Saturday Deluxe / 11 April 2020

This bank holiday weekend I’ll be sorting out my CDs

It’s a bank holiday weekend in the UK, but of course a very different one since most of us will be in ‘lockdown’ at home, doing our bit to help minimise the spread of the COVID19 virus. With so much time at home, I have plans to reorganise my CDs and not feel guilty about it, but I have to admit I’m slightly depressed at how best to organise and display a lifetime’s collection.

The simple ‘problem’ is that I now own too many CDs to practically display in one room. I’d estimate my collection is approaching 5,000 in number and there’s two main issues. The first is that simply this is too many CDs for one single room-in-a-house physical location and the second is that even if I could do this, I’m not sure I really want to anymore.

As a teenager, the the idea of a music room lined with wall-to-wall racking of CD shelves was quite appealing. But then so was a diet of hot dogs and coca-cola. I guess part of the appeal was you’d show off your enormous collection to all your mates and you’d have everything to hand should you need to dig out some obscure CD single from 1986, at the drop of a hat. In reality, very few people outside close friends would ever see your enormous collection and on the off chance some stranger did, they’d probably look at you like you should be featured on that ‘hoarding’ program on ITV. Also, most of the time you don’t need access to that CD single, so does it need to be on display at all times?

Up until the late 1990s, I had a large but manageable collection. Probably less than 1000 CDs, and they would all be in one place. But then it grew and life got in the way of keeping properly organised. I got married a few years later, moved house, had kids and there was a period where I boxed up a large part of my collection and put them in the loft, with ‘plans’ to bring them all down and display them somewhere or other. But while these other CDs were in the loft (I would semi-regularly go up there and bring things down when needed) I was still buying  CDs which were filling up new shelving that I had procured. I then had a situation where my home office – with about half my collection on display (the other half in the loft) – was redecorated and became a reception room. My wife ‘advised’ me that she didn’t envisage hundreds of CDs as an attractive part of the decor, so my shelves were dismantled and put in the loft for a while, along with some of the newer collection, which now joined boxes of CDs which had been in the loft for years, by this time.

My office moved upstairs and some CDs with them and meanwhile there were also CDs in a big closed storage unit downstairs and some in a cupboard with some DVDs near the TV. Additionally, there were also some random cardboard boxes of CDs lying around of discs that I’d ‘de-prioritised’. My thought process here was along the lines of does-some-slightly-generic-eighties-compilation-that-I-probably-bought-in-a-charity-shop-because-it-was-50p-and-might-have-a-rare-single-edit-on-it-deserve-the-same-space-as-‘Hunky Dory’?

In short, I got to a situation where there were compact discs virtually EVERYWHERE in the house and I never knew where anything was. I’d have to search in at least five places (including the loft) all of which weren’t alphabetised. A bit of a nightmare. If it was cheap, occasionally I was known to buy something again, that I knew I owned, rather than spent half a day hunting around the house for it! Crazy, I know.

In recent years, I’ve made an effort to try and get the collection logged in Discogs, largely so I know where everything is (“It’s in Loft Box #7”). This is certainly good at preserving sanity but it still doesn’t solve the fundamental problem.

Get rid of your jewel cases and store CDs, booklets and backing sheets in clear wallets

I have a wall in the SDE office with some art prints hanging up. The ‘Car’ Peter Gabriel album cover for example and a framed poster for Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘The Conversation’. I love looking at these and they give the room space to breathe. Now, I could choose to get rid of them and put wall-to-wall CD racking up, but the point is I don’t want to do that anymore. I love CDs and I love music, but not so much that I want to spend large parts of my day working with my laptop effectively in a CD warehouse.

My solution is to put on display the ‘core’ part of my collection in the office, and then have a secondary, overflow collection somewhere else. Granted, I haven’t worked out precisely where this overflow should be located and at this moment in time (it might have to be the loft) but that’s the general plan. The difficulty is of course working out what constitutes ‘core’ and what doesn’t. To give you an example, my Duran Duran CD collection is about 10-inches long (fnarr) but that’s albums only. If it also included all the various CD singles it would be easily double that, so they have to be sacrificed, to save space. It’s not perfect, because sometimes you want to hear a remix or a B-side from a single, but as politicians like to say, tough decisions have to be made. If I was sensible I’d digitise all the overflow CDs, but it’s a very time-consuming task.

I’ve mentioned this before on SDE, but the other thing I’ve done is chucked out all my jewel cases for space saving. CDs, booklets and the backing sheet thing are all safely stored in bespoke plastic sleeves. This saves an enormous amount of space and while people said a few years ago that I’d regret doing this, I have to say I haven’t at all. It felt quite positive chucking out all that plastic. The lack of spines on display isn’t an issue either as there’s plenty of digipaks in the mix to remind you ‘where you are’ in your A to Z.

If there’s one thing that’s clear, it’s that these situations are always a work-in-progress. You’ll never get to ‘the end’. You can invest fortunes in bespoke carpentry, and flashy shelving solutions, but nine times out of ten there will still be a messy pile of CDs nearby that you ‘haven’t sorted out yet’! It’s the nature of the beast.

I’d love to hear some of your storage challenges. Leave a comment! Also, if you fancy a closer look to that image at the top, click on this link.

217 responses to Saturday Deluxe / 11 April 2020

  1. RoyIskeen says:

    I have about 6000 items in my collection. The albums proper are out on display in shelving, stored alphabetically. Compilations and Various are at the end of the alphabet, sorted into covers/tribute albums, soundtracks, and then other various genres e.g. dance music, reggae, ska, jazz, etc.

    I separated out all of the cd singles as they took up too much room. I’ve removed all of their covers and put the discs and artwork into slim folders in CD storage cases, stored alphabetically. Everything has been ripped to iTunes – which poses another storage question regarding huge digital libraries and how to store them…

  2. Quante says:

    Hi Paul,

    Whilst entering my cds into Discogs I’ve just come across three Eurythmics cd’s I have in plastic covers, which is how I bought them thirty odd years ago. Two of the covers have ‘sealed’ against the cd, which when peeled back has transferred an imprint of the cd details on to the plastic cover. Is this something you’ve come across with the ditching of your Jewel cases in favour of plastic wallets? It’s affected the playing side as well, although I’ve yet to try and play them. It might be something to keep an eye on to make sure your discs don’t deteriorate and degrade in the years to come.

    Hotspot is getting repeated playing following your great piece on the PSB singles this week. It’s definitely a summer album – the timing of the release in January was all wrong. As a furloughed (non) worker, controlling the impulse to purchase new music, a good friend surprised me with the kind gift of PSB’s Annually book this week. In return I gifted a Hotspot signed (squiggled) print – it’s the age of exchange; which sounds like a title for a PSB single.


  3. Robert says:

    Hi Paul,

    I am a little bit curious. Have you finished sorting your CD’s out ? And are you going to post a few pictures after you have finished ?

    Have a great weekend !

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Hi Robert. No I haven’t finished and getting a bit depressed how many CDs I’m not going to be able to have on ‘display’! Yes will post a few photos. If you ‘do’ instagram I’ve been posting the odd photo there! (super_deluxe_edition is the instagram name).

      • Robert says:

        Hi Paul, I don’t know if you still read posts on ‘old topics’. I didn’t ‘do’ instagram, but now I do. dutch_music_collector is my instagram name.

  4. gwynogue says:

    I saw a comedy show on TV last night – there was a reference to hoarders/hoarding that made me think of this thread:



  5. CakeSaint says:

    Hi Paul, this is a topic near to my heart and it’s been interesting reading everyone’s problems and solutions. Here’s one that I haven’t seen mentioned yet: my work requires me to move every one to four years. I’ve moved eight times in the last 20 years, and am getting ready to move again in a couple of months.

    I started collecting CDs when I got one (R.E.M.’s “Eponymous”) and a small CD player for my 15th birthday, so I’ve now been collecting for 30 years. According to my Excel spreadsheet, there are 7700 titles in the collection, with a “title” being anything from a 3″ CD single to a 20-album box set. I’ve kept all of the jewel cases and often use protective plastic sleeves for the entire CD & jewel case package, which I got into in Japan — the location of three of my moves. Keeping Japanese editions in pristine condition with the obi intact (tucked flat under the inner disc tray) has become an obsession in itself.

    To store this music, I rely on IKEA’s shelving, though not the BILLY line as many have described. I use the tall, narrow GNEDBY shelves (which replaced the very similar BENNO), and periodically reorganize them while leaving an empty shelf every so often to allow new purchases to be inserted. They are designed to hold CDs perfectly and are modular enough that I can place some here and some there, around corners, broken up by a doorway, etc., although a long, windowless bit of wall space is a big factor when looking for a new place to live. People always say the same thing when they see the collection, which now fills 37 GNEDBYs and BENNOs: “Wow, that’s a lot of CDs.” When the movers come, they sometimes look apprehensive but usually manage to wrap each shelf without taking the CDs out. The times they’ve removed the CDs (and invariably jumbled up the order), it’s taken hours and hours of work to straighten things back out.

    Box sets live in a 2 x 4 KALLAX from IKEA, turned on its side and with wheels attached to the bottom. It acts as a room separator with both sides accessible but could also function as a console table behind a sofa (again, multi-purpose furniture that could play a different role in the next home). While the GNEDBYs are filed alphabetically by artist, then chronologically within each artist, the box sets are filed by size — first, the ones that are roughly the size of a jewel box but thicker, then roughly DVD case-sized, then a bit taller, like a CD longbox, and finally LP-sized (and alphabetically by artist within each category). All except the largest boxes are half the depth of the KALLAX, so I file them down one side of the shelving, then around the end and continue on the opposite side (a bit hard to explain).

    There are about 250 or so LPs in a four-shelf EXPEDIT (the precursor to KALLAX) and perhaps 150 7″ singles in plastic lidded boxes from Bags Unlimited.

    I committed firmly to iTunes 15 years ago and everything is ripped in Apple Lossless format with good-quality artwork. This is the main way I listen, either when sitting in front of the computer, from an iPod on the go, or streamed from the computer to the stereo via Apple TV. It’s great for having everything at my fingertips and saves wear on the actual discs. To ensure everything get s a listen now and then, I rely on a shuffled iTunes playlist consisting of songs that haven’t been played in the last X number of weeks. With that as my “personal radio station,” I can cycle through my entire collection in about 3.5 years, also listening to new acquisitions and things I pick out by choice.

    Again, it’s been enjoyable reading about everyone’s “collector angst” and knowing I’m not alone. Hope someone is aided in their own struggles by some of the ideas above.

    Finally…great site, Paul — I check it daily and it has both cost and saved me more money than I care to count!

  6. JR says:

    I love the idea of downsizing my 2500+ CD collection and reclaiming some wall space, without actually getting rid of any discs. So you got rid of the jewel boxes for plastic sleeves? Sounds good, but what are you storing those in? How about a recommendation on the sleeve (as seen in the pic) that accommodates not only the disc and booklet but the backing sheet also. Thanks

  7. Francis Maher says:

    I have to say I’ve really enjoy all the comments about storage and associated problems . Great fun . Well done Paul .
    By the way , what item/ discussion has got the most responses over the years ?

  8. Norbert says:

    … and of course all collected on discogs; what a task!

  9. Norbert says:

    In my very own private man-hole I now use to store only all vinyls (up to 2000 actually), a lot of my blu-ray and hd-dvd (sic!) – only my japan-cd-collection and the super deluxe editions (Tull, Marillion, Genesis, Simple Minds, Beatles, Police and so on) as well as the dts/blu-ray-audios are on display, rest of the “normal” stuff (european pressings) went down in special cardboardboxes in the basement.
    My whole cd-collection is ripped as FLAC via EAC and stored on my NAS and several external hd-drives. The SACD’s of MoFi and Audio Fidelity and japanese non-hybrid SACD’s are stored in special wallets.
    Rest of the room is filled with a lot of my hardcover comic-boox (I’m a real nerd, I know ;-) and of course my surround, stereo and PC. My woman don’t like it at all – but these are my treasures!
    Well, I love to spend my time in here – even when there’s no pandemic crisis ;-)
    P.S.: All furniture by that little furniture shop from Sweden… ah, well, what name was it… I forgot ;-)

  10. SimonP says:

    My storage woes were cured by a company called i-Cubes who’ve since gone under. Will be irritating if I ever need any more!

    This pic on twitter gives you an idea of the sort of thing. Kinda modular stacking units. They did 12″, 7″, DVD and CD sizes.


  11. Carl Jacobs says:

    Hi all read some of the comments.
    So we are all narcissistic completeists. Obviously. But enough about you lot, moving to me.
    For eons my collection had been upstairs in my bedroom then in spare bedroom when i got married. How many albums she asked? These albums were here long before you came on the scene and will be there long after you have departed was my response, now run along and do some woman things!
    Eventually when we moved into our present house and our daughter left to set up with her then boy friend now husband, I invested in a now defunct vinyl storage stand alone wooden box system. The successor is Vinyl Blox. 12” single or double and same for 7” CDs and dvds / Blu-rays
    So I have all CDs and vinyl in our sitting room. Room is double aspect, so my collection is shielded from sunlight by electric opaque blinds with an extra layer of full length curtains on both windows. During winter blinds are ok. During summer it’s the full monty.
    Records are stored alphabetically by group then chronologically by release year, with solos kept within the group. U.K. first then foreign copies. So re releases are all in same place. Now bands such as Genesis would see Tony Banks first: alphabet by group then artist by surname etc.
    Box sets are again alphabetically stored, but at bottom for weight distribution.
    There is enough room away from direct heat to allow double and single boxes to be stored together in alternate layers like house bricks again for weight distribution. So 3 units wide. Each unit approx 300 odd mm wide.
    All 7” is removed from pic sleeve or factory sleeve and stored in acid free white paper sleeves together with the insert / company sleeve and or pic sleeve at front and the disc side a at at rear, stored such that the text is perfectly horizontal. All above stored in individual proprietary 400g poly sleeves.
    LPs / 12” are stored in poly lined acid free paper sleeves with valuable ones removed from outer and all stored in single 400 g poly sleeves. PVC not used generally as this can react with the vinyl record. Again label text is horizontal. So ones like FGTR mono is stored like this.
    New sealed sets are almost all retained sealed but carefully stored in the poly sleeve outer, including Neil Young and Peter Gabriel Classic Records sets.
    The poly sleeves are arranged such that opening is on top but inner is arranged such that opening is at 90 degrees to minimise dust and dirt ingress.
    Pic discs are stored in their pvc sleeve but in an outer poly.
    10” are agin removed from outer and stored in paper sleeves and all in a proprietary poly sleeve.
    Poly sleeves by Covers 33 who also do box set sizes but not massive boxes like Sabbath ones.
    CDs are stored in their jewel case but special ones are protected in poly comic poly sleeves cut to size do the trick and same for digipaks and box sets. Card sleeve disks are removed and stored in poly sleeves from USA to protect from scratching. I used to use plain white kitchen towel and cut to suit the outer sleeve but still surround the disc.
    Yes it’s obsessive but so rewarding to see my babies neatly stored and some have commented that they are an art form.
    CD singles and boxes are stored in Really Useful boxes until I save up for more storage display units. If you move house you can get boxes with higher lids for LPs and 7” FYI.
    Then we get on to the cataloging. I used to use a large school book(s) but it was tiresome manually entering each one, so now I use a reputable web site originally set by hip hop DJs I believe and now hijacked by all collectors. At first it was a ball ache but once up to date each new addition is graded and entered in minutes. One must get the correct bar code / catalogue number. It’s great informing the team that there’s an orange vinyl release of IQs latest LP that you have from Germany and it’s not yet on there or all 6 different colour versions of Steve Hackett’s latest LP.
    I’m starting to even bore myself.
    So there you have it.
    Remember to keep heat and importantly humidity to a constant, no direct sunlight as well. No pets and certainly no children anywhere near. Also nobody but you to even set eyes on the collection for more than a minute.
    I know when someone removes a record to look at then replaces it instinctively. Each one holds special memory for me as well.
    Happy collecting, cataloging and storing and stay safe.
    Carl Jacobs

  12. SimonP says:

    I’ve never counted my CDs in case I ever let the number slip to the missus. If neither of us knows how many I have then surely she can’t moan about them?

