Office Organization

CD Storage?

Yesterday, Brandon said something that made me very happy: “Let’s get rid of all these CD cases.”

CD Storage

Right now, we have most of our CDs in the five BENNO towers that are in my office to the left and right of my EXPEDIT. We also have several hundred more in my office closet though, and in the stacks and stacks that seem to accumulate throughout the house.

CD Storage

We need to condense our music library, but we’re not ready to go 100% digital. These Semikolon boxes look really nice, but I think we’d need too many. Plus, I already have a million IKEA KASSETT boxes in pink (which seems to be a discontinued color), so I could just use those. Maybe if we transfered all of the CDs into paper sleeves that would make boxes more of a practical option? Or these CD/booklet display sleeves so we can store the liner notes too? Or maybe the CD binder route would be better — I think that’s what Brandon wants.

CD Storage Options

How do you store your music? Or have you guys gone completely digital? And while we’re at it, what about DVDs and video games? ‘Cause we’ve run out of space for those too.

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  • Jessi
    July 31, 2009 at 11:22 am

    All of our music is digital and we keep our DVDs in the binders, not pretty but much more practical and space-savy. Now, if only I could keep everything alphabetized…

  • jbhat
    July 31, 2009 at 11:24 am

    Ugh…this is hitting home. I am so sick of looking at our CDs. We have far fewer than you, but I want to hide them nonetheless. You’ve got some good ideas here.


  • SoBella Creations
    July 31, 2009 at 11:28 am

    I have a binder for all of my CD’s. Although I don’t have that much music.

  • Kristina
    July 31, 2009 at 11:46 am

    I have all of my CDs in binders, with the sleeve behind them, organized according to genre. I’m a little fanatical about it… although I haven’t gotten around to doing my husband’s yet. He seems to like holding onto CD cases. >_<
    ANYHOW, we've got most of our CDs copied onto our computer for back-up purposes. We still use our disks quite a bit.

  • melissa
    July 31, 2009 at 11:46 am

    i’ve gone completely digital. Just upload your cds to an external HD that’s specifically just for storing music, then gather the CDs and sell them to a second hand store like Second Spin.

  • Mrs Soup
    July 31, 2009 at 11:58 am

    We’ve gone completely digital and packed our CDs into storage just in case we need them. Our DVDs will be put into binders soon too, now that our baby is mobile. Harder to get at and get into.

    I would say maybe go digital with what you can and keep the rest of them in the boxes you have. Store the others away where you don’t need to get them.

  • Nick
    July 31, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    We only have digital and vinyl. I store my vinyl that i listen to most in the entertainment center and the rest in wicker baskets in the closet. It’s not a huge collection though, you can’t get a lot of stuff on vinyl so we just buy it digital.

  • Birdie
    July 31, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    We have ours in binders. It saves so much space and is easy to flip through.

  • alex
    July 31, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    I had this issue, too, and went with the binder route which I’ve been very happy with for a couple of reasons. One, it allows for a lot of storage in one place, you can put the sleeves in and you don’t need to buy extra paper sleeves. Also, there are some pretty nice binders out and I think they look great on a shelf with books or other binders. And, they’re relatively inexpensive and take up little room.

  • carole
    July 31, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    We went digital a few years ago (Apple TV, love it), but the CDs and cases are piled in Container Store boxes in storage. I think the binder idea is great, esp. if you feel like taking some music on the road, you could just grab a binder and go.

  • This Girl & That Guy
    July 31, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    I made husband pack them all up in books around a year ago before moving. We ended up filling three of the largest ones and I don’t know if he would ever let us go all digital! He likes the idea of CD’s, the art work, etc. Plus we’re still old school and have a CD changer in our car!

    I say “use a book” – they are less attractive but handy and easy to store.

  • Laura
    July 31, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    Wow. You guys have a ton of CDs. Do you have every CD known to man? ;) I bet there is some embarrassing stuff in there! While I like the look of the open storage, I imagine it can get quite hectic trying to find something. Being that I am 100% digital though, I cannot offer any solutions. :( Though I do think the CD binders would be the best route — it’s fun to flip through the sleeves. :)

  • amber
    July 31, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Like you, we weren’t ready to go digital (who has time to burn almost 1000 cds to their computers?) We combined our large CD collection into three 300-disc binders…alphabetized by artist (combo CDs, like soundtracks, are organized by disc title). This made moving SO MUCH EASIER and freed up SO much space. And once we did that, we made a commitment to not buy any more CDs unless we couldn’t live without it… Other music we buy digitally. Good luck with the project!

  • LeilaMac
    July 31, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    We have gone totally digital – we ripped all of the songs we want off of all our CDs and put them in iTunes. We also ripped all of the DVDs onto a central hard drive we can access from both our computers and our Apple TV. I love getting rid of “stuff” – so it was a very therapeutic thing to do! Good luck with whatever you decide!

  • Penny
    July 31, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    I’ve gone digital with my music. A few years ago I sold all of my CDs in lots on eBay (lots of work, but I made around $400) and loaded it onto my iTunes. My hard drive recently died and I lost it all, so….back up, folks!

    As for DVDs, I ditch the cases and keep them in these really nice Gallery Leather disc albums.

