There’s nothing quite like the process of pulling your vinyl out of its sleeve, placing it on a turntable and lifting that needle. The whir of the rotating record is followed by the sweet sounds of your favorite artists. Truly, playing records is a whole different experience than listening to MP3s– it’s no wonder many contemporary artists release their albums on vinyl!

If you have a collection of records, you want to keep them in good condition so you’ll be able to enjoy them for a lifetime. For this reason, vinyl record storage is crucial. Set up your apartment to proudly display your cool collection (you put a lot of work into, after all!) and keep your precious cargo safe.

Here are some decorating and organization and storage tips you and your records will love:

Always Store Them Upright

You should arrange your album covers and record cases upright, like books. Stacking them is probably one of the worst ways you can store your vinyl because the position can cause warping and scratches– your vintage Beatles album can’t withstand that kind of manhandling!

This means you’ll need some kind of method for keeping your records upright. Shelves are your best bet, though drawers and crates can work as well. You can even use a metal wire rack to hold your vinyl.

Keep Them in Their Sleeves

The album cover is an important tool as it protects your records from the elements. Exposed records collect dust and debris, which can get inside its grooves and mess with its quality. Even the smallest of dust mites can ruin your favorite tune.

Sleeves are built to keep dust away from your records, so always keep your albums inside. Always! Seriously, no being lazy here.

If the original sleeve or album cover is ripped, you can purchase new ones for a cheap price, just visit your local record store. You can also purchase sleeves online. Consider keeping backups in your storage area in case you need a replacement quickly.

Vintage Storage Options

Vinyl records are an old medium, but they have that nostalgic, mod charm. If your personal taste tends to lie in the vintage realm, then display your record collection in a way that’s totally you– by using retro storage units, that is.

Old Record Cabinet: As with all technology, early versions were huge. In fact, turntables were often housed in a cabinet with speakers and storage space. You can still purchase these furniture pieces, and they make great record shelves. Modern versions of these old items are sold at places like Urban Outfitters, though you may find a truly vintage version at a thrift store or consignment shop.

Wire Racks: Metal racks are also old school. They separate each record with wire, keeping the album upright. Wire racks are easy to find online, very affordable and totally vintage. You can even spray paint them to ensure they match your apartment color scheme.

Contemporary Display Ideas

Just because you own records doesn’t mean you have a vintage design style. If you consider your decor tastes more contemporary, pick shelving options that are simple, sleek and functional.

Cubic Shelves: Good old IKEA— you really know what to make, don’t you! In fact, the company sells the EXPEDIT Shelving Unit, which is a series of squares perfectly sized to fit records upright. You can purchase whatever size you need for your collection, or add more shelves as needed. EXPEDIT shelves are versatile, as you can set them up vertically or horizontally, which is good if you need to change up your space.

Standard Shelving: Many shelves are tall enough for you to fit records into, but not all. Bring an album cover (that you don’t need) with you when you look for furniture so you can see if it fits. You can find metal and wood shelving that fits your tastes.

Creative Storage Solutions

Shelves and racks aren’t your only options for storing records– just get creative!

Milk Crates: My roommate’s whole decor philosophy revolves around ease. He uses milk crates stacked together as shelves and as moving boxes. In fact, he can break down all his stuff to move in about two hours. That being said, he keeps his record collection in milk crates. It’s an effective and easy option that appeals to a sort of form follows function design style.

Frames: You can find frames online meant to hold records. While displaying your vinyl as wall art won’t effectively store all your records, it makes for great decor. Pick a few whose album art you really love and display them. The frames are designed so they can open up even while mounted on the wall. That way, you can still listen to displayed records.

Store Shelves: The raked shelves they use to display records at shops aren’t reserved for retail —make one or purchase one for your apartment!

Hopefully, these vinyl record storage ideas will inspire you!