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DVD Talk Talk about DVDs and Movies on DVD including Covers and Cases

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Old 12-30-06, 08:44 AM   #1
Maklershed
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DVD Organization Question

First off, my apologies if this is in the wrong place.

I have a rather large collection for an average person (although nowhere near as large as a lot of people here I'm sure) of dvds. Probably in the 300+ range. Currently, to save space I have the dvd discs in 4 different cd/dvd cases. The problem is there's really no rhyme or reason to how they're organized. They're placed in the order they're purchased. My question is, is there any recommendations on what I could do to keep things organized. Preferably in alphabetical order. I saw staples has a somewhat unique device that holds 60 dvds upright. Does anyone use that / recommend that or something similar?

Here's what I speak of:



Any recommendations on what I should do would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-30-06, 09:40 AM   #2
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Yeah, there are threads about storage. You could search and find those.

Personally, I like regular shelves where you can see the spine (and be able to read the movie title). I like alphabetical listing. I also separate my Criterions, anime, animation, TV and boxsets... and those are arranged alphabetically.
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Old 12-30-06, 09:57 AM   #3
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I would recommend that you first think about how or why your current system doesn't work, i.e., its hard to find titles, there are some DVD's that aren't watched anymore, its difficult/annoying to put away DVD's.

With this in mind, I would start to think about which organizing method might work for you, whether the titles are organized by category (comedy, horror, sci-fi) and then alphabetized, alphabetical, by studio, or even movies separate from television series, etc. Once you decide on that method, you can then start to organize your DVD's according to your desired organizational method. If you are placing the DVD's into DVD cases (the type that holds 100 dvds or more) I would recommend that you leave extra spaces for new titles coming into your collection. You may also want to label your sections, depending on how easy it will be for you to find things.

When you organize your DVD's into categories, you may find some titles that no longer have much value to you. If this is the case, you can sell or donate the DVD's to friends, family, libraries, etc. Just keep in mind that most DVD's will not fetch the same amount of money that you paid for them, so try not to feel guilt for letting go of unwanted DVD titles.

Once you have your DVD's into categories, you can then think about what storage method works for storing/displaying your DVD's. If you want to continue using the folders, then space shouldn't be too much of a problem. If you decide to purchase a DVD shelf unit, then I would recommend purchasing one where you can fit all of your current DVD's, and that has extra space for growth. Similarly, matching book cases would work, provided that you have space for you to increase your collection.

I hope this helps.. I have learned these tips as I organized my own collection.
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Old 12-30-06, 10:33 AM   #4
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I gave up looking and hired someone to build me a shelving unit. That way I could maximize space, and it's not nearly as deep as a bookcase, so it looks a lot cleaner.

I have about 700 DVDs (including lots of boxsets) and it's just over half full.

As far as organization, I broke them into 3 groups. Movies/Docs, TV and Anime - and everything is alphabetical in it's group. I cheat some - like Fire Walk With Me is with Twin Peaks in TV, etc.
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Old 12-30-06, 10:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomOpus
Yeah, there are threads about storage. You could search and find those.
... and general organization. Speaking of which, a very recent one even .. http://forum.dvdtalk.com/dvd-talk/487152-how-do-you-organize-your-dvd-collection.html
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Old 12-30-06, 09:52 PM   #6
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I built my own DVD case when I moved into my new house. I have a small room I call my "Media Room" which holds all of my books, CDs, DVDs, etc. I believe I used 1" thick by 6" width boards for both my DVDs and CDs. It was a pretty easy design as I don't like to measure or cut. I think they are all 60" long and I used 2 of these for the sides. So the top shelf is about 62" high and I have a shelf every 8" or 10" all the way to the floor. Apparently I did a fairly good job as my friend asked me to do the same for him. Of course I'll give him the "friend" discount on the installation. I pretty much have the DVDs divided into sections:
TV
Regular Movies
Comedy Stand Up
Music
Criterions
Jackass type videos like CKY and the like.
and the "to be watched" section.

That way when someone comes over I can quickly pick out something based on what sounds good which a great deal of the time is the music DVDs, stand up, or TV on DVD.

I second what Mikey said. Figure out what bugs you about your current setup and work from there. I've noticed that once collections get bigger it's just easier to find something if you have them divided up into smaller sections like I have. The best thing is to organize them alphabetically and leave space on each shelf for ones you add later so you don't have to shuffle all of them every time you add a DVD.

Good luck.
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Old 12-31-06, 10:00 AM   #7
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I use the "alpha-numerical-chronological-dierectorial-subjectmatter method" of storing and organizing DVDs.
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Old 12-31-06, 10:20 AM   #8
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Tip #1 - don't store them in ways that make it easy for someone to steal your entire collection in a matter of seconds.