    I am cluttered enough, I couldn’t stand having all of those cases around.

  • Meghan
    July 31, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    As seems to be the popular vote, we ripped ours to iTunes and have the CDs in binders as backups in case the computers crash.

    We also put our DVDs in binders, because my husband has WAY more DVDs than we do CDs, and I couldn’t take looking at them anymore.

  • mrslimestone
    July 31, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    I’ve gone digital for the most part (I have a few cd cases Ive kept but those are stored away in a closet). There are services that will transfer your music for you…its expensive but worth it to have that storage space back. I bet you can use those shelves for lots of other things.

  • Johanna
    July 31, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    I use binders and think they’re a great option. When you go digital you lose sound quality that you can never restore. I also didn’t want to lose my liner notes. I have 3 binders that store 100 CD’s each, with their liner notes. Much better space solution for our small house than keeping the cases.

  • radish
    July 31, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    I’ve gone completely digital. I do, however, miss having CD’s line the shelves – it’s a little High Fidelity of me to like the physical manifestations of my music. But I like records and cd’s. However, living in small NYC apartments has forced me to declutter. I refuse to give up books and cooking gadgets though.

  • Bri
    July 31, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    All of our CD’s are in binders only because we haven’t reached the zen state of getting rid of them all. We’ve slowly been converting them to FLAC’s/mp3’s, but it takes a while for the older CD’s to be ripped “perfectly” so it’s an ongoing process. We rarely buy CD’s anymore, opting instead for downloads.

    We have a small bookcase in the office with our DVD’s, but we haven’t purchased a new DVD in over a year. Yay Netflix!

  • ashley
    July 31, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    We’ve gone mostly digital, except for a few cd’s we couldn’t part with. Just make sure you have some sort of backup system. Our DVD’s are in a binder similar to that in alphabetical order for easy finding. We just skipped a page (or few pages) for each letter so our future DVD’s fit in without too much trouble. It makes finding a particular one easy & it’s just as easy to browse for a random one to watch.

  • Amy
    July 31, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    I am a big fan of the binders. I got several different designs, all the same size in black a few years ago and organized them. I have one that is all our favorite music and then a few others that are organized around themes. I love not having all of those cases to store, and I noticed the difference the last time we moved. much better!

  • Ana
    July 31, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Be warned cd books will scratch your discs! Here’s what we did with out 1,500+ collection:

    I think one day a lot of people will realize that digital downloads mean you actually own *nothing*.

    • Making it Lovely
      August 3, 2009 at 11:26 am

      That may just be PERFECT. Those sleeves are a little pricey, but Brandon and I both like that they’re browsable.

  • MJ Bute
    July 31, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Right before looking at your blog today I decided Sunday would be the day I organize CDs. I must thank you and reply-ers–I was actuallying thinking of going back to shelves and buying those same ikea media shelves.

    Right now I have CDs in books that are so well used they are falling apart. So know from the get-go you will sometimes need to buy replacement books. I’ve given up on having all one kind of book and on alphabetizing. My books are by genra right now, but I don’t recomend that–I know that Miles Davis is Jazz, but what about Modeski Martin and Wood–and others even more boarder line. “Rock and roll” is in three binders: a-h, i-r, s-z. Liner notes kinda fit in with the CD, but that makes the pocket break faster. I’m considering boxes for liner notes with alphabet tags that stand taller than the notes in a box, stored separately from CDs in binders. I need a better system for getting CDs back into the books. Too many have gotten scratched. Also weighing money spent on books and money spent on additional e-storage (ipod, harddrive). With sooo many CDs it can be hard to find the one you want. Good luck, please let us know waht you choose!

    • Making it Lovely
      August 3, 2009 at 11:29 am

      “I need a better system for getting CDs back into the books. Too many have gotten scratched.”

      That’s what I’m afraid of. If you take 5 CDs out from different binders, then they’re just out, loose. And we won’t put them back immediately. We should, but realistically I know we won’t.

  • Carol Anne
    July 31, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    I just did the same thing – didn’t have as many CDs as you, but enough to warrant condensing.

    I used those KASSETT boxes {mine are black} and Target has these plastic Multi-Colored Memorex CD holders. I put the CD insert and the CD in them, and then put all the CDs in the boxes. I took the different colors of the plastic CD holders and categorized my CDs. Singles were Green, Soundtracks were Blue, favorite CDs were pink or purple, etc. Looks nice and neat. The best part is, if I want to take an actual CD out, all I have to do is pull it out and its already in a small case for transport.

    I’m going to be doing the same thing with my computer CDs that have games and storage on them.

  • Paula
    July 31, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Most of my CDs are in a binder. I cut the play list out of the CD case, and dropped in the binder, and put the CD in front of the list in the pocket.

    At the time, it was slightly heart breaking to cut up some of the liner notes. Now, I’m super glad I did it. I literally got rid of two huge trash bags worth of cases. The storage required for them is unbelievable, you don’t realize how much space it takes up until you go through it.

