somebody please tell Crosby to drop that price by half? I would buy them by gross!

Jeri Dansky said...

You're very welcome, Record Nerd!

And yes, it sure would be nice if the Crosley box wasn't $59.95.

gerd said...

Jeri,
for so many years I have not been happy about how I kept my vinyl records...yes I still listen to them once in a while. But it was difficult to flip through them the way there were kept on 2 large shelves. So there comes the January subject on LP/Vinyl in your 4 blog that made me think and consider and re-think. Finally I bought one of the shelves from the Swedish furniture store :). And guess what: it's so much easier now to go thru them, the new shelve has even some more capacity that I can use. The small beginning of optimizing LP/Vinyl storage has lead to more activitities of optimizing in the new and old shelve (including getting rid of some things that I really don't need anymore).
Thanks for your very helpful tips Best regards from Germany ...

Jeri Dansky said...

Gerd, I'm so happy to know this was useful to you. Thank you for writing!

Brian said...

Jeri, this is an excellent resource! I'm sure I'm going to go with something from the blog. I'm very interested in the DUAL rolling shelves, but the link is dead. I found the link in another search and it was dead there as well. Do you think they are out of business?

Thanks,
Music moves...

Jeri Dansky said...

Brian, I'm so glad you found it useful! And thank you for letting me know about the link.

DUAL is still in business, but they no longer show that product on their web site.

John said...

My company sells a LP bin style cabinet for storing and displaying a LP collection.

Check it out here

www.lpstoragesolutions.com

Jeri Dansky said...

Thanks, John - I'm always glad to know about more options.

john said...

All the other storage ideas for LPs are like bookshelves. I wanted to have a storage cabinet that would allow you to browse through your collection like in a record store. When i researced the design i always found myself at your site. After reviewing your finds for storing LPs i decided to have the LPBIN manufactured for everyone to enjoy. Thanks!

Johnny said...

Great article Jeri!
Lots of options here, thanks for the hard work - Johnny

Jeri Dansky said...

You're very welcome, Johnny - thanks for commenting!

Chris Ibsen said...

Hey that picture you have is of me drinking a beer in front of a shelf unit I had made for my vinyl (when I lived in Brooklyn)?!

Jeri Dansky said...

Chris, it sure is! I hope you're happy with how I used it.

It's a wonderful picture; thanks for putting it up on Flickr with a Creative Commons license. (I did credit you and link back to you.)

Teresa said...

I am trying to get more informationon the Crosley Brown Carrying case. Do you know when the website (link that is provided) will be up and running? Or can you give me some information on them? Cost, etc..

Thank you.
Teresa

Jeri Dansky said...

Teresa, the Crosley web site was up - they just changed the URL for the page with the carrying case. I just updated the blog post to show the new URL.

SarahSE said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

Jeri Dansky said...

SarahSE, you are very welcome!

Anonymous said...

Great Stuff !

Am designing/building furniture, and have been looking around for insperation, regarding "The Perfect Vinyl Furniture", and now i have been convinced.

I need to make my own version of the "Displar Rack Versions", but of course, not clumsy and rinky-dink looking ... Or how about a Vinyl filing cabinet with horizontally sliding, individual vinyl trays, for max. protection.

Jeri Dansky said...

Anonymous, I'm so glad you've found some inspiration here!

Anonymous said...

www.lpbin.com

Jeri Dansky said...

Thanks, Anonymous. I'm very glad to know about the lpbin.

Jennie said...

Thanks, Jeri! Do the cardboard boxes hold the records in their sleeves?

Jeri Dansky said...

Jennie, I would guess they do, but it would be best to direct your question to the people selling the boxes.

Anonymous said...

Jeri, trying to track down Rack-it shelving, but the website is gone...any suggestions. thanks - tommy

Jeri Dansky said...

Tommy, the web site, www.rackittm.com, was registered to Per Madsen Design in San Francisco.

I called the the number I see listed on Google for Per Madsen Design, and the recording said it had been changed; the new number is 415-928-4509. The message on that machine says it's Per's answering machine - so you could try calling Per and asking about the shelves.

Chris said...

thanks for all these suggestions!

great post

dave said...

Hi Jeri
I am about to put my collection in storage for a while
maybe 6 months to a year. I live in northern climates.
Do you think I can store them in an outdoor storage unit in( Uhaul cardboard boxes which seem like they are made for vinyl) or will the cold affect them ?
Thanks

ZerOth0001 said...

I've had my last vinyl records stored outdor in freezing cold for now approx 2 weeks, with one day of bitter cold (-14 degrees celcius), until I got worried yesterday, and moved them indoor. They are in a different location now, but when I get them back in a few days, I will try to estimate if any damage have been done to them, and post my observations.

I was pretty sure they would be able to stay in the cold, but I found several remarks on the net about freezing as a bad idea. On the other hand, the ideal temperature should be around 5 degrees celsius, but no humidity and no temperature fluctuations.

I imagine that the freezing could make them warp somehow, if the plastic change structure because of a water content, or maybe humidity trapped in the grooves, could crystalize and damage the groove. Just my imagination, technical comments would be nice.

Super article BTW with an awesome display of good storage containers.