  13. Simon says:

    What is the red The Cure boxset in the middle of the last shelf?

  14. Ross Baker says:

    The only way I manage mine is by keeping it as small as possible without getting rid of anything I actually care about. I only have multiple copies of an album if they are separate special editions (the 10th and 20th anniversary editions of Everything Must Go, with differing tracklists and DVDs, for example). When a special edition comes out, I get rid of the standard edition because, fundamentally, I’m never actually going to listen to it again so it can go.
    I’m gradually replacing my jewel case albums with digipaks, digifiles and vinyl replica sleeves where possible – even the odd millimetres spared by a digipak add up over the course of a shelf. For artists who aren’t absolute favourites, I’m happy to own ‘Original Album Series’ type boxes which can cover five CDs in the space of one.

    Other than a couple of all-time favourite bands, and a couple of singles with special memories (my first ever purchase, for example), I’ve got rid of all my singles. Ripped them to my computer, came up with some new artwork and burned them to CD as b-sides collections. Much more satisfying listening experiences, take up one CD’s space instead of six or seven.

    Albums where I only like one or two tracks have gone. Some favourite songs are on my computer, the others are always available on YouTube or such on the odd occasion I want to listen to the song. Truth is, I have more CDs than I can listen to regularly, so losing these songs is no great loss in the grand scheme of things.

    It’s a work in progress, but I currently own maybe 1,100 CDs worth of material, stored in the space of about 650 jewel cases without having to resort to plastic sleeves (could never do that: I frequently listen to music by browsing my shelves and seeing what leaps out at me and takes my fancy). I’ve gotten rid of over 2,000 CDs in the past ten years and maybe only bought back about 50: life’s too short to spend time and space on music I don’t absolutely love.

  15. Simon Topping says:

    I’ve been buying mainly vinyl the last couple of years, which takes up even more space to store! So I’ve taken the decision to downsize my CD collection and get rid of a lot of the multiple copies I’ve accumulated as a result of my habit of buying every available version of each release (you know – standard CD, deluxe edition, UK promo, US promo, promo CDR, any other available promo…). The question is what to do with them? I’m not really into selling on ebay (only buying!) but I’d like them to go to a good home, and many are quite collectable (to the right collector, of course). Any idea how I can recycle these to someone who’ll appreciate them (once we’re able to leave home)? I have big collections by many artists including Blur, Charlatans, Costello, Franz Ferdinand, Jesus & Mary Chain, Elton, Manics, Pulp, Patti Smith, Suede…

    • -SG- says:

      Well… it sounds like we have some similar taste but geography is everything when it comes to finding things, depending on what you are getting rid of, if I don’t already have it, I might be interested in some of what you’ve got. I live in the USA but would be happy to pay for shipping.

  16. Eibon says:

    I share the same challenges and I solved by using Billy bookshelves, floor-to ceiling. The reason they worked for me at avoiding that “CD Warehouse” look is that I was able to fill the top half with books and knick knacks using the shelves at varying heights to break up the lines and just devote the lower shelves to CDs. I was able to pretty much halve the amount of number of visible CD spines because the Billy bookshelves are deep enough to hold all my doubles and CD-Singles in the back of the shelf. So, I was able to reserve the “secret” back of shelf for various editions I don’t need to hand and all the CD-Singles that are rarely played. The digibooks and box sets blend in pretty well with the books too so overall it just looks like a busy bookshelf and not a record store display. I keep the CD player in the room to take full advantage of the benefits of having all my CDs to hand in alphabetical order. Records are in another room.

  17. Kris From Perth. says:

    Wow!! and so it goes on …
    A couple of days ago I found myself reading all those many posts from like minded collectors who have storage space problems … and (in many cases) wives who they are terrified of having them ‘catch’ the sneaking of the latest music acquisition into the already overflowing cd/lp/cassette (and it also appears in a lot of cases dvd) collections.
    Roll on 2 days later and there is still a plethero of “collectors” happily confessing in print their universal angst of storage space and vigilant wives, just as I happily confessed in print back on April 12th. But what fabulous, fun, fantastic writing it is/has been courtesy of the worlds (many) angst ridden collectors.
    I have so much loved reading all the posts; they are so close to my (and dare I say all of our ) hearts.
    Reminds me “fellow collectors” of those famous words uttered everytime a UFO sighting is reported “We are not alone!!!”. Happy collecting everybody (and sorting). And keep writing!

  18. RODOLFO MARTIN says:

    Guys, you are a lot of fun and we are in this all together. All these entries are the best things that I read lately.
    I am so lucky that my wife has not complained much about my record collection (her book are all over the house while my records are concentrated in one place). It takes a whole wall in my living room, from floor to ceiling and I am able to find every single CD in seconds. I estimate 7,000 CDs plus vinyls, plus DVDs and Blu-rays (even laserdiscs), many of them moved with me from Argentina to the USA in 2001. I honestly think that the shelves with CDs provide a lot of color to my living room and I like it. I am almost 60 years old and I know I have to start thinking of what I will do with them soon. My kids won’t care much about them. They may keep something jut to have a part of me the day I am not here.
    In a separate piece of furniture, I have my music book collection. Does anybody know what the best way to sell a record collection is? I know I will not get even 10% of what I paid over the years but they were never purchased as an investment.

    The part that makes me very proud is my collection of album cover design books, of which I have over 200, many of those books are totally discontinued and almost impossible to find. I know that there are many album cover lovers around.

    There are several books about record collecting where you can see pictures of many awesome collections and very creative ways to store (all in houses with the room to do it).
    Keep on posting, I will keep on reading.

    Paul, can you tell what was your career/job before SDE? I am a humble architect, by the way.

  19. J says:

    The Storage Problem
    Not enough room so the cassettes & 8 tracks are under daughter #1 bed, the 45s – laserdiscs, box sets under daughter #2 bed, hand-built shelving in living area #1 to hold 1/2 the LPs & a hand-built shelf in the master bedroom closet to hold 3,000 CDs. The problem is that daughters become teens & want their space back & master bedroom shelf collapses & now clothing sits amidst to 2 feet of CDs scattered throughout. The wife & teens are not amused, to say the least.

    The Storage Solution
    We have extra land on the side of the house so we will build a new room. It serves as office space, stores all music, instruments, other collections & has a stage so in-home performances can be recorded.

    My Choices
    Go vertical. I saw the comment by Paul about the room looking like a CD warehouse and I mightly agree. I got 4 eight-foot-high shelfs and 2 four foot shelves & put a print in between them & it looks really good.
    Under the mounted TV, we built a sturdy shelf to hold the box sets although it is obscured by 4 very largeg JBL studio L monitors & but is very functional and now it is almost full but I will burn that bridge when I get there.
    Cassette & else storage is also vertical with tall shelving that is staggered to allow framed LPS to sit in between
    Best of Luck to those who share the same challenges

  20. Robert says:

    After I have read all of the post in this topic, I realize that my problem isn’t as big as most of you. I have about 1000 – 1500 CD’s (box-sets, albums and CD singles) in my collection. The only problem that I have is that my “music room” is rather small and I don’t have the space for a wall full of music. About half of my collection is on display in my music room, the other half in boxes in my bedroom and in the loft.

    Due to the COVID19 virus, I have the time to reorganize my collection. The core part of my collection is on display in my music room. And with core part I mean box sets and favorite albums. I am sorting my CD’s in boxes out and I put them in alphabetical order. The only thing I have to sort out are my various artists CD’s and CD singles. But I will do this week.

    At the end of this post I have a question for you Paul. On your top shelf on the left, is that a Disc Union Pink Floyd box ? I guess that this box contains all of your Japanese Mini LP sleeves. Where did you buy this box ? I also would like to know where you got the two Paul McCartney boxes.

  21. Big Nige says:

    Another solution to having an entire collection available at your fingertips, that’s every format, is to consider a Cocktail Audio “streamer”…. tho it’s more to play all your collection rather than to stream, easily ripped to whatever format you please, stored on it’s enormous hard drive (8Tb anyone?). Either one which has an internal high quality amp, or one that uses your choice of amp.

    My 2 units contain all my collected media, CDs, mini discs, vinyl, Hi-Res…. cassettes (????)…. all then available in alpha order by whatever way you choose. Or play your ENTIRE collection at random. It’s not a toy!

    The top end model is about 5 grand. I personally like the more affordable X35 at £1700 which includes it’s own amp, well 2 actually, one for each channel. Or the entry level machine at about £700.

    You can still play your vinyl deck thru it, some models have their own pre amp (or rip LPs)… or whatever peripheral you choose. So if you want to select that rare alternative take on disc 4 of a 12 disc box set…. you can in seconds.

    And one of my favourite features (being partially sighted), you can display the corresponding album art on a big telly. It’s like being in a record store. I had the first model, only available at one Hifi store in the UK at the time. The X10.

    Check out the Novafidelity site for more info. And throw that Brennan in the bin

  22. gwynogue says:

    Oh my goodness…I can relate to your post so much Paul.

    I’ve been a music lover for as long as I can remember – I was getting records and tapes for Chistmases/birthdays when my others my age were still getting toys. I’m nearly (level) 42 and have been collecting CDs for nearly 30 years.

    Even though I live in a 3-bedroom house (4 if you include the small office-type room) I sleep on a mattress on the living-room floor, because my ‘official’ room, the ‘spare’ room and the ‘office’ are filled with boxes of CDs and DVDs and books. (the other room is my dad’s).

    I have multiple copies of some CDs because – like you mentioned – it’s easier to buy a cheap second copy than spend hours or days looking for the copy I already have. I’ll sometimes buy boxes of bulk lots on eBay, just because there’s one obscure must-have CD in a pile of ones I already have or don’t want. And if it was originally in a fatbox, I want a fatbox copy – not a ‘reduced-to-a-jewel-case-copy’.

    If I like an artist or group, I have to have EVERYTHING they’ve released.

    It’s impossible to keep them in alphabetical order anymore.

    I have loads that I’ve never listened to, some I may NEVER get to listen to.

    So as much as I prefer having the ‘physical’ item, it just isn’t practical anymore. I’d fully embrace digital downloads if they were reasonably priced, flac and had hi-res digital booklets/artwork/videos. But they’re expensive (especially here in Australia), usually mp3 and usually just have a thumbnail of the cover.

    If I just wanted the music, I could simply rip them then re-ell them. But I want the artwork as well (even though text is too small for my crap eyesight, LOL). I have a scanner, but that can squash and crease the booklet. I will eventually ‘rip’ my collection, but I’ll still have to find a way to physically store it. Plus I can never afford the computer/external drives for ripping and digital storing because – you guessed it! – all my money goes on *more* CDs, LOL.

    Sometimes I look at my CDs and think, “I’d have so much more space if I’d just taken up drugs instead”. LOL.

    I’d love to get some of those storage cabinets and binders that Gregg P and Jon M linked in their comments.

    I watch those ‘Hoarders’-type shows and can see definitely myself in a lot of the people. I can just imagine Olivia Coleman narrating my life…

    • David Bly says:

      to qwynogue…

      You said “I watch those ‘Hoarders’-type shows and can see definitely myself in a lot of the people. I can just imagine Olivia Coleman narrating my life…”

      I can’t help but say that in lieu of Olivia Coleman narrating my life, I’d prefer her coming by and helping me straighten up my collection, and I wouldn’t care if she had to be wearing a mask and a complete hazmat suit! Of course she might have to stay for longer than the virus continues to rage against us, but I would not complain!

  23. Florentino Stabile says:

    Hi Paul,
    Hope all of you are doing well in the UK and at SDE. Same situation in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Yes, storage and the passion of collecting. I know it well how a passion can be a love and not so much love all at the same time. My passion has taken a lot of space and good part of my budget but that is a discussion for another. I have had to sell my vinyls for lack of space and as for CD’s yes, I have some on display and a lot in book shelves and closed glass covered cupboards plus the other issue that your partner does not totally support this passion. I am struggling with this as you but the price we pay for collecting I suppose.

  24. R. Michael Cox says:

    Wow! This one strikes a chord. I have maybe 3000 cds? 5 or 6 years ago I got the bright idea to put the cds in paper sleeves and keep them downstairs and the rest went into attic (cases and booklets)-stupid idea. I’ve reunited them and I’m now working on a music room. I’m trying to get someone to build me some nice shelving but getting someone to do that in North Carolina is not easy. I will go the IKEA route if I have to but we prefer to do it nice and right if I can.

  25. Gareth Jones says:

    When I moved in with my girlfriend (now my wife), she was aghast at the sheer number of CDs I still owned. She was quite happy with Spotify! So in an attempt to downsize, I did rip a good couple of hundred CDs to my hard drive which only contained 1-2 songs I really liked. This didn’t really reduce the numbers significantly though!

    I also did this with many compilation albums I bought. I used to buy soundtrack albums just because it contained one exclusive new track by an artist I liked. Now I just have that one track ripped to my hard drive and have disposed of the whole soundtrack album.

    Another downsizing method I tried was looking through every CD I owned and thinking to myself “When was the last time you played this album?” and “Do you think you’ll ever play it again?”. This elimination process then saw we take several 90’s albums to the charity shops including Dodgy and Catatonia.

    But this criteria does not always work. If you really like a particular artist, you still want to own the complete set! For example, I love Blur, and I have no intention of ever getting rid of their albums, CD singles and box set. But I NEVER play their debut album ‘Leisure’. I just don’t like it. But I own it twice, once in its original form and also in their box set. Yet I can’t part with it, because it would make their album collection look incomplete on the shelf!

    Likewise ‘Regeneration’ by The Divine Comedy. I’ve not played it since it was released in 2001 and I only liked ‘Bad Ambassador’, but it would be wrong to remove it and take it the charity shop, because I have all the other DC albums on the shelf which I love!

    So it really is a mind field and I wish the best of luck to anyone with a nagging wife who is trying to whittle down their collection successfully!

  26. johneffay says:

    This has been an amazing thread. Thanks to everyone!

    If there is one thing I have taken away from all this: I need to stop laughing at my daughter about her favourite furniture, & get down to Ikea to check out these Billy bookcases.

  27. madman says:

    I have nowhere near as many CD’s as you Paul, but my wife has been asking me to do something about winnowing down the collection. I’ve been going through them (not the box sets) and if it doesn’t have something “special” such as detailed liner notes, I put it to the side. As I’m able to make time, I digitize them and toss the whole package. I mean, the music is the whole point of buying these things, so as long as I have that I figure I’m good. If there are extras in the jewel case, then it stays for now.

