A four cube shelf unit with records and a record player.

How to Organize Your Record Collection

Ah, the joy of collecting records! Whether you’ve been spinning LPs for decades or just started your journey into the world of analogue music, one thing’s for sure: a well-organized record collection is the key to musical bliss. In this guide, I’ll share some tips on how to organize your record collection, from storing your precious vinyl to decluttering and rediscovering hidden gems.

There’s nothing quite like listening to music on vinyl, and collecting records is something that’s easy to get into. A record collection can get out of hand quickly (I know from experience!) so here are some tips to help you declutter and organize your record collection.

Step 1: Get All Your Records Together

Before you can start to organize your record collection you need to declutter them, and to do this you need to see what you have. Get all your collection in one place. This will give you a clear picture of what you’re working with and help you sort them more effectively.

Step 2: Clean ‘Em Up

Now that you’ve got your record collection all in one place, it’s time to show them some love. Dust off those sleeves and give each record a gentle wipe to remove any dirt or grime. Clean records not only sound better but also look more appealing on your shelves.

Step 3: Declutter That Collection

Let’s face it; over time, we all accumulate records that we no longer listen to, or end up with duplicates thanks to late night Ebay buying sprees (we’ve all done it). It’s time to Marie Kondo your collection! Go through your records one by one, pulling out any duplicates. With the rest, ask yourself: “Does this bring me joy?” If the answer is a resounding “yes,” keep it. If not, consider passing it on to someone who will appreciate it more. You can also sell or trade unwanted records to fellow collectors.

A four cube shelf unit with records and a record player. There is a black cat on one of the shelves, looking at the camera
This is Wren – she loves spaces like this!

Step 4: Organize by Genre

Now that you’ve narrowed down your collection, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of organization. Sorting your records by genre is a fantastic way to keep your collection manageable and make it easier to find the perfect tunes for any occasion. Create categories like rock, jazz, blues, electronic, hip-hop, classical, and so on.

Step 5: Alphabetical Awesomeness

Within each genre category, take the alphabetical route for sorting. This method ensures that you can quickly locate a particular album or artist when the mood strikes. Start by organizing records within a genre by the artist’s name, and then alphabetize by album title. You can skip the genre organization step if you prefer to have all your records alphabetically – I have all mine alphabetically so I can find them easily.

Step 6: Protect Your Precious Vinyl

Now that your records are neatly organized, it’s essential to protect them from dust, moisture, and wear and tear. Here are 4 tips for keeping your vinyl in top-notch condition:

Sleeves: Invest in high-quality polythene or polypropylene inner sleeves to prevent scratches on your vinyl. Outer plastic sleeves will also protect the album covers from dust and damage.

Storage: Store your records vertically, like books, to prevent warping. Invest in sturdy shelving units or crates to keep your vinyl collection safe and accessible. The ever popular Kallax from Ikea has shelf spaces which are exactly the right size for records.

Temperature and Humidity: Maintain a stable environment with moderate temperature and humidity levels. Extremes in temperature or humidity can cause your vinyl to warp or become damaged.

Cleaning: Regularly clean your records using a carbon fiber brush or an anti-static brush to remove dust and static.

Step 7: Create a Catalog

In the digital age, it’s helpful to have a digital catalog of your vinyl collection. You can use spreadsheet software like Excel or dedicated cataloging apps like Discogs or Collectorz to create a detailed inventory of your records. Include information like artist, album title, label, and year of release. This catalog will come in handy when you’re on the hunt for a specific record or sharing your collection with fellow vinyl enthusiasts.

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Step 8: Display with Pride

Your vinyl collection isn’t just a stash of music; it’s a piece of art in itself. Make your collection a focal point in your home by displaying it creatively. Here are some fun ideas:

  • Wall Art: Arrange your favorite album covers in a visually pleasing way on your wall. It’s like having your own album cover art gallery. Simply invest in some vinyl frames and add them to your walls.
  • Floating Shelves: Install floating shelves that showcase your records. Putting 6 or 9 of these on a wall will mean you can switch up your display whenever you like.
  • Record Crates: Vintage record crates can add a charming touch to your space while providing easy access to your favorite albums.
  • Custom Vinyl Storage: Get creative and design custom storage solutions that not only organize your records but also add a unique flair to your home decor. Using Ikea Kallax units is a great way to create your own storage systems.

Step 9: Explore and Rediscover

With your vinyl collection organized and beautifully displayed, take some time to explore and rediscover your musical treasures. Put on your favorite record, sit back, and enjoy your newly organized record collection.

Step 10: Keep Your Records Organized

Maintaining your organized record collection is an ongoing journey. Regularly update your catalog as you add new vinyl to your collection. Take good care of your records by cleaning them before and after each play, and always handle them with care. Keep an eye out for rare gems and valuable records that could enhance your collection even further.

In conclusion, organizing your record collection isn’t just about tidying up; it’s about curating a treasure trove of music that brings you joy and nostalgia. By following these steps and infusing your own personality into the process, you’ll have a well organized vinyl collection in no time, so you can spend less time searching for music to listen to and more time listening. Happy organizing!

You might also like How to Declutter Your Books

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