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  • Writer's pictureJonda Beattie

Tips for Organizing CDs and DVDs

Seriously, I thought by now CDs and DVDs would have gone the way of the old VHS tapes and cassettes. I know a lot of teens do stream music, listen to their music on YouTube with videos, and “bump” music from iPhone to iPhone. Movies are watched from the computer or Netflix. But, I can tell from my clients’ homes (and my own), there are still tons of CDs and DVDs out there.

We have quite a few of both at my home but it seems we rarely listen to them or watch the movies. We are much more likely to listen to music streamed from u-verse. Still, I think a lot of the music and movies hold fond memories and hence the reluctance to let them go. Also, all family members need to agree or have their say on what goes when purging.

I see in clients’ homes that the CDs especially are scattered everywhere. You find them in the family room, the office, bedroom, kitchen, and even in the car. So, the first organizing step is to gather them all up in one location. Often you will find that you have some duplicates.

Now, divide by category. This can be done several different ways and you chose the one that makes the most sense to you. You can divide by genre, performer, director, year, children/adult, or season.

Cull out the duplicates and the ones that no longer speak to you.

Decide on what you will use to contain them. I like to really limit my collection so I keep them in their cases and put then in wooden or plastic containers in my entertainment center. If you have a large number, you will probably want to use binders. Purchase a binder that works best for you. Some will hold not only the CD or DVD but also covers or title notes. Slip in the in the discs according to the category. Leave some empty sleeves in each category for new purchases.

Label the binders and also the sleeve of the CD or DVD if it is not obvious and you have not kept the covers.

Decide where you will house these containers. You may have more than one home but it should make sense. Children’s music and movies may be stored in a different area than the rest of the family’s. Seasonal items may be stored away and brought out for that season. Do what makes sense but do have a home for each container. I also like to use the container system to tell me when I have too many of an object. If there are more items than space to store them, it is definitely time to go back and ask yourself what ones can now go and be enjoyed by other people.

If you have a large number of CDs and DVDs you will probably want to make a spreadsheet to inventory your media on your computer. Some of the columns might include title, genre, performer/director, or even the year. A plus of doing this spreadsheet is that it can be kept on your smartphone or on line and when you are out shopping, you can check to see what you already own.

Now, reward yourself by pouring your favorite beverage and listening to your favorite music or watching a favorite movie.

Jonda S. Beattie Professional Organizer

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