Use binders to downsize and organize your DVDs with an easy-loan bonus

Guest post by Casey Osmundson

DVD-Storage-IdeasWe used to have a crap-ton of DVDs. Seriously, they took up an entire wall. It was cool, though, because we had a nice big organizer from Ikea that looked super sexy on said wall. Then we moved into our tiny little house. We have windows on every wall, so there isn’t a single open space long enough for our cabinet!

The new plan: Declutter, join Netflix, and ditch our clunky DVD cases — opting instead to store them in this lovely little binder that tucks nicely under the television. Looking back, I can’t believe how much space we wasted before!

Step One: Declutter!

Get rid of every movie that you aren’t head-over-heels in love with. Most libraries rent out DVDs for free, and you can also join Netflix, go to Redbox, or stream pretty much anything from online sources like hulu. (There are even cables that hook into your tv so you can watch them on the big screen!)

Step Two: Ditch the cases

You can recycle them through A lot of Best Buy stores have recycling centers for jewel cases and DVDs, too!

Step Three: Grab a Sharpie

Label any disks that don’t have the title written on them. If you loan out your movies regularly, you might want to stick address labels on the front, too.

Step Four: Pop them in a binder!

Do NOT get overexcited and spend five hours organizing them alphabetically! They’ll just be a pain in the future when you have to reorganize everything after buying a new movie, and you might procrastinate about putting them back if they have to go into the “perfect” spot. Just group them by genre, and if you have a series of movies or a few seasons of your favorite TV show, group those together, too. Keep it simple!


Bonus Points: If you lend out your movies on a regular basis, you can grab some velcro and stick a few jewel cases in the back. I like these erasable labels that allow us to write the title of the movie on the case.

Pretty sweet, right? How do you store all of your media?

Comments on Use binders to downsize and organize your DVDs with an easy-loan bonus

  1. We did this when we moved overseas three years ago, to make it easier to bring them along in the suitcase, and I’ll never store DVDs any other way ever again. Takes a few more seconds every so often when you try to remember which binder had BSG and which had Futurama, but it’s absolutely worth the space we save. We even keep a smaller case next to the TV with the shows and Xbox games we’re currently using, to save us from having to hunt for them every time.

  2. What an awesome idea! I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with the ever growing DVD collection that’s overtaking a wall (or two… but they’re little walls!) in my living room.

    I may do this and free up some floor space…

    Who am I kidding, if shelves get cleared of DVDs that just makes room for more books instead. LOL

  3. Just a note – sticking labels directly onto disks isn’t always a good idea because it can unbalance them and mean they won’t spin properly in certain players.

  4. My husband I did this and I absolutely regret it. It makes it a lot harder to browse through DVDs when whether you’re looking for something specific or just in general (although we do keep a separate binder for each genre). We almost never watch the movies moved to the binders. Since I threw out the plastic cases we don’t even have the option of organizing them a different way.

    Now, the grain of salt to take this with: Between him and me we have an enormous movie/ tv show collection, maybe about 1200 discs (we started with three gigantic binders and we still have a bookshelf full of DVDs). This may not be the best storage solution for a truly epic number of discs.

    (Not to criticize the OP or anyone this method does work for.)

    • Wowza! Yes, that is a huge collection! Maybe you could try the mini file boxes from The Container Store or upgrade to a player that accepts flash drives or something? If everything is consolidated onto a few small drives, it might be less of a hassle to search through a menu vs. flipping through huge binders. You might even be able to save stuff online using Google Play or something and get rid of the physical storage altogether! I’m not sure how that works for movies, but it might be worth investigating. Good luck!!

      • Yeah, my husband’s going to be putting together a media PC now that we don’t have to save our pennies for moving anymore. Then it’s going to be a matter of cracking the discs to upload the movies and organizing them. It’s just as well, he needs projects πŸ™‚

        Also, I apparently have too much blood in my caffeine stream based on all the typos I made up there.

  5. Great idea! When I was away at college, I did this on a much smaller scale–taking just the discs in a little cd carrier (didn’t have a huge dvd collection at the time, but enough that this saved space). I wish I could convince my parents of the brilliance of this approach, though. They have a massive movie collection (a lot of VHS-es, as well, I might add, plus lots of things taped from TV c.1985-2005) that desperately needs to be scaled down.

    Additional question: anyone have a method for transforming those VHSes into a new format? (Aside from buying them all on DVD/digitally)

  6. A word of warning – I did this for all my music CDs and left in the boot of my car so I could easily update my 6-stacker CD changer … it made it very easy for the thieves that stole my car stereo to steal all my CDs too (including CDs of music my friends have made and the only recording I had of my choir and orchestra performing).

  7. At my job we have about 2000 CDs and DVDs that have to be found easily and quickly. Each one is assigned a number which is written on the disc and on the binder slot it goes in. All the CD titles and numbers are recorded in an Excel file that can be searched by CTRL + F. When a new disc comes in, it gets a new number, gets recorded, and goes in the back of a binder.

    It was a pain to set up initially, but it’s sooooo easy to find discs and put them away.

  8. Hi, you mentioned you had a giant shelf from Ikea before moving to binders. Do you mind telling me the name of it? I’m having a DVD storage problem here too. My husband has five million DVDs (ok, we counted the other day while putting them in rubbermaids–520 FREAKING cases) and he’s not willing to put them into binders and ditch the jewel cases. Luckily we do have one long wall we could put a big shelf or armoire on, but everything I’ve found is like 2k. Noooooot going to happen.

  9. We decided to digitize our collection and put them on a Network Attached Storage (NAS), and we play them on a Western Digital Media Player from any computer or TV in our house. It was a lot of wiring and time ripping, but I love the result.

    Originally, we kept the discs on shelves, then we got a spinning thing of shelves and now we just keep the discs boxed up to save space in our little apartment while he finishes his PhD. We’ve considered getting rid of the cases altogether, but I have an unreasonable attachment to them…

    Anyway, hurrah for saving space!

  10. I haven’t yet tried this, but am going to do the free trial soon. If you are getting Netflix, Indie Flix might go hand in hand with it. Sounds like exactly what it is, indie films for a cheap subscription streaming online like Netflix.

  11. This is such a good idea! We got married a week ago and have been kinda in a delemma on how to make space for my comicbook boxes. My Hubby is a huge movie/tv/horror host collector, and his Jewel cases have been taking up valuable space. So it has started… we bought one case (208DVDs) today and have filled it! the Hubby thinks that we will only need 3 or 4 more… this is a bit bigger of a job then I thought.. but I know it will be well worth it! Thanks for the idea!

  12. I did this a few years ago and I will NEVER go back.

    Bonus: the cases are the heavy part about dvds; moving apartments was made slightly easier by not having a huge, heavy box labeled: DVDS

  13. I have my CDs in booklets, all alphabetized and everything, but in order to accommodate future purchases we skipped a page every 20 CDs. That way the most I have to move is 10 to make a hole, and that doesn’t take long at all.

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