Can I Store My Sports Cards in the Garage or Attic?

When you are getting back into collecting sports cards you may have your old collection in an attic or your garage.  It might be at your parents house hidden behind your old toys or behind your porn mags. Wherever you had your cards, they probably weren’t stored that best way possible.  

You shouldn’t store your sports cards in your garage or attic because it will be susceptible to the outdoor climate.  Humidity greatly affects sports cards as well as the cold and hot weather. Having your cards in a temperature controlled environment is the best strategy to keep your cards safe.  

While doing my research I quickly realized that humidity was the biggest factor in destroying your sports cards.  If there is too much water in the air, your cards will get moldy and become worthless. 

How are you Storing your Cards?

Do you keep your cards stacked up on a table? Do you keep them in the same box that they came in? How you store your cards are important in protecting them and keeping them safe. If you don’t care about storing your cards properly then they won’t be in pristine condition if you ever try to sell them. Below are the essential products you need to protect your cards. 

Penny Sleeves – They are essential to protecting your valuable cards.  When you start to collect cards these are the first things you need to buy.  When you open a pack of cards and you hit that rookie it immediately should go in a penny sleeve.   

In this video below I show you how to properly penny sleeve a card without damaging the corners.

Top Loaders – Once your card is in a penny sleeve it needs to go in a top loader.  It’s a hard plastic card holder that you put your card in from the top.  Hence the name top loader.  Duh!!  These card holders come in different types of thicknesses, so they can hold various patch cards, cleat cards, etc.    

Storage Boxes – Once you have them in a top loader you need a place to store your cards.  As much as you love having your cards on the kitchen table, your wife might not.  So you will need a cardboard storage box to put your cards in.  They will be able to store cards that you left unprotected, should be commons, cards in top loaders, and even graded cards. 

Note –  Cardboard storage boxes for graded cards are much taller, you can lie down the graded cards to fit in a regular height storage box but you won’t be able to fit anywhere near the amount as a box made for graded cards.   

If you want to know what I recommend head over to my Resource Page where I show you what I buy to protect my cards.  

Humidity 

Humidity is the biggest killer of sports cards.  Too much moisture and it will damage your cards and make them smell. Then it will go for your wife and kids, then who knows what else it will do.  But I digress.    Okay we get humidity is bad, but what should the humidity be? Well, according to the Library of Congress, where they store our most valuable documents, they keep at 50% and they keep the temperature around 50 degrees which is ideal for paper documents..  

The Polygon group, a company that deals with temperature climate solutions, suggests a humidity range of 45%-55% for your sports memorabilia.  

So it’s safe to say the target humidity you’re shooting for is 50%.  You don’t need to pump the AC to get your house/ room down to 50 degrees.  A regular temperature of 68-72 degrees is fine.    

Okay, so we know humidity is bad. How do I figure out the humidity in my home? A quick search will show you that you need to get yourself a hygrometer.  A hygrometer will measure the temperature and the relative humidity.  Go to my resource page again and you will find the one I recommend based on the research I did.  

The hygrometer I recommend to get.

So, you now have a hygrometer and you realize that your house is humid, what do you do now?  If you are a serious collector and/or you have a fairly expensive collection you don’t want to chance them being damaged.  Go buy a dehumidifier.  This will take all of the moisture out of the air.  You can set it to the humidity you want,which should be 50%. You will have to dump water out of it after a while, but it shouldn’t be something you have to do everyday unless you live in a basement apartment.  

The dehumidifier that I used is almost the exact one as the Soleus Air 70 Pint Portable Dehumdifier and it worked amazing. Checking on the reviews and my previous experience this is the one you want to get. 

I was in a basement apartment so I had to dump a ton of water out.  But if you are storing your cards in a conditioned room on the 1st floor, you won’t have to do it that often. Maybe once every 3 days. There are other dehumidifiers that have hoses that you can run to a drain, but they tend to be pretty expensive.  The dehumidifier I recommend should work perfectly for what you need.     

Can Graded Cards Be Affected By Humidity? 

Your graded cards can be affected by humidity. The slabs act similar to a window.  When there are sudden changes in temperature and humidity, particularly in the cold, condensation occurs. An example of this is during the winter time your card being in the mailbox and then immediately going inside your nice and toasty home.   Now BGS (Beckett) sleeves the cards before slabbing for extra protection which will help, but PSA and SGC doesn’t.  

Now some people like to put a graded card sleeve to further protect the card from case scratching and also to help with sudden changes in temperature.  The type of people who do this are also the ones that put plastic on their sofa cushions.  Can you really trust them?  I guess so, but now it’s got me thinking of my grandma.  

