The ABCs of Organizing CDs and DVDs

Tips on organizing, cataloging and storing your CD and DVD collections

by Lorraine Brock

Often when we are hired to organize living or work spaces, we find large numbers of CDs and DVDs. Traditionally our clients store them in CD towers, on bookshelves, underneath coffee tables, or piled in baskets in the corner of a room.

A few CDs or DVDs stored in one of these ways will serve the purpose, but many of us have large collections that require more space or a better organizational system.

As a professional organizer I take pride in my product knowledge and am always looking for new and creative ways to store and organize items. In my household, my husband, an avid movie watcher, enjoys buying DVDs for entertainment. Before Blu-ray discs came out, he had over 1000 standard DVDs. When the higher quality Blu-rays were released, we started replacing and adding to our growing collection.

Years ago we had a special entertainment center built specifically to house our DVDs, but the average individual may not be able to afford to do this. Here are some other options for organizing these thin, round discs that hold so much valuable information. These systems will work for music and informational CDs, and movie and instructional DVDs. They will work in a living space or an office area.

Using binders as a storage system

The systems that take the smallest amount of room may require you to give up the cases for the discs. If this is OK with you, purchase a binder format from Target or an office supply store. These binders hold between 20 and 320 discs. The best plan for using binders is to organize your discs by category (music types, movie categories, instructional or motivational styles, etc.). If you decide to put them in alphabetical order, leave a space or empty sleeve every few pages to add new CDs or DVDs. Otherwise it will be a challenge to move all the discs when you buy something new. If your collection is very large, label the outside of the case on the spine to make it easy to find the disc you need or insert stick on tabs inside the binder to label each category.

Note: Some discs have very small or no labeling. Be sure to write the title and other important information with a marker on the unrecorded side of the disc before you discard the case. If you like the printed sleeve listing the contents of the disc, cut or fold it to fit in a sleeve above the disc.

If you prefer something more stylish, you can order this Burgundy Bellagio Italia Binder or the Black Bellagio Italia Binder from Some of our clients keep their collections in plain sight for easy access and want to have a storage container that matches their home décor.

Decorative boxes designed to store DVDs or CDs

Another option would be to store them in decorative boxes which you can get in stores such as The Container Store, IKEA, Hobby Lobby and Garden Ridge. These boxes are designed to hold the DVDs or CDs in the original cases, or the discs in smaller or thinner clear cases, or the discs in paper envelopes. The kind you choose depends on the space you want to save.

Installing a metal DVD rack

If you have a closet door in the area you want to store your discs, you can install a metal DVD rack on the inside of the door. Be sure that it holds the number of DVDs you own with room to spare for new additions.

Virtual Storage

The organizational system for music and movie storage that is becoming very popular is purchasing CDs and DVDs from an online source and saving them to a secure location so you can watch or listen to them at any time. You have the benefit of owning the CD or DVD but taking up virtual space instead of living space.

Cataloging your collection

When you have a very large number of CDs or DVDs, it becomes more important to know what you own and how to retrieve what you need. I have discovered a site that sells software to catalogue various collections. The cost is from $30 and up and is for those with a lot of movies, music, books, etc. It is called Collectorz and by entering titles or scanning bar codes, you can organize even the largest collection.

If you do not need something this elaborate, have one of your kids type in the titles of your items into a spreadsheet. Once you sort by alphabet, you can organize the discs on a shelf or in boxes or binders. Keep the spreadsheet up to date and access it by phone when you can’t resist the $5 bin at the store. There is nothing worse than buying something you already own.

Organizing your CDs and DVDs can really be as easy as ABC: A) figure out how many you have,  B) Find the right organizing product to contain them, and “C” all the space you will save!


Lorraine Brock is a professional organizer, family coach, speaker, and founder and owner of Get Organized! Get Organized! is a professional organizing company in the Dallas, Texas area. Get Organized! specializes in organizing and de-cluttering homes as well as implementing systems in the home for better family management. A popular media guest, Lorraine has appeared on Dallas’ two top morning television shows: Good Morning Texas and Good Day Fox, and has been featured on various radio outlets. She has been hallmarked in many local, regional, and national print and online magazines, such as the Dallas Morning News, The North Texas Kids Magazine,, and Daily Candy Kids. To get more information about Lorraine, visit


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  2. What would be the cheapest and easiest way to organize over 4,000 DVD movies (he doesn’t want to do virtual)?

    • Hello Crystal,

      The first thing to ask is does he want to keep the DVD’s in their cases? If not then I would suggest a DVD Binder. Some binders hold 200+ and would take up half the space or 1/4 of the space than what they currently do.

      You could put them in DVD boxes but really that won’t give you any additional space…just makes is look pretty.

      Hope this helps with you organizing!

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  5. Lynn

    I have a question I have alot of movies i put in clear slim case dvd holders they are in a dvd storage cabinet. I want to organize them i tried to use white out and write on them but it didn’t work. I want to be able to organize them and write them down so I know what movies I have and if I want to find one in paticular to watch. Do you have any ideas. Thanks. my Email is

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