Top Tips and Tricks on How to Store Trading Cards

Hand drawing trading cards from a deck

Collecting is one of the biggest hobbies in the United States, and few collectibles are as popular as trading cards. Whether baseball, football, soccer, Wacky Packages, Garbage Pail Kids, or Pokémon, trading cards are a hugely popular collectible and can be a significant and valuable investment.

Due to their monetary and sentimental value, storing trading cards correctly is essential. The last thing you want is for moisture and the mold and mildew it creates to damage or even ruin your trading card collection. For that reason, the storage experts at iStorage put together these tips on how to store trading cards.

Tips on How to Store Trading Cards

1. Use Trading Card Sleeves to Individually Protect Each Card

If you plan to store your trading cards but want to take them out and admire them occasionally or show them to friends and family, trading card sleeves are a great choice. These sleeves help protect individual trading cards and are made from clear plastic, so you can easily see both sides of each card.

Not only do sleeves allow you to see your trading cards clearly, but they also try to prevent scratches and physical damage. Beyond individual sleeves, consider using sturdy top loaders for additional protection for your trading cards. These rigid protectors offer an additional barrier against bending and warping. Top loaders are particularly useful for safeguarding your most valuable or cherished cards. They’re designed to fit snugly over sleeved cards, providing double protection without compromising the ability to view and appreciate your collection.

2. Store Many Trading Cards Together with Trading Card Binders and Pages

Three ring binder on a white background

If you’ve ever used a three-ring binder for school or work, you know they can help protect your projects, paperwork, and schoolwork. The good news is they can do the same for your collection. Several manufacturers offer three-ring binders and particular trading card pages to put in them and store your trading cards safely. These pages typically hold 9 cards each.

Remember that trading card binders come in different widths, from 1/2 an inch to 2 and even 3 inches wide. The wider the binder, the more trading cards you can place in each one, allowing you to store hundreds of trading cards together safely. However, remember that a large binder filled with cards can get pretty heavy.

3. Store Your Trading Cards in a Dark, Dry Place

The two biggest enemies of your trading cards are the sun and moisture. The sun’s UV rays can significantly fade the colors of your trading cards and, over time, cause the white areas to become a ruddy yellow color. The sun can also cause your trading guards to become brittle, cause their ink to degrade, and cause chemical reactions that could alter the appearance or integrity of an individual card or cards.

Moisture can be even more detrimental to trading cards, causing warping, mold, mildew, and discoloration. Moisture can also cause your trading cards to stick together and cause the paper to degrade and crumble. All of these factors tend to do one thing: decrease the value of your precious trading cards.

4. Store Your Trading Cards in a Climate Controlled Storage Unit

Depending on the size of your trading card collection, you could rent a climate controlled storage unit to store them. Climate controlled storage units are specialized units that control the temperature throughout the year, preventing extreme temperature changes. Yes, they cost slightly more than a regular storage unit, but it’s worth it for trading card collections. It’s also important to note that not all self storage facilities offer this amenity, so be sure to check!

5. Use Clear Plastic Bins to Store Your Trading Cards

Stacked plastic bins

Many trading card collectors store their trading cards in cardboard boxes, which sometimes works OK. The problem is, if there’s ever any water leakage, flooding, or other type of water inundation, cardboard boxes provide very little protection for your cards. That’s why purchasing clear plastic bins is a good choice if you need to store an extensive collection of trading cards.

Clear plastic bins offer two big advantages over cardboard boxes: water is less likely to damage or affect them and they’re clear, so you can easily see which cards you’ve got stored inside them. You can also stack plastic storage bins quite easily, allowing you to use all of the vertical space in your chosen storage area.

6. Never Store Trading Cards in the Basement or Attic

Old dust attic

We mentioned earlier that heat and moisture are the enemies of trading cards. For most people, storing your trading cards in the basement or attic is not a good idea. Most basements are far too damp for trading cards, allowing moisture and mildew to damage your cards.

The attic is just the opposite: too hot. Extreme heat can warp your trading cards, fade the colors, melt the adhesives (if any), and cause your cards to become brittle. In short, avoid using your attic or basement as much as possible when looking for trading card storage.

7. Label Your Storage Containers Well

Label your trading cards well, no matter what type of containers you use to store them. That will allow you to quickly find a particular card or card series, which could be vital if you’re going to a trading card convention, wish to sell some of your cards, or want to take them out and enjoy them. Excellent labeling can help save you hours when searching through your trading cards.

Why is the Proper Storage for Trading Cards So Important?

Storage isn’t too much of a concern for children with a few trading cards. Most kids are content to enjoy, trade, and have fun with their trading cards and aren’t worried about keeping them pristine.

However, the proper storage for trading cards is vital for adult collectors. Proper storage can prevent physical damage to your cards and ensure they don’t get bent, torn, scratched, or even worse damage. The appropriate storage also protects trading cards against the environment, including light, humidity, temperature, fluctuations, etc. In short, if you care about your trading cards and want to keep them in perfect condition, the tips and hacks provided today will help you immensely.

Store Your Trading cards with iStorage

If you wish to store your trading cards but don’t have the room in your home to do so, renting a storage unit from iStorage is an excellent choice. Call or visit online to reserve a storage unit from iStorage, no credit card needed. That way, when you arrive with your collection (and anything else you need to store), your storage unit will be ready and waiting. Until then, we hope the tips and hacks on storing trading cards we provided today have given you some ideas on how to store your collection!