  • Nikki
    July 31, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    We’re too sentimental (and old) to go 100% digital, but we no longer keep any of the jewel cases for our CDs. If they seem special, we keep the liner notes and everything goes those plastic sleeves. And the sleeves go in uniform black binders on our book shelf. We went from probably 500 CDs all over the house, to about 10 binders on a shelf. We did the same with our DVDs. Whew! Much neater and it’s much easier to find the CD we’re looking for now since they’re in somewhat alphabetical order.

  • :::Lyzz:::
    July 31, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    We do not collect CDs or DVDs. All of our music is digital and we don’t rewatch movie, so I think we only have like 10 DVDs. It is such a good thing because if I had all of those things, I think it would drive me nuts to have it consume the precious space in my house.

  • Ryan
    July 31, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    I’ve been using only the binders for over 10 years and can’t imagine the space needed to store everything in cases. After filling my backpack just to take cds home on winter break in college, I realized that the cases had to go. I keep all the liner notes and the back paper too, just in case, and organize by genre sort of. I really haven’t bought many new cds in years though and managing the digital files I do have is also just as daunting.

  • Emily
    July 31, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    Hi there, we are contemplating new storage solutions too… Howver my husband is an audiophile and radio DJ with more than 2,000 CDs. Binders and the digital option are NOT options- he loves the physical object and they are his babies– you couldn’t tell a bibliophile that scanned PDFs were a suitable replacement for a library!

    I’m wondering about your experience with multiple Benno towers– we are thinking of basically lining the wall of one room with 6-8 of them (possibly more!) Did you affix each tower to the wall? Or did you also affix them to one another? We are expecting a baby as well and want to make sure it’s safe from toppling!

    • Making it Lovely
      August 3, 2009 at 11:33 am

      I attached a piece of wood along the top that holds the towers together, and then I attached that to the wall (I think the wall fittings were included). You will definitely want to secure them because they’re so narrow they can easily topple!

  • Emily
    July 31, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Hi there,
    We made the switch a few years ago to putting all our cds in binders – it was a big project and we even made a “table of contents” for each binder; but that was a while ago and there weren’t many nice binders out there so now I’m thinking to update the binders to something better looking but it was definitely the best move we ever made it saves SO MUCH space. OF course we still have two Ikea CD towers out filled with DVDS and CDs that haven’t made it to the binders yet – need to work on those too. Have fun.

    P.S. I love your blog and how it looks, do you sell the designed templates?

  • CH
    July 31, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    I just bought these CD sleeves ( and got rid of all of our cases! The sleeves are great because you can keep the liner notes, something that was important to us. We then just got some boxes from Amazon (can’t remember what they were called) – we condensed all of our CDs into just two of these boxes. It’s so nice to have them in one place but with a much smaller footprint. Good luck!

    • Ali
      August 3, 2009 at 3:58 pm

      Yes! I love these sleeves because you can keep the front and back art visible. You can also read the spine. Very useful when you’re quickly looking for that one specific CD.

      I’m still sitting on the jewel cases though. I feel so awful just tossing them since they can’t be recycled in curb pickup.

  • Loren
    July 31, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    If you really want them organized alphabetically don’t use the CD books unless you never buy another CD again.
    I keep around 20 or so new(to me) CDs on my shelf, so I can listen to them in the car for a while. But as soon as I buy new music I rip it to MP3. I keep mine backed up on 2 computers and an external harddrive. Nothing wrong with keeping a few CD’s and DVD’s around but I have a set space for mine (two shelves of CD’S and 2 of DVD’s) and if the collections overflows I force myself to give away or sell stuff.
    I say rip the stuff that you don’t NEED to have (the ones you haven’t listened to or pulled out in a while) onto your computer. Then sell those CD’s and use the money to buy boxes to hold and organize the music that you really love, or an external harddrive to back everything up. Get a set number of boxes and promise yourself you won’t let the collection overflow that space. (Like maybe just 2 bookcases instead of 5.)
    I love the convenience of buying/storing/listening to digital music but flipping through CD’s at the record store is probably one of my favorite things to do with my boyfriend.

  • Kendra
    July 31, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    We have the same towers as you for CD’s and the the billy bookcases for DVD’s–with dvd’s running 2 deep. It is not ideal, but my husband is an avid collector and most of the “good stuff” we have on vinyl, CD and digital. Eeck!

    • Making it Lovely
      August 3, 2009 at 11:36 am

      Yep, that’s exactly what we’ve got going on with the DVDs.

  • Jeannine @ Small & Chic
    July 31, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    I put everything (DVDs and CDs) into binders a while ago and put my favorite CDs on my iPod, too. I’m a live music trader, so there was A LOT to transfer!

    My boyfriend is a radio DJ with a specialty show (in addition to his normal job) and he carries everything in binders since his station doesn’t have nearly as good a collection of his genre. The rest of the DJs just use the computerized system to program their shows.

    I really like those cute boxes, but I think they take up a lot of space compared to the binders.

  • Lori Danelle
    July 31, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    whatever you do, please, oh please say you’ll be recycling all the discarded jewel cases!!! :)

    I had never thought of removing our DVD collection from their cases, but now that it’s been mentioned, I’m just thinking “duh!” That would solve so many problems in our tight for storage space!!

