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Ditching the cases and saving space

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Ditching the cases and saving space

Old 12-17-13, 05:04 PM
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Ditching the cases and saving space

I'm the king of procrastinators, but every now and then I actually follow through on one of my threats. This time it was my longstanding threat to get rid of the DVD and Blu-ray cases that have been taking up so much room in my relatively small apartment. I bought two 320-disc capacity CD wallets on Amazon, and after a few days' work, I got most of the discs out of the cases and into the wallets, making sure to leave empty spaces for new additions:





One wallet is for movies, the other for TV shows. Simple.

I know that a lot of cinephiles are probably horrified at the very thought of doing something like this, and I was worried that I would get all nostalgic about losing the cases and artwork, but I really didn't. I was so fucking sick of those cases, in more ways than one: taking up so much room, constantly having to find new space for them, having to re-arrange shelves with every new addition, putting up with case spindles that won't hold the disc at all because the plastic shattered in transit, and (I could post five topics about this one) cases in which getting the disc out is a chore because the people who designed it were more concerned with it looking nice than with it being functional. Now that it's done, my only thoughts are "good riddance."

(In case anyone is wondering, no, I didn't throw out the cases entirely. They're all sitting in a big box shoved in the back of my closet in case I ever need them, and I took out the paper sleeves and stuffed them in a big Ziploc bag that's sitting next to the box. It's a good thing I kept them, because I've had to dig them out on occasion, like when I give away a DVD that I own more than one copy of.)

Anyway, doing this cleaned up the shelves in my place considerably. The vast majority of my DVDs and Blu-rays went into the CD wallets, but I did keep one small shelf devoted to movies:



As you can see, I like to keep it loose with space for additions. There are several reasons why I may put something on this shelf with packaging intact instead of relegating it to the CD wallets: if it has nice packaging, if it's one of my favorite movies, or if putting the discs in the CD wallets would be redundant (for example, if a lot of discs are crammed together in a box set and no more space can be saved by removing them).

On the top shelf there are some small sets (Alfred Hitchcock, Alien, Chucky, Terminator, Universal Classic Monsters), the Monty Python's Flying Circus "16-Ton Megaset," and some single-film releases with nicer packaging (Apocalypse Now, Halloween 35th Anniversary, Nosferatu, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Steelbook, some Godzilla films). The middle shelf has Mission: Impossible on the left (the black film cans housing the DVDs were taken out of the huge cardboard box in which they came), Blade Runner (my favorite movie, sitting next to the hardcover book it came with), King Kong in the ridiculous metal tin case, some Criterion Blu-rays, a couple of multi-film sets (A Nightmare on Elm Street and the Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes films), and some nicer single-film releases (Gladiator Steelbook, Taxi Driver). The bottom shelf has a few of those Mill Creek sets filled with 50 movies each, Star Trek stuff in the middle, and Tales from the Crypt on the right (the packaging on these is far too good to throw out).

Everything else went in the CD wallets. I had to make some tough decisions here and there. Should I keep the Mel Brooks Blu-ray set intact on the shelf, or spread the discs out alphabetically in the CD wallets? (I chose the latter.) Some of it was hard to throw in the closet because it was just so pretty, like the Simpsons and Futurama cases, but the more frustration I had with getting the discs out, the more I wanted the damn things gone. Now getting the discs out is just a matter of flipping to it in the CD wallet and pulling it out. I sacrificed some aesthetics for convenience, but my progressively rising blood pressure is okay with that.

P.S. Please, no requests for the cases I threw in the closet. As eager as I was to get rid of them, I like keeping them around in case I ever need them.
Old 12-17-13, 05:08 PM
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Re: Ditching the cases and saving space

Nice...But I would NEVER not have my DVD cases displayed! Just my opinion-
Old 12-17-13, 05:40 PM
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Re: Ditching the cases and saving space

I'm in the early stages of a similar process. I should be done by 2019.

Lots of talk on this matter in our organization thread.
Old 12-17-13, 05:47 PM
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Re: Ditching the cases and saving space

I could/would never do that. I like looking at them too much.
Old 12-17-13, 06:47 PM
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Re: Ditching the cases and saving space

I am on the verge of doing this myself. I literally have more stuff than I have room for. I have been putting it off for as long as I can, but I've got to do something soon.
Old 12-17-13, 08:51 PM
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Re: Ditching the cases and saving space

Good for you, Jory. Why do we collect things? Because we enjoy those things or the process of collecting. The minute it becomes a frustration is the moment we need to do something about it. I can't see myself taking the same steps you have, but it's possible I might sometime down the road.
Old 12-17-13, 09:12 PM
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Re: Ditching the cases and saving space

I ditched the packaging LONG ago and have all my physical media in binders. I'm not an obsessive collector, I don't need to "see" evidence of my purchases. I just want the content, the rest can go pound sand.

