Whether it’s CDs, DVDs or older mediums, such as videos and slides, you need a way to keep your media protected and organized. Below are some suggestions to help you find the right storage solution for your media.
CDs and DVDs
If you plan on reselling your CDs and DVDs, you should keep them in their original case with their inserts. Place them in a sturdy storage box (available at most office supply stores).
If you don’t plan on selling your CDs or DVDs later, consider using a media binder, like the example below. Having your CDs and DVDs in a binder saves a lot of space. You can purchase extra sleeves as needed.
Another option is to put your CDs and DVDs in media sleeves like the ones below.
Label the sleeves at the top with the name of the CD using a Sharpie® marker or a label maker.
Then file them in a decorative photo box.
You can create your own dividers using heavy card stock. Cut the card stock to the width of the sleeves and a half inch taller than the sleeves, which provides enough area to create a tab at the top.
Label your divider tabs by genre (country, rock, classical) for CDs or by category (action, comedy, drama) for DVDs.
File your media behind the appropriate genre or category and then alphabetize them by the artist or title. If you want to use a simple alphabetical filing system, label your dividers in groups of letter: ABC-DEF-GHI-JKL-MNO-PQR-ST-UVW-XYZ.
If you’re not sure which genres or categories you should use, look at DVD rental companies like Blockbuster or Netflix, or an online music providers like Amazon or Apple’s iTunes® store, for ideas.
If you are really out of storage space, you may want to consider going digital. It’s a big project, but you can transfer all your music to your computer and then sync it with an MP3 player. Be careful if you only keep your music on your computer. A hard-drive crash can wipe out everything. That is why it’s essential to perform regular backups if you decide to go the digital route.
Store your video tapes in sturdy storage boxes that are clean and dust-proof. A cool and dry location is best. Try to keep the conditions below 74 degrees Fahrenheit (23 degrees Celsius) and 50% relative humidity and avoid any large fluctuations in these conditions.
The same suggestions for storing CDs and DVDs also apply to software, with one caveat; cut out and save the license numbers and serial numbers, plus any important registration information and place it with the software. Better yet, write it on the software with a Sharpie® marker. Also check the box to make sure that you have all the information you need, like proof of purchase, tech support information, etc.
Should you keep the manual? We don’t recommend keeping software manuals because most software companies keep online versions that you can download. If you go this route, check their website before you toss the manual.
Videos, home movies on 8 millimeter or super 8 film, old photos and slides degrade over time. Most have a lifespan of ten to fifteen years, which isn’t long if you want to share them with future generations. What should you do if your precious memories are languishing in one of these old mediums? One option for archiving them is to convert them to a digital medium.
YesVideo.com is a service that will convert your old media into digital media. They offer their service through over 27,000 merchants (like Costco, Wal-Mart, Rite AID, Walgreens, CVS, to name a few) in the U.S. and 9 other countries around the world. If YesVideo.com services are not available in your area you can try iMemories.com, which ships via FedEx.
One of the great advantages of having your older videos and films digitally converted is that once they are digital, you’ll be able to edit them, add music and titles and then burn them to DVDs that you can to send your family and friends. What a great Christmas or anniversary gift that would make!
For converting audio cassettes, micro-cassettes, DAT, 8-track tapes, reel-to-reel tapes, LPs, 45s and 78s, check out CustomAudioCDs.com or look in the phone book for service companies in your area.