Trading cards have been around since 1886 when they were in packs of cigarettes. Today there are trading cards for practically every sport and many non-sports also. There are superhero trading cards, movie-based trading cards, cards based on Japanese Anime, and numerous more. One of the most beloved trading card lines, Wacky Packages, were stickers and has a huge, devoted fan base. Who could forget the 1990s trading card phenomenon, Pokemon, which is still going strong today?
With all these trading cards and millions of collectors, one question reigns supreme; how best to store trading cards? Although they aren’t tissue-paper fragile, trading cards aren’t exactly the most durable collectible. Proper storage methods are essential to keep them pristine and help increase their value. Below, we’ll look at the safest options for storing your trading cards in self-storage. It’s real-world info to ensure your trading card collection stays in mint condition while in storage.
Cheap and Basic Trading Card Storage is Sometimes Best
Simple and cheap is usually best if you have a modest collection of trading cards and need a solution. There are plenty of options, all of which are a tap of your phone or computer screen away. We have a few of the best listed below. You can use them all to store your trading cards successfully at home.
- Card House Storage Box
- BCW 5000 Count Trading Card Storage Box (Full Lid)
- 2200+ Trading Card Storage Case
- CASEMATIX Graded Card Case (More expensive but excellent, customizable protection!)
Remember that you need to put your cards into another, larger storage container for self-storage. The storage containers above are for storing your trading cards at home but would be inadequate (and unorganized) in a storage unit.
Binders are a Fantastic Way to Store Trading Cards
Millions of collectors store their trading cards in binders. If you’re new to collecting, binders might be your best choice. They’re easy to use, affordable, and allow you to see and enjoy your trading cards. You open them up like a book and can see 18 cards at a time!
Choosing the correct binder is crucial. You’ll want one with sleeves that fit your cards perfectly, so they don’t move when transported. A binder with acid-free plastic sleeves is a huge plus, as the acid can damage your cards. To avoid any damage, most collectors recommend a D-ring fixed-page binder. Many say that O-ring binders tend to bend trading cards.
Expert trading card collectors also recommend binders with side-loading pockets. The reason is simple; if you accidentally hold your binder upside-down, your trading cards won’t fall out. Also, side-loading binder sleeves open to the binder’s inside, not the outside. This small factor provides excellent protection against dust and debris. One last factor to consider is to purchase a binder with a zipper or strap. That way, when you grab it, it won’t fly open and expose your cards to any damage risk.
Again, remember that if you put them in self-storage, you should place your binders in strong, large containers. Multiple binders filled with trading cards will be hard to organize and store in a storage unit.
The Big Difference between Home Storage and Self-Storage for Trading Cards
When storing trading cards, there’s a big difference between storing that at home or in self-storage. That’s because, in a typical home, the risks faced by your trading cards are relatively low. A closet, for example, is usually dry, dark, and cool. Your cards (usually) won’t face moisture, insects, mice, or heat spikes there. In a self-storage unit, however, your precious collection of trading cards might face all of those risks. (It depends significantly on the self-storage company you choose for storage.)
Proper preparation is crucial when storing your trading cards in a storage unit. A cardboard box might work in your closet, but your trading cards need more durable protection in a storage unit. Heavy-duty plastic bins with durable lids are a much better choice. Instead of stacking bins or boxes, you should use a shelf rack in self-storage. That way, the weight won’t damage cards on the bottom of a stack.
The point is that storing your trading cards in a storage unit demands different storage preparation and tools. Below are a few quick tips and ideas for keeping your cards in a storage unit. They are essential if you plan to store them in a storage unit long-term.
- Use durable plastic shelving units rather than stacking boxes or bins. You can find cheap plastic shelves at any big-box retailer.
- Use plastic bins rather than boxes. They aren’t affected by moisture, last longer, and stack more easily. Also, insects and rodents have a tough time getting inside.
- Clear plastic storage bins make it easier to see which trading cards are inside.
- If you plan to access, organize and regularly enter your storage unit, rent one slightly bigger than you need. That way, you’ll have plenty of space to move around.
- Get a small folding table and a folding chair. If you want to organize, adjust or just admire your trading cards, you’ll have a place to sit.
Tip: Rent an Interior Storage Unit for your Trading Card Collection
Exterior, drive-up storage units are great, don’t get us wrong. However, they are the most exposed to the elements, moisture, vermin, and dust. An interior storage unit is best to protect your trading card collection. It will better protect your trading cards from hot and cold spikes that could damage them.
Tip: Rent a Climate-Controlled Storage Unit for Valuable Trading Card Collections
If you have a valuable collection of trading cards, you should seriously consider renting climate-controlled storage. A climate-controlled storage unit stays within 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, protecting everything inside from hot and cold spikes. A climate-controlled storage unit is your best choice if you plan to store your trading cards long-term.
These Trading Card Storage Ideas brought to you by Storage Solutions
We hope today’s trading card storage ideas have been helpful and valuable. Storing trading cards in a storage unit long-term takes good preparation and the correct storage containers. It also takes a superior storage company with clean, safe, and secure storage units. We’re proud that Storage Solutions fits all of these criteria very well.
If you have questions about storing your trading cards or other collectibles, click this link. It will take you to the Storage Solutions home page with all our self-storage locations. You can call the nearest facility or, even better, visit in person. The on-site manager is a wealth of self-storage information. They can guide you to the best storage unit for your trading card collection. With the proper prep, your trading cards will stay in mint condition for the life of your collection!