Last edited by MovieExchange; 12-31-06 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 12-31-06, 10:35 AM   #9
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I just go straight alphabetical. I keep all the titles in a simple Excel spreadsheet with Title and Genre columns. If I'm looking for an anime title, I just sort on Genre and I'll find all the anime titles in alphabetical order, or Sci-Fi, or Western. You get the picture. As far as racks go, see post 8 here.
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Old 12-31-06, 12:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MovieExchange
Tip #1 - don't store them in ways that make it easy for someone to steal your entire collection in a matter of seconds.
Tip #2 - don't let the fear of someone stealing your collection prevent you from choosing a space-saving method such as binders, etc. if it'll really make things more convenient for you.
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Old 12-31-06, 12:32 PM   #11
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Old 12-31-06, 02:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Adams
Tip #2 - don't let the fear of someone stealing your collection prevent you from choosing a space-saving method such as binders, etc. if it'll really make things more convenient for you.
Whomever steals your collection will be sure to thank you for making it easier.

You have to weigh convenience against security. If you're the type that doesn't have large groups of people (and their friends) over, or if you're not the type that carries your "steal me" binder along with you when you leave the house (which recently happened to one of my customers), then you should be OK.
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Old 01-01-07, 01:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MovieExchange
Whomever steals your collection will be sure to thank you for making it easier.
No, they won't. The person who grabs a trash bag and dumps hundreds of DVDs still in their cases off the shelves and into the bag will definitely thank that collector though, because they'll know they can take those DVDs to any store that accepts trade-ins and walk away with hundreds of dollars in new merchandise, and perhaps even cash. Anyone who steals my collection will not only be turned away because it largely consists of documentaries, low-demand music videos, and relatively unpopular animation collections, but also because the DVDs are in binders with no cases, and therefore, no barcodes. More often than not, people steal stuff not to have the stuff, but to sell it for cash. It's much more difficult to do that with DVDs in binders, so even though a binder is easier to steal, the fact that it screams "STOLEN!!!" when you take it to a pawn shop, or that no major retailer will take discs that aren't in cases should be a pretty strong deterrent.

Quote:
You have to weigh convenience against security. If you're the type that doesn't have large groups of people (and their friends) over, or if you're not the type that carries your "steal me" binder along with you when you leave the house (which recently happened to one of my customers), then you should be OK.
I did weigh convenience against security. I realized that it was not only inconvenient to leave all my DVDs in their cases, I also knew it would just make it easier for people to trade those DVDs in if they were still in the cases. Also, in the same way that people say it's easier to find the movie you're looking for on a shelf rather than in a binder, it's much easier for a thief to find the titles that will gain them more in trade credit or cash. A binder full of 40 DVDs isn't much lighter than 40 DVDs in the cases, but if the DVDs are all on a shelf, you only have to take certain titles. If you have to grab a dozen full 40-disc binders off the shelf, they are not only going to be difficult to carry, but they're gonna be pretty heavy. The fact that a potential thief either has to take everything or waste time flipping through my binders is most definitely a plus in the security department.

I don't typically have large groups of people over, but what is easier to spot before everyone leaves -- one missing Amaray case on a shelf of hundreds, or one 2-inch binder missing from a shelf of 12? Granted, if someone has enough time to sit there and flip through your binders because you invited them into your house, they can easily slip a bare disc into their jacket or whatever, but they can do that with cases on shelves too, and they could even take the case itself instead of just the disc. I'm not sure what kind of lifestyle you lead, but if I were to have a big party, it's a pretty safe bet that the people invited aren't thieves, nor would they associate with someone like that.

The important thing is to base your storage and organization system on what works for you, and not on the remote possibility that someone will walk past cabinets full of electronic equipment and try to steal your DVDs. Unless you live in a hovel with a dirt floor, there's got to be plenty of stuff in your home that's worth more and is more easily converted into cash than a bunch of movies. The seediest pawn shop in town sells all their DVDs for $4.99 or less, so you can imagine the pittance they actually offer for them, and if I recall correctly, it's a trade-only proposition, no cash. I feel pretty safe either way, but if you want to make security an issue, keeping your DVDs in the cases seems a strange choice.

