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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  • Reply
    christina in nh
    August 1, 2009 at 8:49 am

    i have an expedit bookshelf, and the entire bottom row is filled in with the seagrass baskets that fit perfectly (the $16 ones from ikea). i hide all of my dvd’s in there, my videogames are hidden in my media bench, and i keep my cds in a book. i like the cd books you linked to much better than mine though….i envision lots of alphabatized or genre specific little binders rather than the 3 “holy crap this holds so many cds and is an eyesore” thing i’m using now.

  • Reply
    christina in nh
    August 1, 2009 at 8:54 am

    another side note, it’s less scary to go digital if you buy a portable hard drive thats just for that purpose. you can put your cd collection on it, and then box them up and stick them in the attic “just in case”. the fact that the hard drive is portable means you can get a new computer without having to worry about transferring all those files, also it obviously wouldn’t have online capability so you wouldn’t need to worry about file corruption. there are some really cute, well designed ones out there now also. :D

  • Reply
    Stacey Ball
    August 1, 2009 at 9:29 am

    I went completely digital with my music when I got my first ipod…it was liberating getting rid of all that stuff and I have NEVER regretted it!

  • Reply
    August 1, 2009 at 10:03 am

    we opted for the binder. you are going to love all your space after you lose the cases. Way to go Brandon!!

  • Reply
    August 1, 2009 at 11:09 am

    Not sure I should even post, as there are already so many! Eh, what the heck…my hubby is a super-geek and we went digital a ways back, but held onto the CDs, keeping them in the ugly black binders (I kept most liner notes, but pitched the cases). Also did the same with our DVDs.

    FYI, if you do rip the CDs onto iTunes, choose the highest quality – we didn’t the first time and when we lost the drive all our CDs were on, we redid them at highest quality and the sound is much better (and weren’t we glad we hadn’t gotten rid of the actual CDs!).

    It takes time, but I actually did it when I was preggers and had stopped working — oops, you’re three months too late on that! :)

  • Reply
    August 1, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    While I’m completely digital, my father (with 700+ CDs) continues to buy CDs but also put them on his iPod. He uses the binder solution, and you can put the liner notes in regular binder pages, next to the CD, they fit fine. While alphabatizing is nice, if you are planning to keep on buying CDs it makes that tough, which is part of why I chose to go completely digital many years ago.

  • Reply
    August 1, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    I’ve stopped buying DVDs. It just seemed pointless with Netflix, Tivo, Netflix streaming, Amazon streaming, etc.

    We have converted a closet in our place to storage. It is shallow and has a great many shelves in it. It’s packed. I detest seeing scads of media around my house; it’s like I live at a Best Buy.

  • Reply
    August 2, 2009 at 4:41 am

    Oy! Storing music. A big deal in our house. We have 6000 CDs and 3000 albums in a small three bed house, but we’ve stored them all behind a false wall of cupboards my husband created when we first moved in. I am also grateful for Ipods as now new music is mostly stored on the computer and backup discs which are catalogued on the computer and stored in CD books from IKEA. DVDs and videos (you can get the classic Disney videos for around £1 as everyone wants DVDs) are stored in IKEA white boxes displayed in this post. I probably appreciate the falst wall of cupboards most as I can still find the CDs, but I don’t have to look at them. Have fun deciding your design!

  • Reply
    August 2, 2009 at 5:37 am

    I have gone completely digital. I transferred all my cds onto itunes on my computer. Haven’t looked back…

  • Reply
    August 2, 2009 at 7:28 am

    We’re completely digital. I just finished importing all of our music and sold the CDs on Got rid of clutter and made a few hundred bucks!

  • Reply
    August 2, 2009 at 8:26 am

    We are completely digital as well. We loaded everything into itunes and sold all of our CDs on ebay about 2 years ago. Now we buy all of our music on itunes. We’ve actually done the same thing with our movies too and we use our Apple TV to watch all of our movies that are stored on hard drives. It took forever but it reduced so much clutter and we made some money. You just have to be sure to back everything up frequently. I don’t miss having to organize our CDs or DVDs at all.

  • Reply
    August 2, 2009 at 8:53 am

    completely digital. i have put all my music on my computer, and it works great!

