I really hated all the cases of DVDs I had piling up around the house. In all, we have about 300 movies and TV sets, plus several dozen video game cases. We don’t have a lot shelving in the house and the cheap media storage stand we bought only lasted a year before all the shelves/slats were sagging.
What were the options?
I could create or buy more shelving. I could put them all away in a closet. I could sell or donate them.
What I decided to do was actually so simple, I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of it. But first, I had to finish converting all of the DVDs to video files.
About seven years ago I started to convert all of our movie and TV collection to digital files so I could watch them on the computer, or watch them directly from an external hard drive.
And, seven years later, I’m almost finished! With my old computer, each conversion took over an hour. On the laptop that I have now, it’s more in the 20-30 minute range, sometimes less than that.
Now I have that 300+ collection stored as files on an external hard drive that’s connected to the TV, so browsing our films are a breeze.
If you’re interested in converting your DVDs, download Handbrake. It’s the best DVD ripping program I’ve used, it’s FREE (free is always good), and it’s pretty easy to use.
Two- Taping it all Down
OK, this was so stupidly simple, again, I can’t believe I never thought it on my own. I did a search for DIY DVD storage, and found a video on YouTube by Shaina Green. I’m not taking complete credit for this; it was Shaina’s idea first.
The idea is this: you take the outer DVD artwork sleeve out of the plastic case, fold the spine in the middle, tape the bottom, tape the sides, and you’re done! Well, you also have to put the disc in the sleeve, but if you didn’t know that you probably shouldn’t do this project.
What I did was slightly different.
¾” wide clear tape
disc sleeves or index cards
Take the sleeve out of the DVD case. Older sleeves (like before 2002) tend to be printed on thicker paper, and are generally much nicer. After 2002 companies got much cheaper with their materials and started printing them on super-thin paper.
Hold the sleeve so the ends match up, and press the spine section so that it folds in half (or as best as you can).
Take a piece of tape and stick it to itself (so you have a tape loop), and stick that to the back of a disc sleeve. Stick the disc sleeve on the inside of the DVD sleeve you just folded over. Put another piece of tape on the bottom of the disc sleeve to secure it.
I placed my disc sleeves close to the top of the artwork so the DVD would be easier to get in and out.
Tape the bottom of the sleeve, and the sides. The amount of tape you want to use is totally up to you, but it doesn’t take much to seal it. For my 300 discs, I went through about two big rolls of clear tape.
Put the disc in! You’re done.
Optional: If you don’t want to buy the disc sleeves, you can use index cards instead. The idea is the same as the sleeve: you’re really just creating a pocket for the disc to sit in. Place the disc where you want on the inside, then tape the index card on the bottom and side.
If you don’t want to do either one, that’s fine. You can just tape the artwork up and the disc will slip in just fine that way. I like the sleeves because it gives them a little more structure.
I’m a “keep in box” kind of guy. When I buy toys or nice electronic items, I always keep the box because I know it increases the resale value.
That same line of thinking held me back from getting rid of those DVD cases. I wanted to keep them in their original form. But ultimately the case clutter was just too much to take, and now I am incredibly happy with how it turned out.
Those 300 DVDs were in five old copy paper boxes, and by using this method I was able to condense them down into one box. ONE BOX! Not only that, but I still have room in the box for more. I have them separated by category (Action, Comedy, etc), so they are very easy to locate. And I already converted most of our movies into files, so the only time I need the original discs is if I want to watch the special features.
So if you’re tired of the media clutter, do this! I only wish I had done this sooner.