Master Your Media: Clever Ideas to Organise CDs and DVDs at Home


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In todays world we’re always being bombarded with the latest films and music, and it’s not uncommon to buy lots to watch/listen to at home. The issue comes when you try to organise CDs and DVDs as there can be so many.

However, this can cause a massive storage problem if you have too many – and can start to make rooms look really cluttered.

So, whats the answer to minimising the effect of all these items, and how can we use storage solutions to help?

Here are my top tips to getting this part of your home more organised than ever!

CD and DVD organising made easy - quick tips that make a huge difference

Top Tips – Organise CDs and DVDs

Store CDs and DVDs so you can easily find them

As with all storage, work out what you actually need to store (have a declutter first if you can!), and then you need to ensure it works WITH you rather than against you to be really successful.

The trick is to not think about what others have necessarily – as it may not work as well for you.

You need to understand how YOU use DVDs and CDs, how YOU want to access them, and how YOU want them stored.

Then you will find a great system specific to you.

So, ask yourself – how do you tend to look for items when searching for a specific DVD or CD? Do you need to sort out the order so it makes your life easier and takes less time to do?

Think about whether you prefer to look at items in genre (horror, comedy, drama etc… or rock, classical, jazz etc…) or whether you would find it easier to look alphabetically.

Maybe a mix of the two would work best for you? It all depends on how your mind works really!

I find that thinking about creating your own media library helps to put your mind in the right focus to decide on how you want things to be stored.

Related: Brilliant way to store lots of DVDs in a VERY small space – great product to use

Help your storage to grow with your collection

Its no good having lots of gorgeous storage that doesn’t really work for you – in fact it may even add to your clutter and mayhem….

Storage that has a very small section for each CD or DVD doesn’t tend to work well, as, when you buy a new one, you are likely to have to spend hours moving each one down a rung (especially if it starts with an A!).

Or what if you buy a double box set that actually doesn’t fit into the rack – then you end up spreading the collection into other areas anyway – and whats the use of that!

No – you want to keep them altogether and in an order that helps you to find them quickly and easily – which will in turn make you more likely to use them more as you will be able to find things and see what you have.

I find that simple shelving (whether hidden or open) is a much better way of storing items like this, and having them boxed up in nice to look at boxes on the shelves can also be very effective – dependant on how many you have of course!

Shelving rather than racks work best

You can either buy freestanding shelving thats made for DVDs and CDs so you get the right shelf heights, or you could hang wall shelves so that they maximise the space in an alcove or up on a wall where you have room.

Ensure that you only have a gap of a couple of centimetres more than the height of your DVDs or CDs between each shelf, that way you get maximum storage, ease of use, and it looks streamlined.

Its perfect for when you have little depth in a room as you only need shelves that are the required depth of a CD or DVD as well.

You could also leave a little room for new additions after each section if you find that easier too, and you can add childrens shelves at the bottom and adult shelves at the top which will make things easier to use for everyone too!

Make a list – and check it twice!

OK OK – so we’ve just come out of Christmas and I’m still humming this old tune – but it makes sense to say it here!

If you can, make a list of everything you have, and slide it onto one of the shelves where they are being stored.

Not only will this help you to check what you have, it will also help you if you lend one out to someone, as you can add their name against the list and you’ll know where it is if you can’t find it one day.

It can also be a great place to add yoru wish list – what would you like to add to the collection?

This is a subtle way of writing part of your Christmas/birthday list, and a good way to remember the titles of things – so if you are asked for ideas then you can go to this and check it out (also works really well for books).

What about writing down any films/albums that are due to come out soon – so anything that you specifically want to watch/listen to at some point as well – all kept in one place, all with a media theme.

Basically – having a list in any storage area can really help to maximise its effectiveness, if you use it well!

Create good media storage habits

When it comes to looking after your collection, its really important to also make sure that you always return a DVD/CD into its box in the correct place on the shelves when you’ve finished with it.

That way you will avoid losing it, you will keep on top of the potential clutter, and you can minimise potential scratching and damage to them (nothing is more annoying than sitting down to watch a film and for it to be scratched and unwatchable)

Its only a small thing to put one thing away at a time – but it will really make a massive impact on how well your system works for you.

Don’t hang on to CDs and DVDs forever

Tastes change, and so does your storage!

Unless you are an avid film watcher or music lover, and have lots of rare copies of things, the chances are that your tastes will change over the years, or as you get older (cartoons anyone!?)

Once you have filled your storage then try and limit yourself to that space:-

  • Work on a one in, one out policy
  • Declutter your collection at least once a year – get rid of anything you won’t watch again
  • Give back any that you have borrowed from elsewhere and keep on top of what you have lent out

Make your collection work for you when you get tired of it

Think about getting some money back from your collection when it comes to decluttering.

Selling them on is always a good option, and places such as ebay, amazon, and my favourite one which is music magpie

They all help to sell your unwanted media quickly and effectively.

However, a little word of warning – you may be surprised at how little you get back from a DVD or CD when you sell it – as they devalue very quickly with things being taken over by new technology (3D anyone?) – however, something is better than nothing, and you may have some larger selling items in your collection – you never know until you check! Its also good to see how little worth they have sometimes a then it may just make you think twice next time you want to buy one….

TIP – When you have some good collections of specific genres or actors or musicians you may find that you get more for them if you create a bundle and sell on that way

Or simply give them to charity or to friends that haven’t seen the film as yet – as long as they don’t stay in your home then thats all good!

Keep but don’t display

What about utilising technology a little moe?

There are some great music systems with hard drives out there that you can download all your CDs onto and then access them digitally – totally removing the need to store and access them all in plain site.

Or what about downloading everything onto your ipod (and only buying albums through this in the future) and then getting speakers or a stereo system with a docking station for that so that it acts like a stereo when you’re at home and you have all your music to hand when you’re out as well.

This is great for smaller homes, and for anyone wanting to streamline more – but I suggest that if you do either of these and still want to keep any CDs still, box them up (add a list to the front of the box so you know whats there) and then hide in the loft or garage out of the way.

Organising CDs in the car

I keep up to 10 CDs in the car at any one time, in a simple holder, and I rotate them once I have listened to them all for a while.

This means that I always have something new to listen to, and I don’t have to create loads of storage space in the car for CDs too.

TIP – You could also just create a copy of the CDs for the car, so it doesn’t matter if they are scratched and/or lost when in there – then you can have a copy for home also.

CD and DVD organising made easy - quick tips that make a huge difference

Don’t let your media items get on top of you and create unwanted clutter in your home.

Ensure that you actually want to keep what you have, and whether you have the space for everything as well.

If you do want to keep them, then create storage that suits your needs, whether displayed or not, and think about other ways to still keep all your items but have them stored out of the way.

Always label your stored items, and create lists for any on display so you can easily see which are missing or out of place etc….

When you do want to declutter – think about selling online or giving them away – and use the one in one out rule when you feel your storage is full enough.

Follow these simple tricks and you should have a media area that works for you – so you can find things quickly and easily when you need them, and what could be better than that!

Read Next: A Space Saving DVD Storage Idea You’ll Love (No Boxes!)


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This article was written by Chrissy

Hi - I'm Chrissy... Having run my own business for 12 years as a Professional Organiser and Interior Designer, I know what works (and what doesn't!) when it comes to setting up a home that works both functionally and aesthetically. Now you can mostly find me in a coffee shop or at home, working full time on (which I setup back in 2011) sharing all my tips and ideas. My mission is to help you create a home that you love to live in every day...


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