March 25, 2015 | Posted in MEDIA | By Jason Sositko
Ways to Reduce the Space that Your Physical Media Collection Takes Up
OK, I am a music freak! Jazz, blues, rock, world music, and many other genres known more for their obscurity than their popularity. I am also a terrible thrift store scrounger, with a taste for music formats that aren’t wildly popular with the masses.
Cassettes, CD’s, 8-tracks, reel to reel, and vinyl are some of the things I collect. CD’s and DVD’s really take up a lot of space when you get into the thousands.
My family shuttered when I rediscovered the LP, knowing full well I wouldn’t be able to limit myself to the genre of Jazz for long. Progressive rock, and electronic music caught my fancy, and of course genres like exotica and lounge.
Then classic country like Merle Haggard, he sure made a lot of records, so did Johnny Cash and George Jones, then I got into Herb Alpert…
Good quality shelves for your vinyl is all you can do to get them out-of-the-way, you would want to stack as high as you can, with safety always in mind of course. The CD’s and DVD’s can be condensed down, here my solutions below.
The storing of DVDs, Blu-Ray, CD’s, and vinyl records
One of the best space-saving media storage items I have ever purchased was the pictured spinning DVD Tower. I was able to condense an entire wall of DVDs and CD’s down to basically 2 square feet.
The multimedia tower gave me much more space for my audio set up in my then 1 bed room apartment. Turns out, now that I have a small home office/man cave, the tower is even more important.
Over the last several years I have developed a real love for the large space hogging vinyl record. Now with over 3,000 of those, first I needed a good option for storing DVDs and CD’s.
This tower is the media storage option I use, it’s perfect for DVDs, but can be used for CD’s, box sets, and even old VHS cassettes. I like the ability to adjust the size of the shelves to fit your needs. If you have a lot of odd-shaped CD box sets, you can tweak the unit to fit the way you want, I tend to tinker all the time with mine.
Gradually I have converted my tower into nothing but DVDs. I have to admit, the tower looks nice and uniform with nothing but the same distance between shelves, I like the look of it very much, I chose the natural wood finish.
Another thing to remember when deciding on a spot for the tower, don’t place to close to the wall, as you obviously won’t be able to complete a full revolution with the tower. Yes, I did it one time, and had to move it away from the wall.
Only issue to consider with the towers
I did have some trouble putting it together. You really need 2 people to do it, I had to stabilize some of the longer pieces, while fastening some parts of it, and I almost couldn’t do it on my own. Overall I have been very happy with the Tower, as it does what it is supposed to do, and it does save space.
Something else I have done: I have moved several times in the last 5 years, I wrapped the entire tower with heavy-duty plastic “movers grade” wrap. then just slid a dolly underneath and away we go. Be careful not to pinch your fingers when you lean the tower back unto the dolly. Yeah, I did that too.
Things to consider before you buy a media storage unit
- The weight of your media: You really need to think about how much stuff you have. When you start talking numbers in the thousands, it is not hard to figure out how much weight could come to bare on a shelf, or the wall the shelf is affixed to. If your talking vinyl record weight, your dealing with extreme weight when thousands of LP’s are concerned. In fact, this type of weight could literally end your life if it fell on you. Please think carefully, I know I sure kept my then toddler son in mind, Don’t stack to high!
- Consider a locking hidden media option: Here is something you might not have considered: With eBay and second-hand shops all around, there is a secondary market for your media. Not that I would be too over whelmed by the chance of theft, but you never know?
Compact Disc storage reduction
These systems below are designed to blow out your jewel cases, and completely re-do your media collection. You will have to spend some time organizing and most likely writing down reference numbers for easy access later, but you sure can save a lot of space
Get Rid of the Jewel Case
At one time I had close to 10,000 CD’s, Talk about taking up a lot of space, I then decided to condense them down, these pictured sleeves did a wonderful job, they then only took up 1/4 of the space.
There were a few things I was not crazy about though, I didn’t really think it through. You see, You will also have to buy new boxes or shelving, as the old slots wont really work.
Also I couldn’t just look at the shelves anymore and clearly read the spine of the jewel case, that was gone now as the sleeves flatten out, “that is the space saver of it”.
You would have to use index cards or some sort of numbering system to keep track of everything. Is the space-saving worth this hassle?
My then Large collection became even more cumbersome to me because I am not always the most organized, and spent precious time digging out CD’s.
Soft CD DVD space-saving storage sleeves
You can condense your CD space by 2/3rd easily just by giving up the jewel cases. You can save the back, booklets, and discs in a nice easy slip sleeve. If you have only a few hundred CD’s, this shouldn’t be a major issue, though 5,000 CD’s like I had could be. Here’s the option out there now.
Snap and Store CD Boxes
I bought about 20 of these boxes for a solution to my organization problem, Just alphabetized and did what I could, used index cards etc…
Hard to believe within 3 years I would sell off almost my entire CD collection, so I could buy the mother of all space hogs, the vinyl record.
Vinyl record storage solutions
Vinyl records are probably my greatest passion out side my family. One thing I learned quickly, and even had a bit of regret about was these darn things take up a lot of space!.
As obvious as a statement as that is, only when you have a few thousand lying around in produce crates you realize you need some nice sturdy shelves.
Kallax and Expedit shelves
The Ikea Expedit 4 is what I use, I was really surprised at the quality considering the price. If you have to buy online, the shipping charges will ramp the cost up a bit.
The Kallax shelf has replaced the Expedit, both are made for vinyl records, the depth, width, and height has just an inch to spare.
The Expedit also comes in several nice colors, including red and wood grain, I prefer the pictured brown/black. Just click the photo to the left to check out more Expedit options.
*Photos used with permission via Amazon.com or are my own*
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Jason Sositko, a freelance writer and entrepreneur is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. I also use services such as Viglink and Skimlinks to earn income via links placed inside articles.
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January 10, 2021
Hi. Since I kinda stopped buying vinyl when they stopped making them affordable and had to switch to cd I have collected thousands of vinyl and cds over my 50 years of collecting. The storage of my vinyl still relies on the old milk cartons I’ve had since the 60’s and 70’s. Since the milk companies discreetly changed the size so albums don’t fit you can still find them around at auctions and garage sales (usually filled with junk you don’t need). This applies to Canada anyway and maybe the U.S. The trouble is they don’t look great in a fashionable living room. All scratched boxes of different colours. But they are strong. The cd’s were easier. I picked up a reasonably good looking tossed set of dressor drawers at the curb on my street, reinforced the bottoms and was able to store 3000 cds. Unfortunately since a lot of new music out there I don’t understand and the music I do like I can’t find so I don’t buy much anymore. I guess the technology of the music industry has passed this luddite by. But I now understand why my my parents couldn’t get into the first Bitish invasion.
January 10, 2021
I have also come full circle, twice. Sold my vinyl in the 80s, bought CD’s and then sold those for vinyl and alas sold that Vinyl (5000 plus) for CD. Only have about 1000 CD but only buy physical product I hold the most dear. Held on to some Miles Davis Vinyl and a few Blue Notes. I do regret selling over 300 different Blue Note titles from 50s to the 70s pressings. Cashed in well, but price has easily doubled in past 5 years.