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CD & DVD Media Storage Buying Guide
Tips for Organizing Your Multimedia Collection
You’ve spent time arranging your entertainment center exactly to your specifications, and you’re proud of the result. But even with a place to store your CDs, DVDs and other multimedia formats, there’s still a number of them lying around, a few even missing their cases, and while the rest of them are on the shelves of the unit you purchased specially for them, they are not in any particular order. How can you find the movie that you want to watch on Friday night when you have to sort through so many? A disorganized music or movie collection can actually detract from your listening pleasure or home theater experience. Take your family movie night to the next level with these simple tips for organizing your DVD/CD collection.
Sift / Separate / Sort
If you can take all of your discs off the shelves of your wall unit and put them all in one convenient location, such as on a table or counter, it will be easier to organize them.
Sift through your collection and see if there aren’t any CDs, DVDs, games, cassettes or VHS tapes that you don’t want anymore or ones that are damaged or too old to keep. Throw anything out that’s not worth saving. For the ones that you don’t want to hang on to but are still in good condition, consider selling them, trading them with friends, giving them to a thrift shop or donating them to a public or school library.
If they aren’t already, separate them into formats, putting all the CDs together, the DVDs with other DVDs, etc. Do a rough count to get an idea of how much space each format will need once they are put back into your cabinet or spinning tower. If you have just one unit for all of your multimedia items, map out where in the media storage cabinet they will go. Store the least-used formats, such as any cassettes or VHS tapes, on the bottom shelves. If you are more of a movie watcher than a music listener, reserve the tops shelves for your DVDs.
Once your multimedia collection has been separated into formats and you have a general idea of where you will be housing them, it is time to decide how you will organize your CDs and DVDs.
There is a variety of ways to file your discs, for example, alphabetically by title, alphabetically by artist/actor or by category such as jazz/blues/rock/classical for your CDs and drama/action/horror/comedy for your DVDs. If your collection is very large, you might want to alphabetize them once they have been broken down into categories. However you decide to classify them, select an organizational system that makes sense to you. Sort your discs by the filing system you have decided on before you put them back into your multimedia storage cabinet with doors.
Keeping Your Multimedia Collection Organized
Especially if your multimedia storage unit includes open shelving, you will want to keep your media collection as organized as possible.
Retain the original cases that came with your DVDs. This will allow you to easily identify them. If a case is lost, purchase one and label it. Loose discs can quickly wreak havoc on your organizational system, since they are almost impossible to manage without a case. This also applies to your CD collection.
Clearly label home videos and DVDs. Because they are unique and contain precious memories, consider storing them separately in a fireproof safe or a safety deposit box. If this is not an option, make duplicates and store the copies in another location.
Since DVDs have become so affordable, even the not-so-serious collector can quickly accumulate a lot of titles. Schedule a time for sifting through your media collection on a regular basis. This will make room for any new additions, while encouraging you not to hang on to ones you will never watch again. It will also prevent your media storage unit from becoming cramped and cluttered.
To keep track of your DVDs, create a master list, preferably one you can update whenever you need to. There are programs you can purchase specifically designed to organize your personal DVD collection, but any basic database management/word processing program can be used.