    I still have cassettes, but my car is old enough to have a tape deck, so that’s why I have most of them. I plan to digitize the favorites and again, toss the rest. Digitizing cassettes takes a lot more work and time, as I’m sure everyone knows, so they’re on the back burner for now.

    I’m sure others have stated this as well, but I don’t have the time to scroll through all 150 or so posts to verify, lol.

  28. Shane says:

    Hey David Bly

    I also kept those US stickers on top intact by opening the cases at the bottom and taking the front off the hinges: you are not alone!

  29. SimonP says:

    I alphabeticised my CDs the other weekend and ended up with a large pile on the floor even though they were all on a shelf before I started! I have some overflow shelves over the other side of the room that have got loaded up with non music things like computer bits, camera lenses and the like, so I guess I’m gonna have to find a home for those now…

    • SimonP says:

      Forgot to add that my media room (spare bedroom) was much fuller once, but I dumped all my cassettes, compact and VHS, a few years ago. I seem to recall it took two trips to the council tip to rid myself of them all and there were several blokes looking at me aghast as I tipped boxes and boxes of blank and pre-recorded tapes into the skip.

      I often have clear outs to keep the room manageable, but now it’s all digital media it goes to charity shops. I once tried the second hand music shop route, but the price paid was so insulting I decided I may as well give them away!

  30. David Bly says:

    So, Paul, after responding to several posts here, it’s time for the big ‘reveal’…

    I basically started collecting records when I saw The Beatles on Ed Sullivan when I was 8. I know I am not unique in that, and it also inspired many people to become musicians. While I did take piano lessons and have had various instruments over the years, I am the quintessential jack of all trades, master of none.
    And while I did play in a “joke” band, by no means should you look up “Embarrassing Pinworms”, and most certainly NOT look at the guy in the back playing keyboards with sunglasses and a cap designed after the ones The Wailers wore in the gatefold of “Burnin'”. You have been WARNED!
    But I digress…

    Over the years I have accumulated approximately 15,000-20,000 CDs and likely an equal number of LPs. At one point there were many more of the latter, but when LPs went away temporarily, the CDs gained in number, especially with the help of cheap used ones. When the LPs came back, they started getting more numerous, whilst stilling getting more CDs, often copies of both with come new releases. The disparity in the numbers is cause I’m not wholly sure at this point, as things have gone overboard in recent years.

    As for singles, I would think that 7500 is likely accurate, and cassettes at maybe 5000, with about 100 8-tracks (some of them quad!), and a few 100 or so music DVDs and maybe 25 VHS tapes. Oh, anb about 5 Hip-Pocket discs, among other oddities.

    Fortunately, over the years, and as a result of several record stores going out of business, and/or getting rid of record racks when CDs initially won the format wars, I have many LPs and singles in actual record store racks. In additions, I took a couple of 8-track racks, turned them on their sides and they became cassette racks. Also I have some regular cabinets made for books than contain CDs and/or DVDs.
    An interesting anomaly is that I have an apothecary chest from Scotland that my mother bought and I mention this as part of it is exactly the same as one of the chests seen on the cover of Sandy Denny’s “The North Star Grassman and The Ravens” (of which I have an original UK LP). It now contains paperback books.
    But I digress again…

    I must say I am dismayed by your (and others’) non-use of the jewel cases on CDs. To me they are an integral part of the items, especially when you have unique designs as in coloured cases and trays (like the famous orange tray for R.E.M.’s “Monster”, and of course the white ones for “The Beatles” album), a few lenticular ones (think the plastic part of the Stones’ “…Satanic Majesties…” for those not knowing that word), and even some opaque cases with all the album info as stickers on the front and back.

    In the same was that many can recognise particular pressings of LPs and CDs, I also am quite familiar with the various kind of CD cases made from all over the world. Of course it is made easier by the fact that there are almost always numbers in various spaces of the cases and trays.
    I actually have some boxes of CDs with broken cases awaiting the correct replacement cases – more a problem with UK and European ones, and more so with Australian and Japanese ones.
    Often I will buy used CDs at various places because I know it will have the correct case for something I need.
    Fortunately, as CDs have started to fall out of favour in recent years, and with consolidation of record labels, there are many less variations in the cases on CDs made by the major. An one point you could find US cases that only appeared on Sony, WEA, PolyGram, MCA, and RCA cases (and distributed labels).

    Also, and this may blow some people’s minds, I also keep the “top spines” that used to appear on US CDs – basically stickers with the album info and a (second) barcode on it that fold over to the front and back of the cases (similar stickers also used to appear on DVDs & Blu-rays). These were meant to be for anti-theft.
    I learned very early on how to keep them completely intact by carefully loosening the hinges on the bottom and then carefully reattaching them when done (this does not work with DVDs or Blu-rays).
    Yeah, I know this is a bit extreme, but I do have one collector friend who does the same.
    I must say I’m glad they don’t do this anymore.

    And semi-related are the “long boxes” which were an American idea so that record stores could use their LP sized bins to display 2 rows of long-boxed CDs in the same space. Many of these had unique art (but mostly related to the album art), although there were some with generic label designs. Many had flaps on the top and bottom, but as time went on, labels started gluing both the tops a bottoms, meaning that you had to slip one of the other just to get the discs out (ever notice that the US gets VERY concerned about shoplifting?). They also made sort of long cardboard sleeves for the few 3″ CD singles that were made, like all the Beatles ones.

    A few nice things that I have from those are all The Beatles’ “Anthology” CD sets, and which they also made unique short long-boxes for the cassettes versions.

    Of course there are many various other weird and unique kinds 0f packaging on items I have, but I’d have to put on some sort of brain cap to remember all of them.

    Finally, as I have easily outnumbered my cabinets, I have many items in the cardboard boxes they were shipped in to stores and to homes. So I have boxes that originally contained 25 copies of a CD, that now hold 25 copies of different CDs.

    I even have an autographed one. I went to see Canadian singer-songwriter (and excellent guitarist) Bruce Cockburn, and he was sitting at a table afterwards selling and signing his CDs, and I noticed that one of the boxes that formerly held 25 was empty. I asked him if I could have it as the information label was on the end of it (title, artists, catalogue number, etc.) . I asked him if he would sign in, and he did. So now all my Bruce Cockburn CDs, mostly also autographed, are in that CD manufacturers box signed by him. The only exception is a box set which won’t fit.

    Okay, I guess that’s about it…………………… for now!

    P.S.: I recognise many items on your shelves that I have also.
    Why do those Paul Young sets looks so familiar???

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Wow, impressive collection! I do keep the Jewel case if there is something special about it…

      • David Bly says:

        Thanks, Paul!

        I normally don’t mention a lot of this cause I don’t want people to think I’m bragging about what I have.
        Of course, quite a few of my friends are also collectors, so they understand totally.
        I was just in the right time at the right place, and also being a studious type and being picked on by some as a result of that, music has always been my escape for any number of issues.

        After writing these comments, I realised I missed mentioning two things…

        Firstly, in regards to all of you with disapproving spouses, that was never really a big thing, as my (now ex-) wife was also a big music fan and had plenty of LPs, singles, and CDs (at least by ‘regulat’ people’s metrics). She had some things I didn’t, and I had way many things she didn’t, so there was never an issue of competing collections.
        We met at a Billy Bragg show in NYC in 1985. I was on the guest list +1, and she was supposed to be, but someone had forgotten, so as I was alone she became my +1.
        We saw each other the next week, also in The Smiths were playing, with Billy Bragg opening. She lived in Philadelphia at the time and regularly took the train to shows in NYC and DC, among other places.
        I regularly drove to show in those places, and also places like Cleveland, Boston, Toronto, and other Northeastern US towns and nearby Canadian cities.

        Eventually, we found out that we had 35 Elvis Costello shows in common! That is there were 35 shows we had both been at before we knew each. There were I had been to that she hadn’t, and vice versa as she had actually seen some shows in the UK (she had a friend who worked for an airline and she would be able to go places for free!).
        Since then my Elvis total is 58, hers several shows lower. While we’re divorced we still get along and often she and her boyfriend sit near me at shows. I have friends in the local promoters office and almost always get front row seats to the theatres, and also am able to ‘sneak in’ to a local club so I can be at the front of the stage, usually just after sound checks, but occasionally before or during if a band is really late. That’s awful fun!

        Related to this is that I am always very respectful of the musicians and don’t try to talk with them before a show, although some are happy too, plus I know people in various bands that have played before and they remember me. One of the more amusing things is that a couple of the guys in The New Pornographers know me as the guy with the Zumpano cassette (Zumpano was a band from Vancouver that Carl Newman of the NP was once in, and which he autographed for me).

        The other thing I did not mention was the alphabetising/numerical scheme and lacks thereof.
        I already mentioned that many things are in boxes – boxes that CDs were shipped in, boxes that LPs were shipped in and also 7″ singles in Taco Bell boxes. Yes – the have these special $5 boxes for some of the meals that box is exactly the right size for about 15-20 singles. When I get my food, I take it out of the boxes to make sure they are a clean as possible, and then clean them when home.
        A little while back I happened to have one with my when I saw The Fleshtones, and ended up giving it to the bass player as he thought it was a great idea that they could use for transporting their singles merch.

        But being a record trainspotter, all the initial LPs and singles, and later cassettes and CDs that were put on shelves and in cabinet were put in order by… get ready…

        label and number. So my LPs started with A & M and ended with Zapple. Similar things were true of the other formats, although with no Zapple singles, my last ones were on the Zappa label.
        As the trainspotter in me used to remember many catalogue numbers and even side numbers (how about all those YEX and upside-down XZAL prefixes!), it was very easy for me to find most things.

        Over time, with just so many acquisitions, it became much harder to remember, and more so in recent years many catalogue numbers are just the barcode number or with one less digit.
        It’s way easier to remember that the stereo LP of Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited” is Columbia CS 9189, but to remember that the 18-CD, 7-single version of “The Cutting Edge” which includes every drop of CS 9189, and waaaaaaaay more, is Columbia/Legacy 8887512440218!? Too many numbers!

        And then all the annoying numbers that Universal uses in the US now? They have no relation to the barcode number whatsoever, like they do in the UK and Europe, and they all start with the letter “B”.
        A good example is one of the editions of The Who’s “Who”. Both the UK/Europe and the US have the same barcode – 60257740367. The former has the catalogue number 774036 (note that number is within the barcode). But the US catalogue number – B0031280-02 !? No logic whatsover.
        This is where my trainspotting abilities have gone way off the rails.

        So in finishing up (finally, I hear you all saying) many of my items get put in boxes next to similar things, of things I just got around the same time, and only occasionally by label.
        The indie label Yep Roc has a “Completist” deal where you pay a certain amount and get every one of their releases in a calendar year in either CD or LP format (I did CD). Only special things and vinyl singles are not included. So I have these nice little bespoke YepRoc boxes, which have their CDs in them, but not in numerical order. Too much work at this point.

        Oh Well (parts 1 & 2)…

      • Darren says:

        Hey Paul. Do you have any suggestions for a good source of PVC sleeves that fit the whole back sleeve?

        • Paul Sinclair says:

          a few people have asked about that. I’ll have to look back and see where I got mine from…

          • Carl Jacobs says:

            Hi all again
            Covers 33 for vinyl inner sleeves (various) and 200 / 400g poly outers (various). I use 400g. Don’t use pvc.
            Bags Unlimited for cd / dvd / video disc / Blu Ray discs. They can take some days to arrive and don’t take PayPal and you have to contact them for postal charges; a bit last century.
            For oversized digipaks and cd dvd BluRay box sets etc I use comic poly sleeves purchased via my local comic shop in Nottingham – Page 45 and laboriously cut to size.
            I also use poly sleeves for inserts of box sets eg Pink Floyd releases Neil Young Archives.
            Hope this helps everyone

    • Joachim Gunnarsson says:

      I’m keeping the jewel cases and that’s why half of my flat is filled by IKEA Billy bookcases lol.
      I guess 99 %, at least, of those jewel cases have no sentimental value, so to speak, but I do agree about the R.E.M. and White Album examples. I even bought a new copy of the XTC CD “Nonsuch” where the jewel case is part of the artwork, when I accidentally smashed the first copy. However I’m not replacing jewel cases with small scratches anymore lol. But I think it’s a pity that stickers I’d like to keep are placed on the plastic wrapping so you have to try to remove them from the wrapping and put them on the jewel case if possible. It’s very rarely I do this but I appreciate Rock Candy’s reissues where the stickers are under the the wrapping.

      • Carl Jacobs says:

        Hi all
        Re stickers or hype stickers.
        It is very annoying that record companies wrap the items in stickered cellophane or shrink wrap, on many levels. Since time immemorial I fastidiously remove the wrap then carefully cut the sticker out of the wrap and store in the centre spread of the accompanying CD booklet or in the card wallet if in a card sleeve.
        Same goes for LPs that are removed from their shrink wrap.
        The item is catalogued as “hype sticker(s) retained”. If sealed then the item is catalogued as “hype sticker(s) intact”.
        For the US versions with the title on the seal I really carefully slit the outer wrap leaving the top title slip intact. Neil Young Greendale 2 a case in point.
        Japanese CDs with miniature LP style card sleeves and obi are stored in the resealable wrap but as previously in poly so as to prevent from shelf wear. Older ones with jewel cases that have been opened have the obi stored in the centre pages of the booklet.

  31. matthew garner says:

    I put everything on an external hard drive then hooked my PC up to my stereo,now when I want to hear any music just open up the folder.They are all in alphabetical order and split into official and bootlegs.

  32. Paul Mogford says:

    Hello Paul, love the site. Particularly feel the joy and pain of trying to control the collection, whilst keeping domestic happiness. I do love those Macca bootleg boxes. Where did you get those made, as I can see several options for duplicating this idea Across collectable bands to tidy up the collection.
    Regards Paul
    Stay Safe

  33. Todd says:

    I have so many feelings on this. I moved into my house five years ago, and I’m still unpacking music.
    Like you, I’m not complaining – but way to many times I’ve re-purchased an album that was stored in a box somewhere that I forgot about…. :)
    On the other hand – My radio work has a huge library that to – went to a poly-sleeve alternative (in plastic aka “dollar store” shoeboxes) storage system that somehow used the same spaces as our vinyl – it’s been fun to see all that sync up again. Somebody please tell me there is a scanner program that can read the codes quickly for data base needs?!!! (discogs is ok, but otherwise?)

  34. Ernest says:

    My ambitious plan that I haven’t yet abandoned is to catalog all CDs by year of original release, rank the top 40-50 or so, shelve them, and store or sell the rest. Box sets, greatest hits albums, etc. (a not insignificant part of my collection) are just arranged alphabetically and shelved separately.

    To avoid the monotony of proceeding in a straight chronology, I randomly jump from year to year: 1967, then 1985, 2010, 1973, etc. The only issue with this method (aside from, you know, taking forever) is to move around entire blocks of years as new ones are added. I have of course found it difficult to get rid of the “51st” greatest album for even a so-so music year. We’ll see how this goes. I’ve only made it through four years so far, but this is sort of the perfect activity for the collector during lockdown.