Jeri Dansky said...

ZerOth0001, this is what the book Saving Stuff says: Vinyl records are adversely affected by direct ultraviolet light and temperature fluctuations. Temperature variations eventually induce distortions on the record.

The book also says: Store them in a dark, clean, cool, dry space. ... A good rule of thumb for records is 60 degrees Fahrenheit and 20 to 40 percent humidity.

(60 degrees F = 15.5 C)

ZerOth0001 said...

Hi again every1

Ive checked my records, and besides it's a bit difficult to know how they are supposed to sound, I can say without any doubt, that they didnt suffer major damage from being in the freezing for a short while. I wouldnt recommend outdoor storage for extended periods, as they do collect moisture and were a bit damp as I unpacked them.

Im trying to find a record copy of one of my records to try to compare the sound with one which havent had been a trip to the freeze.

I'll be back

:)

Woodstock said...

Tommy,

Are you still looking for RackIt LP shelves? I have some I might be willing to sell.

Thanks,
--woodstock

pixie65 said...

I was looking for ideas for album storage and came upon your site. I feel I have found a kindred spirit. Declutterers unite! Keep up the good work.

Jeri Dansky said...

Thanks, Pixie65; glad to have you here!

Laura said...

Hey! What great suggestions, this post was just what I was looking for.

A note: the link to the Crosley shelf is broken; however, they still sell this and several other shelf designs. The link to all their shelves is here: http://www.crosleyradio.com/Accessories.aspx

Jeri Dansky said...

Thank you, Laura; I've fixed the link in the post. And I'm so glad to hear this was helpful to you!

lazy ben said...

Hey Woodstock (or anyone else) if you're still out there, I'm after some Rackit LP shelves. Bit of a problem when you committed to a system years ago and need to expand but Per Madsen has retired...

Anonymous said...

Anyone know how many records the IKEA shelving unit holds? Per cube? I have around 450 albums. Any help would be appreciated.

gerd said...

@anonymous

per cube I have around 80 albums which leaves just enough space to flip thru them
Cube width 35 cm, 40 albums need around 15 cm
hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see LP storage solutions for a guy like me who has about 8000 LPs. $800 for a fancy-ass cabinet made of MDF isn't my idea of sturdy cabinetry, especially with a collection that will likely fill an entire wall.

Rob said...

Lazy Ben: I have 7 original Rackit cubes available for sale, along with 2 dollies, a CD drawer, and a few tabletops. Post here with a way to reach you, if you're still interested, and I'll get in touch.

lazy ben said...

Rob,
yes, I'm interested in the cubes along with maybe the dollies and record tops. Email me at ben61235-record@yahoo.co.uk (I'm in the US though).
Thanks,
Ben

Anonymous said...

Dual now has a ~900cap record shelf, though it's stationary.

http://dualsf.com/products_sc01.html

Phragi said...

I have been using the superb Per Madsen RackIt record racks for 15 plus years and my collection grows as friends and family abandon vinyl. I need 4 to 6 more RackIt cubes. I live in middle Tennessee. Please post contact information here if you have some to sell.

merlyn said...

Having gone digital, I have the following Per Madsen RACKIT components available: 2 dollies, 2 table tops, 1 record holder, 4 CD holders (3-drawer). Also, custom cut glass tops for the table tops. I am located in Raleigh, NC.

lazy ben said...

Merlyn,
I'm interested in the record rack if you can ship it to SoCal which shouldn't be difficult. I don't have a use for the rest of the components though. Please email me at ben61235-record@yahoo.co.uk if you're interested.
Thanks,
ben

Anonymous said...

What Happened to that DUAL album shelf Rack with the wheels at the bottom, anyone no where i can get one like that, looks sturdy!

Anonymous said...

I am looking for 1970's record cabinets with front doors. There is one shelf inside. Can you help me find some?/

legrand@frontier.net said...

Here is a vinyl record cabinet for the serious collector: http://ecowood-designs.com/

thanks,
Rick Legrand

lazy ben said...

Some good news for those, like me, who were left stranded when Per Madsen retired. A new company has started making a "tribute" version of the classic rackit LP rack.

http://twocanhifi.com/index.html

I had an email conversation with Jef (the proprietor) when I blundered across the website and ended up ordering 5 of the racks. I think I was one of his first customers.

I am very happy with the racks thus far and they stacked nicely with my existing Per Madsen ones. There are variations in wood tone between all the racks I have and these are on the lighter side but are really no different from some of my older ones.

Contact Jef via the website if you're interested and tell him Ben sent you. I'm hoping he gets enough business that he's still doing this next time I need more.

(I am not affiliated except as a customer, see my prior commments here looking for rackit racks)

Jeri Dansky said...

Lazy Ben, thanks for the update!

Harvey McCormick said...

so glad to hear about TwoCanHiFi as I've quite a few of the Per Madsen rackit cubes (plus the CD, 45, and cassette drawers!!) Friends of mine are using the Swedish company 'bookshelves' with great success as well...

Mike Berry said...

Check out Colorado Record Crates. Stackable and very sturdy and attractive

Jeri Dansky said...

Thanks for the pointer, Mike. For anyone else who's interested: Colorado Record Crates.