Organizing And…Organizing And

Smokin’ the reefer!  Sorry…I just couldn’t contain myself and HAD to throw in a little Super Troopers quote/blog title spoof since tonight’s post is all about how I organized our DVD collection.  For those of you who haven’t seen Super Troopers and don’t quite understand what’s going on here, feel free to take a little ten minute break from your regularly scheduled programming to check out the Super Troopers opening scene clip on YouTube.  All caught up now?  Alrighty then, let’s cut right to the chase.  Our DVD/media storage is like a Monet.  From afar, it looks pretty good all contained in that cottage style media cabinet that Colby built.


But then you get close up to it, and it’s just a big ol’ mess.

Media Storage Before

DVDs are stuffed…literally stuffed…in every nook and cranny of that cabinet.  They’re even stuffed underneath it in a pair of long, shallow baskets.

Media Storage Before

And I stare at that cabinet every day.  I sit on the couch, blog my little heart out, occasionally watch the DIY Network, and contemplate how to reorganize all those DVDs.  Something had to be done and done quick because we had gotten a few new movies for Christmas and had no place to put them.  I dreamt, I schemed, I Pinterested, I stalked Staples, and wound up coming home with a few packages of double-sided disc sleeves (on clearance for about $6) and some Martha Stewart Craft labels (for $3.99).  Operation get rid of all the DVD cases and instead use spacing saving sleeves commenced.

Media Organization Supplies

I knew transferring all the DVDs from their original cases into the CD sleeves would significantly condense everything down.  Instant space saver.  Just check out the comparison below of seven seasons of Gilmore Girls (man I miss that show…so obsessed that I want to name my first born Lorelei…even if it’s a boy).  Original cases vs. in the disc sleeves.

Compact DVD Storage

Holy space saving awesomeness Batman!  Why didn’t I think of this before?!  Then came the painstaking process of labeling all the sleeves.

Labeling DVDs With Kraft Paper Labels

Colby thinks I’m crazy for doing this.  Especially since there were about 200-300 discs to label.  I suppose I could have skipped this step but I had visions of quickly being able to scan through the labels looking for a flick to watch.  Since not all DVDs are labeled equally, this was my labeling method of choice for easy scanning.  I sliced up the Martha kraft paper labels into thirds and wrote out the DVD title before slapping it on the sleeve.

After doing all this, I was left with a HUGE stack of empty DVD cases.  And by the way, this was the first time that Colby and I have really merged our DVD collections together.  There was always “Colby’s movies” and “Angie’s movies”.  And we’ve been living together for three years.  After merging, I only found four duplicates!  Which was shocking since we both have this crazy gravitation towards the dumbest movies (hello…Super Troopers?!).

Empty DVD Cases

All those DVD cases…they were condensed down to this:

DVD Sleeves In Baskets

The six plus baskets were condensed down to just two baskets.  As for the empty DVD cases, I REALLY wanted to recycle them…but Colby said no.  He never says no.  So I played the role of the good wife and listened and obliged.  The cases got packed away in a couple of storage totes to be sent to the depths of the basement never to be seen again.

Storing Empty DVD Cases In Basement

I could have stopped right there in this DVD organization scheme of things, but one of the reasons for tackling this whole project in the first place was to make it so we could easily find the movie we were looking for.  In the old system, we would pull out a basket and thumb through the options, put it back, thumb through the next basket, until we happened to come across the movie we wanted.  So I thought a little divider tab/alphabetizing the movies system would be a great way to streamline the great movie search.  So I DIY-ed myself some DVD storage divider tabs.

Make Your Own DVD Organizing Tabs

I crafted my own divider tabs out of leftover kraft paper from our wedding programs.  Here’s to recycling materials from projects past!  To make them:

  1. Trace a disc sleeve, free handing a little tab part, to make a template
  2. Fold the template in half just to make sure the tab is centered (perform a little trim trim if it’s not)
  3. Trace the template onto the kraft paper
  4. Cut out the tabs
  5. Label the tabs

Easy as pie.  Mmmm…pie.  Tabs included one for each letter of the alphabet, one for movies starting with a number, one for each of the TV on DVD series we own, one for Wii games, one for PlayStation games, and one for fitness related DVDs.

