My home theater room had gotten out of control. I’d long since run out of enough shelving space to hold my entire movie collection, and had allowed stacks of new discs to pile up all around me. The room was an unsightly mess, and I’d been reluctant to do anything about it for entirely foolish reasons (mostly laziness). Finally, I decided to take action before the clutter overwhelmed and swallowed me whole, which was beginning to seem like a very real possibility.
Honestly, things had gotten ridiculous. My shelves were piled high with discs practically touching the ceiling.
Additional storage beneath my projector was filled two rows deep, with more on the backside of what you see here:
After I ran out of shelf space, I took to tossing newer discs wherever I had a free spot. These wobbly towers sat on my desk, ready to topple at any moment. And yes, that plastic bin beneath them was filled with Blu-rays as well.
More discs could be found in stacks on my floor, and even behind my chair. If I ever wanted to watch a specific movie, I’d have to dig through the clutter just to locate the disc, and retrieving it may have meant pulling everything else off a shelf just to get to it. This was clearly unacceptable.
In an earlier series of blog posts, our writer E. documented how he dealt with a similar problem by ripping all of his movies to a media server HTPC. While that may have worked out for him, I couldn’t make that leap. I’m too attached to the physical disc collection.
I’ve long threatened to move my Blu-ray (and HD DVD – I don’t segregate the high-def formats) collection to DiscSox storage sleeves. Unlike other types of disc sleeves and binders, the nice thing about DiscSox is that they allow you to retain the original case art with each disc, while getting rid of the bulky keepcase itself. Each HiDef Pro sleeve will hold two discs, the artwork, and any printed inserts.
This is a tremendous space savings. I had previously moved the majority of my DVD collection into DiscSox DVD sleeves, but resisted doing the same for Blu-ray and HD DVD, because I’m proud of my high-def collection and really wanted to keep those discs on display. Unfortunately, enough got to be enough, and I had to make the transition.
Once you have the sleeves, where do you put them? MMDesigns (the company behind DiscSox) also sells a number of storage trays, binders, cases and even cabinets. Recently, the company added a new line of decorative cases and trunks. I opted for the Leather DVD Case, which will officially hold 300 HiDef Pro sleeves. I used every last one of them. It turns out that the 300 count is a conservative number. There’s really still enough space inside to fit some more discs, so I’ve ordered another 25 pack of sleeves.
I spent the long weekend pulling my Blu-rays and HD DVDs out of their cases and putting them in the DiscSox sleeves. This took a very long time, but was well worth the effort. However, doing so forced me to make some painful choices. I always planned to keep any discs in special packaging on my shelves. Initially, this included keepcases with slipcovers. Unfortunately, I soon realized that wasn’t a realistic option. I needed to clear those out as well. I had no problem pulling out slipcovers that have the same artwork as the cases beneath, but I wanted to save slipcovers with unique artwork. Even that got to be too much, and I had to put those discs in the sleeves as well.
While I own well more than 300 high-def discs in my collection, filling this case substantially reduced the clutter in my room. My shelves are still full, but I no longer have discs climbing to the ceiling or stacked in piles on my desk or floor. What remain on the shelves now are those discs in genuinely special packaging, such as SteelBooks and metal cases, Digibooks, and box sets.
At the moment, my Criterion Collection discs also remain in their original cases. Because Criterion releases have their own special case design, their larger artwork will not fit in the HiDef Pro sleeves, yet are awkwardly small for the DVD-sized DiscSox. Nonetheless, I think that I’m going to have to bite the bullet and order some DVD sleeves to put them in.
Now that I’ve gotten this far, I’m still left with one big question: What do I do with all the empty cases?
I have no room to store these, yet I’m afraid that I’ll need them if (or when) I want to sell some of these discs in the future.