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This week we're tackling CD and DVD storage and organization as part of the 52 Weeks to an Organized Home Challenge.
This challenge will most likely either be very easy and quick for you, or something that will take you a fair amount of time over the course of the week to get done.
The first step in the CD and DVD Storage and Organization Challenge is to gather all of your discs, videos, casettes, etc. Although you may watch movies or listen to music in multiple locations of your house it is much easier to organize and keep track of these collections if they're stored in a central location in your home. Then, once you've got everything organized you can create a system for taking items around to other areas of your home, temporarily, perhaps in a rotation system (rotation is particulary useful for CDs in your car, for example), and then returning them regularly to what you've designated as the home base. Once you've got everything gathered together the next step in the CD and DVD Storage and Organization Challenge is to declutter your music and movie collections. My personal rule of thumb is to seriously consider getting rid of anything I or my family have not watched or listened to within the last year. I've written an entire Declutter 365 mission on how to declutter your music collection, so check it out for even more ideas and steps in the process. If you notice you have to declutter lots of these discs, you may also want to consider renting in the future, or buying digitally, instead of purchasing new discs, to keep from developing so much of this clutter. Another idea is to use a streaming program, such as Netflix, to keep this clutter at bay in the future. The third step in the CD and DVD Storage and Organization Challenge is to organize CDs in your collection that you're keeping. There is really no right way, but instead it depends on the size of your collection and what makes intuitive sense to you and other family members.
However you group them, on shelves or in drawers, you may find it handy to use tabs to help you find the groupings easily when you're looking for a particular disc. If you've got small kids who've got their own CDs, I would seriously suggest separating out their music into its own storage area or organizer. The reason is kids can't organize well by many of these categories when they're younger (three year olds can't generally alphabetize!) and your categories will quickly get messed up and you'll get frustrated if you keep them all together. In our house, for both CDs and DVDs, we keep the family friendly stuff down low, and the Mom and Dad old fogey music and movies up higher, out of reach. When going about the process of organizing your CDs (and DVDs too) a fundamental question you need to ask yourself up front is whether you will keep them in their jewel cases or not, and if not, will you keep the jewel cases in storage or throw them away? The answers to these questions will impact how much room is needed to house your collection, and also what types of storage solutions you'll use in your home.
There are pros and cons to about any decision you make, and I'll list some of them I've encountered so you can make an informed decision. Can keep the liner notes, and list of songs, along with the cover art, all together easily. If you loan your CDs (or DVDs) out you can easily label the case with a sticker, such as with one of these custom bookplates or labels, making it more likely to get returned to you. The cases can protect the discs from scratches better than some other storage methods, especially if you're rough on the discs as you transport them around. They take up quite a bit more room than just the disc itself, significantly increasing the amount of space needed to store your collection of music or movies.