    • Diane
      August 1, 2009 at 7:39 pm

      You cannot easily recycle the jewel cases. We have all of our CDs in a jukebox system and we keep the liner notes in binders. I had boxes filled with the empty jewel cases and when I tried to dispose of them I found out that you can’t recycle them in the curbside container. I found a company that will recycle them but you have to ship to them and they charge by the pound (and the pounds really add up!)

    • Making it Lovely
      August 3, 2009 at 11:38 am

      Oh, I just assumed we could recycle them with all the other plastics. That isn’t the case?

  • Kathleen
    July 31, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    I love the idea of using paper sleeves and storing them in pretty boxes. You could even label them like a recipe box!

  • The Mrs
    July 31, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    I use CD Pages in a binder. I put the CD on one side, and the liner/booklet on the other. I still need to ditch all the jewel cases, but much more space effective!

  • Jenn
    July 31, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    I think I have a pile of CDs sitting on my kitchen counter as we speak:) It’s never ending, but my husband still buys CDs for the artwork. I too am looking for a way to organize those. But our biggest problem is the Xbox360/Wii/Playstation video games and my husband’s large collection of DVDs (it was at one point around 500). Right now they are in baskets and several bookshelves but they always seem to mulitply on my living room floor. How do you make those collections “lovely”?

    • Making it Lovely
      August 3, 2009 at 11:39 am

      Exactly. That’s why I’m so excited about tackling this project!

  • Jenny
    July 31, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    where do we store music? wherever we can! we love music and i don’t mind all of those jewel cases hangin’ around. it’s nostalgic in a way to still have all of those clunky things. i love liner notes and album art, so there’s no way this chick is ever going fully digital. i buy the album, rip it to my computer and then to the ipod. there’s just something so comforting about having the physical album in its entirety (and there’s nothing like the smell of vinyl!).

  • lauren.
    July 31, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    at one point, i had approximately 1500 cds… since 2006 i’ve been slowly uploading them and selling off the vast majority of my collection. i just don’t listen to music the same way anymore and after moving three times, i just wanted to get rid of the clutter! then i realized after subscribing to netfix that i will never buy a physical dvd again. so, rather than having a “dead” collection, we are currently going digital on our dvds, too.

    be very, very careful with cd books. i worked in a cd store that bought used cds and i could always tell who had stored them that way… usually, they were scratched up.

  • gina
    July 31, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    I love those ideas – I hate CD cases – and when lovely bebés become toddlers cases tend to get cracked. I know from experience. Throw them out! Keeping the inserts might be helpful.

    Such great ideas you have here. Your blog is wonderful.

  • lovesfool
    July 31, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    I went digital ages ago. I got sick of the room all the CDs took up. I sat down and threw out thousands of jeweled cases. I did the same thing for most of my DVDs too.
    I tend to buy less music now because I don’t like to buy online either. I usually just listen to at home or pandora when I’m out and about.

  • erin
    July 31, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    I *wish* DH would go digital. No luck there. We have our CD stored in a large case (very similar to your Benno towers) nestled into a small alcove behind our master bedroom door. Not very sexy, but we don’t have anywhere else to put them.

    For DVDs, we have a large trunk that serves as the coffee table in our family room, and the DVDs all go in there. I like that they aren’t out, visually cluttering up the room. If only I could do that with the CDs…

  • katiethelady
    July 31, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    we just made the switcheroo to binders – praise the lord.

    We saved the insert/covers for the one’s we really liked and then just put the other’s into cloth binders (from the hold everything liquidation…may they RIP). Yeah, so that will probably tell you how long I’ve been putting off that project. I felt so badly for the landfill when we tossed all of those plastic cases, but all in all it was fabulous.

    Right now, we don’t have that many DVDs – but we’ll probably have to go that route, too – eventually.

    • Making it Lovely
      August 3, 2009 at 11:41 am

      Ahhh, Hold Everything (how I miss thee). So that was what, five or six years ago? ;)

  • katiethelady
    July 31, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    oh btw, we’re never going digital. I just won’t happen. we’re still stuck on vinyl… :)

  • becky @ farmgirl paints
    July 31, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    We do the sleeved books. I can’t make myself go completely digital. I still like to look at all the pretties in the jacket of the music or dvd. Good luck!

  • Tess Carter
    July 31, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Our music is all digital- but we have a ton of dvds that we store! My husband uses all binders for his CD/DVD storage (about 12 binders?). I use paper sleeves in a box with dividers separating alphabetically, I have experience with both. HANDS DOWN, I’d say go with sleeves and boxes. You do have to pull them out to find what you’re looking for, but I’ve never found it a problem as long as you keep them alphabetical. Those binders are awful- they were ok at first, but they’ve worn really poorly. Any time I have to go dig something out the pages are falling all over the place. IMHO, serious CD storage is too heavy for most binder sleeves- plus the boxes are prettier. :)

    • Making it Lovely
      August 3, 2009 at 11:42 am

      Thank you — that’s really helpful.

  • Kickymarcia
    July 31, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    I went completely digital a few years ago. I would upload a certain # of discs each day and then save them to an external hard drive. I also have a backed up DVD of my music in case the hard drive craters. I then sold them to a used music store and made just enough to pay for the ipod.

