No matter how many fond memories that their unique attributes and abilities access, no matter how much you love them, it is impossible to keep trading cards in mint condition if they’re not properly stored. There are some types of wear and tear that are unavoidable, like sweat from intense battles or slight bends from whipping them out and slapping them down. This article will discuss some ways you can prevent any further damage to your trading cards by organizing them in a way that will maintain their vibrancy and freshness.
Slipping a sleeve onto each of your cards is the first and most important step in keeping your cards in the same condition as you bought them. Whenever you handle your cards, you’ll inevitably transfer oil, moisture, and anything else that’s on your hands to the card if you don’t adorn each one with what’s called a “penny sleeve.” These play a crucial role in the life span of your cards.
If you’re really serious about maintaining their condition, then go ahead and double up on the sleeve and get a thicker one from yourplaymat.com/products/custom-card-sleeves to go over the penny sleeve. Even if you have a binder with built in sleeves, those won’t protect your cards completely, and are obviously useless for if you want to play with them. If you don’t have the funds to double sleeve every card, then consider doubling up on only the high-value ones.
Before neatly stacking or sliding your cards into a box or binder, you’ll need to decide on the most suitable organizing method for them. Even if you have a humble number of cards, you’ll want to put them in a logical order so you can easily pull out what’s needed, especially if there’s a chance your collection will continue to grow.
Ordering them by value might suit you, or you might find that simply putting them in numerical or alphabetical order is best. Keep in mind that you might add new cards, so if they’re in a binder, you’ll have to shift them to make room for a new one if they’re in alphabetical order.
Whatever method you choose, it’s always a good idea to keep a digital record of the cards you have. This will make locating the ones you need much easier for if your collection grows by the thousands. Try to make the digital record mirror the physical order of the cards as much as possible. There are even mobile apps you can use for digitizing your collection. You can record their condition, card information, and even buy and sell them through an app.
Depending on how often you use your cards, how many you have, and how much money you’re willing to spend will play a part in determining how you store them. Binders are great for easy accessibility, however, they can be quite expensive for the amount of cards they house (around $30 for less than 400 cards).
Boxes have the highest card capacity and will only cost you a few dollars, but you’ll make up for it in double sleeves. Since boxes offer little protection against the environment, sleeves are much more important and a single penny sleeve won’t be enough to keep them in mint condition.
Temperature and Placement
Environment can play a massive role in the wear and tear of a card, and you certainly don’t want your cards getting worn out for no reason. It’s ideal for them to be kept in an actual room in your house rather than an attic or garage where they could be susceptible to moisture or high temperatures. Dry weather can detract from the cards’ moisture, and humid weather can dampen them, both of which will change their appearance. Avoid this by keeping them in a closet where there is temperature control.
Also be aware of the possibility of a freak accident. A busted pipe or flood could ruin your collection in minutes. A broken window could allow rain to get to your cards. To avoid these accidents that would otherwise destroy your collection, store your cards up high, on a shelf, preferably in a closed off area like a closet or cabinet.
By adhering to these steps in preserving the lifespan of your cards, you’ll make them more enjoyable to play with and easier to sell if you decide to cash in on them one day. All of these tips should allow you to keep track of your cards, maintain their crisp edges, and keep their vibrant colors intact.