The Best Ways To Store and Protect Your Trading Cards
A great collection of trading cards represents a lot of things. It shows your passion, your dedication and your willingness to invest in something. However, trading cards can be unexpectedly fragile and need to be handled with care. Learning the do's and don'ts of storing trading cards will make sure you can enjoy them for years to come.
Biggest Threats to Your Cards
Because trading cards are paper-based, it's not hard for them to get damaged. The biggest threat to them is moisture. Water can cause the finish on the cards to disintegrate, leaving the paper vulnerable. And you may not realize that moisture is even getting to your cards. Simply leaving them in a humid room for too long can cause problems.
Light exposure can also be a problem for trading cards. Older cards could fade if they get too much natural light for too long, ruining their beauty and value. You have to make sure you are storing trading cards in a dark place, and only exposing them to light when you take them out.
Cards that aren't properly stored could also get bent or ripped. This kind of damage also hurts the value of a card, and if you end up ripping one in half, you won't have it to enjoy anymore.
Tools for Storing Trading Cards
So what are the best ways to keep your beauties safe and protected? Start by getting organized. Take a day to gather all of your trading cards and catalog them. You need to know what you have and what condition every card is in before you store them. Plus, this list helps if you move or if a card ever goes missing.
Next, invest in the right tools to keep the cards safe. At Mayday Games, we think card sleeves are a great way to go. You can get card sleeves at different levels of thickness to customize your protection. For cards that are extremely valuable, get the thickest sleeves possible for maximum durability.
Thinner sleeves may be better for less valuable cards or cards that aren't handled that much. When you get sleeves, make sure they fit your cards for a proper fit. You can even order sleeves made to work with specific game sets.
Another option for storing trading cards is a card binder. A binder looks kind of like an old-school photo album. There are pages with specially-made card slots for all of your cards. You can flip through the book, and admire your collection easily and often. Binders are also good for protecting your cards from light.
Binders may be better for people who don't use their cards for gameplay, since they are a bit cumbersome. Unless you have a binder dedicated to a single game and categorize which kind of card is in which section of the binder, it's not the best setup for competition.
For really extensive card collections that you will rarely take out, a card storage box is useful. If you have thousands of cards you want to store together, card boxes with special slots make it much quicker to store your cards. Imagine trying to put thousands of individual cards into binder slots. Yeah, it doesn't seem like fun. The boxes also protect against light.
What To Avoid for Your Cards
As you look at ways to keep your card collections in good condition, it's important to know what not to do. First, never, ever, for any reason use rubber bands to keep a stack of cards together! We know you may be on the move and you need a way to keep your cards together if you use them competitively. However, rubber bands squeeze and damage. Get a travel case.
Also, don't keep your cards in a pile in a shoebox or other non-specialized container. If any moisture gets in, not only will the first card that gets wet get damaged, but that card could stick to other cards in the pile and damage them.
You shouldn't carry cards in a wallet or any kind of soft sleeve that doesn't guard against bending. It's not hard for you to end up with a big fold right across the middle of your card, leaving it that much closer to ripping. Plus, bent cards just don't look very good.
If you like to display your cards, make sure they aren't facing direct light. They can start to get dull and fade after years in the sun. Take the time to find the right spot where you can show them off and make them last. And they should be in a sleeve to keep dust and moisture off the cards.With all the effort and love you put into collecting your trading cards, taking care of them only makes sense. Whether it's a collection of rare cards that are no longer in print, or playing cards that have helped you win some of the biggest competitions, you should make sure they are preserved. To get the best sleeves to take care of your cards, plus new cards, check out Mayday Games today!