Where Do You Live? 

Depending where you live, you will deal with different concerns about storing your cards.  If you live in North Dakota you would have to worry about extreme cold and humidity.  If you live in Arizona, you will have to deal with extreme heat and dryness.  If you leave your cards to the elements, ie. direct sunlight, rain, snow it doesn’t matter what holder you put them, they are toast.  But most people don’t keep their cards outdoors. But even indoors you have to make sure they stay in a conditioned space and are stored properly. 

Extreme cold with no humidity won’t damage your cards if they are in a cardboard storage box.  But it might chip easier.  If it’s hot and humid you have to deal with your cards getting moldy or your cards may stick together or warp.  Even cards that have been penny sleeved can grow mold in a hot and humid climate. 

In my research I have found collectors, even in conditioned spaces, have had problems with their cards in areas where extreme hot/ cold in humid climates exist.  Making a dehumidifier that much more important.    

What Not to Put Your Cards In

If you are storing cards for investments and to retain value, I suggest not to use binders to store your cards.  If you want to be able to go through your collection with the least amount of headaches then binders are the way to go.  But they also will damage your cards easier and take up a lot of space.  They can be stored on a book shelf, but if you try to pile these on top of each other like cardboard boxes your cards will be damaged. 

The Baseball Card Shipping Supplies all Card Collectors Need

When I started to collect I would walk by a local candy store that sold baseball cards. I would try and not by blasters of baseball cards because that’s not how you should flip and/or invest. But my obsession got the best of me. So, I bought a blaster of 2018 Topps Heritage, opened them up, and then realized I have nothing to put these in! What I did was put them right back in the pack and put the packs in the box it came in. Success! Not really. Corner don’t really like that.

So these are the supplies I bought off of Amazon. I used all of these supplies and if I haven’t I will let you know as well. In either case, these worked out really well and protected my cards. They also fit nicely underneath my bed with plenty of room for my cards and blowup dolls. I keep them underneath the guest bed so my wife doesn’t see how much I really bought! It’s just a bunch of old boxes, nothing to see move along.

Top Loaders – Standard – 3″ x 4″ – You need to keep your cards protected and you will need top loaders . This gives you 200 standard thickness top loaders and it also comes with 200 penny sleeves. This is the first thing I bought once I realized I didn’t have anything to protect my cards. More than enough to get you started. Click Here to Purchase.

Storage Boxes – When you start opening wax boxes, you will have a lot of commons as well as cards that you will have in toploaders. You will need a large box to put these in to keep them protected and stored where they are not all over your table. These boxes can hold cards with or without toploaders. Just note if you use them for only top loaders the row at the end won’t be wide enough so you could only fit cards in penny sleeves or just unprotected cards. The box can hold up to 5000 cards. I bought these boxes but this gives you 3 boxes for the same price I paid. Click Here to Purchase.

Top Loaders Boxes – If you are looking for a box that can hold just hold your top loaders I have heard this box is excellent. It holds up to 675 cards in top loaders. I have never bought this, but heard enough good things about this. This particular one comes with 3 boxes and it’s pretty cheap as well. Click Here to Purchase.

Card Savers – If you are looking to submit cards to psa and bgs you will need to put your cards into something else besides top loaders. I typically put my cards in a penny sleeve and then slide it in a card saver. Then you can ship them off to get graded. Click Here to Purchase.

Graded Box Holder – When you start buying cards left and right when you start collecting career, because you have absolutely no will power, you will buy graded cards. I had stacked psa and Beckett graded cards and no place to put them. I had card boxes but they weren’t tall enough. So this is the box I purchased. It holds about 75-80 graded cards, alittle less if they are all Beckett. Click Here to Purchase The next link gives you 3 boxes for the same price, I just haven’t used them but it looks like a great deal Click Here to Purchase – I would buy this one and you won’t have to worry about storing your graded cards for awhile.

Small Set Boxes – If you are looking to sell sets you are going to need smaller boxes that you can ship them in. There are 400 count boxes you can get for $5, but this link gives you a bundle of 50 for less than a $1 per box. If the boxes are too big then just add paper to restrict movement of your cards. Click Here to Purchase.

Team Bags – When selling team sets you should store them in team bags! Wow what a concept. I bought 100 for $5.00 but this is a better deal – 400 for $10.00. My loss is your gain. Click Here to Purchase.

All of these links are affiliate links. I will get a commission everytime you buy something through these links. It doesn’t cost you anything but it puts a little coin in my pocket. All of the money will go to the Buy me more baseball cards fund. Hope you enjoy!