Last edited by Mike Adams; 01-01-07 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 01-01-07, 01:30 PM   #14
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You never know what people will steal, or why. Someone stole my wife's XM radio out of her car last July 4th. Of course, since it's serialized, we called XM and had that radio shut off. So now it's no good to anyone.
But yeah, if they're stealing to have or for resale/pawn, the cases would be more inviting, if they're stealing to have or just because they're sleazebags, a binder might be more attractive because they could more easily take a larger chunk of someone's collection.
If someone breaks into my house, there's other stuff I'm more concerned about their stealing than a few dvds. And the only people I have over are people I know and trust.
I've got one big shelf, I think it's this one
http:///58tsl
and we've got some little cubical 'knick knack' shelves where some of the oddly shaped or larger box sets go [Nightmare on Elm Street, Last Exile, Buffy, Monty Python, Matrix].
Alphabetical order by title or 'common name' [ie, all Star Wars movies together].
Getting and storing a new title, especially one that's early in the alphabet [such as S1-3 of Arrested Development], is a little challenging, but there's usually enough room on each shelf so that I can expand them a little. Or I use that as an omen to sell/trade some more titles to make room. So to an extent it's self-limiting.
For viewing decisions, I either just browse the shelves to see what i want to watch, or I'll pull up DVDprofiler and filter on "not watched" and whatever other criteria.
But yeah, review what you want, and plan for expansion. ABC is nice because it is organized, but like I said, adding titles to the 'middle' can be a pain. Especially since lots of titles nowadays are oddly shaped, it was easier when virtually everything was the same size. But it also depends on how often you add to your collection--for me, spending ten minutes once or twice a month is not a big deal.
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Old 01-01-07, 01:52 PM   #15
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I like to use shelves for my DVDs. You can get them inexpensive from Ikea and add more as your collection grows. Too many times I ran out of room on racks and didn't have room to add an additional rack, so I had to upgrade the size instead.
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Old 01-01-07, 01:53 PM   #16
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Welcome back. Yeah, theft is definitely unpredictable. I wasn't saying that you're 100% safe with any particular storage system, just wanted to dispel the myth that binder=immediately stolen. I think that idea started back when CDs were entering the mainstream, but were still on the expensive side and therefore there was a huge market for used CDs, which meant many record stores were paying cash for them. A nice fat CD wallet was an easy snatch and a lucrative haul, which isn't necessarily the case anymore. The truth is that if someone wants to steal something from you, they'll do it, and neither option really makes it more or less difficult, so you might as well forget all that and concentrate on what works every day instead of worrying about "one day".

Oh, and my girlfriend keeps threatening to buy me one of those huge wall units like you posted a link to, but I just tell her I'd rather keep buying binders and storage boxes for my cases. After all, I can afford it.

Last edited by Mike Adams; 01-01-07 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 01-01-07, 01:57 PM   #17
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Mike, are there any more snide comments or irrelevant remarks that you would like to throw out in order to avoid my point? The simple fact is that storing your collection in a compact item like a box or a binder makes it easier to steal. Now if you don't have large groups of people around, or if you don't do something stupid like one of my customers did and carry the binder in your car, you should be OK. But it's still easier to steal items when they're in an easily moved container.
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Old 01-01-07, 02:00 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtcarson
But yeah, review what you want, and plan for expansion. ABC is nice because it is organized, but like I said, adding titles to the 'middle' can be a pain. Especially since lots of titles nowadays are oddly shaped, it was easier when virtually everything was the same size. But it also depends on how often you add to your collection--for me, spending ten minutes once or twice a month is not a big deal.
Agreed... I actually live for that. For me, watching DVDs is only half the fun -- organizing, sorting, shifting... that's the real fun. Oops, my OCD is showing, isn't it?
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Old 01-01-07, 02:06 PM   #19
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You're right about the CD thing. More than one friend of mine in college had their binders with most of their CD collection stolen right out of their car. For me, the binder thing wouldn't work, I'd have to find a place to store the binders, and open each dvd, which means I can no longer resell them as "in factory shrinkwrap" if I decide to do that. I open something when I want to watch it, basically.
What do you do with the cases/liners/inserts? Never mind, I just reread your post--you box them up and stick them in the attic or whatever?

Just like the varied content of different people's collection, each person puts on a slightly different spin on the basic question of "where do I put these things when I'm not watching them", and there's no right answer, it just depends on each persons priorities.

Certainly storing them in a binder makes them *easier* to steal, but it might not be as *attractive* to steal as the complete package. Plus with a binder unless they take time to flip through it, they could be getting Salo or they could be getting dvds from Rice Krispies boxes, so while they could get more, more easily, they're in less control of what they're getting.

