Organizing CDs and DVDs

CD Collection Organized in Cabinet
I did a post on organizing a printed book collection before.  This time I thought I would make some suggestions for storing audio and video media.  Storing your audio or video media close to the equipment on which it will play is preferable.  Often the cabinet or storage unit bought to house the TV, DVD player, stereo or CD player will have some space allotted for storing favorite media.  Cabinets with closing doors are especially nice for creating cleaner look when equipment is not in use. 
If you have a large video or audio collection, you may need to purchase a shelf or rack designed specifically for the media type (tape, CD, records, disks, VHS, or DVD) or use boxes that are the size to hold the materials.  Boxes can act as drawers in a shelf and may be covered in paper to match the room d├ęcor.  If using boxes, be sure to label them with categories so you do not have to search through too many to find what you want later.  If traveling with media and/or playing equipment, it is best to transport items in a case specifically designed to protect and carry them to prevent damage.

Now you have an idea where to store your media collection.  How do you categorize the media so you can quickly find what you want when it is desired?  For music consider sorting first by music style such as: country, jazz, rock, etc.  Then sub-categorize music by artist last name within that style category.  For movies and other videos, genre might be business, comedy, drama, etc., including your own category for personal family videos as well.  Then sub-categorize each by title of video or movie in alphabetical order.  The categories should be visible on shelf labels, or within labeled containers, or by an index card assigning the category coding to a specific color container.   Sorting and labeling makes retrieving and replacing your media easy, as well as reducing future clutter. 

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