How To Organize and Store a CD Collection ~ I don’t know about your situation but in our family we have built up quite a CD collection over the years. Hence we have music from a wide range of artists and a wide variety of music genres.
I didn’t count the exact number but there are around 300 CD’s sitting in their CD cases stacked randomly on two shelves in a book case. Most of the CD’s have also been downloaded onto our iTune collection on the family computer. So the question is How To Organize And Store A CD Collection?
There are actually three problems with this situation:
- I can’t remember the last time when I or anyone else in the family listened to a CD because we all have created our own playlists on our own Apple devices. So do I actually need to keep the CD collection?
- The second problem is if I choose to keep the collection, what is the best way to store them? It doesn’t make sense to store something in a way that creates extra clutter and takes up extra space. I also don’t want to spend a lot of money so cost is a factor to consider.
- The third problem is I am dealing with a lot of CD’s so I need an organizing system to organize everything so it isn’t a confusing lengthy process and so it actually gets completed.
Solutions For How To Organize And Store A CD Collection
Whenever I take on an organizing project I spend a lot of time on the front end planning and preparing and just as importantly, I use a system that helps me keep the process organized. It is a very simple system that uses the five ‘W’s’ and the ‘How’.
WHAT – The project was to organize and create a new way to store the family CD collection.
WHY – I chose to keep the CD’s because it is a significant collection that belongs to the whole family. The music may be stored in iTunes but it is also nice to have the backup and the option to play music on the CD players we still have in the house.
WHO – This isn’t a task that I needed to outsource and I didn’t feel a need to ask for help from family or friends so I did it on my own.
WHEN – I expected this to take several hours so I did the actual sorting and organizing over several shorter sessions.
WHERE – I used the dining room table to sort and store everything while organizing and I worked in front of the TV in the living room.
HOW – These are the before, during and after steps I took:
- The first thing I did was estimate how many CD’s there were so I knew how much storage would be needed.
- Then I researched online and in various stores different storage options. My thinking was that I wanted something that did not create more clutter and space and was very easy to use so that if we were looking for a specific CD it was very doable.
- I found my solution at Walmart and chose to buy two Memorex™ CD Travel Cases that each hold 256 CDs. They were about $25.00 each so my total expense was around $50.00.
- Now I had to come up with a system for how I wanted to organize the CD’s in the two cases. I chose not to organize them by music genre because some music could go into two categories and I felt it would get too confusing. Instead I chose to organize the CD’s in alphabetical order by artists’ names with separate categories for Christmas, classical, fitness, movies and mixes for the CD’s that were a compilation of artists.
- I also created a purge category for CD’s that clearly no one will ever play again and ones that appeared damaged.
- I made signs for each category by labeling folded index cards so they could stand up. I did this so the categories were clearly identified and no confusion was going to occur.
- The next task was to do the actual sorting. I did this on the dining room table and I used what I call a 2-step sorting system. During the first step I made two main piles. One pile was for all of the artists from A – M and the second pile was for all of the artists from N – Z. But I also set aside the CDs that were from movies, mixes, Christmas and needed to be purged.This is how the different piles looked like…
- Then I worked with the A –M pile and sorted out the CDs for each letter from A – M. So for example, The Beatles, Beach Boys and Back Street Boys all went into the ‘B’ pile. I then worked through the N – Z pile and did the same thing. I find it easier and far less confusing to use this 2 – step system because I narrowed down the categories I am looking for by half rather than search through 26 plus piles spread across the dining room table. This is what the sorted collection looked like…
- Now that all of the CDs were sorted into their piles in alphabetical order I now could start inserting them into the travel case. I knew that I had a lot of extra CD sleeves between the two cases so I left lots of spaces just in case we wanted to add another CD and so they were distributed evenly throughout the case. I didn’t bother putting the artists in alphabetical order within each alphabet letter but if there was more than one CD from the same artist I tried to keep them together. This was the part I did in front of the TV while watching the Olympics.
- I didn’t have to do this but I identified where each alphabet letter started by placing a label on the sleeve. I just used what I had in the house and that was some large Avery Labels that I cut in half and some alphabet stickers I bought a while ago at the dollar store.
- My organizing project was completed but I had a problem with having two identical travel cases that when they were zipped up there was no way to tell which letters were in which case. So I looped an aqua coloured ribbon into the handle of the case that housed the A – I Collection and a jade coloured ribbon into the handle of the case that housed the J – Z Collection. What was my thinking? Well, aqua starts with an ‘A’ and jade starts will a ’J’ providing a quick but effective visual for knowing which case is holding what range of artists. I also think it adds a nice decorative touch to the two basic black cases when they sit on the bookshelf!
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Have you still hung onto your CD collection? If so, how do you store them?
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