    Hubs still holds onto to certain cds and he keeps those in a binder. Otherwise, he would be completely digital.

    The one caveat if you take the cds out of the plastic cases, is that you can’t sell them if you are missing the back portion of the booklet.

    I find I listen to all my music now that its all in one place. I shuffle and you never know what you will find. With cds, I only listened to certain ones.

  • Jessibee
    July 31, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    I have all of my music on an external hard drive. We started going digital five years ago. We would sell the CDs we felt we could let go of as we transferred them. We ended up with a small core group that we held on to until last year when I was finally ready to just let all of them go. I found that I wasn’t ever listening to the actual CDs and that they were just bugging me with the space that they took up. I do not regret it at all! In fact, we sold all of our DVDs too…if I want to watch something again I would rather borrow it from the library than have it take up space at home.
    I’m sure that whatever you end up doing will look as great as it functions!

  • Amanda Nicole
    July 31, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    We have gone digital over here, yet I’m still fighting to have the CDs put away and out of sight. I’ve been downloading music for so long that the CDs are completely outdated with my tastes, or I’ve downloaded them as well. I would love to be rid of the clutter…

    • Making it Lovely
      August 3, 2009 at 11:48 am

      Yeah, our CDs are a little outdated too (since most of our new music is from iTunes). We do still listen to a lot of it though, and Brandon likes to burn CDs of our newly purchased music sometimes.

  • Mary
    July 31, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    We use these from the Container Store: (Portofino CD Case)

    Each one holds 100, and I think they make “flipping” through the discs easier. Binders are nice, but I think there is way too much handling of the discs. I finally convinced my husband to use these for our DVDs and CDs, and he loves them (although I still can’t get him to get rid of video game cases).

  • Macy
    July 31, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Don’t you love it when our menfolk have a moment of design clarity? :]

  • Yansy
    July 31, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    I love my ipod, I just don’t miss the clutter of all the cd cases. I wanted to invite you to participate in my giveaway. It starst today. Good Luck!

  • Alma
    July 31, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    We have a library card catalog for all our DVDs and CDs. We store the discs in paper sleeves. That said, we still haven’t taken on the task of properly filing them all.

    We’re at the same stage of parenthood as you are, but when our son is old enough to watch movies, we’ll put them on our Apple TV so that the discs themselves don’t get abused and/or destroyed.

    • Making it Lovely
      August 3, 2009 at 11:51 am

      So smart! OK, we have to look into getting an Apple TV now. Kids + DVDs = sandboxing (our term for scratched-up discs).

  • deanna
    July 31, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    We have all our CD’s on iTunes. All the disc’s and liner notes were taken out of the jewel cases and put in binders. The binders are in a small trunk in the guest room. I haven’t been able to go totally digital … can’t let go, but I got tired of looking at them.

    We did the same for our DVD’s. The inserts are in a binder (okay, two), alphabetically, and the discs are in binders. All fit in an armoire drawer in the living room.

  • mary
    July 31, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    I’m with all the people who say don’t use the binders or the sleeves! I also worked in a music store for a while, and also saw tons of CDs completely ruined from putting them in and taking them out of any kind of sleeve, or even just from leaving them in the sleeves for a long period of time. Even people who were very careful music fanatics had wrecked their CDs. And like others have said, if you do want to sell some later, if you don’t have the cases you won’t be able to do so. Theses things save a lot of space, but may cause you a lot of heartache in the end!

  • Caitlin
    July 31, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    All my music is digital these days. the only CD I’ve bought in the past 5 or 6 years was the latest Weird Al album.

    As for having time to burn old CD collections onto your computer, this is the perfect task for a young friend/relative! My mom had about 1000 CDs, and she paid my brother’s girlfriend (unemployed at the time) to do it for her.

  • Melissa M.
    July 31, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    We use binders. They aren’t all that organized though. It’s impossible to alphabetize everything, since there are always new cd’s to add. So for the most part, we just guess which binder a particular cd is. We can make good assumptions based on chronology (newer music in the newer binders). We do still have the jewel cases though. They are in two big trunks in our garage and also in our dining room buffet. :)

    I’d love to go completely digital, but that would be quite a project. Plus we don’t have a way to play our iPods in our cars. I tried to get a new stereo to no avail, so cd’s will have to do for now.

  • LizzieBeth
    July 31, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    At Casa de Falconhead we’ve gone mostly digital. JEGs and I both have an iPod, and he also has an XM radio. Any CDs that we do own are kept in a CD binder in our cars.

    To be completely honest, I’ve never been a CD “collector” if you will. If I really liked a song or band, I did the old fashio way- waited to hear it on the radio.


  • Nichelle
    July 31, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    My husband is not only a gamer, but a video game & video game console collector and is also a movie aficionado. Since we married 5 yrs. ago, I haven’t put my hand of organization among his stuff due to fear of the enormity of his collection. I don’t even think HE knows how much stuff he truly has. Now that we have moved into a new place, we will be tackling this project very soon. Right now, He pretty much has stuff in big plastic tote bins.

    But, we have about 3 of these: and he seems to really like it. I like that it’s easily accessible and we can always buy more as his collection expands.

    As far as video games (all different sizes) or video consoles…that’s a whole another story….