All packaging gets tossed almost immediately.
Old 12-17-13, 09:31 PM
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Re: Ditching the cases and saving space

When I had more movies I did something like that years ago by buying hanging file cases that hold five to six hundred discs and put the artwork in binders. It saved a lot of space and for the most part I was about content more than looking at a wall of cases. There was also the issue of me being picky and all used films cases had to be replaced with new cases and some new ones if they were damaged or had spin glue.

I find most cases to be an inefficient use of space.
Old 12-17-13, 10:18 PM
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Re: Ditching the cases and saving space

I can't say that DVD and Blu-ray cases are all good or all bad. I had to weigh some pros and cons when deciding to do this. The pros are saving space and not having to deal with annoying packaging that makes removing the disc difficult. The cons are having to get out a huge CD wallet to select a disc instead of taking a relatively small case off a shelf, having to go find a plastic case or paper sleeve for a disc if I want to give it away or sell it, and not having readily available lists of special features and TV episodes. Some TV shows put the episode titles on the discs, but it's unfortunately common for them not to. Some shows come with a little paper insert that I can fold and put into the CD wallet, which is nice, but too many shows put the episode list on the reverse of the cover sleeve, which is incredibly annoying even if you keep the case.

As for the value of the packaging, obviously I like it when it's nice, or else I wouldn't be keeping so many cases on my one remaining DVD shelf. I like Steelbooks, even though their overlapping disc design for 2-disc sets annoys me. I love the Alien Anthology book, the Halloween 35th Anniversary book, and the Tales from the Crypt packaging is too good to let go. (You can't see it until you open it, but each case has episode listings done in lovely comic book style artwork.) I keep the Criterion cases, since they always come with nice booklets. Blade Runner, Nosferatu, and the Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes films come in standard cases, but I keep them on the shelf because I'm in love with the movies. King Kong has to stay on a shelf because that ludicrous tin case is just too good to toss. Other packaging, like Monty Python's Flying Circus, Mission: Impossible, and the Mill Creek public domain horror and sci-fi crap, I have no special affinity for, but they keep all the discs crammed together in a small amount of space, and putting them in the CD wallets would be pointless. Like I said above, I had to make some decisions. Why put the four Mission: Impossible films in a wallet but not the four Terminator films? Because fuck it, that's why.

Anyway. I know that this isn't the right thing to do for everyone. It was just right for me. I was running out of space (I have a hard enough time finding room for all the books in my place, let alone DVDs) and I was getting sicker every day of dealing with cases that were either broken during shipping and wouldn't hold the disc or designed by some dipshit who didn't care if the disc could be removed without breaking it. (Seriously, I can't remember the last time I bought multiple films without having at least one case which had either a broken spindle or a spindle that held the disc in a death grip.) If you want every wall of your home lined with shelves proudly displaying every plastic case you've ever acquired, more power. But if anyone else has been seriously considering doing what I've done, you now know the pros and cons.
Old 12-18-13, 02:52 PM
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Re: Ditching the cases and saving space

Big mistake to put the dvd and blu-rays in binders like that. They WILL get scratched up eventually. It would be better to save the artwork that can be saved and keep it in a folder, leave the big box sets to themselves as you probably don't and can't minimize that kind of artwork, and put the discs into cd jewel cases.
Old 12-18-13, 03:31 PM
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Re: Ditching the cases and saving space

^Sorry to burst your bubble there but I've had my Blu-Rays in binders for 6 years now, and not a single one of them have been scratched up or damaged in any way.
Old 12-18-13, 03:39 PM
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Re: Ditching the cases and saving space

/\ Great, now you're on his list.
Old 12-18-13, 04:48 PM
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Re: Ditching the cases and saving space

I've heard conflicting accounts of people getting scratches from CD wallets. It seems to depend on which brand you buy. I tested mine by taking a DVD and a Blu-ray that I didn't really care about (the Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack of Sucker Punch, which might be the worst movie I've ever seen... it was a $5 blind buy) and repeatedly putting the discs in and taking them out, inspecting them afterward to see if there was any damage. The Blu-ray had no scratches whatsoever, which isn't surprising, since Blu-rays have a scratch-resistant coating on them. The DVD had some minor scuff marks on it, but it's nothing that would affect playback. Every disc I ever got from Netflix looked far worse.
Old 12-18-13, 06:02 PM
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Re: Ditching the cases and saving space

