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Cigar Tip: Storage Wars (Multiple Humidors)

19 Aug 2019

[Editors’ Note: In the coming weeks, I will be writing about my experience consolidating my cigar storage setup. As a precursor, today I am republishing an article I wrote about managing multiple humidors. It originally appeared here on April 25, 2012.]

Wouldn’t it be nice to have one large humidor in your home, preferably a walk-in, with all the cigars easily accessible, sorted by name, and labeled with received dates? It would make aging simpler, humidification easier to monitor, and your whole stash more organized.

Sometimes I think those of us who regularly visit the online cigar community, or those of us who write for it, automatically assume every reader has one elaborate cigar storage setup that costs thousands of dollars. I’m sure some do. But I don’t. And chances are you don’t, either. That said, I want to be clear that I’m not complaining. As I’ve written before, I’m fortunate to have a wonderful cigar den that allows ample room for my humidors, as well as nice space for indoor smoking during those cold Chicago winters. While I may not have a walk-in teeming with the world’s rarest and most expensive smokes, I’m certainly happy and thankful for what I have.

All this isn’t to say that my setup doesn’t present some challenges. It does, and I think many of the challenges apply to the average cigar consumer. So I figured I’d outline my top two challenges—and the solutions I’ve concocted to confront them—so the information can help others (or with hopes that you have comments and suggestions about how I might improve my own setup).

First, let me say that at any given time I have anywhere from five to seven humidors. The variance is explained by the fact that, depending on inventory, I sometimes outfit two large Tupperware containers with humidification beads and Spanish cedar to store spillover smokes. In a perfect world I would only have one very large humidor to worry about, not a handful of medium- to small-sized humidors. But because the five traditional wooden humidors all carry sentimental value (i.e., the one I got for my wedding that’s engraved with the wedding date) I can’t bring myself to consolidate. Plus, given the space I have in our condo in Chicago, one very large humidor would be a lot tougher to make space for.

One challenge with this setup is monitoring the humidification levels of each individual humidor. Each humidor seems to hold onto humidity differently, and that can make proper maintenance difficult. My solution? Once every so often (more often in the winter, when the natural air humidity is lower) I examine and rotate the cigars in each humidor. I also check to see if the humidification device in each humidor needs to be “recharged.”

The second challenge—especially with all the rotation—is keeping track of which cigars are stored where. I combat this by keeping brands together (i.e., Tatuaje with Tatuaje, PDR with PDR, etc.) and then noting in a spreadsheet which brands are in which humidor. This isn’t perfect because it requires me to reference a document if I’m looking for something in particular. But I’ve found it helpful. I’m considering doing something similar but, instead of organizing the cigars by brand, organizing them by type (i.e., cigars that need to be reviewed, golf course smokes, special cigars for special occasions, etc.).

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on how to improve my setup. Or, if you have a completely different setup/strategy, please feel free to share in the comments below as well.

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

3 Responses to “Cigar Tip: Storage Wars (Multiple Humidors)”

  1. joe manzo Monday, August 19, 2019 at 12:03 pm #

    Right now I keep 3 large humidors labeled 1,2,3. I live in NJ so from June to October I use Boveda 69%. From October to May I use Boveda 72%. This method keeps my humidity around 66-67% which is where I like it. I keep an excel file to keep track of my cigars with quantity, date purchased, which humidor they are in, and date last smoked. I also have over flow into Tupperware with Boveda packs for a short period of time until they are moved to my humidors.

  2. Stan Walker Monday, August 19, 2019 at 4:26 pm #

    I have a 20 and 40 pack Xikar plastic humidors and 3 very large Nanuk gun cases, all using 65% Bovada packs and individual temp and humidity readers. The Nanuks hold about 200 or so cigars each and the Bovada packs hold a pretty steady 65%. Also store in the basement, so temp only hits high 60’s during summer and a few degrees less than that during the winter.
    I was working at a gun range when they were clearing out the Nanuks, so got a great deal. I would like to get down to two of the large ones, but the next great deal comes up I just can’t pass up, so you know what happens.
    My organizational skill sucks, so stuff is all jumbled up together no matter how hard I try to keep brands separate.
    I also have a ten count travel case and keep that full. When it’s near empty, I’ll open all three of the large cases and rifle through till I find enough to fill it up and discover what I forgot was in there.
    I think I need Joe to help me get organized.
    Look forward to your follow articles. Thanks

  3. Nick M Monday, August 19, 2019 at 8:57 pm #

    I have two ~150-count humidors. One is jam-packed with Cubans, and the other is my daily smokes (usually X,000 series Padrons), various Illusione products, and other things made in Nicaragua. I used to use distilled water and the humidification devices that came with the humidors, but I switched to 68% Boveda pouches. I thought about getting a cabinet humidor, but limiting myself to two seems to keep me grounded. Quality over quantity, I guess.