  • Reply
    August 2, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Hi …

    Well we got rid of our CDs and DVDs. We have a system for backing up. We have 2 external hard drives, and keep one in the car just in case. Then we swap them out monthly and make sure they are updated w/ the new info of anything that’s been added. As for video games, we have them, but they and the wii and xbox are hidden in the under-tv cabinet. We made our own version from an ikea bookcase, using a drawer and cool ikea games holders and a cabinet door on the other side. That, with our black media center pc, looks pretty swish.

    The only thing we haven’t gotten rid of is out huge boxsets of Buffy, etc. I don’t know why but we haven’t gotten around to ripping them. Such a huge undertaking, I suppose.

    I recommend decluttering now. As your daughter gets bigger, you’ll only accumulate more stuff and your house is so lovely, I dond’t think you’l appreciate that. You need a system for toys… otherwise your place will be overgrown! Every christmas we go through everything and get rid of stuff (mostly to charity) and we pile our son’s stuff we think he’s outgrown and he chooses stuff to give to charity.

  • Reply
    Goodbye, Small Heart
    August 2, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Just go digital. We did a couple of years ago and don’t regret it at all — we LOVE not having to deal with storing that stuff. We kept about 50 each of CDs and records, but end up listening to the digital versions because it’s so much easier.

  • Reply
    August 2, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    We have gone digital. The CDs we still have are in binders in the closet in our study. I love the Ikea boxes!

  • Reply
    August 2, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    We went the binder route several years ago and loved it — we live in NYC and have major storage limitations. We organized them by genre which was most logical for us (you get a feeling for what you want to listen to, then you go ‘shopping’ in that binder and find other treasures along the way). And, slowly but surely, started to digitize them.

    Be sure to print a few sheets of small stickers that say “In iTunes” (or whatever) so you can just put it on each sleeve to notate which and which have not been digitized. Before you know it, you’ll go to the binders less and less often. We haven’t opened our binders in over a year and I just pulled them out of deep storage to do a final pass + download before selling them. Good luck!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      August 3, 2009 at 12:14 pm

      Ooh, love the “in iTunes” sticker idea. Very smart.

  • Reply
    August 2, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    I highly highly highly recommend paper or plastic sleeves and pretty boxes, or wooden cubes with drawers, which is what we put the sleeves in. But the wooden cubes are not pretty, so go with the boxes. Whatever you want, but definitely switch to sleeves! You’ll be amazed at how much less room they take up. The sad part about going digital is losing out on the artwork, which my husband and I really love.

  • Reply
    August 3, 2009 at 11:13 am

    Wow, what a lot of great info on this page! I’ve already bookmarked it.

    I think I put most of my cds into binders around the same time I bought my ipod. I couldn’t throw away the jewel cases because I felt they should be recycled somehow, so for now they are stored away. But once I had the ipod, I stopped buying any new cds, and also rarely go back to the ones I have in binders. My husband’s cds, however, are still in their jewel cases, in boxes on our bookshelves… I might try to attack this problem again with one of the many solutions listed here, but I do hate to spend any more money on the storage aspect, when I could just use that money to put more songs on my ipod.

    Good luck, and please show us your solution!

  • Reply
    August 3, 2009 at 11:18 am

    I feel your pain! My husband is has close to 500 CDs and I’ve struggled with figuring out how to store them for years. Just a couple weeks ago I decided to built out one of our closests as a media closet and it has worked wonders…the CDs are out of sight but very accessible:

    All it took was $38 worth of lumber and screws and a full days work. I doubt we’ll ever go digital so this ended up being a great solution for us.

  • Reply
    August 3, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Yikes! Ours are a disaster. My CDs are in binders or in the Ikea boxes you have shown in white. (I have brown!) I’ve trashed all of my cases and have only kept the discs and the front booklets. My husband’s CDs are all stuffed in a duffle bag in the storage closet.

    I definitely don’t want them on display, but even stored, they still take up so much room in the condo. Boo!

  • Reply
    kasey at thriftylittleblog
    August 3, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    It was hard for me to get rid of my cases a few years ago, but they take up so much room! I ended up using books to store the cd’s, but I also have them loaded onto my computer.

  • Reply
    Newburgh Restoration
    August 3, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    I think I would put them in sleeves, you can fit more in one space, and they are visual-you can see what movie it is every time you turn the page.

  • Reply
    Nicole RJ
    August 3, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    We don’t have a huge CD collection, but it was enough of a hassle everytime we moved that I finally bought a couple of binders and pitched the jewel cases. Even though I rarely pull them out I hate the idea of getting rid of them altogether… I love the idea of a seperate HD just for music!

