Brandon's Office Organization

CD Storage and Organization

Brandon and I have just finished transferring all of our CDs into slim CD sleeves. We kept the specially packaged discs as-is, but I wish we had switched out the generic plastic cases long ago because getting rid of them was a fantastic way to condense our collection!

CD Organization

I know many people keep their discs in binders or just go completely digital, but CD sleeves work best for us. Yes, we’ve imported a lot of our music into iTunes, but there is something to be said for being able to grab an obscure CD and pop it into the stereo rather than having to update a playlist and resync the iPod.

CD Organization

Organizing our collection this way allows for easy expansion while still keeping it all alphabetical. We also like that we can keep a handful of discs by the stereo safe in their sleeves, rather than having them sit out unprotected as they would be had we 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 the artist and album title visible for easy browsing. If you’re looking for CD sleeves, I highly recommend them!

CD Organization

We’re storing all of our CDs, DVDs, and video games (we have a lot of media) in three hopen drawer units in Brandon’s office.

IKEA Hopen Drawers

They look great and they’re working well for us, but I do have one complaint; the drawers don’t open fully and it’s hard to see what’s at the back. To counteract this, we placed blocks at the back to push the CDs forward. The blocks are made of 5″ wide boards of thick foam-core (available in craft stores), stacked up to make 3″ tall blocks. Then I cut single strips of thin foam-core to separate each row of CDs, keeping our rows nice and neat.

CD Organization

The random stacks of CDs that we didn’t have room for are gone now. All of our discs (1500 or so) fit nicely into four drawers, and it feels so good to have solved one of our biggest storage dilemmas.

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  • Lemon
    April 26, 2010 at 11:54 am

    That is quite impressive. Fabulous work!

  • lori
    April 26, 2010 at 11:55 am

    i use these same exact dressers for my card inventory….just the cards that are embellished and ready to ship. i hate that they don’t pull out all the way too. biggest complaint.

  • melanirae
    April 26, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Wow, serious collection you guys got!

  • meryl rose
    April 26, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    What a great way to organize all your CDs!!! I’m a sucker for keeping things tactile, although we have things digital too. Between my boyfriend and I, we’ve got like 2,000 CDs, and storage is a tricky, tricky thing

  • Andrea {Gwyneth Paige}
    April 26, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Well, I’m impressed. Brilliant idea!!

  • Jess
    April 26, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    How many drawers did you need for 1500 CDs?
    Four drawers, or all three units?
    Looks fab, so organized!

    • Making it Lovely
      January 29, 2011 at 1:57 am

      Four drawers. The rest are filled with DVDs and video games.

  • Amy Kelly
    April 26, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Amazing! You and Brandon are my inspiration for how I can deal with my husband’s urge to collect without going crazy. My husband has a HUGE collection of video games and smaller, thought still huge, collection of DVDs and other media. We have a huge floor to ceiling built in bookcase in our current apartment that is full, another smaller bookcase full and he still has tons and tons of things in boxes. My husband is really set on keeping video games in their original packaging and I was wondering how you guys store video games in your hopen drawer units. Are you video games in their original cases or do you use sleeves like with your CD collection?

    Right now my hubby is still in school getting his degree, so we can’t afford to buy any furniture at the moment, but you bring me hope that I can one day organize the chaos of his collections. Thank you for sharing all these wonderful storage solutions!

    • Making it Lovely
      January 29, 2011 at 1:57 am

      We want to get sleeves for the games and DVDs too, we just haven’t done it yet.

  • Ashley Pahl
    April 26, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    I love this idea! We recently got rid of all of our CD and DVD cases out of a lack of space – I thought booklets were our only option. It’s great to know there’s another option that still allows for alphabetization as you collect more CDs.

  • Licia
    April 26, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    I love posts about organization! Your method makes such a difference. I can understand your preference for keeping CDs. It’s like reading a book vs downloading it into an ipad.

  • erika edith
    April 26, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    I don’t know if I should thank you or not for sharing that – it is such a perfect way to deal with media clutter that I feel the urge to drop what I am doing and organize.

  • Sarah
    April 26, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    My husband and I did this recently, also. It is such a great way to save space and de-clutter. Plus, it was a great excuse to buy a couple cute storage boxes!

  • Alison
    April 26, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    We’re moving towards just completely ridding our collection of cds. We’ve got lots more vinyl than cds right now and we’re quite lucky that it all looks pretty on vinyl…no reason to hide it.

  • Leah@StorybookRanch
    April 26, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    That’s impressive. Long ago, I transferred my cds to digital & dontated them to the library. Unfortunatley, I lost it all when my pc crashed. Lesson learned. everything is backed up weekly, from now on.