  • Lisa R.
    July 31, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    I can’t bear to get rid of our CD’s, either. So all of ours are stored in binders – CD in the front, CD booklet on the back.
    We also store our DVD’s this way. Even the kids’ movies have their own binder, so it couldn’t be easier for them to flip through and find a movie.

  • Elena's Custom Designs
    July 31, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    We went the way of binders a long time ago. We have different ones for music and for movies. It saves so much space and is very easy to look through. I organize the binders alphabetically, and if you need to add just put a new sleeve in there.

    When I got my new computer, I spent a couple of weekends ripping all my cds into iTunes. Time-consuming, but totally worth it. Just make sure not to do it for hours and hours because you’ll burn out your optical dealy on your cd drive :)

  • Christine
    July 31, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    Went binders too. But save all your cases! When you finally go digital, sell your CD’s at a used cd or bookstore. At least you get a few cents for each. I threw mine away, and then went digital. Couldn’t resell a lot of them. It’s like throwing money away.

  • Brit
    July 31, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    I found this fun little cabinet at the Container Store with two sliding drawers that pop out when you press a button. No clue why, but seeing them pop out like that sold it for me. The sleeves carry two cds each, with room for the booklets in the front. It’s great because it each sleeve is numbered with a list you can fill out and place in the front. Easy peasy to find the exact cd I want that way instead of flipping through pages and pages in a cd binder. Maybe that’ll work for you!
    Also, for dvds I went out and bought the half size cases which fits about 17 dvds in the space of 10 normal sized cases. You do have to cut down the dvd’s cover insert, but with hundreds of dvds and some quiet time with a paper slicer, the end result was waaay worth the time. Good luck!

  • Diana
    July 31, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    I’m afraid we too still use those Ikea shelves. My husband would just be devestated to see all those cases go away. Its not the most practical thing in the world, but it keeps them organized, it makes him happy, and it doesnt drive me batty!

  • Why S?
    July 31, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    I will never go digital. I’m a total Luddite. I like seeing the physical manifestation, including the cover art. Right now I have 4 Bennos holding the CDs we have. It’s enough for now. We don’t buy that much music anyway and almost never buy DVDs. We have zero video games (what with being Luddites and all).

  • Renee
    July 31, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    My husband drastically parred his collection down to 12 or 15 IKEA Kasset boxes, we sold all the CDs he was able to part with at Half Price Books. The amount of space gained was totally worth earning some cash!

    If you think you’d ever part with them, I’d recommend keeping the boxes so you can sell them. Otherwise, we kept his essential collection, and he still goes through them every now and then to sell a few more. We’ve embraced the idea of going digital for all of our future music unless they belong to one of our essential band collections (Smashing Pumpkins, Megadeth, etc) in whose cases we’ll buy the physical CD.

    • Renee
      July 31, 2009 at 4:09 pm

      Oh yeah, and our DVDs and Video Games are in about 9 Kasset boxes, but again, I think we’re going to switch to NetFlix, and sell all but the essentials (which may still take up 9 boxes!).

  • Lauralou
    July 31, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    We struggled as well. We are partially on itunes but we’ve kept all of our cds as well. We sorted our collection, got rid of a bunch, and put the rest in binders. The binders are labeled and alphabetized, with subcategories for soundtracks, jazz and miscellaneous compilations. We found a neat basket that keeps all of the liner notes alphabetized. It works really well and takes up much less space. Now I need to sew fabric covers for the binders!

  • April Johnson
    July 31, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    AH, you will be SO happy when make the transition. I put all of my cds in the binders, and I have put the most important ones on my computer and on my IPOD. I never got rid of them though. For one, I’ve had a computer crash on me without recovering any of the music/photos/etc on it. So I kept the hardcopies for that reason.

    I also did the same with the dvds. I painstakingly cut out the cover art and the back art with the description of the movie and included that with each DVD. I did this because I actually have so many obscure DVDs that I needed something for people to look at when we browse through to try to figure out what to watch.

    It saves soooo much space. My only issue with doing this was where to keep the binders, because they’re rather handy ways for someone to make off with all your music and dvds in one swoop. So I try to keep them out of site and put away. Not that I expect to have a break in, but it’s something to keep in mind.

  • Cindy
    July 31, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    We use the cd binders and they are great! But buy extra sheets.

  • Ang.
    July 31, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    We have gone digital with our music, ripping the CDs to iTunes and packing the CDs away in case we need them in the future. They’re in the garage.

    DVDs have gone into binders – I found some nice ones for a good price on Amazon. They are made by Handstands and look like leather-bound books.

    No matter what storage option you opt for, if you don’t at least dispose of the jewel cases you will not save any actual space. Personally, I find lots of boxes stacked around as cluttered-looking as rows and rows of CDs.

  • siescierto
    July 31, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    I still have CDs, they are hidden somewhere and stored…I used to love the nice cover art and booklets, but it takes up so much space! I now rely on the hard drive where everything is nicely stored and takes no space. At some point I will sell my CDs and rely on the external hard drive 100%.

