How To Organize Vinyl Records: 10 Ideas

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Are you sick and tired of your records cluttering up your living space? Are you not necessarily tired but have a roommate or partner that is had it with your disorganization? Are you looking for help from above on organizing vinyl records? Does it sometimes feel fated that you should fall before the eyes of god?

Then welcome, for today we will be looking at 10 ways that you can turn your record collection that is otherwise in violent disarray into an organizational triumph worth tooting a tune about upon the highest rooftop.

Organized document cabinet

1. Last Name and Band Name

There are plenty of ways to go about it, but many would suggest that the premier method of storing records and organizing vinyl records is to alphabetize them all by the last name of the artist or by the band name itself.

2. By Last Played

This could be an interesting way to whittle out the records in your vinyl collection that you do not listen to as much so that you might sell them on and buy new records that you might listen to far more, bolstering your vinyl record collection anew.

3. By How Much the Record is Worth

Any record collector that has their eye on the inherent record values of their music collection will no doubt be organizing records from their gargantuan vinyl record storage based on the amount of money it cost them / how much it might be worth when sold on.

4. By Color

Though this seems like a way to organize records that is far more catered towards the modern nostalgiac generation of collectors, this would be amazing to see in action and would certainly sell records (or at least the idea of records) to a new audience.

5. Chronologically

You certainly will not see a method like this adorning any record store anytime soon – such an organizational quandary would wreak havoc in such an atmosphere – this kind of vinyl organization should not be sniffed at, suiting well the archivist buried in us all.

6. Autobiographically

Setting up your record shelf based on when you purchased the respective volumes housed within certainly sounds pleasant enough, and useful – I know that I struggle to remember when I bought things in relation to the timeline of life, even releases by the same artist!

7. By Album Titles

Eschewing the artist name entirely, this method seeks to place precedent on the album title itself, separating whole legions of albums from their relatives, scattering their seeds in a whole sea of records upright and uptight with stiff upper lips to prove it.

8. By First Name and Band Name

This method can actually make the most logical sense, especially for artists who have become far better known for their forename than their surname – think Kanye West, or Kendrick Lamar – for whom alphabetizing them by their last name would make less sense.

9. Genre

This might seem like a good idea on paper, but the idea of grouping a whole host of different music together based on a loose and largely inadequate umbrella seems like a fallacy to me. Now more than ever, genres are simply not a justifiable way to group things together when so much music crosses genre boundaries.

10. Don’t

You can always eschew the idea entirely and not organize your vinyl records. Pack down the shelving units your parents threw your way at christmas, smelt your record player down into a games console, and modify your life’s liner notes.

Final Tones

So, there you have it!

Hopefully, your curiosity regarding organizing vinyl records has been satiated and you are feeling better equipped to get your own affairs in order.

It is our hope that at least one of the methods above has caught your eye and given you a vague idea of how you might tackle your explosion of a record collection (though it better not be the method that says not to organize it at all)!

FAQs Organizing Vinyl Records

How do I organize my vinyl records?

There are several methods you can entertain when attempting to organize your records: alphabetizing by last name & band name, by last played, by how much the record is worth, by color, by chronology, by when you purchased them, alphabetizing by album title, alphabetizing by first name & band name; or, you could simply not organize your records whatsoever (at the risk of one day appearing on a hoarder related television program).

How do I organize my vinyl records alphabetically?

There are a number of ways you can go about this and they are of your choosing: by last name & band name, by first name & band name, and by the title of the album itself. This is largely down to personal preference and does not necessarily have to be stuck with for too long – I know some audiophiles who reorganize their whole collection at least once or twice a year, switching from organizing by the record label to organizing by color, etc. Knowing the alphabet, though, will be a sure fire way to get your organizing on track from the very beginning.

Should vinyl records be stored flat or upright?

Either seems like it could be fine enough, but this is where you can easily be mistaken. It is actually far more advisable to store records upright, and here is why: no matter how much we might try to avoid it, small particles of dust and dirt can get trapped in the inner sleeves and jackets of a record and, while these microscopic pieces of dirt will not pose too much of a threat on their own, when they are introduced to the weight of a whole bunch of other records on top exerting pressure, it can scratch the record, sometimes irreparably.

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By Robert Halvari

My name is Robert Halvari - audio engineer and a total audiophile. I love vinyl because it has that natural character which brings music to life. I've been using and testing vinyl record players for around 15 years and I'm sharing my love and knowledge of vinyl by publishing all I know at Notes On Vinyl

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