Categorizing DVDs

Then it was a matter of alphabetizing all of the movies.  I briefly debated categorizing the movies (comedy, action/adventure, drama, etc.) and then alphabetizing but that just seemed like too much work.  I liked the one massive pot for all movies.

Hot tip…what made the alphabetizing effort easier was laying out all the divider tabs and sorting through the whole stack of movies by letter, laying the DVD sleeve on each corresponding letter’s tab.  Then I could more easily alphabetize within that letter.  Whoa…layers of organizing…am I in heaven?!

Alphabetizing DVDs

And…done.  I ended up spreading the DVDs across three baskets, although they fit in just two.  The one on the left is just for TV on DVD, the middle guy contains movies A through Q, and the right hand basket contains movies R through Z along with the games and fitness DVDs.

Categorizing DVDs

I remember reading in Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project (one of my FAVORITE books by the way) that she wanted to have spaces in her house that clutter could expand into one day…an empty drawer just for the sake of having an empty drawer.  Well, I finally have my empty drawer…well…technically it’s half of a media cabinet.  The right side of the baskets in the cabinet are empty, along with the baskets underneath the cabinet.

Media Storage After

Here’s the closeup.  Although I did throw our playing cards and cribbage boards into one of the baskets.  Otherwise, those three on the end are empty with a capital E.

Media Storage After

Just last week I was spazzing about where to put the new DVDs…this week…we could go on one big DVD spree, bring home half of the movies at Target, and still have PLENTY of room to spare in our media storage cabinet.  Not to mention, it is 100 times easier these days to find a movie than it was before.  Quick…go find me Joe Dirt (Colby’s favorite movie).

Media Storage After

Although I do fear that I will become the official movie putter-away-er in this house.  After I spent most of my weekend working on this project, Colby is scared to death of putting a movie back in the wrong spot.  So when I die, my tomb stone will read, “Here lies Angie…wife, Goose Mom, marketer, and movie-putter-away-er”.

Pssst…Colby wants me to make sure you all know that the blog post title was his idea.  Just passing that along so he gets proper credit.

Pssssssst…And tomorrow there’s a little organizing project link party going on over at one of my favorite blogs, Carmel at Our Fifth House.  I’ll be linking this project up…after I’m done swooning over all the other goodness going on over there.  Go check it out!


      1. We’re planning on going to Maine for our honeymoon in September! Suggestions or ideas on things to see and do for newly weds and first timers to ME?

        1. Oooooh! Yes, yes, YES! Send me an email at [email protected] and let me know what area you’ll be in and if you have any particular interests. I’m a longtime Maine-ah and I’ve lived in all “Three Maine’s” (Northern, Central and Southern) so I’ve got tons of ideas! Ooooh…I’m so excited for you!

  1. Oh my goodness. I LOVE this idea SO much! I adore the final look, what a HUGE difference! And SO organized, seriously you have me drooling!!! Thank you SO much for sharing and for linking up at the
    “Organize It” party! I am pinning this idea!

    1. Haha! I’m glad you liked it! And not only does it LOOK good (which face it…it’s the most important part) but it’s sooo easy to find DVDs now! Thanks for stopping by and for the comment…it made my day!

  2. so what about all your inserts? Especially the TV on DVD stuff… some of those are important so you know which dvd you want if you want to watch a specific episode. We also have a DVD storage problem… well we have a DVD problem which = a storage problem. Right now they are on 3 shelves and still have some hidden within the entertainment center. But I can’t bear to part with the cases. I feel like I’d be missing something.

    1. I had the same conundrum, that’s one of the reasons we kept all the cases just in case. But so far, I haven’t missed the inserts one bit! Give it a test run and see how it goes!

    1. They came from Target a few years back but they ALWAYS seem to have them, or a similar version of them, in the storage totes area of the store. Good luck in the basket hunt!

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