  35. Eric Nielsen says:

    I currently have in the neighborhood of approximately 12,000 CD’s, including ones in 30 CD box sets like King Crimson, Wishbone Ash, Pink Floyd, ELP, etc. (12,000 is my best guesstimate). I am currently re-organizing (and re-doing/finishing the Man Cave), and it is taking me a long time-like years. I have a 2000 CD “open” rack in the back right portion of the man cave and then 4 612 CD “closed” media cabinets surrounding the Man Cave-that 2,000 “open” rack plus the 4 612’s is what I call A-Z “classic rock”-Alice Cooper and Allman Brothers to Zappa and ZZ Top , Joan Jett nestled against Jethro Tull, the Kinks nestled against King Crimson etc. and I have LOTS of media furniture, including a huge entertainment center with an enormous amount of storage completely full at this point-most of the discs in the entertainment center are high end (Mo Fi, SACD, Audio Fidelity, Surround Sound SACD’s and DVD A’s, etc. Japanese SHM, Blu Spec, etc.) I have a huge center “coffee table that has a ton of storage-that is completely full of box sets and more high end discs. I have a bar with an enormous amount of storage. Given I don’t drink a lot-I keep alcohol and drink glasses in the back storage room (basement is split into two rooms-75% “Man Cave: and 25% “back room” storage, workbench, tools, and “stored stuff” as well as the hot water heater, inside HVAC cedar closet on a CIA desk (former owner left it) repurposed as a “working bar”, so all of the shelving underneath the bar in the Man Cave is filled with box sets. I have box sets neatly on display on top of all said Man Cave Media cabinets open and closed and some box sets “on display” leaning on my Bose Subwoofer. In the cedar closet in the back storage room is where 30 guitars are stored, I have 1080 CD rack filled with surf and instrumental music, including “best of’s” of older Jazz artists- (I like jazz and want some classics around but the focus of my collection is more rock based.) Another 1080 in the back is for “greatest hits” of artists that I don’t really collect a complete catalogue of their work-their hits are enough. and compilations (like Time Life Guitar Rock entire series, 60’s series, 70’s series, etc. etc….quite a few Time Life and various labels that put out great compilations)…..and then another 612 Media cabinet that houses some shred, more “obscure” artists-Hawkwind ,Tangerine Dream and split -offs, and solo careers of folks from bands that I like (e.g. drummers like Bruford, Ginger Baker, Bozzio ,bassists like Jack Bruce, Stu Hamm, Stanley Clarke, etc. guitarists like Martin Barre, Robert Fripp, Steve Howe, Hackett, Steve Morse, etc. I think that wraps up the basement….main floor is more or less a CD free zone by decree of the Queen Bee, although we have a Bose wave radio/6 CD changer in the living room and another little (tiny but loud) Sony stereo in the den/fireplace room, so if I’m working/spending on that level (chores etc. or reading by the fire or watching the TV mounted above the fireplace) some cd’s get brought there to listen to but those are immediately returned to the basement when done so they don’t “disappear” or get out of order in the basement. Either of those smaller stereos will pretty much carry the whole first floor, especially the Bose wave… Everything in the Man Cave section downstairs is (and this is a work in progress) arranged alphabetically by artist and then chronologically by original release date (“original LP release date if applicable)-most artists I go for either a complete collection of their work, or, if they had 7 or 8 albums by “the classic lineup” and then more or less split up and resurrected by one of the broke original members and devolved into a tribute band after that with one or no original members but they keep cranking out mediocre albums and tours…I don’t so much go for later work if that’s the case. On the top floor, in the “spare bedroom” (not the guest room, which is also decreed CD neutral), I have two 612’s cabinets (same model as the ones in the man cave and a 1200 taller version (same brand) surrounding the room along with a bed, a dresser etc. Fortunately it’s a sizable room so I can actually get around up there. The 1200 rack is dedicated to VERY complete collections of my 10 favorite guitarists and their various bands, one of the 612’s is dedicated to “DC artists and virtuoso Tele Twangers from around the world (most of these are NOT household names) and blues guys” (Ronnie Earl, Robert Cray and one 612 is is currently in the box and empty. There is also a large rattan wicker (lined in cedar) toy chest in the bottom of the closet (after my son grew up he left it behind and it was still in pristine condition) that is full of box sets.. And in my office, for when I telecommute I have two 612’s (same model as all the others) set up and empty. I have (and this is my issue) 5 Rubbermaid LARGE bins filled to the gills with CD’s that I have to go through and eliminate duplicates and crap I bought and didn’t end up liking. I hope to be able to do that this summer since, given the COVID-19 current outlook, I don’t think a vacation is likely to be in the cards….. I think that about covers it…for now. I keep listening to Deep Tracks and Classic Vinyl on Sirius XM and end up hearing bands I “missed” back in the day and then I get addicted to their music, and go “wow, how did I miss these guys?”-I’m big on “variety” in everything-food, music, sex, whatever). Whew!!! And yes, in case anyone is wondering I do have diagnosed OCD….but it’s not “hoarding looking”-most of the stuff is out of sight and organized, and the Man Cave is really cool with Phillips color Hue lights in track lighting and canister lighting completely surrounding the room, controllable by voice with an Alexa on an end table, or phone, or remote control. The front of the man cave is the listening/home theatre “pit”-in the entertainment centr a large 65 inch curved 4K HDTV and two entirely separate “systems” hooked up to the TV (two receivers-one 5.1 and stereo (I call this the “audio system) and 1 just 7.1…the audio side has a tape deck, turntable, six CD changer, CD recorder and an Oppo “universal” 4K UHD blu ray player that will play SACD’s, DVD-A’s etc. etc.. The “video” side (7.1) has the next up model “universal” Oppo blu ray player as the other side , as well as the cable box, a Sirius XM tabletop radio, and a Pioneer “universal” DVD player (but universal so plays SACD’s HQCD’s etc. the old 5.1 HDS surround sound discs that I think were the first surround sound discs) player with the region code chip removed so it will play DVD’s from any country/region in the. Might eventually have the Code chip removed form the Oppo so it will play all regions’ blu rays, but most things coming out new on blu ray these days are already region-free…well, at least if we’re all home-bound forever I’ve got enough to listen to “forever”, or I can hang out there in the Man Cave waiting for the A bombs to fall….

    • StanC says:

      My grandfather always used to tell me “Stanley, we are not hoarders, we’re packrats. Hoarders are filthy and disorganized. We have shelves and aisles.” :)

  36. Derek Cornish says:

    I have a couple of thousand cds in 1 room. What I tend to do is to upload all of them to my ITunes. That’s step 1. Then occasionally I will go through my collection and see what some of these are worth on Amazon. Then I make the difficult decision of whether to list them or not. If a CD is worth $50.00 or more, I will usually list it….as the collection grows, the more I list

  37. Hello Paul, and everyone!! First, I hope you are all well within this difficult situation in which we are. I am Pablo and I live in Uruguay (S.America). I have been following Paul’s site for years without rest and without laziness…. And precisely this topic I really liked that it was addressed. The theme of space is quite an important theme. I thought the idea of putting the CD and all the content in clear wallets was very good. My CD collection, (Im 45, collecting cassettes from 9 years old), is approximately +3,500, several box sets and few vinyl. I’m proud to have every item that I got, from our country not only the dollar, the pound, euro and the yen are expensive currencies, so the love of music makes us have an extra value, sacrifice buy and send it to the country, directly or thru a PO box in the USA.
    Well, I don’t want to bore you too much… I have the following question, for people who are already storing their cds in clear wallets. Above all, the great benefit is space, but is it a safe, clean system, do CDs get scratched?

    Thank you very much and keep safe!!

  38. Brad B. says:

    Yet another great article about a familiar dilemna Paul! My current somewhat short-tem solution is ordering a couple of plastic shelving units then cutting cardboard into strips so I can stack all the same-size items like CD’s in jewel boxes on the bottom of a shelf then the odd-shaped items on top of the cardboard for the top portion of that shelf. Not glamorous but pretty functional. In recent years I haven’t liked the increasing lack of artwork & packaging on many CD’s (especially ones in a paper sleeve only) but right now it’s kind of handy! And something I’ve reminded people of recently with the entire world being dependent on cable and wi-fi connectivity, a CD plays stable from start to finish; no drop-outs, level fluctuations or waiting to load for streaming!

  39. PdB says:

    Personally I have a wall of CD’s…. and a 5×4 cubed room divider full of vinyl – and that is just perfect. My teenage dreams of displaying music never changed with age (currently 47). Which is why my apartment looks like a teenager lives in it. Good times : )

  40. David Hannah says:

    My records and CDs have spread out across my house. Like you, i’ve been sorting mine out but that’s only because i was strugging for space (and still am)

    Throwing out the cases tho…sacrilege Some people will pay for original 80s CDs with patent pending and smooth edge cases

  41. Fogarrach says:

    Paul, you mention that your collection is logged on discogs.
    Does that work as a database? Does it cost money? If so and if not, how does one go about doing it?

    • Matt says:

      Its free, super simple ( download the app for the barcode scanner for even more ease)
      Full data base of your own collection and will give you a low medium and high price for each release

  42. Peter Muscutt says:

    Here’s one for you – the stickers that come on the cellophane/shrink wrap (usually proclaiming it’s a 30th . What do readers do with them? Throw them away? Peel off and stick on the actual LP/CD/box set cover? Keep it on the shrink wrap but tuck inside the box/CD/LP?? It’s bloody minefield. For my sins I usually peel off really carefully and stick back on the cover….

    • Erik Nielsen says:

      If they act like they will come off well and neatly, I peel them from the cellophane wrap stick them on the jewel case. If they act like they won’t I trim them from the cellophane and stick them inside the booklet, which is the same thing I do with concert tickets where a band or an artist is touring “behind” a specific album…..if it’s a digi-pak or any kind of cardboard sleeve, I trim and put them in the booklet as well. same with big box sets. The outer box is usually cardboard so I put them in the box inside of the books which are invariably in the huge box sets…

    • David Bly says:

      Regarding the stickers and similar thingys, I always keep them and there are several ways I save them.

      First of all I never stick them on the actual album/CD covers or the CD booklets as you are essentially ruining the covers. Mind you if those items come that way – actually on the covers or the front of jewel cases and not on the shrink warp, then of course they stay there as that is the way they were released.
      I have noted that the stickers actually ON the covers and jewel cases tend to always be on non-US and Canadian items – the latter countries almost always being on the shrink wrap.

      With LPs and singles I just carefully cut around the label and just insert it, still with shrink wrap underneath and just slip it inside the album or single cover.

      With CDs there are different ways. With those that come in jewel cases, if the sticker is one that can easily be peeled off the shrink wrap, then I stick in on the tray. If the shrink wrap will not come off then I carefully cut around the label as above and either let it ‘sit’ on the tray or put in underneath on trays that are clear. The latter method is also done on Digipaks*. With CDs that have covers completely made of cardboard, I just slip the labels inside, either under the CD, or inside the booklet, if there is one.

      For cassettes (yes) the labels are just placed between the jewel case and the cover, or inserted inside if the cover is completely cardboard (remember cassingles?).

      For box sets of any kind, I will usually place the label underneath all of the various items in the box, or in similar places where it is likely to not fall out.

      Similar rules apply to the DVDs and the few Blu-rays I have.

      *By the way, I absolutely abhor Digipaks because if the plastic tray breaks you can’t replace it as they are glued to the cardboard. Especially annoying if you purchased something and it was already broken when you got it. I always returned these as defective.

      This is particularly bad with items that get heavy use. Before I retired last fall I worked in a public library and I processed all the CDs, and guided by my knowledge of the horrendousness of Digipaks, made the decision to repackage them all for public usage. So I used a scanner to scan as much as the packaging as possible, and resized the covers for usage in jewel cases. I would then use my colour printer to print the new covers on card stock and put them in jewel cases.
      And yes, I know that the trays could be broken, but they could be replaced for jewel cases, but not for the evil Digipaks.
      Also I would scan and print new covers for all the CDs that came in only cardboard covers, as those would get worn out and fall apart if left to their own cheapness. And while I did not process DVDs and Blu-rays, I would often remake covers for those that similarly came in only cardboard covers.

      Lastly, I will just mention that for regular CDs in jewel cases, the booklets are 718 x 718 pixels (or 1436 x 718 unfolded, or other factors of 718 pixels depending on the number of panels), and the back ‘covers’ under the tray (including spines) are 888 x 696 pixels.
      A fun fact for all to enjoy!

    • Mathmandan says:

      I always keep these “hype stickers.” I cut the cellophane around them and tuck them in the booklet/sleeve for posterity.

    • Christophe says:

      Hi Peter like you when i succeed to peel them off without damage (not always unfortunately ) i put them on an inside of the box/booklet/gatefold . On the front cover it generally stick and torn.
      Christophe from Nice France

  43. Mike R says:

    Paul – I can finally show my wife that I am not the only person to labor over organization of a massive CD collection. I am also at about 5,000 CDs and have most of them displayed but find that I just don’t really want to do that anymore as I’m 55 and heading close to retirement. I’ve moved this collection twice and don’t really want to do it again. I’ve tested the ditch the jewel case idea but didn’t like it at the time though that seems most feasible. I have spent the last year slowly re-ripping my collection to lossless files and backing them up multiple times. I am thinking of going with a core collection as you say and then trying to ‘sell off’ the rest but then the problem is I paid $15 for a CD that’s worth 50 cents now and I hate to give it away. So I’m at a work in progress phase too. Keep us posted on your decisions.

  44. Derek says:

    Having bought a streamer and taken delivery just before we went into lockdown in UK, I started ripping my CDs into lossless into my NAS. Without lockdown this would have taken me ages but am now 1600+ with 500-600 still to go. Once I realised how much space I can free up just keeping vinyl (about 1200), DVD, Blu Ray and box sets in the music room and boxing up the rest in the attic it seemed a great idea. I don’t yet know how things will be with digitised CD collection rather than discs but so far so good. Can’t bring myself to offload or sell anything as I sold a few records back in my teens and always regretted it and have since re bought most if not all that went back then. Collectors curse I think and nice to confirm we all struggle with it. Hope we all stay safe and can look forward to enjoying more music for many years.

  45. Michael E. says:

    No Place for “Seeds of Love” Paul :)

  46. G B Hewitt says:

    Hello all. Having a substantial collection of many thousand CDs and more vinyl to add to it I loved the CD reorganizing post. Only weeks ago I was considering selling off all my new vinyl but thought it would be better to reassess the situation in light of the lockdown sh*t. As such I began to look through my assets (non underpant related) and started the Coronavinyl Revival posts that you are welcome to sample on onstupidity.com I even mentioned this very fine site as it is tip top in every fashion, thank you Paul. When all this is done there will still be the music, and even better the music you can look at as well as listen to.

