This week, we settled down to organize all of our cds. Since I don't believe cds are decoration (and we live in a very small apartment), the system we had finally settled on was cd binders. After getting all the cds into binders, I got rid of the jewel cases by putting up a post on Craigslist for free jewel cases (someone came for them almost immediately). I also recycled the cds through various programs. But alas, this system wasn't the one to rule them all; first, there's no binder large enough to accommodate all cds, so you end up with a lot of binders which are real space hogs. Plus cds tended to get moved around which made the system really disorganized. And forget about trying to alphabetize them, every time I wanted to add a cd, I had to rearrange tons of other cds first. I even tried leaving blank spaces for future cds-- but this adjustment just left various holes (some too large, some too small, never perfect) and they reminded me too much of sad, neglected empty lots in neighborhoods. Plus, this method further contributed to the binders' space hogging tendencies... What a pain!
So a few months ago, I started a new cd organization system-- I put the cds in individual sleeves and organized them in a cd case with A-Z indexes. Here are two pics:
As you can see, each sleeve usually contains the cd and usually the cover art. I decided to alphabetize them by artist's last name or band's names. If it's a cover album or a compilation, I went with whatever seemed to make the most sense; a cover album of Leonard Cohen went under "Cohen," a compilation of blues music went under the title of the album, etc. This system is easily the most compact and efficient of everything we've tried: after emptying all of our binders, we had a thoroughly organized and neat cd collection that took up a fraction of the space. Moving cds around is a breeze, finding one even easier.
Eventually, we settled on four genres: 1) classical/opera, 2) rock/pop, 3) jazz, and 4) rap. Personally, I think the jazz should be combined with rock/pop-- not because they are necessarily the same, but because I think that a fourth genre can start to complicate the organization, but so far, I've lost this battle.
As we finished the cds, I decided to move onto software and data disks. Now everything is absolutely organized...it's an amazing feeling. Want to hear U2's Unforgettable Fire cd? No problem! What's that you say, Bach's Mass in B minor? Be right with you! Need to reinstall that program you bought awhile ago? Here, you are...and it goes on and on...
Here's the list of materials you'll need:
- Vaultz A-Z CD File Guide
- Compucessory Double-Pocket CD/DVD Sleeve
- Ikea KNÖS storage box
We ordered the index files and cd sleeves from shoplet.com-- a great office supply store, best prices, fast shipping, & great customer service. You obviously don't have to go with the same Ikea boxes, but I like them best. They're just the right size for this system and the label and easy grab handles are a real plus. At the moment, we have to make another trip to Ikea to get more of these cd boxes so a lot of our cds are sitting in a makeshift cardboard box, but other that, we already love this system.
That's it for now, happy organizing! By the way, if you go this route, please remember to reuse or recycle your jewel cases and cds-- such a small step but so important!
Next on the list, our extensive book collection...I'll let you know when that happens. For now, I've already started with Mediaman and my Cue Cat (yes, I have a Cue Cat).