  • Reply
    August 4, 2009 at 1:07 am

    yes, we agree – cd’s in cases are just crazy. We have a 24″ imac in the kitchen/dining area & we use that for all of our music needs – so we’ve gone digital & given away/put in the shed (but why?) all the cd’s. As far as dvd’s go – I have those in paper sleeves in a white ikea kassett box. easy :)

    p.s Eleanor is too cute!

  • Reply
    August 4, 2009 at 10:26 am

    I like the idea of digital, but we have our computers networked and the music was on an external drive and the computer it was hooked up to completely fried! Luckily most of the music was on my iPod, but it was a pain to transfer back all the music. You definitely want to make sure you have a back up to your music, because even external drives are not fail-proof.
    I would probably take the boxes you already have and just use paper sleeves or something similar to house all the CDs, and maybe group them buy letters (A-C, etc) which would make them easier to access, go through, and add more if you buy a new CD or burn one.

  • Reply
    August 4, 2009 at 11:34 am

    we have a mix. any actual cd we buy, eventually goes into a cd binder. we have two large ones and we really need a third and maybe fourth. but my husband rips all of them to a special drive meant just for music and he opts for the mp3 downloads more than buying an actual cd. so, i guess, we’re going digital. i don’t buy that much music myself.

    as for dvds and video games, we don’t have that many, so we just keep them in their cases.

  • Reply
    Angela Lang
    August 4, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Ok I just happened to fall into your blog and I see that you want to get rid of your CD cases, well you can keep the CD’s that go in the cases but I would love to have the cases. I saw a really cool design that you could do with the cases. Please get with me if you don’t mind me having them. Thanks

  • Reply
    August 4, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    I just bought Case Logic Koskin binder (holds 320 discs) and the same brand 30 case holder (for our heavily played CD’s) – Looking forward to ditching all those jewel cases & storage cases that take up so much room.

  • Reply
    down pillow
    August 4, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    I love the look, but yeah I’ve gone completely digital.

  • Reply
    August 4, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    I love the slappa binders. Each cd area has an area for the liner and a divider behind it for the cd and this keeps them from getting scratched up. They zip close to keep the dust out and I love them. I condensed to about 2 binders.

  • Reply
    August 5, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    So, *gulp*, we have 10 of those IKEA CD towers you have. Yeah. . . not good. They are both the most annoying things and most enjoyable things. Annoying when I have to look at them in my upstairs hall everyday. Enjoyable when I want a CD and it’s heading into my own music shop.

    I want to get rid of them . . . but I love them too much. I hope to make a music closet someday.

    PS – I finally added you to the blogroll on my blog today!

  • Reply
    My First Kitchen
    August 5, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    We rarely buy CDs anymore, but we definitely still have quite a collection sitting around. The discs have gone in disc sleeve binder things, and all the cases are in boxes in the attic. Not the cutest way to do things, but it works for us. And P.S. I LOVE my Expedit shelves. They’re glorious.

  • Reply
    August 5, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    we went through and took the inserts out of each case, place them in a box (like the ikea ones you’re looking into) then put all of our cds in the binder.

    i freecycled away all my cases and i’m happy to have them out of my life!!

  • Reply
    August 6, 2009 at 12:07 am

    I got rid of a bunch of cases… and now totally regret it.

    Several reasons:

    – I miss the covers. Tacky or beautiful… i miss ’em.
    – Less easy to pick out music now. I think the covers help me cchoose!
    – The cd’s got scratched…just from rubbing the cloth holders in the binder. Cannot replace some of the cds.

    However… I have no solution to the CLUTTER that cd’s create.

    I know… I’m no help at all! humph.

  • Reply
    August 6, 2009 at 2:38 am

    Media Center…..Best ever!!!! Love it…All album covers and movie info come up….All of our movies and Cds are now in the attic in a box……Its LOVELY MISS Lovely!!!!!!!!!

  • Reply
    August 6, 2009 at 8:45 am

    It was a happy, happy day when I finally convinced my husband to let me put our 600+ CDs into binders. I used the kind that zip up, found them at Target. They’re alphabetized and separated by genre, and I made tags for the zipper pulls. They’re kept in a cabinet, so they don’t have to look lovely. Much of what we listen to on a regular basis is on our iPods, so we don’t really need to access the physical CDs often.