  47. Joachim Gunnarsson says:

    I still buy CD’s as if I was immortal or ifthere’s a price in heaven for how many and which CD’s I own when I go. But of course there are people with many more CD’s out there and with better taste than me lol. Some facts about my collection:
    – About 6 000-7000 CD’s plus perhaps 200 music DVD’s/bluray’s sorted alphabetically in a dozen bookcases with extra shelves.
    – In recent years I have only sold CD’s that I have more than version of, though I still have several versions of many albums. So I keep all guilty pleasures, “guilty unpleasures” (Matthew Wilder etc.) and albums I can’t stand made by favorite artists (like Todd Rundgren’s “No World Order”).
    – I have thought about getting rid of all jewel cases but I’m to lazy… It won’t be cheap either.
    – While groups and artists are sorted alphabetically each discography is sorted chronologically but I have some problems where to put “archive live albums” (released a long time after they were recorded), special reissues, tribute albums and so on. The present rule is to mix studio, live and compilation albums, then comes the archive stuff and then tribute albums. But I’m not always consistent following my rules.
    – I also have spent too many hours thinking about where to place bands like A Camp (first on A, now on C), J. Geils Band, R.E.M., U2, .38 Special etc. etc.
    – Like many others I got rid of my LP’s in the late 80’s which I have regretted immensely. I have bought some LP’s in recent years, predominantly albums I owned in the 70’s and 80’s but I haven’t really got time to put my heart in it. Maybe later…

  48. Jules(Rules) says:

    “To give you an example, my Duran Duran CD collection is about 10-inches long (fnarr)”

    Why not 12 inches ;-)

    Honestly, I’m having space issues too… but I would not get rid of my jewel boxes. For once, I’m still fascinated by how different they can be from each other. Also, because I lack space and furniture, I have to stack CDs as “towers”. Jewel cases are PERFECT for that – box sets too, but digipaks and book sets much less so.

  49. Kris From Perth. says:

    So I am not the only one on this earth that has the problem of an overflowing cd collection, and how to ‘hide’ new cd arrivals from your wife.
    What I decided to do at the start of this year (and it was a ‘gutsy’ decision I might add) to help allieviate “cd overcrowding” was to every day take one cd out of my collection (i.e. get rid of it by throwing/giving away … the majority are thrown away as no one of my friends are into cd’s anymore). That equates to 366 cd’s GONE! Trust me to pick a damn leap year!!
    It is like a ‘cleansing of the soul’ as each day you look at your 2000 plus cd’s and select todays’ sacrifice. And some days it is harder than others in selecting the days unwanted cd; and your fingers can wander over your cd collection for an inordinate amount of time before you hone in on your selection and sometimes gleefully and sometimes sadly remove it from your collection. But it is worth it, because you do come to realize that there are a hell of alot of cd’s that you bought that you have maybe played once (before it went into your collection) or a couple times at best over a 30/35 year timeline.
    So far every day I can gladly report I have been successful in this years great cd purge. In fact as I type this I am 2 days in credit (till April 14)as some times you select 1 cd and that ‘opens’ the door to select others. It is not easy I have to admit, however, be brave and stick with it. I put it on a par with giving up a 40 year smoking habit 4 years ago i.e. just as hard, but just as satisfying.

    • Carl says:

      When i first got married 27 yrs ago i got rid of 150 CD`s for £1 each , they were chosen as the ones i could live without.As years have gone on i have re bought about half of them and a couple of those were super deluxe sets.
      With you 100% on the hiding purchases from the wife though , if she cops me too often it means a new handbag.

  50. Rogerio says:

    Now I’m really curious to know how you handle/store/display your vinyl collection!

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Largely glossy white Ikea Kallax on their side!

      • andrea says:

        Hi Paul,
        i read you use Ikea Kallax for vinyl storage. But may I ask how you store cds in particular the one you posted with the Bowie boxes? Is that Ikea? i like that a lot with those thick shelves

  51. Fogarrach says:

    My current dilemma : update

    Ok, I’ve made my bed(*copyright Louis Crandell) by buying and secretly secreting pepper and white boxes. Obviously I need the abbey road box.

    And as a result of Paul’s seductive review of the mono box, I’ve just bloody realised that I now need that too……..

    Paul, saviour, dealer or both. This is a great site. Thank you.

  52. Mark says:

    My main collection was fairly simple to organise, using modified Ikea Billy bookcases with extra holes for closer shelves. They span the rear of our lounge. The left half features single artist discs, arranged A-Z. Most discs are in Discsox archive sleeves, which allow you to retain all parts of a normal CD package including the booklet, inlay and 1 or 2 discs with no cutting or trimming. The sleeves are housed in boxes which allows a massively increased density compared to plastic CD cases.

    The right hand side is for compilations. These are sorted by genre such as blues, Rock & Roll and so on and then A-Z by title within that. This generally works well, especially as I discovered that Discsox also make special 4CD sleeves for multidisc sets. I also have some plastic discsox trays mounted on matching slides which makes flicking through a batch easy, however the weight of the slides makes shipping from the US untenable, so I only have 2 rows of 5 trays like that.

    The big problem is the disc sets that can’t be accommodated in the main collection as they have cardboard sleeves such as the 3CD Top Of The Pops series, or the many 3, 4 or 5 CD box sets from various providers, or where there’s special containers such as some of the Reader’s Digest 3CD sets which have a unique box design. These are a real PITA and I have no space to put them out. At the moment they are in boxes at the back of the room.

    And box sets are also difficult, being of varying sizes and shapes. I have a complete run of the Motown Singles Collection which is a great set but takes up most of a shelf on its own!

    But I can’t praise the Discsox products enough. I love that, should I downsize the collection, any sleeved CDs can be put into plastic cases and sold exactly as they should be.

  53. Kenny says:

    Sort into two piles. Those you’ve bought and those you’ve not!

  54. The Golden Age Of The Phonograph says:

    Reading your piece above I kept looking around and nodding my head. We don`t live in a big house, your normal 3 bedroom semi-detached. When I moved in with my now very understanding wife we had customized CD/DVD/Book storage built into the lounge to accomadate the then 5,000 approx CD collection and heaven knows how many DVDs/Blurays/Books. Unfortunately this house ain`t big enough for a `man-cave`. Since then the CD collection has expanded to approx 7-8,000 and like you Paul I had to get rid of jewel cases which I have never liked and replace them with plastic sleeves to create more storage space. For those considering doung this you can store 4 CDs including booklet and back thingy in the space one jewel case takes up. As Paul says with digi-pack CDs inbetween they look good and you can locate a CD easily*.
    I even have plastic sleeves for DVDs/Blurays.

    Bos Sets are a different matter and as most of you are probably aware they come in all sizes and are a bloody nightmare** to organise.

    I don`t have room for my LPs in the lounge. Like many I foolishly got rid of most of my LP*** collection in the late `80`s/early `90`s due to `The Great CD Hype` which I fell for****. Since around 2005 I have been buying LPs again although I still buy CDs. We have no kids at home so my LP collection, now around 2,000, takes up a bedroom along with the LP Box Sets. I do have space where my Hi-Fi set up is in the lounge for LPs I am currently playing.

    I now have had to introduce a `one in/one out` rule for CDs & LPs because storge room is also non-existent. I have recently been thinking about having a huge purge but how the hell do you get rid of albums you know you`ll regret doing so later. I have a small 7″ single collection and around 500 CD singles safely packed away in a shed that I keep saying that I`ll sort out. There`s quite a few collectables in that shed!

    I keep an up to date list of all my CDs/LPs/Box Sets for insurance purposes. I also started listing everything on Discogs but stopped because of the size of the project. However I have now decided to start again on Discogs but only list valuable items*****.

    *I store the CDs alphabetically.
    **1st world problem.
    ***They are called LPs or records not bloody vinyls!
    ****At that time I had around 800 LPs which when I`d foolishly given away/sold I was left with around 100 LPs.
    *****This is because my wife has said if I should vacate this mortal coil ahead of her she`s going to throw my collection into a skip! I have shown her the error of her ways indicating the value of some of my records. A list of which I will have on Discogs.

  55. Fogarrach says:

    Nick Hornby, hi fidelity.
    Anyone that has not read it yet. Should.

    This article gives me hope, based on the fact that i don’t feel alone in my madness.

    Here’s a current dilemma. My wife has ‘views’ on my music buying. Thus cds can sometimes be sneaked in. My Chicago box set came in completely free of her knowing (along with many many more ). Ok she sees the space that it takes up. But st least she is unburdened by the knowledge of the regular drip drip drip of cds adding to it. The thing is, she is also a knowledgeable Beatles fan. Do i show open my not recently purchased Beatles boxes, sgt pepper and white, now? Or do I wait til I add abbey road? I’m waiting for the price to drop.
    Either way I’m going to get the stink eye. But maybe one big beating is better than two

    • Kevin from Edinburgh says:

      Something else to resent the lockdown for. I’ve just ordered the Police vinyl box set, and it will be delivered next week, but now, of course, ‘she who frowns with every new purchase and simply fails to understand’ is guaranteed to be in when the doorbell goes. There’ll be nowhere to hide (it, or me). If I don’t post for a while you can all take a guess at what happened….

      • Matthew says:

        Love this. You had me laughing out loud. Thank you, Kevin from Edinburgh! (Isn’t the joy of a CD or record arriving in the mail wonderfully enhanced when the item can be opened and slipped into the collection unnoticed?!)

  56. Louis Crandell says:

    you’ve made your bed now lie in it. :)

  57. shane says:

    i don’t think that removing the disc and inserts putting th in plastic wallets is safe in any way. aside from the scratching of the discs, minimal it may be, those backing inserts were not done to bend more than once or twice before the detach themselves. not to mentiin stickered cases and the fact that jewel cases changed over the years and you forget how things changed iver time which is something that is somewhat understate.

    I do understand the dilemma however, I find myself with the same problem except I do want the wall and i do want to peruse my library because scrolling through iTunes ti decide what to listen to is not the same thing at all.

  58. Darren Jones says:

    Being an owner of the Simple Minds sets and OCD about dimensions. It’s so frustrating to the eye that they couldn’t get the tape measure out for “Once upon a time” and “ Street Fighting Years”. From the Jim Kerr interview I get the feeling they threw SFY together without much thought anyway.

  59. noyoucmon says:

    I have no idea where to begin with summarizing my storage issues. I could write a book about it. I live in Chicago where living quarters are not immense unless you can afford several thousands of dollars per month for a mortgage. Paul, your statement about “de-prioritized” CDs in cardboard boxes randomly around the house strikes a real chord with me. I’m currently in the midst of a massive re-org project with my LPs to accommodate a new shelving unit, but sadly to do this I have to eliminate a beautiful, bespoke cabinet my father made to house my 45s. It no longer is big enough to house all my 45s, but I can’t stand to let it go even though it’s the major issue in my primary music room (it takes up a lot of horizontal space, and I need to go vertical). I’m at crisis level with 45s, LPs, and CDs. My missus won’t allow LPs in the dining room–I can understand this, as it already contains thousands of CDs (in tasteful shelving also built by my father), but the irony is since living with me she’s caught the collecting bug and is currently struggling to organize all of her own LPs, which I will note have sprawled across the living room for months while she tries to halt the spread of my collection. All I can do is laugh.

  60. Mathmandan says:

    I totally get ditching the jewel cases for the space-saving, but I can’t do it. I want to have the complete object as it was originally required. I have a home office that is really a music storage room with a desk jammed in there. One wall is floor-to-ceiling vinyl (IKEA shelving units) and another wall is floor-to-ceiling CDs (built-in shelves).

    I decided to have my iTunes library be a mirror/backup of the CD collection, in lossless format. So I rip everything, even if it’s a deluxe box set that includes CDs I already had ripped. That’s my main source for listening to the CD collection. I rarely pull out a CD to put in the CD player. I don’t digitize my vinyl; when I’m in the mood for that I do pull it off the shelf and get it on the turntable.

    Several people here mentioned that a CD collection on display isn’t the most attractive sight. (For some reason, vinyl is!) I felt like when all the CDs were fairly uniform in size and appearance it did look nice, but when you mixed the different styles of packaging all together it looked sloppy. So I made a decision: standard jewel cases (including slim cases) went on display on the shelves, in alphabetical order. For digipaks, card sleeves, etc. I put them in plastic bins. I found perfectly sized bins for this purpose at the Container Store (here in the US). Trying to keep those contents alphabetized would be a nightmare, so I didn’t even try. Ever since I started collecting I’ve had everything listed in a database. The database is now in an app called Tap Forms, which has both a Mac app and an iPhone app that keep the database in sync. I numbered all the plastic bins and there is a database entry to say which bin a CD is in. If I want to listen to it I usually just search iTunes. But if I need to handle the physical object, I know where to go to get it.

    Vinyl-sized boxed sets are in their own set of two shelves on another wall. That is getting maxed out, so they need to slow down releasing new ones, ha!

    I keep SACDs, blu-ray audio, DVD-audio, and the like separately in my bedroom. These are discs I actually need to pull off the shelf to listen to on the living room 5.1 surround system, so I don’t want them buried in the plastic bins. Fortunately this is only about one shelf’s worth.

    As another poster pointed out, in my much younger days part of the appeal would have been to impress my friends with my collection. These days it’s just for me. My crammed little music room makes me smile :)

  61. Björn says:

    Hi Paul,

    I’m afraid to say that (in my opinion) there is one solution: Prioritize and prioritize again.

    You are lucky to have only one collection (music). I also have a large comic book collection (3 places, 100.000 items) besides records (I only have a few hundred CDs).
    Over the years I moved to different places and I do also have a loft with about one hundred boxes full of collectibles I haven’t seen for a decade or more.

    A “solution” could be only collection “Artists I mostly prefer”. I did that with my comic book collection 40 years but to be honest it didn’t work so good (too many good artists).

    When I started vinyl (again) about 7 years ago.
    They are now my main collection. I’m not interested in comics any more (they are all in my basement or loft).
    I have zero space now for any new SDE or maybe 10 LPs or so.

    I handle it like Andy Warhol (I’ve heard he did) this, to put artist or compilations, I don’t have them on my prioritize list any more, in “time boxes” and move them to my loft and
    stock them there together with my other “decades” to get some extra space for “new stuff”.

    Prioritize could also mean to get rid of stuff (I try to sell one shelf of comics every month on eBay, which will take 5-10 years from now) or get “this artist” in a box and drive it to your loft. This should be a habit. which you could do 20 minutes a day.

    In my case it won’t work for Harry Nilsson or The Beatles, Peggy Lee or Randy Newman, but it will work for Michael Jackson, Compilations, Classical Music, odd soundtracks…

    I don’t know If you‘ll read my post, but these are my 5 cents (so far).
    Happy easter to you and your family!

  62. Louis says:

    I had (have) the same issues, or at last some same issues:
    – large collection (approx. 2000 or 3000)
    – married & children. Wife asking me “all the time” to sell all the collection etc.
    – House with less rooms that I would like.
    – No luck with the Lottery.

    Well, what I’m doing is the following:

    – Most of them already digitized
    – Selling CDs that doesn’t like me now (and I see they will not like me anymore), that has no interest, or those ones it doesn’t matter If I have them in digital format instead of phisical.
    – Special/limited/signed/delicated editions : some, delicately stored in boxes and others in shelves.
    – Rest of them in different places based on the moment of predilection I have, that is, the ones I listen to the most in a specific time. Trend that changes from time to time.

    The most slow and time consuming point of the above list is the selling task. It goes too slowly. If I could sell most of them (the ones I sell) quickly, I will have lot of space at home for the most important pieces of my music collection.

