It was a busy weekend for me on the record front. I bought a new shelving unit to house my expanding record inventory (I’m still resisting calling it a “collection”…), plus I spent some time this afternoon cleaning some of the used stuff I picked up at the Easy Street Records closing sale. This got me thinking about storage and accessories. Maybe you’re looking for some new options for your records. Maybe not. But either way, here’s a quick look at what I use.
Shelving: On Saturday I bought a 2 X 4 (eight shelves) Expedit shelving unit from Ikea, and it’s great. Originally I bought a five shelf 1 X 5 unit, and I liked it a lot. But I was getting close to outgrowing it, so in an effort to maintain marital harmony (i.e. not buy new big shelves and put them in the living room), I spent a few hours (probably closer to six) rearranging some things in a spare bedroom so I could fit the new Expedit shelves, which I have on its side (so four wide by two high). Easy to put together, sturdy, and reasonably priced (around $70), you can’t go wrong with these.
Cleaning: I love the Spin Clean. There, I said it. I read tons of reviews before buying it, and there are a few people who seem to have had some legitimately bad experiences with theirs, but mine works like a charm. Look, this is not the best record cleaning system out there. But I’m not looking to drop a grand on a cleaner to use on my $2 to $20 records. The Spin Clean is fast and does a decent job. I think it was around $80 for the MKII version, and I’ve probably run a hundred records through mine with no issues. The worst thing I can say is that with only two cloths attached, you really can’t effectively do more than 10-12 discs in one setting unless you have other towels to use.
Sleeves: I generally buy my stuff online from Sleeve City. I go with the Diskeeper Ultimate Audiophile inner sleeves (about $0.50 each), and I love them. They’re more sturdy than the light plastic inner sleeves and help with the static too. For outers I go with the Ultimate Outer 5.0 (about $0.40 each), and find them to be sturdy and able to accommodate double and even triple albums without any trouble. Sometimes it seems odd that I’m spending about $1 for inner and outer sleeves for a $3-4 record, but I like knowing that what I have will stay in decent shape (or at least won’t get any worse than it already is).
I’ve also save the some of the nicer outer sleeves from used stuff I buy, and try to bring maybe 10 of them along with a plastic record store bag whenever I travel – that way I have at least some really basic supplies with me in the event I get to do some shopping. And let me tell you, they’ve come in handy more than once.
I swear, sometimes I find myself spending more on supplies than on records themselves… but the satisfaction I get from keeping my stuff organized and protected makes it worth it.