Whether you need a safe place to store your old vinyl, or are simply trying to keep your CDs or DVDs safe while freeing up room in your home, a storage unit may be your best solution. The key is making sure your media doesn't become damaged while it is in storage. The following tips can help ensure all goes well until you can listen to your music or watch your favorite movies again.
Tip #1: Store them clean
Check every disc before storage to make sure there is no dirt on them. Even a small bit of dust can lead to a major scratch. You can use similar methods for both vinyl records and CDs and DVDs. Begin by blowing off any dust with canned air or with a soft brush. Wet the surface with a liquid disc cleaner. Then, wipe across the surface with a soft absorbent cloth. Don't wipe in a circle, since this can lead to major scratches. Once dry, make sure there is no dirt in the sleeves before placing the record or disc back inside.
Tip #2: Prepare for packing
It's all in the packing when it comes to safe storage. Discs are typically safe if they are stored in their original plastic cases. Otherwise, you will need to get disc folders for storage. Vinyl should be in the original sleeves. Place a sheet of acid-free paper between each sleeve. This will prevent the ink from rubbing off onto each other so that the sleeves don't become worn or aged.
Tip #3: Pack carefully
It's best to store vinyl in square-cornered boxes. Place the sleeves upright so they are standing vertically with the openings to one side. This way you don't have to worry about records falling out of a sleeve if you pick them up, or the openings facing upward for dust to fall into when you open the box. CDs and DVDs should be stored flat in their cases. If they are in soft or hard sided folder cases, you can store them either flat or upright.
Tip #4: Get the right unit
A climate controlled storage unit is vital. Both discs and vinyl can warp if exposed to heat, or crack if exposed to extreme cold. Humidity can also damage the sleeves. Climate-controlled units are also usually indoors, which means they are less likely to suffer flooding. To be safe, though, store the boxes off the ground on a shelf or tabletop.
Contact a local facility with climate controlled storage units for more help.