I don't necessarily like organizing them, I see it as a necessarily evil, but I will admit, it's a nice feeling to be done and look back and *see* that it's organized. In fact we just rearranged a few bookcases and got a bunch of books organized [well, "shelved or boxed so you can browse them", it would be impossible to alphabetize them]. Although I wasn't looking forward to doing the initial fill of the rack, so I convinced my wife to do it. The alphabetical printout from DVD profiler helped though.
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Last edited by dtcarson; 01-01-07 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 01-01-07, 02:18 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by MovieExchange
Mike, are there any more snide comments or irrelevant remarks that you would like to throw out in order to avoid my point? The simple fact is that storing your collection in a compact item like a box or a binder makes it easier to steal. Now if you don't have large groups of people around, or if you don't do something stupid like one of my customers did and carry the binder in your car, you should be OK. But it's still easier to steal items when they're in an easily moved container.
I don't know, give me some time and I may think of a few.

Look dude, if you want to only see one aspect of a problem, go right ahead. Throw chains over your doors and people will steal the chains. You keep saying you're thinking of security, but you obviously don't know a damn thing about it. A large part of security is not making things difficult to steal, it's eliminating the MOTIVATION. Besides, there's very little difference between binders and cases, since each provides unique deterrents. True, you can pick up 40 DVDs at a time with a binder, but you don't get to see what you're getting.

Jeff Foxworthy mentions in his stand-up act that he knew he was getting old when someone broke into his car and only three of his CDs were missing. I realize it was just a joke, but real situations like that happen all the time, because as much as you don't want to admit it, I was right. People usually steal for a reason. You might get an asshole now and again who is either so pissed at you that he'll just derive joy from depriving you of a few DVDs, or so desperate that he'll grab whatever he can, but for the most part, risking getting caught and possibly being sent to jail isn't worth it unless there's a decent payoff. Someone could scan your shelves in a few seconds and grab a dozen DVDs that will get him more than a whole 40-disc binder. It really doesn't take that long, and you're advertising what you have. Besides, the guy knows he can safely trade in DVDs that have complete packaging, but even the shadiest pawn shop is gonna tip off the cops if he comes in toting a binder or travel case. That's a fact.

Like I've said, I'm not touting either option as being 100% safe (like you apparently are), I'm just saying that all this "Oh my god, don't EVER use binders, because your whole collection will be stolen from you in two weeks" bullshit is simply that... bullshit. If you bring a binder with you (for security reasons, the guy probably thought) and you leave it on your car seat in the middle of South Central, then yeah, it'll probably get stolen. Do the same thing with a stack of DVDs in cases, and I hardly think a thief is gonna say to himself "Wow, DVDs! Hey, waitaminute, those Amaray cases slide around a lot when you grab a big stack of 'em, I better just move on to the next car and see if there's a nice handy binder in it." (See, I knew I could come up with something else if given enough time. )

Keep deluding yourself, man. I have no quarrel with people who want to keep shelves full of DVDs because it looks better -- it does! Still, to do this regardless of whether it's what you really want to do or whether it's more convenient out of fear that someone's gonna steal all your stuff is pretty damn ridiculous. Maybe if you didn't pick fights with people in internet forums, you wouldn't have to worry so much about people trying to steal from you.
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Old 01-01-07, 02:25 PM   #21
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Hey dtcarson,

I'm sure people have gotten tired of my detailed explanations of how I organize my DVDs, but you can check the other 53 threads on this topic. In a nutshell, I just use binders that can hold inserts for DVDs that have them, and ones that just hold the discs for ones that don't. I typically put the empty cases in storage boxes made for DVDs, but because that takes up as much space as the original DVDs, I've started actually tossing cases where the insert is identical to the front cover, or in cases where it's some awful new Photoshop monstrosity instead of carrying over the theatrical poster or VHS art.

Last edited by Mike Adams; 01-01-07 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 01-01-07, 02:37 PM   #22
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Try one of these...I have two of the 3-drawer cabinets...and it's got my collection of 700+ in it with room for more.

http://www.can-am.ca/cdvideo1.htm
http://www.shopperinc.com

They lock, it keeps them out of the way, and it ends up quite clean looking. I ordered mine from the second link, because they are a bit cheaper. quite nice...
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Old 01-17-07, 01:03 PM   #23
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OP, get a Billy Bookcase from IKEA. They are perfect. You will also need two extra shelves. It comes with 5 and you need 7 to fill it out with all DVD's (see pic) Speaking of extra shelves, does anyone have access to a 30x10 extra Birch colored shelf? I need two and cannot find them anywhere and IKEA does no sell them online.

EDIT: The only IKEA store that has the 30x10 Birch Veneer extra Billy Bookcase shelf is College Park, MD. Anyone near there feeling generous? I will most certainly pay.

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Old 01-17-07, 01:45 PM   #24
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AOD...how many do they hold?
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Old 01-17-07, 06:00 PM   #25
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rite now i use 2 atlanic dvd racks. the 1st one holds my tv on dvd sets & my second one holds the movies.

go to racksandstands.com they have tons of great products.
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