    To avoid this situation of accumulating more and more CDs continuously, I decided years ago to stop buying normal CDs in physical format. I only buy special pieces like box sets, signed, etc. But not normal formats that are nothing special. I prefer those in digital format. I even take advantage of the digital format to simply make compilations and discard songs that I don’t like at all. This also helps a lot to save space on hard drives.

    Having said all this, even with most of my collection digitized and selling CDs on second-hand platforms, I do this due to space problems and pressure from my partner. If not…

    I still prefer the physical format. But if you don’t have enough space, it’s a problem.

  63. Randy Metro says:

    I bought a couple boxes of those clear wallets several years ago. They took the print off some of the CDs. I remember Atlantic labels as one off them. Hopefully, the company has changed how the wallets are made.

  64. -SG- says:

    Well, it looks like we could start a group here called record collectors anonymous. I think this is a plight that anyone can relate to on some level if you enjoy holding the music in your hands. I know I can.
    How to manage, Having been involved with radio stations most of my adult life I have met many record collectors, over the years. Many have simply gone digital after a while, kids, space, moving, prolonged usage of storage units, divorce. It takes a toll.
    I think having a criteria: bands that mean a lot: get the space. If you want to see those singles from your collection, set a space somewhere. Ikea is your friend….
    All that aside, I love that shot of your collection… many great titles there.
    On a side note, if you set up a secondary marketplace on this site, I’m sure it would be very popular.

    • David Bly says:


      Regarding “Well, it looks like we could start a group here called record collectors anonymous.”, I have to comment on something that happened ages ago in my early twenties. Someone who knew me that worked for the local newspaper asked me if I wanted to be part of a story about record collectors and I said yes.

      The story came out in the weekend supplement complete with two pictures of me and my name. What was amusing was that another collector (whom I knew) did not have his name mentioned and appeared in his two portraits wearing a ski mask! Never occurred to me to do that, but HE clearly wanted to be an anonymous record collector.

      • -SG- says:

        That is hilarious. I know some hardcore collectors can be very secretive about what they have. The ski mask takes it to another level.

  65. Sandy says:

    Great article Paul , can see myself here . I’ve been buying music for 52 years now , 7 inch singles then lps on to cds and box sets . Most of my stuff is in a commercial storage unit . It’s nice to feel connected to others in a similar position . Stay well everybody .

  66. Roel Glas says:

    We downsized into an over 55’s village about 8 months ago. Luckily the new house still has 3 decent sized bedrooms & one of them I’m using as a study/music room. I have about 5000 Cds and 1000 or so Lps. The Cds are housed in 5 Ikea “Billy” bookcases which does the job perfectly. They are not too deep so don’t take up a lot of room space. You do need to buy extra shelves as the bookcases only have about 5 shelves. (mine have about 12 each). If ceiling space permits, you can buy an extension to sit on top of the bookcase. These are used for my box sets and unusual size cd’s. For those partners who don’t want to see them, you can buy doors to fit on the bookcases.
    For Lps I’m using Ikea Kallax shelving – ideal size.
    The only condition my wife placed on me – The Billy’s & The Kallax’s had to be white!!!

    To catalog my collection, I’ve been using CATRAXX since the early 2000’s. A wonderful database which I can use to show me track listing, purchase price, album artwork, catalog No, country of manufacture, date of purchase, purchase price – basically whatever you want it to show .
    A lot of work to set up, but once it’s up and running, it easy to maintain. Now if I purchase a Cd, I enter the info into Catraax, then flac it, then store it never to be used again. Haha!!

    I’m a little OCD so they must be in artist aphabetical order followed by order of release date.
    (and Deep Purple and the like is filed under D, not P.)
    Happy Easter Paul and everybody on SDE
    Stay safe

  67. Matt says:

    Where did you get your sleeved from that house artwork too?
    Done here in NZ impossible to find
    Great site!!

  68. CJ says:

    I understand the difficulty on this. I have over 20,000 CDs at the point. I finally built shelves in the loft for all the main albums, which are orgnized alphabetically by author then by order of release. I keep boxsets in my reading room along with CD singles and soundtracks/various artists CDs. They aren’t exactly the CDs I would normally elect to have on “display,” but it’s the system I have to work with for now.

  69. Steve Bliss says:

    WOW this entry has brought an outpouring! I guess it’s common to struggle with storage of our over-grown collections! :)

    I’d love if you posted a higher-res version of the picture of your shelf! We’d all like to peek at what you’ve got & consider worthy of including in the lead for this blog entry. :)

    I don’t have nearly as many CDs as you – only 30 linear feet (not including SDEs)! I’m currently using cardboard CD storage boxes 2×2 in IKEA’s vinyl-centric units. It’s not too bad, but it’s not convenient when I want to go browsing.

    I’ve been looking for a french door/clamshell cabinet (or cabinets). Something where the doors have shelves, so it’s not like I’m painting the wall with CD storage, but instead it’s concentrated in a “normal” shaped cabinet. When it’s closed, it just looks like a nice piece of furniture, but it opens up to make all shelves inside equally accessible/browse-able/viewable. I’ve found a few smaller pieces, but nothing as big as I’d like.

    Unfortunately (fortunately) I’ve just purchased a new AV receiver & blu-ray player, so I can finally listen to all those surround-sound releases I’ve been accumulating. So no budget for new storage cabinets right now!

    Back in the day, I had shelves & shelves that presented records like music stores – fronts forward, for easy flipping through. Most bins were for alphabetical storage, but I reserved one bin for new purchases & recent listens — as these were what I was most likely to want to grab again! I loved this setup, it worked great, but eventually my then-new bride declared my plywood DIY creation as unsuitable for display – and it got left behind in one of our cross-country moves.

    H: you could apply the Marie Kando method. Discard anything that doesn’t “spark joy”. Or at least, you could use the “haven’t used for over 12 months” method, but change the time frame to something longer – “5 years” or maybe “in my lifetime”, as you see fit.

  70. Michael says:

    Hey Paul, thanks for sharing this. I’d love to see what you do with the cds in sleeves. Do you use a DJ case? Just cardboard boxes? I know the ikea here where I live doesn’t have the CD size boxes any more. Can you post some pics? Also, where do you get you sleeves made?

    Thanks! I’ve been a daily reader for years. Love your positivity and community!

  71. dapaladi69 says:

    many years ago the record store i use to buy stuff told me was going to shut down and would have been replaced by an hairdresser, so i bought from him two cd drawers standings for a couple of hundread euro eacg. each drawer (10 in total) can hold 300 cds and can handle up to 50 kg, and can be fully opened with no problem. considering in the uk there are more cd stores tgan in italy probably would be easier to be find (dvd and blu-ray drawers might be good as well). or can ask a record store who constructed his cd drawers and have them made on purpose, although will be more expensive.

  72. Glenn says:

    I have been collecting music since middle school (1984). First vinyl, then cassettes, then CDs. I have about a wall and a half of CDs, box sets, music Blu-Rays/DVDs and vinyl in custom built shelving I had made. Stored alphabetically then chronologically by artist. Used to sort by genre then artist but my wife couldn’t find anything so I mixed them in. Over the past several years I have sold off about half of my collection as I look ahead to downsizing as the kids are starting to move out. I have also slowed down on buying which has been hard. I went through my collection and asked myself ‘will I ever listen to this again?’ and in many cases the answer was ‘no’. In terms of selling I see people here mentioning Ebay, Discogs and Amazon. I sell on Ebay and Discogs. Would recommend Discogs as they don’t charge listing fees, have lower selling fees and it is really easy and quick to list items since all of the information and photos are already there on the site. It is also a great place to buy music as the inventory for sale is much broader than Ebay and you can typically find things cheaper there. For items that aren’t worth selling online I take them to my local record store to trade in for credit. This comes in handy in preparation for Record Store Day.

  73. Eldritch Andrew says:

    One day Paul I want to buy you a pint. I visit your site everyday.I may not like all the music you promote but it’s always interesting. Thanks for your work fella and entertaining so many people with music addictions.

  74. Paul Lewis says:

    I’ve also taken all my CDs out of the jewel cases… but the vinyl revival has now become my problem instead. I’m literally running out of space and wondering what on earth I’m doing as I buy more and more. Trying to be more selective… but generally failing!

  75. Fred Holmes says:

    I have a a core amount of vinyl and CD’s on display in the lounge and and the rest stored in the loft.

    I’ve spent the last couple of years digitising to flac, and am just on the CD singles now do I can listen to that rare B side that Paul mentioned. I have it in 8tb of nas storage that I can stream anywhere I want to, home or on the move. Just as good a quality as CD.

    Its important that I have the hard copy and doesn’t feel like streaming, but feels like listening to my own collection.


  76. Larry Davis says:

    Impressive, Paul…what I do with my collection is…everything is in alphabetical order by artist, last name first, and newest to oldest, in CD towers, a 6-shelf rack & sizable Sterling plastic 3 drawer things…bigger boxsets (just the boxes) are in a Sterling plastic drawer (if discs are separate in cardboard cases, they go with my regular CDs (if multiple sets of these by 1 artist, like the Fleetwood Mac SDEs, each set of cardboards go in a plastic sleeve, so as not to mix them & to protect them, Tears For Fears is another, when I FINALLY get my “Songs From The Big Chair” SDE by Tuesday, to separate those discs from “The Hurting” ones)…the 12×12 ones are filed with my vinyl (same size), like my Dead Or Alive “Boom Box”, Debbie Gibson, new Donna Summer & Replacements “Dead Man’s Pop”… other unique “unfittable” boxes, like the 2 Midnight Oil tank sets, Blur 21, Girls Aloud sets (singles flightcase, albums box & Ten), Bowie era sets, 2 Kate Bush’s & 2 Def Leppard sets, either go on top of the towers or on a cabinet shelf…and my vinyls are in 2 plastic storage bins…only when the acquisition piles get too big, I take a late night & file em…before I forget, I too want to condense titles to get rid of excess jewelcase plastic…one is that I only want the lastest hits collection/anthology on display & would rather take exclusives from older collections, compile em & sell/get rid of the old ones, unless you can’t cuz of a DVD or whatnot, so like with the new Ash Teenage Wildlife 3CD, that took it’s proper place but the 2 older ones, Intergalactic Sonic 7″s with the B-sides disc Cosmic Debris & the Best of with the DVD & rerecording of Jack Names The Planets, I couldn’t, plus they were signed, so I put them in a plastic sleeve…another is if a boxset has 4 jewelcases in it, wasting space, I condense it into an all-together fat clamshell case (used to hold only 2, now can hold up to 6 discs)…and one thing I did as well was I found used that Madonna albums box good price, so I bought it, took the booklets of the old discs & put em in a sleeve & took out a Row’s worth of cases…and the collections, I was able to fit them all into 2 fat clamshell cases…so now I have 3 huge giant stacks of empty blank cases to replace cracked ones, etc…so yes Paul, a large collection is a huge undertaking to file, update & maintain…eventually I will have a full updated logging…it’s well over 1000 currently…

  77. Michael says:

    It’s nice to see how people cope with managing their large collection of music. About 5 years ago I started to get my collection organized – approx 700 vinyl, 700 CDs and around 20000 mp3 files collected different places on the Internet doing the past 15-20 years.

    It took about 3 years before that task was finished. Most of the first year went with recording all vinyls to an external hard drive (bought an application what can help remove noise). Most of the CDs got ripped to the hard drive too – only took a few months. And with help from the free app Mp3Tag, I got all ID3 tags corrected on the mp3 files – that also took almost a year.

    Then all music got catalogued in the Music Collector application (which is similar to Discogs, except Music Collector only allowes two pictures pr album (whish is annoying), but it can link music files to songs, so you can play the songs from within the application).

    Doing the process I also replaced most of the CD jewel cases with plastic sleeves, to save both weight and space. Now there is more space available in the drawers. I still have problems with finding space for the vinlys, as I have started to buy box sets more. The space on the shelfs is used up all ago. Vinyl albums are stacked up under my desk. I’m trying to sell them, that are part of my overflow collection. As I already have recorded them to the hard drive, I can still listen to them.

    Getting the vinyl and most of the CDs onto the hard drive, was the best thing. Now I can listen to my music on my iPhone. The second best thing was to catalogue all the music, so it’s searchable. It’s good so you don’t buy the same album twice lol.

    Hope everybody solves their storage problems, one way or the other.

  78. Mario Umpiérrez says:

    OMG, It’s refreshingly sad to feel happy in the know that even in this lockdown we share the same dilemma of WTH to do with our CD collections. I also have 2000+ cds plus DVDs, BluRays, TBs of downloads and about 500 vinyl records. What to do with all of that gives me anxiety. Being an OCD person this is only worsening my state of mind to gather with the lockdown. The mere thought of going through all of that makes me feel depress. I guess is the futile sense of doing it that overcomes me with sadness… what’s the point of having all that and not enjoying it? Knowing that the amount of music making to the market is ever increasing only makes it worse. I’m completist. I have entire discographies. I feel myself diminishing in front of the gigantic and impossible task that putting some kind of order into all of this.

    Leaving the grim view above aside, I put most of my cds into folders holding 250 each. Got rid of all the boxes. Still have the odd-boxes lying around and the new cds that I only occasionally now buy. Same with the DVDs. The BluRays are still in boxes and their numbers are not so critical. Enter digital music and video. Now Most of my movies are store in a hard drive. The very that I buy are in BluRay. DVDs I don’t buy anymore. As for the CDs. I have 5 iPods of 160GB each so I have organized several formerly iTines libraries to hold them. For each iPod there’s a lossless version (either coming from CDs or downloads) and only 1 with lossy MP3s. Still there’s lot to be process and I guess I won’t finish. Knowing that the batteries will eventually die is worrying. So I’m looking for a long-time solution in the for a a must server which needs to be properly backed up. I’m thinking of curating my collection to the essential bands in my life which my easily get to a 100 and then isolated albums. Vinyl is an issue because I tried starting in a curated fashion but got derailed now. Anyway, thanks for this. It makes me good to be in good company. I got a CD now and am playing it in my 1990s B&O 2300 with is aluminium-cast BeoLab 4000 . sigh… a moment of peace. Listening to Lenine’s Carbono.If you don’t know him look him up. One of the most fantastic Brazilian musicians of our time.

    Greetings to all from Uruguay!

  79. John Bobo Bollenberg says:

    with well over 25,000 cd’s and growing needless to say my entire house is filled with cd’s and vinyl. Two years ago I started getting them out of the jewel cases and insert them in plastic wallets but it didn’t feel right so I returned back to the jewel cases several months later. All of my CD singles I have stored seperately. All of my compilation albums are also stored in boxes. My ‘rock’ collection is spread over two rooms whilst my extensive prog collection is stored in my loft. I have custom made shelving for most of them. Then I have two large chemist cabinets which contains all of my promo albums in card sleeves. And most of my larger box sets have found their way into a nice cabinet. Vinyl sits in an Ikea room divider which is perfect to store 12″ material. The easiest thing to store are my ‘digital’ albums which I can put into alphabetical order in seconds! With over 12,000 and counting (as a rock journalist you no longer have the privilege of receiving tons of physical product yet only downloads) of course I make sure I have plenty of backups just in case. And in my new car there’s no possibility left to play cd’s nor cassettes so I have switched to mp3 sticks instead. You can never have enough music!

