Suppose you’ve recently started building your vinyl record collection and are still figuring out the storage situation. In that case, you might find yourself reaching out to any container around the house—we’ve all been there!
At that point, it’s only rational to wonder: do vinyl records fit in milk crates?
While many milk crates will work for this purpose, not all of them do. Plus, there might be legal and logistical factors to consider.
Which crates do you need, how can you do it safely, and what other alternatives can you choose? Let’s find out!
So, it’s possible to fit vinyl records in a milk crate, but which ones should you go for?
At 12 x 12 inches for both depth and height, old milk crates are the perfect size for storing vinyl records. That’s because most vinyl covers are also 12 x 12 inches.
Crates are also wide enough to carry a moderately-sized collection. For example, an old milk crate can hold about 40 or 50 records as a ball-park figure.
On the other hand, the newer milk crates used nowadays might be too small for full-sized vinyl records.
However, there are crates available on the market crafted from a variety of materials that are great for storing your record collection. There are other alternatives, but we’ll get to that in a minute!
Now that we’ve established that vinyl records do indeed fit in old milk crates, this begs the question: is this even a convenient storage method for your record collection?
Although it’s not the most aesthetically pleasant container, it can save a lot of space. Additionally, the handles on a milk crate make your life much easier when you want to move your collection from one place to another.
You should keep in mind that it’s better to store your vinyl records in a slightly oversized crate. This will give you slightly more room to flip through your collection and take one out in a rush without emptying the whole thing out.
Vinyl records are fragile and are susceptible to bending and warping if not stored correctly. That’s why it’s vital to know if milk crates (or any storage unit, for that matter) create the proper storage conditions for your record collection to keep it safe and sound.
The good news is that storing vinyl records in a milk crate is completely safe, as long as you know how to do it the right way.
For one, you should always have your records stacked vertically in the crate and have them fully upright. Never stack them on top of each other, whether in a milk crate or anywhere else.
You should also avoid stacking your records at an angle. If you fall into these mistakes, your record collection will be at risk of warping.
Additionally, you should always keep your vinyl record-filled crate at a temperature of no more than 70℉. Plus, it’s a good idea to check that the room you place the crate in is dry and away from direct sunlight.
In some states, there are laws against using milk crates for any other purpose than what they were intended for.
For instance, regulations in Pennsylvania declare that the improper use of milk crates is punishable by either a monetary fine or imprisonment.
This type of regulation might sound a little weird, but it’s true. So, it’s always better to check if doing so is legal in your state before you fill up a crate with vinyl.
Since only old milk crates are likely to fit vinyl records, they’re sometimes hard to come by.
Your best bet at finding suitable milk crates is to check at your local grocery store or hardware store. You may also find them at larger stores such as Walmart or Target.
While milk crates are a great way to store a small or moderately sized collection of vinyl records, they could become an impractical solution when your collection grows.
Here are some alternative record storage ideas to keep in mind:
A great method for storing a large vinyl record collection is in bins. You can buy one from your local store, or if you’re a DIY-lover, you can build one at home.
Bins have a couple of advantages that give them an edge over milk crates as a vinyl record storage method.
The obvious one is that they can hold a much larger number of records. The other perk of using bins for record storage is that you’ll flip through your collection and see the front of your records’ covers instead of the tiny writing on their spines if you use shelves.
Just make sure that you don’t cover up the bin with cardboard or a lid. The interior of sealed containers can get very hot due to insufficient air circulation. In turn, the high temperature can lead to your records warping.
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Another commonly used storage method for vinyl records is shelves.
This method is highly convenient for huge record collections. It allows you to stack hundreds of records side-to-side without guzzling up the space needed for the number of milk crates required to store the same number of records.
However, one factor you need to take into consideration is that the weight of vinyl records can add up significantly. Therefore, you’ll want to invest in or build a shelving unit that can withstand the load without collapsing under your records’ weight and damaging them.
Ideally, lower shelves might be a better option because they’re easier to reach without standing on the tips of your toes. That said, you can opt for floor-to-ceiling shelves if your collection is massive.