  • Megs
    July 31, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    We also used the Kassett boxes when our collection was small. We’ve now gone digital and I can’t imagine any other way. I’m sure the reluctance to change was the same for people back in the day trying to switch from typewriters to computers. ;)

  • denise a
    July 31, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Binders, binders, binders. We made the switch a few years ago (like you and Brandon, we can’t go pure digital) and have never regretted it. I actually enjoy flipping through my binders–it makes the music more accessible and the amount of space we’ve saved is no joke. We don’t use off-the-shelf CD binders–we use CD pages that fit in a standard binder (for example: and standard binders. It’s a much cheaper and more flexible solution. Good luck!

  • Carolyn
    July 31, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    A few years ago I took all of our CD’s (we have about 500) and put them in binders. It was a horrible mistake. Anything that comes out of the binder NEVER makes it back into the binder. We now have stacks of CD’s near every computer, near the stereo, jammed into our cars. Every once in a while I get fed up and put them away, but it ends up being a huge task. Oh, and wait until you buy a new CD. Then you have to re-alphabetize the whole mess. I like the idea of the individual paper sleeves. I need to get to Ikea!

    • Making it Lovely
      August 3, 2009 at 12:00 pm

      Yes, you just summed up my fear of going with binders. Loose CDs everywhere, and an ongoing organizational project!

  • Jill
    July 31, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    I couldn’t dare part with my cd’s either, until I realized I needed to release my hold on stuff.

    I now rip all cd’s to iTunes, both at home and work, then go to or, and list them. I get new-to-me music for the price of postage, figure it’s a going green option, and no longer have to worry about storage. I also use for easy backup. ((shameless plug, let me know if you want to join and I’ll send a link from my account!))

  • Nat Nat
    July 31, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Oh snap! I was just thinking of what to do with all of our cds/games/movies… Right now we store our cd’s in silver cases, our games are just out in the open on our tv bench. Any help would be appreciated :D

  • patricia
    July 31, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    I got rid of all our cases about a year ago. We use binders for everything (even easy for the kids to find anything they need). It was strangely liberating to chuck all that stuff.

  • ashley morgan
    July 31, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    Binders for CDs and DVDs. We did the transfer a few years ago and never looked back.

  • alex
    July 31, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    When we got rid of our cd cases a while back, I got plastic sleeves that hold a cd on each side, with an opening at the top. I spent A LONG time cutting up the title off of the side of the back insert to put at the top, and debating keeping more than the booklet. I alphabetized them, and put them in storage boxes that were numbered. Now they live in binders. It was too complicated to keep that up, especially when the boxes would get full,due to getting new music. Binders may not be the cutest way to do it, but at least they are all in one place.

  • Ginny
    July 31, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    We have our cds and dvds in binders. Saves so much space and makes it easier to find what we are looking for. We sorted them into different types and labeled the spines. You won’t believe how much space you will save!

  • Eliza
    July 31, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    I’ve always wanted to move our CD & DVD collection to one of these

  • alivicwil
    July 31, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    I could never go without CDs, nor could I go without their cases. As a kid, I loved pulling my parents’ vinyl off the shelf… I think that’s stayed with me. I couldn’t go without my coverart, and the decorated discs. Plus, I have a fair few autographs on albums. They’re special to me.

    I’m nutso for alphabetical order, but I favourited ages ago. I love the look of this!

  • Desiree
    July 31, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Have you heard of Apple TV? We just purchased it and uploaded all of our CD’s that you can play on it through the television. The best part about it is that the television shows your pictures, that are stored on your computer, while it is playing music!
    Before the Apple TV, we threw out the CD cases and stored the CD’s in those big CD holder cases.

  • Jenny
    July 31, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    I did this about 4 years ago. I put all the CD’s and their booklets into binders alphabetically(really the most space saving and easiest to reference way). It’s good to have for back up in case the computer goes. What used to take up mounds of space now fit into 4 compact binders! I got my binders from Exposures but they no longer make them :o(

  • Jen
    July 31, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    We recently moved, so sorting through/getting rid of CDs was a *must*! We put all of our CDs on an external hard drive and then sold about 2/3 of them, keeping only our absolute favorites (and the ones that the reuse store wouldn’t buy from us). The CDs sit in a clear rubbermaid container in the basement – since we have digital copies, we don’t use them often enough for them to have a place in our decor, but they’re easily accessible when we need them.

  • Jeanee
    July 31, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    We threw our CDs away a couple of years ago. My husband is a DJ and he was in love with his records, but he went digital too. He still has his records though.

  • Erika
    July 31, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    I put all my CDs with their booklets in a binder. I got tired of having the jewel cases take up so much room in my media cabinet. They were using up a lot of valuable space.

  • Hallie
    July 31, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    Digital is the way to go. That said, I am not weaned off of CDs. And I like to browse. I have spent A LOT of time thinking about this. And also have “wasted” about $200 on poor solutions. (I guess since I learned it wasn’t a total waste. And I’ll find something to do with all those storage boxes.)

    I hate to disagree with your readers who love the binders, but I really think they are not the way to go. Besides the good reasons put forth above, there is the issue of adding a new CD: if you like alphabetical order there is a lot of rearranging involved. Plus, the binders take up a lot of room, are not attractive, are really not that convenient, often have trouble with CDs falling out (so I’ve read), and the sleeves sort of slump inside the binders unless you store them “rings-up”, and then appear even more unattractive. Also, you need to double the number of binders you need because, as you’ll see if you research, the pockets are intended to hold CD OR booklet. You may fit both, but then binder gets to full-capacity size quicker.