  80. Matt Robins says:

    I like your boxset’s Paul. Impressive. I have only one shelf of cd’s. I have only kept the cd’s where I liked the majority of the album. The rest are in a box I am going to sell or give away. I still buy them as well. This year I got the Japanese Purple Rain box set as it was only AUD $37 (the cd’s came with plastic inserts), His Majesty’s Pop Life & the Donna Summer boxset. I have also decided as a collector to only buy new things which cuts down on the buying.

    • Angelo says:

      Same here. I’ve cut down my collection to one bookshelf which can store up to 800 CDs and another one, smaller, for vinyl. Both still have enough space for new purchases since I’ve sold what had not been played in years and decided to keep buying physical product only from artists I REALLY love and listen to on a regular basis. No more impulsive buying.

      I use streaming services for music that I just enjoy casually. Problem solved for me.

  81. Michael says:

    A couple of years ago I repurposed a large walk-in closet in my den (removing the door and part of the wall) to install custom built ceiling-to-floor wrap-around shelving (which I made myself) for my 3,500+ compact disc library. My ceilings are 10 feet high, so I took advantage of going vertical and keep a folding ladder inside the closet.

    I also bought low-profile matching cabinets with solid white doors from Ikea for my living room. The Ikea cabinets have a chic modern look, and allow me to discreetly store over 1,000+ records without making the living room look cluttered.

    Finally, many years ago I created a music library file on my computer. The file is set up by genre of music, alphabetical by recording artist, and chronological by album release date. I also note beside each album entry, where I store the CD or record so I can quickly locate it in my house. This system has been helpful for me.

  82. Fred says:

    Hello Paul,
    I’m french and buy CD since the begining (1987 I think so) … my first compact disc was Cock Robin « After here through midland » and now my collection is about 3000 cd or more. All albums are in alphabetical classement, One room in my house is the « music room » and I’ve registered about 2300 cd in Discogs.
    J’ai classé tous les albums internationaux d’un côté et dans un autre meuble les albums français et enfin un troisième meuble pour les maxi cd (12’) et cd singles. Les coffrets sont rangés ailleurs quand le format est différent des cd habituels. Le classement alphabétique est la meilleure solution !
    Enfin j’ai dans le living-room quelques cd de mes artistes préférés : Lloyd Cole / Housemartins – Beautiful South – Paul Heaton Jacqui Abbott / The The / The Kooks / Lightning Seeds / Erasure
    Vous devriez demander à chacun de publier une photo de sa collection

  83. Daniel ( from Berlin ) says:

    Am I the only one without that heavy problems Paul ? I had almost 5000 CD albums / CD singles / 12”ers in my collection. With a girlfriend ( 1989-1998 ) who worked in a big music shop in Germany ( “World Of Music” ) I got also every import CD that I had on my wish list. Then it came the ‘digital age’ and I sold my complete collection to a German online / second hand shop between 2005-2010. Now I have my complete collection on two 5TB hard drives
    ( the 2nd is only the back up copy – because of that I can sleep well ).
    A-Z artists folders. For example: Pet Shop Boys.
    First all the 12”ers – incl. also the b-side if it had also mixes:
    12” – 1985 – West End Girls + A Man Could Get Arrested ( 12 Remixes )
    12” – 1986 – Love Comes Quickly + That’s My Impression ( 6 Remixes )
    12” – 1986 – Opportunities ( 9 Remixes )……..
    Then all albums with all the 12” bonus tracks ( marked as ‘Bonus Tracks ):
    Album – 1985 – Please ( + 6 Bonus Tracks – Remastered )
    Album – 1987 – Actually ( + 5 Bonus Tracks – Remastered )
    Album – 1988 – Introspective ( + 6 Bonus Tracks – Remastered )…..
    So there are 74 folders full of 12”ers and 32 folders from their albums.
    Almost 30GB Pet Shop Boys. From regular remixes to very rare double vinyl promo 12”ers.
    New Box Sets I purchased I sell as soon as possible. Or I buy FLAC download files.
    So I am very happy with that situation. The best is that I can find all albums / bonus tracks / remixes very fast and can hear them in every room. And all is very tidy and clear.
    I’m 100% sure that this way is not yours. Your website means “for fans who love holding the music in their hands”. Maybe I am an exotic here, but I am very happy to read all the news & facts from you and most of the comments are very interesting because the people here writing from all over the world. Happy Easter to you and to all readers here from Berlin !! Stay at home and please stay safe.

    • HIRETY says:

      Do you mean you copied all of the CDs to your 5TB hard drives and sold the same CDs?

      • Daniel ( from Berlin ) says:

        yes i sold every CD that I had. it was a hard decision in the beginning but it was too much of 12” vinyl’s / 7” vinyls and all the CD’s and import EP / CDsingles. It was the same confusion for me as for Paul. The searching for a special remix to play was too much wasted time. Now I have – for example all 10 PSB “Go West” – remixes in one folder from the CDsingles / import CD’s and the promotional 12” remixes from vinyls. I think it’s luxury because it will (almost) never be a complete collection of an artist with all released / promotional remixes in one box set. ( But thanks for Bananarama to make it almost complete ). Also I had several remixes on DAT. That took weeks over weeks to copy the long versions. But it was worth the time. Now I am very happy with my digital music collection. It was my wish since the 90’s to have all my music in one place together only a click away.

    • Tony says:

      Hi Daniel, was this the World Of Music on Kurfürstendamm ? I used to travel to Berlin for work in the early 90’s, I still have the green Ryko Bowie CDs from there, some great old markets in Berlin back then, and magnificent beer, happy days.

      • Daniel ( from Berlin ) says:

        Hi Tony, there were 2 “World Of Music” shops in Berlin. In the Kurfürstendamm -shop I had a guy who was also a collector and reserved many imports CD’s for me which I before noted. And in the 2nd shop ( in Steglitz ) I had my girlfriend to fulfill my needs.
        In these days “World Of Music” meant for me “Work For Music” ;)

  84. Robert B says:

    I have around the same amount of cds and live in a one bedroom condo. Along with 4-5K cds, I have about the same in vinyl albums and another 4k in vinyl singles. I have around 500 or cds that are easily accessible . I never was into organizing cds/albums by alphabet so I keep mine organized by decade/genre. For vinyl albums , one section has pre-Beatles then its Beatles and the 1960’s -1970’s. Then I have a separate section for Alternative- this is the genre I listen to the most so a section has Lou Reed, Bowie, NY Dolls, Ramones and moves forward in time but not alphabetically. Britpop has its own section. I dont think Pavement should be in the same shelf as Blur so 1990’s american alternative is separate from the Britpop. I do the cds the same way. In a storage closet I have the majority of the cds. Everything is uploaded onto my iMac and even though Im not into listening to music from Itunes through my stereo it does save a ton space and keeps the condo looking less cluttered . I don’t really need cd access to 10 different Moody Blues albums so I keep out one of two and the rest are in the storage closet. If needed, Ill play it off my iTunes. When friends visit they nearly all will say how they like the vinyl record displays but could care less about the shelf of cds. I also have 2 large Ikea units devoted to box sets- mostly cds. I was a devoted Rhino box set buyer for many years and still have them plus dozens more. Amazingly , on any given moment I can locate a cd/album in minutes. Its not the best organization but it makes sense to me. I post much of it on my instagram site _atomic_soda

  85. Simon says:

    Like you Paul, I have some boxes of de-prioritised cds I maybe only bought for one track. What are your tips for best ways to dispose of unwanted or duplicate cds these days? I’m no longer blessed with lots of time to list on Ebay and make journeys to the Post Office, and local charity shops are reluctant to take on board stock they may not sell quickly. Thanks.

  86. Nick Hough says:

    Great post Paul. I have been buying vinyl for 55 years and in the middle years bought A LOT of CDs too. I do have everything out and organised in my music room/man cave basement but just recently done something I thought I’d never do … I’ve started selling some. I have a few hundred (mostly vinyl) on discogs – things I just know I will NEVER listen to again. It’s quite cathartic but it’s very slow and frankly is not making much of a dent! I’ve also ripped all 3-4000 of my CDs to a server which took me forever. Interesting thing is they sound at least as good streamed as they do from a CD player and in most case actually better. I could now just get shot of all my CDs but realistically 99% of them will fetch next to nothing so it’s hardly worth the effort required. If anyone is looking for great shelving at a decent price do check out Tylko http://www.tylko.com. (Nothing to do with me!). I bought on line. It’s great and designed to store vinyl. You can design and customise it with a tool on their website. It comes flat packed so needs assembling but is much better than your average ikea kit.

  87. Jyo says:

    I have a ‘media room’ downstairs for all my CDs (https://dinkzone.com/mycds ), books, and movies.

    Upstairs, I’ve got a 15TB media server in my office on which I’ve digitized all of my CDs and can play on several devices in the house. Unless I have to do a deep dive into the vinyl, I never _have_ to go downstairs to play anything.

  88. Dave H says:

    Hi Paul,
    Another collector that understands what you’re talking about. In the 90’s I had enough space and shelves for my CD collection for easy access and placing in alphabetical order. It was also the era of the CD single and the two-part sets and I was a sucker for buying these of my favourite artists of which there were many in the Britpop era. I imagine there isn’t many tracks that can’t be found on deluxe editions but I’ve still got the original singles.

    I managed to clear out and bin my VHS video collection after making digital copies. I only sold the rare tapes since nobody really wants bulky tapes since DVD’s came on the market.

    Now in my 50’s, my music tastes have broadened and not only I’m a discovering new music, I’m also discovering ‘old’ music for the first time especially all the Prog Rock box sets that have been released in 5.1 surround Jehtro Tull, King Crimson, Yes etc.

    It’s the super deluxe box sets that’s been killing the space in my house. I have the majority of them in ‘Really Useful’ storage boxes and envisage a day where I’ll be paying to have them put in storage though I don’t like the idea of not having direct access to them.

    When the digital age came, I did go through ripping my albums to 320kbps MP3’s. Now that hard drives are larger in size and cost less, I’m now ripping as lossless FLAC’s. I’m glad there is now a way of ripping SACD’s using a blu-ray player and home network and Sony have introduced a media player that plays these files on a mobile and pc. It now gives me the option of selling these discs while keeping the ripped files.

    Thanks Paul for giving everyone something to read while we’re in lock-down. Maybe you can do a Question and Answer session where readers have the opportunity to ask the questions they want answering like:

    Did the SDE website begin as a hobby?

    Do you run SDE as a full time job?

    What’s the top rarities in your collection?

    Who were your favourite artists as a teenager?

    What was the first concert you attended?

    Is there an item in your collection you don’t own but would like to?

    Which artist would you like to interview?

  89. Christophe says:

    And to finish what a great collection !

  90. Christophe says:

    Very interesting report. A cd or box set or vinyl collection is always a work in progress. I have shelves in my house and choose to present collectibles box sets and goodies. Reassorting a collection is a perpetual pleasure reading booklets and crédits. And i regret the cds and vinyls i have sold these last years. Thank you for your site Paul. Remember the french guy who salute you at the second Steven Wilson RAH show in march 2018

  91. Jurg says:

    I don’t have that problem because I arranged my CDs alphabetically from the beginning. What I did was leave a little space at the end of each shelf. I did not have to rearrange the whole thing after every purchase, but only the CDs from that shelf. If the shelf is really full, then you have to spend a bit more time rearranging the CDs. It’s a little bit of discipline.

  92. John Orr says:

    Very interesting piece yet again Paul. Every physical music fan’s nightmare. I used to have a loft where I went to listen to music. Then we moved, which was fun in itself, and now have a modest room to store and listen to sounds. I sold my DVD’s/Blu Rays years ago, inc. music magazines etc. What I couldn’t sell, I recycled. You just can’t buy/collect/store EVERYTHING. You need space sometimes. There comes a point unfortunately, where we all have to prioritise, especially when families are concerned. We’re not all going to ever win the lotto and be able to afford that ‘man cave’. So, atm, (well, for the last 35 years, we’re the same age I think Paul) it’s vinyl and CD’s only. Currently trying to source a good CD rack. My vinyl is stored in one of those IKEA kallax units. Never thought I would sell stuff, but I do occasionally to acquire a certain release. Happy listening everyone!

  93. Branny says:

    I’ve had mine stored in various ways over the years. When I was still at my Mums, my singles were in vinyl cases (similar to what you would store records in). Some albums were in a black cd unit that held around 120 with the rest stacked on top.

    When I moved out i opted for 4 virtually floor to ceiling towers from IKEA for my albums. My singles were removed from their plastic cases (currently living in the loft) and stored in three black binder type cases. I haven’t bought any singles for years as the production declined but my album intake increased dramatically (partly thanks to a shop in Manchester called Vinyl exchange which i had to pass on my way to the bus stop home from work). Eventually room ran out in the IKEA towers and our daughter was old enough to have her own bedroom which meant my cds had to go in the spare room. I contemplated having a bespoke unit made by a company in Harrogate that regularly advertises in music and hi fi mags. I decided against it as they are quite expensive, my collection would pretty much fill their max capacity unit and I would struggle to get it up the stairs and in to the spare room. I finally settled on some storage boxes from The Range. They’re called “really useful boxes” and do an 18 litre specifically designed for cds (each holds 93) so i bought enough to adequately store my albums and box sets. They are stackable too so problem solved. I bought a couple extra to give me some room for new purchases. They are all labelled and have dividers inside (purchased on line from another site).

    My collection is on my itunes account so no problem with listening to what I want but every couple of weeks or so I’ll go through what I fancy listening to and stick the cds in one of the spare boxes which stays downstairs with my hi fi system. When I fancy a change, I’ll file what I took out and repeat. My collection is only around the 2500 thousand mark at the minute though so I my have to revise my system in the future.

  94. Vernon says:

    Hi Paul. I was in a somewhat similar situation, where my wife would put up with about 900 LPs in the living room, but when I brought up the prospect of adding 2500 CDs to the mix, she gave me a hard NO. So, in January I bought a Bluesound Vault 2i music streamer with 2TB hard drive. You pop the cd in the front, and it automatically rips it in lossless Flac and then you can access and play them all from the app. Now I have access to all the music that I have on cd, but the discs are packed away in alphabetical boxes if I want to see the liner notes. I’m happy, wife is happy :-)

    • Gary Haste says:

      I’ve had my Bluesound Vault for 4 years now, it’s a great piece of kit. Love having all my cd’s stored on it and being able to stream Amazon music, tidal, etc in high resolution.

  95. Robert Jan Verhoek says:

    As a retired librarian with a love of music organising a CD and vinyl collection always intrigued me. I started collecting in the late sixties , only 45 RPM singles, then in the seventies also albums into the eighties. For years I stopped collecting till about 10 years ago I started collecting vinyl again and also CD box sets. I have a very small house so storage is really a case of good organising. Deliberately I never organised my albums alphabetically, because I hated it as acts who don’t have much in common with each other (for example Santana followed by the Sex Pistols) stood next to each other, so I have a more or less chronological order starting with blues and early rock and roll, then the Beatles and British sixties music (Rolling Stones etc.) and Bob Dylan because they dominated the sixties. Then I work my way through psychedelic rock from the US and UK, then progressive rock (UK), folk rock (UK), hard rock (UK). Then US sixties and seventies, new wave and punk where I left the geographical organisation because it is mainly UK acts, from Sex Pistols to Dire Straits , so you return to where you were before punk/new wave, then instrumental synthesizer and jazz rock, Krautrock, Dutch rock (as I’m a Dutchman( and a little bit of other European progressive and psych rock (so back to the geography then, concluding with reggae which makes the circle come round to blues at the start (as black music is the cornerstone of all rock and modern music). I always managed to get it organised logically and compact enough to have sufficient space. I like also connecting titles so the collection tells a story (for example Arthur Brown’s Kingdom Come “Journey” followed by Matthew Fisher “Journey’s end” ) or little jokes with for example Peter Hammill’s rare Canadian compilation album “Vision” , where he really stares out at you on the sleeve at the end of one shelf and the famous “In the court of the crimson king” sleeve at the beginning of the next shelf. In this way cataloging your collection becomes a piece of art in itself. As you can see it is really a passionate hobby!

