If you’re in the world of trading card games, you know how much fun it can be to open a fresh pack and sort through them looking for that particular card you’ve been trying to get your hands on. You know the excitement of building a worthy deck, of finding that missing piece that takes your collection to the next level.
Of course, if you’re into TCG cards, you know that you end up with many cards, sometimes boxes or crates full of them. It can be hard to know what to do with your collection when it outgrows that one drawer in your nightstand. The following will break down some of the things you might want to keep in mind when storing and caring for your cards, so they stay in mint condition.
Humidity is a Big Concern
Because cards are made out of paper materials, they are susceptible to absorbing the air’s moisture. Make sure that your collection is kept in a room that isn’t too damp. This usually means that basements, bathrooms, and garages are off-limits.
You can also find yourself a dehumidifier if you live in a damp climate or don’t have a dry space to keep them. Most of the information online about the correct humidity for storing books applies just as well to your cards since the materials are quite similar. Be wary of keeping them somewhere too dry because this can cause them to become brittle over time.
Of course, your cards are also coming out of where they’re stored every so often. You might be playing games with them or showing them to your buddies. People’s fingers have oils and, let’s be honest, a lot of other things on them that can result in sticky or damp cards. Shuffling and drawing cards can result in them becoming dented (especially around the corners) or bent, even if you’re doing your best to be gentle. The images printed on cards can also become scratched by fingernails or shuffling.
Preventing these problems isn’t too tricky. Gaming experts at yourplaymat.com/products/custom-card-sleeves suggest using card sleeves for your collection. These are almost like little sandwich bags that are designed specifically to hold a single card and keep it protected while it’s in use.
You can even get sleeves that are decorative or custom-designed to help you keep your cards separate from your friends’ cards. We’ve all had those moments where everyone has six of the same card, and we’re not sure who the one left on the table belongs to.
Keep Your Cards Out of Direct Sunlight
The images on collectible cards are works of art. They can be gorgeous and detailed, and to keep their vibrance, you might want to avoid storing them for long periods in direct sunlight. This is because the sun can fade the images over time. This is especially important for those cards that you’re proud of and wants to display or the ones you rely upon to win matches.
Especially those superpower cards that everyone wants to ban. Make sure your storage bin has a lid or, if you’re keeping cards in sleeves, that they stay face down where you’re storing them. Keep your collection away from windows as well. If you don’t believe us, compare the color of your curtains on the inside and outside—over time, the sun can bleach things completely white.
Organize Your Cards
This point might be a ton of fun for you or the bane of your existence. When choosing how to store your cards, be aware of which ones you use most often and make sure they’re easily accessible on the top. Those cards from your old decks or the ones that you never bring out because they’re too special can go on the bottom.
If you look, you might even find some storage bins designed specifically to hold your cards. Labeling your bins so you can find what you’re looking for without pulling out your entire collection and sorting through them can reduce wear and tear. There is also the option of keeping your cards in a binder with special pages designed to hold them. Deck boxes can hold the cards you use most commonly.
With the above tips kept in mind, you’re well on your way to keeping your card collection pristine for years to come. If you feel the need to clean your cards, make sure to use a dry microfiber cloth or dusting cloth, and wipe gently. Dust will cling to these materials, and they are gentle enough to leave your collection otherwise intact.