    So far the jewel cases and liner notes are in the attic. We haven’t had the need to access them in over 2 years, so I’m all for getting rid of them – paper parts in the recycling, freecycle the jewel cases.

    My only problem is that our binders have to be totally redone if/when we have more CDs to file. Ugh. It looks like the ones you’re looking at are looseleaf and you could easily add a new page rather than redo the whole thing.

  • Reply
    August 6, 2009 at 9:32 am

    I would definitely recommend going digital. Yes it will be time consuming to convert your music over, but you could do it over time. I use itunes and love it! Best thing I ever did was to put my music on my computer and now I just use my ipod to carry my music with me everywhere. To clear the cluttery CDs in the meantime I would probably go with the Binders, they are very space saving and fairly easy to organize, this is what I used before I went digital.

  • Reply
    August 6, 2009 at 10:02 am

    The binders work great for us. My husband and I have our entire CD collection in two large binders (his and hers). Mine are alphebetical with the liner notes behind them. The CDs now take up so much less space, and they can travel anywhere with us. I was reluctant to get rid of all those jewel cases but now I’m so glad I did.

  • Reply
    August 6, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    We have a larger version of this ( for our dvd’s. It’s a great spacesaver.

  • Reply
    August 7, 2009 at 5:44 am

    when we moved abroad about 10 years ago, we had to pare down everything…so we went with the binder option…actually 2 binders…one for the disks and one for the paper in the case…then we put # stickers on each so that they matched and we could cross reference each other….it was brilliant for a long time, but 10 years later we have a ton of music in it’s jewel cases (because we are out of stickers and binder space) and the system has deteriorated….I think I recommend our system — maybe we are just lazy about maintaining….

  • Reply
    August 8, 2009 at 12:02 am

    This post finally inspired me to get around to sorting out my cd’s. i’m a poor student, so my options were limited to binders or what I could make. And I HATE binders. So I decided to make my own paper sleeves. I went down to my local record store to ask whether I needed to use a special kind of paper, and unfortunately you do, (one made from extra pulped wood, not wood chip?? something like that) but fortunately they just gave me a huge number of their pre used ones. (They come with their bulk orders. I’d suggest going to a local, independent record store, as cheap cd stores tend to just keep the cd’s in the jewel cases because they have better security). It worked really well, as they’re still in good condition but a bit rustic, and they remind me of lp sleeves and old school record stores. Then I went and bought a roll of brown paper to make some pockets that would hold the cd’s and the art work (I was going to use paper bags, but they didn’t quite fit the storage boxes I’m planning to use). Kept it really simple and quick and just used masking tape to hold the two sides together, and I’m going to get my dad’s old typewriter to type the cd name and artist on them. It was a little time consuming, but SO worth it, and now I’m considering doing the same for my dvd’s. (A MUCH bigger job.)

    Thank you for the inspiration!

  • Reply
    August 8, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Hi, I have read every single comment and there has been so many good ideas. I have just sold my house and will be moving soon (hopefully). Me and my partner have been together for 7&half years and lived together for over 5 years and we still have not merged our cd’s together! Mine are in the bedroom and his our in the spare bedroom/office/his playroom!
    I know its silly but neither of us has been willing in the past to be the person who gets rid of thier cd in what we have duplicates of from before we met, which is probably most of our collections as we have very similar tastes! Plus we are both a bit lazy. (We do share honest! we now take turns buying and burn stuff on to our own ipods)
    Reading these posts has made me think I want to get a proper storage/libary system for our collections of all media and a house move gives me a good reason to do so.
    We are going digital slowly but surely and with out noticing. I cant remember the last time I put a cd in my stereo!
    I just have one question. I am considering a library system in the Ikea chest of drawers as someone sugested, I think thats a great idea. As I want to keep the artwork what can I do with cd’s in cardboard cases? I do not really want to cut the boxes, I guess I would need to keep a shelf of them still or squeeze them in.
    What have people with their cardboard albulm cd’s when they put their collections into binders?

  • Reply
    August 8, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    sorry for the bad grammar and spelling. I meant to put in the last question. What have people who have put their collections into binders done to the cd’s which come in cardboard not plastic jewel cases? Love your blog btw!

