Brandon's Office Organization

Our Possible CD/DVD Storage Solution

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!

As I had mentioned, we’re not ready to go 100% digital. We’re probably about 40% there… Brandon has 34 GB of music on his computer, and I have another 22GB on mine. We do have most of the music we currently listen to on our computers, but we still play CDs all the time. And Brandon is a movie person. I think I have 10 or 15 DVDs, but Brandon has about 700. PLUS video games. Here’s where they’re all stored:

Billy Bookcases

Those are Billy bookcases with doors in Brandon’s office, but we’ve filled them to capacity. Overfilled them, actually. And we don’t have any more room in our house for additional storage… unless we can use the dead space under the stairs leading to the second floor. The room looked like this when we moved in:

Brandon's office

We just lined up the bookcases to block that big open space. If we got a couple of media cabinets from Can-Am though, I think we could install them so they seem built-in.

Can-Am Cabinet

Brandon and I are both crazy about the way Rearranged Design stored their CDs. If we get the same CD sleeves and these DVD sleeves, we could fit everything into one tidy space. The only problem? This will not be an inexpensive undertaking. BUT…

  • The CD sleeves show the spine of each CD insert, so they’re still browsable.
  • The DVD sleeves hold the covers without cutting or folding them, and they hold two discs.
  • This setup would solve our storage problem and we’d still have room to grow.
  • Alphabetization would be easier to maintain with sleeves than with a binder.
  • Taking out a few CDs at a time with their corresponding sleeves seems easier than grabbing a bunch of loose discs from several different binders.
  • The cabinets have a safety feature to prevent toppling by only allowing one drawer to be pulled out at a time. Brandon was almost crushed by a filing cabinet once, so he’s all too familiar with the danger. We will soon have a curious toddler, so this feature is a big plus for us.
  • The drawers can be locked. Again, with a curious toddler on the way this is another big plus.
  • We could FREE UP SOME SPACE in the rest of the house.

Now we’re just trying to decide if we want to tackle this whole project at once, or if we should do it in phases. We could start with the CDs first, storing them in boxes that we already have. And when we move on to the DVDs (and outgrow the boxes), we could find an affordable dresser instead of the cabinets to save money. Or do we just spring for it all now? It’s a little crazy, but it would be so nice after it’s finished.

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  • Abbie
    August 10, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    I started using the CD sleeves for my collection about two years ago and I really like them. It was so liberating to toss all those jewel cases.

  • Jessika
    August 10, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    I love these ideas. If we had more CDs/DVDs, I’d totally do this!

    You could play it really cheaply and for now just get some sandwich-sized plastic baggies. Put the cover inside, put the cd inbetween the cover pages. Place baggie inside an Ikea box or something. That way, you could get an idea of how long this project will take you (and if you like the idea) before going to great expense…

  • Laura@JourneyChic
    August 10, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    So, perhaps you already addressed this in a previous post and I missed it, but…do you really need all those CDs and DVDs? It must get to a point where it would take several days of listening/watching non-stop to get through all of them. There must be some that you never listen to/watch any more simply because your taste has changed over the years. You could weed out your collection, sell the ones you know you won’t miss, and use the $$ to buy a smaller version of the storage system you really want.

  • siescierto
    August 10, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Beneath the stair case is a great solution, since it’s pretty much wasted space. I’m not a big fan of DVDs either, I watch something once, and I’m okay if I never see it again, so I only have about 10 as well… My problem is books. I love buying them instead of borrowing them. They look great, but they end up taking a lot of space!

  • salley
    August 10, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    i’m working through the same challenge with my boyfriend’s media collection (about 300 dvds, 1500 cds, 800 records) and dvds are the hardest as i think their case is the ugliest (i think record spines look lovely). for the dvds- i couldnt get him to get rid of the cases, but i did find a dresser/armoire at a vintage store for $75 that holds most of them and doubles as a tv stand. it was a great move. if you put them in sleeves you could pretty much store them anywhere, no need for a customized piece of furniture.
    our cd shelves are from boltz and are in his office ( a work in progress) and the records in open ikea-like shelves in the living room.

    i can imagine you’ll need more storage space as your lovely daughter (and your business!) grows, so regardless sleeves seems like a good option

  • Kristina @ My Heart Behaves
    August 10, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    I’m right there with you. I actually have gone 100% digital, but it gets tricky when you start upgrading Macs. I realized I have lost about 40% of my tunes somewhere out there on old laptops and places I have worked.

    What’s a girl to do?

    I say get it all at once. If you go in phases, they might discontinue what you buy and nothing’s worse than a slightly different shade of white or green. Grrr …

    Hope this helps!

  • Nathan
    August 10, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    This reminds me of those flat-file drawer/cabinet I always wanted. I ended up tossing most of my cd cases a few years ago since I couldn’t find a nice way to store them… this would have been good to know.

  • Cristina
    August 10, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    I think the big question you have to ask yourself is do you want your main way of watching movies/listening to music to be in digital form or hard copy?

    When I was getting ready to move I took the opportunity to rip my DVDs as I packed them. If you’re serious about going digital you could do that as you minimize your collection into binders/sleeves.

    And a word of advice from someone who has gone 100% digital: an external hard drive and an Apple TV are your BFFs!! :D

    Good luck with whatever you choose! I know whatever you do it’ll turn out super cute and organized!