If you keep the cases, but not with your CDs, you've still got to find a place to store them. If you throw away the jewel cases and then change your mind, or decide to sell or donate the disc, it will not have its original case and perhaps not all of the liner and other information contained in the original jewel case.
A good solution to save space and make your music collection truly portable is to convert your CDs into MP3s, and then add to your iTunes account or similar program.
It may be worth your time to make your collection digital, and organize it on your computer instead of in a physical collection. Of course, if you choose to get rid of your physical copies you'll need to take even more precautions to back up your computer or other digital devices, preferably onto the cloud so its stored off-site, so you don't lose your entire music collection if there is a malfunction with your technology.
Basically, this is done in the same manner as your CDs, by categorizing them in some manner and grouping them together so you can find the movie you want to watch easily from amongst your collection. Make sure, as part of the CD and DVD Storage and Organization Challenge, that you declutter and organize these discs too.
Although in general I think you should keep all CDs and DVDs together, I should clarify that I mean all the entertainment ones in one central location. If you've got multiple computers, keep the discs with the machine they are meant for to make it as easy to locate and use them as needed. I have found either a storage case, such as the one above, or a CD and DVD wallet (see below) are both excellent ways to keep your computer related discs close at hand and organized for when you need them in your home. There is a mind boggling array of ways to organize and store your CD and DVD collections, from entertainment centers, shelves, shallow bookcases, towers, spinning units, wall-mounted storage, binders, and boxes. As I mentioned before, the main decision you have to make before getting any storage solution, is whether you'll keep the jewel and other cases with the discs, or not, so I've separated out the two main cetagories in this way, below.
I'll tell you that personally, after experimenting with removing the cases from my music CDs, that I don't like it, and I now like to keep my cases with my discs. Further, I've found it is best to get a shelf made specifically for media, since it will be shallow.
Further, I tend not to like the storage organizers which have individual slots for each disk.
If you do decide you want to remove the cases from your CDs and DVDs you will save a significant amount of space. The most popular way to hold loose discs is in pockets in a binder or wallet, such as those shown to the right. The final step in the CD and DVD Storage and Organization Challenge is to make sure you gather up in one safe location all of your family videos and DVDs, and other such keepsakes. Next week we'll be discussing photos in great detail, but home videos are also a rich source of family lore and should be treasured.
For example, I know they don't make video tapes anymore, so how much longer, if at all, will they be making VCRs? Once you've got everything gathered together take the time to label and date (with proximity if necessary) the collection and get it roughly in chronological order. I would love to know how this week's CD and DVD Storage and Organization Challenge is going. I also would love to see before and after pictures of your organized CDs and DVDs, once you've completed the challenge.

I've already gotten some really cute pics from a couple readers who are big Doctor Who fans and have a custom built Tardis to store their movies! We're working on our homes slowly, one area at a time, so don't get too distracted from the CD and DVD Storage and Organization Challenge this week. Some links on this page are affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase a product through them I receive a small commission which helps me provide this information to you for free, plus support my family. Share Your Comments, Tips & IdeasI would love to hear from you, sharing your thoughts, questions, or ideas about this topic, so leave me a comment below. I have been wanting to find a better CD & DVD Storage and Organization solution for a LONG time. I used these Memorex Keepers (plastic disc sleeves - also shown in Alejandra's video) which I found at Staples. I also used the paper ones for our CDs (we got a separate bin for those) because we don't take them out as often (so I wasn't worried about how well they'd hold up) and they were cheaper than the plastic ones (found these at Walmart). You can see that our box still has room for more DVDs- just think of the space you could save if you had twice as many DVDs as we do! Look back through the last few declutter calendars (scroll down to find each month individually) and choose something that you didn't complete yet, and work on that more!
The CD And DVD Storage And Organization Challenge is part of the 52 Weeks To An Organized Home Challenge. For example, above you can see A-Z tabs which work on shelves for either CDs or DVDs which are alphabetized.
In addition, you should keep all of the computer related ones in a different area convenient to your computer, such as in your home office, perhaps. Shelving units meant for books are typically deeper, but that doesn't help you organize your CDs and DVDs as easily since everything scoots back toward the wall, and away from the edge of the shelf. However, I will caution that once you've got your collection organized in them it is difficult to add new ones to the collection, since to add one into an existing category means rearranginge the rest of the disks within the tower, which can be annoying and tedious.
They only hold normal size cases, not double CD cases or boxed set or multi-disc movies, so they don't actually organize your entire collection as well.
These shouldn't be scattered throughout the house in several storage locations, but instead should be kept all together. You can tell me your progress or give me more ideas for how you've organized these items in the comments below. Submit your pictures (up to four per submission) and blog posts and get featured in the Creative Storage Solutions Hall of Fame. My integrity and your satisfaction are very important to me so I only recommend products I would purchase myself, and that I believe would benefit you.
Join over 200,000 others and get tips, articles and organizing challenges sent directly to your inbox to help you get your house in order. I've explained the system to the girls and so far they've been good about putting them away, so I'm excited about this system!

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