If you’re a serious gamer, your collection can quickly outgrow your living space. Or maybe you need to store your collection while your home is remodelled or you undergo a move. No matter the circumstances, you’ll want to store your video games safely and securely so you can protect your investment and enjoy your favorites for years to come. Read on for some tips on storing your video games in a storage unit.
Get a climate-controlled unit. By far the best thing you can do for your video game collection is to get a climate-controlled storage unit. Video game cartridges and disks can be damaged by cold and heat; a climate-controlled unit helps prevent these swings in temperature. A climate-controlled unit will typically also have less dust, which also protects your games.
Clean your cartridges before storage. Whether you choose a climate-controlled unit or not, cleaning your games before storage is a good idea. Making sure they are free of dust or debris helps reduce the chances of damage during storage, especially if you’re going to be keeping your games in storage for a long period. Clean game CDs with a microfiber cloth; cartridges are easily cleaned with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol rubbed on the contacts. Ensure your games are completely dry before storing them.
Prevent scratches. If you have a lot of games on disk, you’ll need to be careful of scratches and dings. The best way to store game disks is in their original cases. If you don’t have the cases, choose disk sleeves to protect your games. A plastic binder with sleeves can be a good option. You can also buy empty DVD or CD cases that will keep your games safe.
Store in an airtight container. You’ll want to keep dust and pests out of your games while they’re in storage. Choose airtight plastic boxes for long-term storage. If you have a lot of games, choosing clear bins can make it easier to find what you are looking for when you need to access your games. Place the games in the boxes carefully — don’t just jumble them in, as this risks damage. Consider grouping your games by genre in smaller boxes so it’s easy to find what you need later, and so bins don’t get too heavy. Don’t stack your bins too high — the accumulated weight can damage games in the bottom bins.
Wrap up your consoles. If you need to store a whole console alongside your individual games, take the same precautions above. In addition, wrap up each cord individually and label it with masking or painter’s tape. This helps ensure that you know what connects to where, and that no cords get lost. Placing all the cords for a console together in a large ziptop bag also protects your cords from pests and damp. Wrap the console itself in plastic to keep dust and damp off. Then choose a plastic bin with an airtight lid that will hold the console, controllers (which should also be wrapped in plastic), and cords. If you have several consoles, giving each one its own bin will help you stay organized when you’re ready to hook them back up again.