  • alan herell - the head lemur
    August 10, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Make your own either as wall units or as room dividers/screens

  • Carla
    August 10, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    that was my favorite idea too!!

  • Danielle
    August 11, 2009 at 5:52 am

    Wow! What an awesome storage cabinet! I love that they come in different colors as well. I can’t stand when people display their dvds or cds in a room. It just looks to cluttered and not very decorative.

  • Caitlin
    August 11, 2009 at 8:00 am

    I think it sounds like a great idea! Not everyone wants to go 100% digital. Depending on the speed of your computer, it could actually take less time to put all of those into these sleeves than it would take to rip them all onto your computer.

    Using the otherwise wasted space to store them is a great touch!

  • Tory
    August 11, 2009 at 8:05 am

    If this is the solution you love then I say dive right in and do it all at once!

  • Ana
    August 11, 2009 at 8:40 am

    Glad I could help Nicole!

    My husband and I are real audiophiles and paring down and going digital just isn’t an option.

    We need to hold it, see it and own something physical. Album art shouldn’t be view on computers!

    Good Luck with the undertaking!

  • becky
    August 11, 2009 at 9:44 am

    my husband and i finally caved and took every single one of our cd’s/dvd’s and put them in cd binders. it was the weirdest experience to take the three garbage sacks of dvd cases (all 24 ounces of them) and take them out to the trash can. It’s been so liberating. when we want a movie or cd, we simply take the corresponding “book” off the bookshelf, flip through it and pull out our choice. and being the organization freak that i am – i’ve categorized everything from romantic comedies to action to independent films. i even created a separate book for children’s videos. and with the music (that’s my husband’s beast), when we hit the road, he just grabs the book and we’re out of here. personally, i keep telling him that is what ipods are for – but he’s old school that way. anyhoo – that’s what we do.

    ps: i know staring at the wall of cases is a thrill unto itself, but really – it’s just a big statement that really has nothing to do with function or purpose of entertainment…trust me, liberating i tell you, liberating.

  • meg
    August 11, 2009 at 10:34 am

    where did you get that wooden house on top of the cupboards?

  • Jen
    August 11, 2009 at 10:40 am

    I have a hard time spending a lot of money on media systems. It seems like things change so quickly, that you can never guess how long the media you are using now is going to stay relevant. We decided to pare down our CD collection, and switch to a binder storage system. Then I convinced my husband not to buy any more DVDs (he had collected about 75 I would guess) because we could rent anything he wanted, any time. His DVDs and our son’s Thomas the Train DVDs easily fit in one drawer of our media center.

    It seems that unless you’re really committed to your media for the long haul, whatever storage furniture you buy should either be 1) really inexpensive, 2) able to be used for another function – a dresser like you say, or 3) fills a special place in your heart that makes it impossible to live without ;)

  • Martinis or Diaper Genies?
    August 11, 2009 at 10:59 am

    This is amazing. My husband and I get in one weekly fight minimum regarding jewel cases.

  • Alison
    August 11, 2009 at 11:03 am

    We are in the midst of the same type of project, but I have a question that’s bothering me. We have probably 200-300 DVDs to move around and want to put in sleeves (like the ones suggested here), but I don’t know what to do with the cases that are leftover. Does anyone know of a place you can recycle or donate them? I would hate to just throw them all in a landfill.

  • Leyla
    August 11, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    I think under the stairs is a perfect spot for it. And those cabinets seem really great also. All in one place, well organized.. Personally I think it is worthwhile investment. =)

  • Jocel
    August 11, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    Good Luck with the cd conversion. We ditched all our containers and my husband put them all in these cd binders.

    And I have to ask, is that a SF rug on your floor?!? Would love to know where I can find one (if it’s still available)


  • Erica
    August 11, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    I have been looking for cabinets like these! Fabulous. I have a soon to be toddler myself and I was wondering what we were going to do with all my husbands CDs and DVDs. This is perfect.


  • Lindsay
    August 12, 2009 at 1:37 am

    Hi! I’m a new reader, but I wanted to say that I am pleased to see this entry :)

    My husband & I have the exact same problem. Our CDs are currently housed in XEROX boxes we snagged when we moved into our current residence… in May 2008 :x

    I did, however, manage to get our DVDs neatly organized in Martha Stewart CD/DVD storage boxes. We don’t have a ton of movies (a few more than 100) and so putting the empty boxes into storage and placing all of the DVDs into individual sleeves alphabetically has made a WORLD of difference. Especially with children!

  • kasey at thriftylittleblog
    August 12, 2009 at 10:38 am

    700 video games– that’s pretty intense! I think you should spring for what you want. It will be worth it!

  • kgb
    August 12, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    I feel like such a dork, but my heart actually skipped a beat when I read this entry & saw Ana’s storage solution. Fabulous!

    We do use a lot of digital media & external hard drives for watching movies & whatnot, but I still like to own my favorites. I have something playing pretty much all the time while I’m painting or working on my computer & I need the ability to browse the titles to figure out what I’m in the mood for.

    A whole cabinet with dividers for each genre? *swoon*
    One that takes up a quarter of the space? *double swoon*

  • jo
    August 16, 2009 at 9:14 am

    ooh nothing to do with the cd thing, but I am in love with that rug.
    Can you please tell me where I can get one similar.


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