  • Loren
    April 26, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Looks lovely!
    Can I ask how you keep so many CDs organized? By artist, or genre or is there no method to the madness?
    But how much space did you leave to expand your collection? ;)

    • Making it Lovely
      January 29, 2011 at 1:59 am

      We just have them arranged alphabetically. And I’d say we left each drawer with room to expand by about 20%.

  • Amber Rules
    April 26, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    This is fantastic – I’ve been meaning to do something about my CD collection for years and never even thought of doing it the way they do in the record shop…what joy to flip through a rack of albums every time I want to listen to something!

    I have to ask though – what did you do with all the plastic covers? The zealous greenie in me can’t bear the thought of throwing that much plastic in the bin.


    • Making it Lovely
      January 29, 2011 at 1:59 am

      We gave the empty cases to a 2nd hand CD shop.

  • jane
    April 26, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Wow—really impressive! Do you mind sharing about what it cost (just the organization) when it was all said and done?

    • Making it Lovely
      January 29, 2011 at 2:04 am

      We spent about $500 on the sleeves, and the dressers were another big expense ($600 for the three of them). Yikes, I know, but I think it was worth it. A friend was talking about organization, and she said she finds it funny that people will spend tons of money on the STUFF that needs to be organized, but then they’re not willing to pay for a good storage system to keep that stuff in good condition. It’s a good point!

  • Katherine
    April 26, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Great taste in music! Portishead is amazing. P.S. I love your site!

  • Jenni
    April 26, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    this is fantastic and inspiring. I might just have to get some of those sleeves and tackle my CDs. They are currently in 4 or so binders in the trunk of my car. Not at all organized or easy to handle.

  • Ana
    April 26, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Yay Nicole! Doesn’t it feel great?

    We were looking at the Hopen drawers too but I wasn’t smart enough to figure out a way around those deep drawers!

    We actually just found a dresser to accommodate us:

  • Lisa {milkshake}
    April 26, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Wow! That’s quite a collection!

  • Melanie
    April 26, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    I’ve seen similar solutions before (at least the dresser part), and I’d love to do something like that for our CDs and DVDs as well.

    My biggest hesitation in doing so is stability: are the drawer bottoms able to carry the load? Or are they beginning to sag? Or did you reinforce them and if so, how?

    • Making it Lovely
      January 29, 2011 at 2:06 am

      They’ve held up well. We assumed we’d have to reinforce them, but it turns out we probably don’t need to.

  • dawn
    April 26, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    very cool! i love that you photographed your portishead cd :) oh how i love portishead!

  • Eileen
    April 26, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    Love the organization and love your engagement and wedding rings. Would love to see a close up someday! They look very vintage and gorgeous!

  • Mélo
    April 26, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    It look so nice!
    I send you a link, if you want to reuse the plastic cover.. Please tell me you did not put 1500 pocket in the garbage!

    • Making it Lovely
      January 29, 2011 at 2:06 am

      Nope, we donated them to a used CD shop!

  • Elle Sees
    April 26, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    Never seen these before but now I must have them!

  • Julia
    April 26, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    Portishead!!! Love.

  • Anna
    April 26, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    An organised person’s dream. Looks delightfully perfect!

  • susan
    April 26, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    so happy to see such a large cd collection that is well maintained! awesome work, seriously envious.

  • The Glamorous Housewife
    April 27, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Excellent tips on organizing CDs. I use the book method myself. But your post has me searching for my very old Portishead CD. Looks like I might be rocking the 90s today :p.

    Thanks doll,
    The Glamorous Housewife

  • Hallie
    April 27, 2010 at 10:41 am

    PLEASE–we need more photos!

    *waiting with baited breath*

  • Hallie
    April 27, 2010 at 10:42 am

    …er, bated, i mean…

  • Clearly Composed
    April 27, 2010 at 11:25 am

    I have serious sleeve envy now! Off to do some research. :)

  • Erica
    April 27, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Thank you for sharing! Looks great.

  • Camilla {Hygge Nook}
    April 27, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    If I could convince my partner to organise his CDs/DVDs like that, I would be a very happy girl indeed!

  • Jenny M
    April 27, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    That looks amazing!
    Thanks so much for the inspiration. :)

  • lifeologia
    April 27, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    This is great. Do you have any ideas for RECORDS though? I have tons and I don’t know what to do – they’re mostly children’s songs and stories…???

  • Sylvia
    April 27, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Oh! I like this far better than the CD binders! Thanks for the tip :) Right now I have binders and store the booklets and tray cards in a separate box.

  • Meredith from Penelope Loves Lists
    April 27, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    You know this kind of project makes my organized heart happy!

    Great job!

  • Amanda Fuller | Calico and Co
    April 28, 2010 at 2:51 am

    This is such a great space-saving idea – I’d love to do it with my DVDs as I’m running out of room. The CD booklets and inserts look great, but what did you do with the DVD artwork? Do they fit well in someway in the sleeves?