One reason I picked hanging file cases vs binders is adding new discs is much easier.
Old 12-18-13, 06:29 PM
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Re: Ditching the cases and saving space

I've been putting my DVD's and now my blurays (select titles) (I've just gone past the one thousandth bluray title) into CD slips and then into a custom built file drawers
Old 12-19-13, 01:00 AM
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Re: Ditching the cases and saving space

For me, the covers are half the fun- sometimes more!
Old 12-19-13, 08:45 AM
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Re: Ditching the cases and saving space

I converted my collection over to slim cases long ago. Printed up custom artwork for each title and condensed everything down to the slimmest case it would fit in.
Old 12-19-13, 09:57 AM
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Re: Ditching the cases and saving space

Originally Posted by jjcool View Post
I converted my collection over to slim cases long ago. Printed up custom artwork for each title and condensed everything down to the slimmest case it would fit in.
Ditto here!
Old 12-19-13, 10:03 AM
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Re: Ditching the cases and saving space

I've done something similar but instead of a regular DVD/CD case I purchased a bunch of Unikeep binders http://www.unikeep.com/collections/media-storage/ These are nice in that they are hard cases, w/ a plastic wrap over them that allow you to create your own covers. So far I've created my own custom covers for about 40-50 titles things like; 3rd Rock from the Sun, Die Hard Collection (need to update this one though), Foyle's War, my Harryhausen collection, etc. Some have turned out better than others but it's been kind of fun overall. Just need the templates (available from the website above), an editing program, a little creativity and a printer that can do legal sized color prints. Although I've only done the full wraps for the 10/20 disc cases, for the 40/48/80 cases I just print a spine.
Old 12-19-13, 10:27 AM
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Re: Ditching the cases and saving space

A thread on Home Theater Forum addresses this issue under this thread title:
Warning: Be Careful How You Store Your Collection
Old 12-19-13, 02:12 PM
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Re: Ditching the cases and saving space

If you choose to do this I would highly recommend keeping the trapsheets stored away as they don't really take up much room when they're flattened in a pile.

By completely tossing out the packaging your discs really become worthless. Yeah, most titles are only worth a buck or two complete but it's still a buck or two more than they are worth as a disc-only.

As the years go on, more and more titles will become out-of-print and could fetch a decent price - if you have the original packaging.
Old 12-19-13, 03:40 PM
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Re: Ditching the cases and saving space

Originally Posted by Hokeyboy View Post
^Sorry to burst your bubble there but I've had my Blu-Rays in binders for 6 years now, and not a single one of them have been scratched up or damaged in any way.
No bubble burst. Blu-rays have anti scratch coating....
Old 12-19-13, 04:56 PM
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Re: Ditching the cases and saving space

^ Yeah, like I said, I kept the cases and sheets, stuffed away in storage in my bedroom. I've already had to dig them out on a couple of occasions to give away a movie that I owned more than one copy of.

As for the other packaging that people have been suggesting, I went with the big CD wallets primarily because they were so inexpensive compared to the alternatives. I only spent about $16 each for them, and the customer reviews on Amazon were positive enough for me to take a chance. I really like these kinds of sleeves...





...which hold two discs in a very thin sleeve and preserve the artwork, but they were just too expensive for the amount of discs I had. Like I've been saying all along in this topic, people should do whatever's right for them. I'm just showing off something that worked out pretty well for me.
Old 12-19-13, 05:51 PM
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Re: Ditching the cases and saving space

nice!
Old 12-19-13, 07:12 PM
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Re: Ditching the cases and saving space

Originally Posted by jjcool View Post
I converted my collection over to slim cases long ago. Printed up custom artwork for each title and condensed everything down to the slimmest case it would fit in.
That is WAAAYYYY too much work. I need to do something. I like the slim case idea, but the artwork doesn't fit in it and I don't want to cut it or create my own artwork. I wish somebody made slim cases that were wider on the horizontal side so that the artwork would still fit into the case without cutting it.

Right now, I have some in shelves, some in boxes and some of my collection is in CD sleeves in alphabetical order with the inserts in a file cabinet. That is only for stuff I pick up at thrift stores that's not worth much or if the disc is not "perfect".

Wish I had the room to do this:
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-aHVICOcR4G...ary02small.jpg

but even a bedroom would not be enough.

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