Vinyl Record Organization: How to Organize Your Record Collection

Old vinyl record in a faded case

There’s no single perfect vinyl record organization method, just like there’s no perfect taste in music (except your own). There are only organization methods that work for you and methods that don’t. 

That’s why we’re going to present you with a variety of ways you can learn how to organize records so that you can quickly find them and play them. Efficiency is key, so you need to find the right method for YOU and YOU only. The best method of record-keeping is the one that lets you know where everything is in an instant!

Here are your best options to organize!

By Size

Will it annoy you if records of different sizes are placed together? Do you have many vintage records in smaller sizes, like 7-inch singles, that don’t look right next to the big ones? Do you need to keep certain sizes separate because they’re not compatible with certain players? In this case, separate your records by size before you organize them in any other way (e.g., alphabetically.) This vinyl record organization method will help you get started.

By Genre

Some people choose their music solely by their mood. If you’re the kind of person who assembles Spotify playlists by the feeling they give you above anything else, divide your records into genres, then alphabetically. This is also usually the way most record stores sort their collections.

If you only collect a couple of genres like country and hip hop, however, this is probably not the right method for you.

By Release Date

This might not be the most popular vinyl record organization method, but it’s definitely one of the most satisfying if you have a huge, extensive collection and you’re more into the history of record collecting above all else. If you like to observe the evolution of both music and records over time, this is one of the best methods of record-keeping for you. If you’re record collecting for archival purposes, go for it.

By Rarity or Cost

Are you ultra proud of the obscurity, rareness, or sheer expense behind certain treasures in your collection? Then keep these special records separate to show off. You can use wall shelves, record display cases, wall mounts, record stands, or other fancy ways to keep special records in a place of honor.

Alphabetically By Album Title

Good old, reliable alphabetization: a vinyl record organization method you can’t beat in many respects. 

It’s also worth sorting out if you’re counting records that begin with “the” as part of the T section or not. Many collectors insist that you should NOT include the “the.” If that’ll throw you off, maybe don’t sort alphabetically.

Alphabetically By Artist 

This is definitely the most common way people learn how to organize their records. If you sort alphabetically by album, you might run into the problem of wanting to listen to a particular artist but forgetting the album title, causing you to have to sift through your albums or search online for the title. In other words, wasting time. Many people prefer to alphabetize by artist — usually by the band name or by last name, first name. 

In this case, you can sort alphabetically by artist. It might also be satisfying to see your vinyl records organized with an entire artist’s collection in one place! 

With an App or Other Digital Solution

There are so many wonderful digital methods for record collecting, including many with apps you can keep at your fingertips! We suggest that whatever way you decide how to organize your records, you have a digital method to keep you sorted as well. 

We highly recommend using the popular record-collecting database Discogs, which has an utterly massive wealth of information. Other databases are out there, but none with the prestige or amount of information as Discogs.

Here are some of the benefits of digital organization:

  • You can assemble all your record information in one neat place
  • You can share your collection with friends
  • You can see how rare your records are by comparing them to a database
  • You can see what albums you’re missing
  • If you have a huge collection, you can scroll through pages of your records without having to physically flip through each one.

By Listening to Your Heart

Organizational preferences are just as subjective as music taste! If your preferred vinyl record organization method is something wild like album color, the order in which you bought them, or their personal meaning to you, go for it! Don’t forget that you can store your organized collections in record cubes to ensure protection.

Find More Record Collecting Tips at Big Fudge

We’re a company that sells record products made by collectors, for collectors. We’re always talking about record ponderings and our best advice on this blog, so check it out. And don’t forget about our purpose-made vinyl cleaning and storage solutions to keep your collection neat and pristine. Have fun collecting!