    If I couldn’t have a wall of CDs, I wanted a solution that at least allowed me to flip through my CDs, like I used to flip through records. As I mentioned, my first solution was a fail, and so I’m at making:

    these boxes: (CD-envelope-size) and covering them with pretty paper;

    and these envelopes:

    The sleeves that CH posted above are the best. But I am willing to give up the back card of the CD and save five cents per envelope. Plus, during the ill-fated phase of this project, I already threw away half of them, so…

    If I had the space, I would buy a library-drawer-style apothecary cabinet instead of the boxes. Why don’t you do that and I’ll visit the pictures on your blog and smile. Ha, I do that anyway.


    P.S. We’re keeping the DVD cases! I do like to browse, and I built a wall of shelves for them. We even have room to grow. We admire it a lot ;)

    • Making it Lovely
      August 3, 2009 at 12:06 pm

      I’m more and more certain that binders are not the way to go for us.

      “I would buy a library-drawer-style apothecary cabinet instead of the boxes. Why don’t you do that and I’ll visit the pictures on your blog and smile.”
      Maybe… ;)

  • Elizabeth
    August 1, 2009 at 12:15 am

    Another vote for the binders. I have digitized about 2/3 of my CD collection but have saved the CD’s and liner notes in the binders. We have two tucked into a closet and have recycled the cases that weren’t already broken and long gone.

  • Amanda
    August 1, 2009 at 1:18 am

    I wish Brian would get rid of his CDs but that will never happen. Even though he has them all stored digitally on his “Squeeze Box,” he won’t give them up!

  • Laura
    August 1, 2009 at 1:56 am

    Check out this site…

    It seems like they have mastered this problem

    Good luck!

  • Lynsey
    August 1, 2009 at 2:12 am

    We use CD binders for our CD’s and DVD’s – it saves so much space!! I would really recommend this!

  • samarahuel
    August 1, 2009 at 2:53 am

    I usually come here to get ideas for myself, but here is something I have actually just done! We are big music geeks, but over the years our CD collection has dwindled greatly (getting a CD binder stolen from the car, moving overseas, etc.) so our collection of original cases is not too overwhelming. I think we’ll keep them the way they are, since those are our very favorites, and they may be collectible some day, or at least have sentimental value. I love digital, but there is something special about having a real thing to hold in your hands, and I really appreciate the cover art and booklet liner notes as well. I think this is why records are becoming/have remained popular with other music geeks: it’s a form of art. Like photography, digital is more convenient, economical, and even greener, but somehow just not so much like art. I’m hoping our CDs will be cherished just like an old favorite record someday.

    However, we did want to maximize the shelf space next to our computer, which holds our growing collection of DVDs and my husband’s big collection of PC games. After looking but finding nothing in the stores that had everything we wanted, we went custom. We bought a bunch of disc-holding binder pages (like the ones with the binder in your picture), filled them up alphabetically and put the accompanying booklets (which we kept for the installation codes mainly) with the appropriate discs. Normal page protectors cut-down and taped hold 2 extra-thick booklets. The pages all went into two 3″ black 3-ring binders, and I will be sewing simple covers for them. I may figure out a way to put a professional-looking label on them that says “A-O” and “N-Z,” but we’re happy with them. We like the 3-ring binder because it’ll be easy to add pages when he buys a new game–much better than taking each disc out and shifting it down to make room. We did make sure to buy bigger binders than we need now, again for growing room. I may also try to put a couple of pockets on the inside front of the cover for “currently playing” games, but an extra page at the front of the book would also work just fine for that. And if I were a more experienced seamstress, I might try to make the covers with zippers so they can be zipped shut to keep out dust. A carrying handle might also be nice for transporting the games, but he doesn’t really do that often, and I rather like how they blend in to a regular bookcase as book-looking as they are. Anyway, I’m quite proud of our little project. It suits our needs and our style just right. Hooray for DIY!

    • Making it Lovely
      August 3, 2009 at 12:10 pm

      “I may also try to put a couple of pockets on the inside front of the cover for “currently playing” games, but an extra page at the front of the book would also work just fine for that.”
      That’s a really good idea.

  • Holly
    August 1, 2009 at 5:51 am

    Call me old school but binders just can’t replace being able to look at your collection of jewel cases in alphabetical order! I do love digital but tend to forget about music i have downloaded!

  • Alicia C.
    August 1, 2009 at 6:42 am

    We have gone mostly digital too. My sister has a CD collection that rivals yours and they want to get rid of the cases as well. They have just moved to Idaho from Georgia and my father (as he was helping pack up) made a good point. If you get rid of the cases and then decide you want to sell the cds, what do you do? Just a thought.

  • alice
    August 1, 2009 at 7:14 am

    We have 90% of our music as records which we display proudly : )

  • Murgies
    August 1, 2009 at 7:26 am

    What about paper sleeves in the Semicolon boxes? They look really sharp.

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