  • cheryl
    April 29, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    This is awesome. We have binders too and they are annoying.

  • Tove
    April 30, 2010 at 1:54 am

    My partner and I both love music and we both feel that music is a necessity in life but he thinks that he needs to see all of his favourite cd’s all the time and wants to keep them in bookshelves. We havent quite figured out what a good solution for us would be yet.

    I also think that you should listen to The Tiny and First Aid Kit, I can tell from your CD-collection that you might like them. especially the Tiny who are working togheter some with Ed Harcourt.

    I love your blog though I rarely comment.

  • A Jill of All Trades
    May 5, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Hmmm…..We have somewhere around 700 or so CDs and I’ve been thinking of new ways to store them as we are currently using 5 towers and other places to store them. It’s not really effective as the units hog up a lot of space. I’m really liking the way you had them before as I don’t have nearly as many CDs as you guys.
    But…..I really like the hopen drawer units.

  • Jessie
    May 8, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    So brilliant, such an impressive organizational job. I pretty much stick to iTunes and my iPod but Fiance still solely uses CDs, his car is littered with them and he keeps having to buy new ones because they get scratched or broken. That is one of our organizational hazards!
    p.s. Yeah Tom Waits! LOVEEEE him.

  • Judye Houle
    May 13, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Sweet…you have inspired me to reorganize too!

  • Jennifer
    May 16, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Hi Nicole.

    We already have the Hopen drawer and are thinking of using it for CDs/DVDs, as well. What did you use to keep the CDs in a straight line?


    Jen in Chicago

    • Making it Lovely
      January 29, 2011 at 2:09 am

      I put thin stripes of foam in between the rows (cut from 8.5″x11″ sheets from the craft store).

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  • kitchen-dreams
    January 10, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Fantastic idea! I was thinking I really needed to get rid of CD’s to reduce clutter. I’m going to start this project this weekend. Thanks.

  • mike
    January 29, 2011 at 1:53 am

    I love these. But man, they are so expensive. You guys paid $600 for your 1500 sleeves?

    • Making it Lovely
      January 29, 2011 at 2:05 am

      We got them on sale, but yes we still spent about $500. It was worth it though.

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  • Amy
    March 29, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Reading this pretty late, and I too am flipping out at the cost of the sleeves. We would need 2500 to START and even on sale that’s $1000. And they are made from vinyl, which is such a horrible substance (OK, our actual LPs get a hall pass!). I LOVE your solution and I am going to think about it but if anyone comes across a cheaper source and/or a non-vinyl one, please let us know.

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  • Jill
    March 4, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Hello there. I happen to find this website when I was searching for “CD Storage” you guys have some nice tips and info. I have a small room at home, and I was thinking of putting my CDs into bins or something like that. I do keep mine in the caseses which is a good idea. I dislike the binder thingy, because when I tried it, they kept falling out of the book. I also have a question for you guys? How do you clean CDs/DVDs etc? What is your cleaning tips? We hope to see some more photos as well. I am also a big music lover! I have close to 300 CDs right now.. I collect mostly 80s, 90s, rock n roll, dance, hip hop, kids stuff, etc.. So yeah. Feel free to e-mail me some tips on keeping cds clean, thanks. Keep up the great job!

  • elvis
    March 31, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    What a helpful post! We are going down this same exact route, transferring our 3000+ CDs into sleeves and then into Hopens. Was wondering though if you’ve noticed any sagging in the drawers because of weight. I’ve noticed this mentioned on a few other sites by individuals who have done the same thing. Also, how many columns of rows do you get per drawer and which sleeve did you use from Sleevetown… the rice paper one? Thanks!

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  • Esme
    May 12, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    Hi There!

    Wondering if you can tell me how much clearance the jewel sleeves have in these drawers? I’m considering getting SLIGHTLY taller ones and want to know if it would be possible for trekking to ikea. Also, are the drawers holding up? Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  • Steve
    August 25, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    I’ve finally gotten to this point myself. What cd sleeves did you use? Do they have a spot for both the front and back inserts? Great blog!

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  • cyraxote
    April 6, 2019 at 1:28 pm

    Just curious: The Jewel Sleeve site seems to suggest (although there are few pictures) that the tray card should be placed in the pocket facing out. That is, if you were looking at the sleeve from the front, you’d see the CD booklet, and at the top, the white back of the tray card. If you then flip the sleeve over, you’d see the tray card back. However, you seem to have yours organized so that the tray card is “facing front” as well. That is, you can see the CD artist and title when you’re looking at the sleeve from the front. However, this means that in order to actually look at the tray card, you’d have to remove it from the sleeve. Is that correct? I’m thinking about getting these, but they are crazy expensive for what they are, considering the costs of vinyl sleeves for other uses.