Why You Should Be Using A Bar Cart To Store Your Vinyl Records

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In the 1950s, bar carts holding drinks and glasses were often pushed through office hallways to indicate that happy hour had begun. They were also used at home and in other settings to entertain. Another item that may transport you back to the '50s is the record player, which excited teens used to gather around to listen to the latest LP (long-playing record) release. With both bar carts and LP's gaining major popularity in the '50s, it is no surprise that in the modern day, pairing these two items together is ideal. You should be using a bar cart to store your records because this setup gives you ample room to create a vignette with other decorative items, provides you with the ability to make your record player mobile, and can look great. Further, it can evoke a mid-century charm in any space. One TikToker used a bar cart to store vinyl records and created a music listening station that had lots of vintage appeal.

Originating as a tea cart in the late 1800s, the bar cart has a long history of creating a mobile setup for cocktails, plants, crafts, books, and much more. It seems only fitting that bar carts and records would also find their way together, considering music and cocktails are both still at the heart of modern entertaining. Using a bar cart to store records is a retro yet practical way to create a modern day storage solution with a nostalgic sensibility. 

Creating a bar cart record storage setup

In order to create a bar cart record storage station in your home, you must first start with finding the bar cart. To go truly vintage, try second-hand stores or Facebook Marketplace to see if you can get your hands on a 1950s or '60s era bar cart to add to the retro vibes. Alternatively, if you prefer a more contemporary or glam aesthetic, check out the best bar carts for under $100 and buy one new. Once you have assembled and found the perfect spot for your record setup, it is time to add some music and decor.

Begin by placing a record player on the top shelf for easy access. Since records can be heavy when stacked together, be sure to place the storage for your records on the bottom shelf so the cart is not too top-heavy. In addition, be aware of your bar cart's shelf weight limits, as you may need to limit how many records are stored on the cart. The TikToker used a gold record holder that allowed the records to be flipped through from side to side for easy access. Once the turntable and records are placed, it is time to decorate your bar cart. The TikTok video showcased a large cactus next to the record player on the top shelf and then filled in the bottom shelf with a storage box, on top of which she displayed another record.

Other ways to style and store your bar cart records

This bar cart storage idea will only work for small record collections due to the size and weight limitations of the cart. However, for those with larger collections, use the bar cart as a "currently listening" station, complete with a turntable on top, a few of your favorite records on the bottom shelf that are actively in the listening rotation, and a small easel (available on Amazon) for showcasing the record sleeve of one particularly-special record (or the one you are currently playing). The majority of your large collection could be housed elsewhere, while your bar cart creates the perfect minimalist and mobile listening station. Think of how fun it would be to curate the bottom shelf as a playlist when prepping for a party! If you want to lean into the mobile aspect of the bar cart, create a truly on-the-go experience with a portable rechargeable record player that doesn't need to be plugged in, like the Victrola Revolution GO on Amazon.

The TikTok video used a record divider on the bottom shelf (you could purchase this on Amazon), but you could also use a six bottle wine crate to emphasize the bar aspect of the bar cart, completing the look with a tray of drinks on the top shelf. Another fun way to organize and display your vinyl collection is to store your records in a beautiful leather collectors box (available at Walmart) with the top left open.