  • Reply
    August 8, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    Check out the new storage boxes from The Container Store. Lucite boxes with colored sleeves, holds 120 CDs. The stores have trouble keeping them in stock, so order on-line. These boxes are nicer than anything I have thus far seen.

  • Reply
    Down Pillow
    August 9, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    I don’t have a ton of cd’s or dvd’s, so they’re all stored together in the cocktail table in my living room. Nothing too exciting :)

  • Reply
    August 10, 2009 at 2:19 am

    Oh I’m familiar with the fence you’re sitting on. I was considering ditching all my c.d. jewel cases and bindering my c.d’s for absolutely ages but it seemed such a permanent and drastic thing that I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I finally bit the bullet when I was facing another move and I had to think about box sizes and weights as I was doing most of it myself. I switched most of my cd’s, almost 600, into 3 big binders. I kept the liner notes with them of course and the organization geek in me loved categorizing and filing them. the only ones I kept in the original cases are the cardboard ones, Pearl jam has a lot of them bless their green eco hearts and never mind that they ruin the symmetry of my c.d shelf with their assorted sized cases.
    Now that I’ve lived with the new system for a while I have to say that I can appreciate how much space I’ve gained. What once covered many many shelves is now 3 binders on the bottom shelf using up a space 18″x18″x18″. Also, I really like flipping through the binders, it makes finding what I want way easier but unfortunately the big binders too heavy for easy use when they’re more than 3/4 full. I wish I’d used smaller binders (two disc pages instead of four maybe), maybe a separate one for each genre. I enjoyed the whole process once I got started, I found all kinds of music I’d forgotten about and I kept getting sidetracked. Great rainy day project, have fun!

  • Reply
    sarah b.
    August 10, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    our music is all digital. we have a full digital back-up, in case something goes wrong (plus a lot of it is on our ipods, so it’s backed up there too).

    our dvds are stored on a server, which can be accessed from any of our computers & televisions. we keep the movies stored in containers up in a closet because they aren’t nearly as “safe” as the music and i’d hate to lose them all.

  • Reply
    Making it Lovely | Transforming the so-so. » Blog Archive » Our Possible CD/DVD Storage Solution
    August 10, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    […] Brandon and I are still weighing our options for CD and DVD storage, but we think we’ve settled on the perfect solution for us. Thank you for all of your suggestions and advice! […]

  • Reply
    August 15, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    Thankyou so much for this post! It inspired me to deal with our dvd collection (we are about to move back home to Australia) and I finally put them all into clear plastic sleeves and into these from muji….

  • Reply
    August 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Have a look at these. Have given many as gifts and they all rave about how much easier it is to access what they need.

  • Reply
    August 27, 2009 at 1:22 am

    CDs DVDs (his collection) and Books (my collection) are barcoded and kept up-to-date with software and a barcode scanner. We bought a package deal and got the scanner cheap. We also bought 3 carousels to store the disks of software – the carousels store cds like those old slide projectors, but using the computer to pop out the right disk and is connected by usb. I was planning to rip all the music to store digitally, and keep the original disks and liner notes in binders. So far only my favs have made the digitalization process…. Good luck

  • Reply
    October 1, 2009 at 10:47 am

    We had a similar problem with a large CD collection. Couldn’t find the solution so we devised our own which you can see at It still uses the original cases, which we wanted to keep, so doesn’t save space but it allows you to use existing furniture or shelving and convert it into a system which simplifies alphabetical filing and keeps everything tidy. It also works for DVDs.

  • Reply
    Ilyn - Brackley Industries
    December 6, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Are you using any special sleeve to protect those CDs?

  • Reply
    Making it Lovely | Transforming the so-so. » Blog Archive » CD Storage and Organization
    April 26, 2010 at 11:46 am

    […] grabbed them from a binder. We ordered from JewelSleeve after Ana mentioned them when I asked for CD storage advice. Brandon and I love that the sleeves can hold the booklet and the tray card, leaving the spine with […]

  • Reply
    Rebecca Parker
    May 15, 2010 at 1:14 am

    So many of your followers have gone digital, I wonder if any of them can help ME. I have a bunch of maple wood drawers for organizing cds and I would love to find some more to match them. They came from now-deceased Hold Everything. They are 13-1/2″ tall, 6-1/2″ wide, 11″ deep. They have those little library-style aluminum metal frames on the front that hold paper labels. If anyone has some they would like to get rid of, I would be thrilled to purchase them. Any luck?

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