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Here's What You Need to Stow Your Current-Gen Consoles in Time for the PS5 and Xbox Series X

Soon you’ll have to make space in your living room for the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X.
Soon you’ll have to make space in your living room for the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X.
Photo: Kamil S

The next generation of video game consoles are coming—is your entertainment center prepared? Mine sure as hell isn’t, which means it’s time to begin considering what to do with my current-gen consoles. I’m not too keen on selling them, at least not quite yet, as there are plenty of PlayStation 4 titles I want to play, but perpetually do not have the time for. I’m sure I’m not the only one in this position either, as there is finite space in bedrooms and living rooms but all sorts of consoles you’ll want to keep and pull out later.

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That means that it’s time to pack the old games, consoles, and accessories away to make way for the new generation and its … better graphics? Not sounding like a jet engine like my PS4 Pro? Something. But in order to make sure your consoles are working for years to come, you need to store them away properly. I’ll give you some tips to keep your game consoles in the best condition they can be for years to come.

Totes Are Your Best Friend, and Getting the Right One Is Important

Totes have been great for my older consoles, controllers, and wires. The PS3 totes were big enough for the games, too!
Totes have been great for my older consoles, controllers, and wires. The PS3 totes were big enough for the games, too!
Photo: Elizabeth Henges
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If you want something to store your consoles cheaply but effectively, plastic totes are the way to go. They can protect from basic water damage, for one. I mean, you can’t submerge the tote but if your storage area of choice floods a bit, your stuff will be safe. Totes are way easier to stack and store than boxes too, which makes them more effective for smaller areas. Finally, you can get the tote in just the size you want or need.

One note: I recommend you buy totes locally at a department store as opposed to online retailers, as it’s much better to get a feel for the size of tote you need. You can also make sure it’s not broken! If you’re purchasing off Amazon, make sure to read the user reviews to make sure they don’t break easily and how the seller responds to problems and returns. All that said, Sterilite as a brand has never steered me wrong.

Don’t Store Consoles in Their Original Boxes

Illustration for article titled Heres What You Need to Stow Your Current-Gen Consoles in Time for the PS5 and Xbox Series X
Graphic: Elizabeth Henges

Sterilite Deep Clip Box 4-Pack | $33 | Amazon

Storing game consoles in the boxes they came in seems like a good idea at first (the boxes are made to hold them perfectly, after all). However, the flimsy cardboard and Styrofoam don’t provide much protection for your consoles, leaving them susceptible to damage from water or heat. They’re not exactly easy to stack, either, with their non-uniform sizes and oblong shapes.

If you want to keep the boxes, you can remove the Styrofoam and carefully break down the boxes for easy storing. Or, you can store the consoles in the boxes, then place the box in a tote big enough to accommodate the box. That requires a lot of space, though!

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Decide How You’ll Store Your Games

Illustration for article titled Heres What You Need to Stow Your Current-Gen Consoles in Time for the PS5 and Xbox Series X
Graphic: Elizabeth Henges
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Evelots DVD/Blu-Ray/Video Storage Bag 4-Pack | $30 | Amazon

If you’re the type of person that wants to store and preserve their old game consoles, likelihood is you’ll want to preserve your games and cases, too. The best way to do that? You guessed it, more totes. Totes specifically designed to house DVDs, Blu-Rays, and CDs are perfect for anything from the last few generations of games. Or, you can go with these bags instead, but you’ll need to fill them up all the way if you want to stack them.

If you’re dealing with retro games and their cardboard boxes, or just oddly shaped cases, it’s a little more annoying to deal with. But, you can pick up some cases from the aptly named Retro Game Cases to protect the flimsy cardboard and paper and make your games infinitely more stackable.

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Back up Your Save Data!

Illustration for article titled Heres What You Need to Stow Your Current-Gen Consoles in Time for the PS5 and Xbox Series X
Graphic: Elizabeth Henges
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WD 2TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive | $63 | Amazon

Don’t trust cloud services and old memory cards to keep your data forever. Putting your save data (and other important data) in a portable hard drive will save you from some bad news in the future. And really, a portable hard drive is just a good idea all around.

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Wrap Your Wires to Make Sure They’re Not Damaged

You really don’t want your console wires getting damaged, especially with retro consoles where the AC adapters aren’t easy to replace.
You really don’t want your console wires getting damaged, especially with retro consoles where the AC adapters aren’t easy to replace.
Photo: Unsplash

AmazonBasics RCA Adapter Audio Stereo Cable | $12 | Amazon

There’s nothing worse than getting your old console out and set it all the way up, then realizing that your controller wire is ruined because it was stored in a way that ruined the wire. Make sure to avoid that by wrapping your wires carefully, as well as placing them in a way so that they aren’t pinched or bent too tightly. If you’re wrapping the wire around a controller, make sure to wrap it loosely—a tight wrap can bend the wires and cause the copper to pop out of it.

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Thankfully, at least for you. But why spend the extra money when a little care goes a long way?You really don’t want your console wires getting damaged, especially with retro consoles where the AC adapters aren’t easy to replace.

Thankfully, at least AmazonBasics has a solution for you. But why spend the extra money when a little care goes a long way?

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LABEL YOUR WIRES

An accurate representation of digging through the wire drawer. I tend to keep my shirt on, though.
An accurate representation of digging through the wire drawer. I tend to keep my shirt on, though.
Photo: Artyom Kim

Wrap-It Storage Cinch-Straps | $15 | Amazon

Ever pull a wire out of the dreaded “wire drawer” and wonder what the hell is it for? It’s even worse if you store away your old gaming consoles and can’t figure out which one is the power cable. Wrapping your wires up with a cinch you can write on will let you keep your wires organized, as well as let you know exactly what they’re for at a glance.

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Also make sure to store the wires with the console itself so you don’t need to go searching later!

Keep Your Totes in a Humidity-Controlled Environment

If you’re picking a storage unit, climate-controlled is the way to go, but it’s still a good idea to buy a thermometer for the unit.
If you’re picking a storage unit, climate-controlled is the way to go, but it’s still a good idea to buy a thermometer for the unit.
Photo: Life Storage Blog
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Govee Thermometer Hygrometer | $13 | Amazon

The elements can really do a number to your electronics, and the worst offender is humidity. Electronics can rust out quickly in humid climates, so you want to make sure wherever you’re storing will be in a humidity-controlled environment.

Now, most of us will keep these totes in a closet in the house, which will work. But if you’re planning on getting a storage unit, you’ll want to get one that’s got a controlled temperature! It doesn’t need to be at the same temperature you keep your house, but you don’t want the place heating up and cooling down with the changes in weather. You can even pick up a humidity gauge that’ll keep track of it and the temperature of your unit from your phone. Helpful!

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