    • Klaus says:

      @Robert Jan Verhoek:

      This is probably the first time that i heard or read anyone referring to the Dire Straits as either punk or new wave… ;-))

      • Robert Jan Verhoek says:

        They became well known at the same time when punk/new wave sprang up and their first album had that freshness although they reminded me a lot of JJ Cale in some songs which I mean as a positive remark. A lot of new music (Mink Deville, Tom Petty)at the time was classified as “New wave”, in hindsight you can question that, especially Dire Straits who became more like the proverbal seventies “Rock dinosaur” during the eighties. So that’s why have their place at the end of my new wave collection to logically continue to ther genres which had more in common with what went before.

        • Klaus says:

          Thanks for taking the time to explain.

          I have nothing against either the Dire Straits or JJ Cale, it was just your classification that seemed odd to me.

          For me new wave was more like e.g. Blondie, Elvis Costello or The Police, Mink De Ville i only got to know when they played at a Rockpalast-night on TV. I remember not liking them so much when i watched them play there but also that the TV-presenters introduced them as an American new wave band.
          Never heard the same though about Tom Petty, who for me from the start was more someone like Bruce Springsteen, which means American Rock (capital letters intended).

          Beste wensen vanuit Duitsland naar onze westerburen.

          Fijne paasdagen en blijf gezond.

          • David Bly says:

            Robert was correct about the links that those bands had to new wave, even if they really didn’t

            In the case of Dire Straits, they were first popularised by a British dj called Charlie Gillett who also was known for playing unsigned new wave bands on his radio show. Among the people he first played were Elvis Costello, Ian Dury and Graham Parker – in the latter case the demo that Gillett played on his show was actually put unaltered on Parker’s first album.
            He also ran a label called Oval Records where he promoted Lene Lovich, and licenced her to Stiff.

            But getting back to Dire Straits’ “Sultans of Swing”, he played a demo on his show, which, if memory serves, was released on an Oval Records compilation. That demo was responsible for them getting signed to Vertigo Records.

            As for Tom Petty, he fell in with the ‘new wave’ crowd, particularly in the UK where his records on the US-based Shelter label (first 2 albums and related singles) were distributed by Island Records, who, at the time were also promoting Eddie and the Hot Rods and were also distributing the Stiff label.

            People might not know that John Travolta had a singing ‘career’, well before “Saturday Night Fever” (not that he sang in that), but it was pretty lame middle-of-the-road pop pap.
            I have a full-page advert taken from a UK music paper of the time still hanging on my wall that proclaims (along with pictures of the offending Travolta and our hero Tom)…

            “John Travolta sucks. Tom Petty rocks.”

            Need I say more?

    • David Bly says:

      In another post here I mentioned how I used to process CDs at a library before I retired.
      I should’ve also mentioned that while not a librarian, but a lowly clerk (and was literally treated that way by some, but I digress), I also made significant changes to the classifications of the CDs (which was all we had at the time, as the old LPs had been long gone).

      The original classifications had several ones for classical music – symphonies, small groups, operas, choral music, etc., and they mostly stayed same, although I added categories for experimental and electronic music (the later category ended up having some very non-classical stuff like Tagerine Dream).

      But the rest of the system was a shambles. They were categories for “Popular” music (think Sinatra, Peggy Lee, and similar music with strings, essentially a holdover from the ’50s); “Rock” – which as the signs said, included soul and psychedelic (!) music; and several which were accurate – “Jazz”, “Musicals”, “Folk”, “Country”, “International”, “Religious/Holiday” and a “Miscellaneous” category which included things like bird songs, sound effects, comedy, and oddly, movie soundtracks (which were very few when I first started working).

      The first things I did were to give soul & R&B & rap their own category, gave “Reggae” its own, gave “Blues” its own category (it was previously stuck in “Jazz” unless it was a white blues band ans stuck in “Rock”); and gave soundtracks & comedy their own, and also divided up the international section into various regions of the world.
      Since most of these musics are essentially folk music, the “Folk” section basically stayed the same, being already based on British, Celtic and North American folk music traditions.
      But the rest were put into categories for “European”, “African”, “Asian/Pacific”, “Middle Eastern”, “South American” and “Native North American”.

      Of course location did not rule in all these cases as samba music from Brasil would be in jazz, rock bands would be in rock, no matter what country (i.e. Europe would not be in “Europe”). Also anything from indigenous Australians and New Zealanders would be put in “Asian/Pacific” if we even got any (we hadn’t by the time I left).

      The biggest problem I had was trying to determine where certain people in what is called “Americana” should go. Are they folk, country, blues, rock, or what? Obviously certain long-time artists would be in the categories they’d always been in, but what about new artists? Sometimes I would literally make a list of the songs on an album and listen to them and jot down what each song sounded like and the genre with the most ‘votes’ would win out.
      Of course artists that crossed genres would go in those. For example, Elvis Costello and Sting’s classical albums were in their correct classical categories, and Elvis’ “Almost Blue” was in “Country”.

      Now that left, I really don’t know what chaos has transpired since I left, but that’s not my problem any more.

  96. Stephen says:

    I feel your pain, currently using the time to organise, do I do A to Z , years, artist or genre – still can’t make up my mind.


  97. AdamW says:

    I have been collecting CDs for almost exactly 35 years now. I have always stored them alphabetically by artist, release date within artist, since the very beginning (except box sets obviously), so I’ve never had a problem finding them. For nearly 25 years I have been keeping track of them in an Excel spreadsheet, so I know I’m up to 9,717 of them, and it would take me 367 days, 2 hours, 54 minutes and 53 seconds to listen to them all.

    I had nearly 2,000 of them, arranged in the same large, plain wooden racks I have now, when I got married, so my wife knew what she was getting into. :-) When we bought our house a year later, it had a basement room that makes a perfect home theater, as well as plenty of wall space which is now completely filled with racks of music.

    I replaced all the jewel cases with plastic sleeves as you have over the past couple of years. It was completely necessary, and totally worth it. (It took forever, though; my fingertips were not appreciative after a an hour or two of ripping jewel cases apart.)

    I’m at the stage right now where I like being able to luxuriate in being surrounded by this music, but I would bet that in ten years, I will have gotten rid of at least half of it. My kids won’t want most of it. Nothing lasts forever. Besides, how will I make room for new stuff? :-)

  98. MüllerMüller says:

    I stop counting in 1999…..
    To much!!!!!
    But fun – YEA

  99. Gisabun says:

    Did the wife ever say “It’s me or your CD collection. You choose?” :-)
    I am at 2192 “sets” [where a set can be one or more discs [i.e. double CD, box set].
    With the exception of most of my CD singles, the majority are in one room.
    You probably got quite a few of yours as promos for unboxing and whatever.
    Ever see Mike Portnoy’s collection? He also has a movie collection. https://twitter.com/mikeportnoy/status/913295996213448704

  100. James Watts says:

    Lol…I feel everyone’s pain. My record deck packed up about 15 years ago and for reasons of space I decided not to replace it. Consequently, I sold the majority in lots on ebay. A decision I subsequently regret; I sold lots of limited edition and even albums I’d gotten signed at gigs etc. I sold a couple of signed and rare Hawkwind LPs for whom band members have since passed away.

    I’ve got several thousand cd’s that have spilled over the lounge, 2 bedrooms, the landing and the loft.

    First World problems, indeed.

  101. Eric says:

    What a collection!! Mine is in 2 different places. I’ve got A-M in my Mancave, along with all my books & DVD’s etc with CD Singles alphabetical in IKEA storage boxes. N -Z are in drawers in the Living room that we had made. All Alphabetical but I wish I could keep them in one room all visible but it’s not possible. I also have rows of CD’s & boxsets that still need a proper perusal & listen which will then have to be put away tidy which will involve a proper reshuffle. Another ( big ) problem for another day. Boxsets have 2 shelves in the Mancave but with no more room for dust let alone a number of new boxsets.

    I did have a number of months when I bought next to nothing but things seemed to have returned to normal recently.

    Paul, I spied “The Unforgetable Fire” boxset there in the main picture so any chance of an unboxing of that?

  102. Graeme Mason says:

    Enjoyed reading your piece on this subject Paul. I think I still have the dream though of that one devoted room with wall to wall CD’s and vinyl (bar space for a dartboard) and I don’t think I’ll ever lose the dream. But for the moment……it’s mostly still boxed up and stashed all over – and probably a fair few triplicate copies cos I’ve found my memory isn’t as great these days! Cheers for running this site by the way!

  103. Nigel R. Taylor says:

    I used a plethora of Discgear units, not sure if you can buy them now. Basically like a jukebox carousel, holding 50-120 discs per unit. Booklets, or in my case, blu-ray covers, go in bespoke folders, numbered to match the corresponding carousels. The units also have a pop out list of contents. Menus are assembled and printed via a simple online app. Resulting in you having a whole catalogue of your collection…. which you can access online or via a mobile …. or export to Excel. Searching 2000+ blu-rays (mainly music) is a cinch. Rory at Isle of Wight?….. A27….. select 27 on carousel A…. and it pops out. Or flick thru your folders. They even do a portable one say for the car.

  104. Calum McGregor says:

    so … here’s some suggestions based on 35 years of marriage and years of collecting …
    1) use dbpoweeramp to rip CDs and boxsets you buy as a matter of course. Rip at high lossless quality … atore on 2TB or higher hard drive … and get a back-up. dbooweramp “does the biz” and is worth the purchase price.
    2) use mediamonkey to arrange your collection (I have over 130,000 tracks which can be readily organised / managed AND which can be accessed / played over house wi-fi via my Samsung phone). Again mediamonkey is worth the price. Can also rip / burn etc but dbpoweramp is better)
    3) immediately sell on any new CD / box set that you realise is not what you expected or you know will never play again …. take the hit on the discount you are guving …. better to get £6 back for a CD that’s just been released as opposed to 1p from music magpie in 6 months.
    4) Try before you buy …. listen to stuff on napster, spotify or whatever.
    4) enjoy things like NPR tiny desk concert, nugs.net, etc. Also sugarmegs and the like.
    5) sell vinyl to anybody who can take it off your hands … do it before you scratch it. Be selective about what you REALLY need e.g. keep Nazareth’s S’Naz LP ’cause Manny Charlton signed it …. but don’t worry about keeping Malice in Wonderland LP … you’ve bought it on CD 3 times
    5) do put stuff to charity shops
    6) do sell on ebay … but it is a pain to load things up
    7) set up an amazon seller’s account … the fees are overly enthusiastic … and there are 3 layers of them! … the postage allowance is not enough …. but you can at least load a lot os stuff fairly efficiently … and (unlike ebay) your listings stay on until you sell or take them downupside is that … you can adjust pricing for selling to italy, france, spain, etc to compensate for extra costs to post (you can get what your cd is really worth (less fees) …. e.g. I got over 60 euros for a marvin gaye cd) ….. you will also find out that unless CD is worth more than £6 then there is not a lot to be made via selling on amazon …. and you will be sad to see how worthless a lot of your collection is …. so be happy to give a cd away to anybody who will enjoy it.
    8) “try” not to buy so much (can be difficult to break a 40 year habit)
    9) as stated by others …. stire cds 2 deep …. and be creative with storage racks …. you can get 2 back to back in an island in the middle of a room (not against the wall …. suddenly space for another 2,000 cds)
    10) hide the post as it arrives
    11) get cds delivered to work
    12) never leave the door to your music den open ….
    13) vacuum your den yourself
    14) don’t leave aboutbthe house anything that can be “accidently” thrown away ….

    • RJS says:

      I use dBpoweramp for ripping and Mediamonkey to sort my collection too. Currently about 2/3 through converting approx 3,000 CD albums to FLAC and it’s all going on a NAS. I’ve been using the Gold version of Mediamonkey for about 15 years – it’s superb when you need to amend tags. I reckon I’ll have approx 100 CDs to take to a charity shop when (if?!) things get back to normal (unwanted/upgraded/included in a box set). I really can’t be bothered with the hassle of selling them although a handful of the ones that are worth something might end up on eBay. The bulk of the CDs are going back in the garage but anything in a digipak or cardboard case is being stored away and kept in the house.

      Similar to the author, I think CDs on display look fugly and nobody really cares about what you own except the person who owns it. Same with DVD’s. Books are OK in moderation. Can’t comment on vinyl. Apart from some 7″ and 12″ singles in the eighties, I’ve never bought it.

  105. Shaun Warren says:

    I feel your pain. Never an easy problem to resolve. I prefer the alphabetical approach but when storing in storage boxes or shelving units, the thought of buying a CD with a band/artist beginning with ‘A’ fills me with dread.

    And then the question of deluxe boxsets. The different sizes means different storage solutions, especially when a boxset in a brand new, never before seen style and shape is released. Do record companies not consider storage before designing their products? Maybe they’re in cohoots with storage design companies.

    All I can say is I am very glad to have a wife with so much patience because each room in the house has an odd collection of CDs or vinyl somewhere. At least I can now reassure her that she is not the only person in this position.

  106. Peter Muscutt says:

    My big brother used to give me a tenner to alphabetically arrange his cd collection of around 2000 discs…. I still feel I was cheated, but finding a Kriss Kross album in his collection had me in fits of laughter.

  107. Tony says:

    Hi Paul, I guess a lot of us here have the same issue, I had a huge clear out in 2019, I emptied my living room & bedroom for redecorating and all of my CDs, T shirts, vinyl & posters were in one place for the first time in 30 years. As you say point out Paul, there’s a fine line between a Channel 5 hoarder and a record collector, I was on the wrong side. I was very brutal, I let myself keep my favourite CDs ( about 300) & about 1000 LPs, the posters are slowly being framed & the T Shirts I just can’t let go, I then got the Oxfam music shop in Ealing to come around in their van and they took the remaining lot, it took them about an hour to load up and I was over the moon with the space, and it was great going back and seeing them all on sale. I guess we all dream of that magic room with space for a jukebox and fully racked but that ain’t coming anytime soon! Happy Easter SDE gang.

  108. patrick says:

    Hi all music lovers,
    If you consider that many CDs are expanded editions with bonus tracks ( especially those in box sets), their average time is around 75 mns. It means that, unless being a total addict, it is difficult to listen to more than 4 a day (and for working people to more than 2 on business days). In addition there are some days when you can’t listen to your CDs ( trips, visits , etc). My aim is to show that in one year, you can’t hardly listen to more than 1000 different CDs. So what is the point of owning 5 or even 7 000 CDs. Of course, there is the pleasure of contemplating them on your shelves, but the main purpose should be to listen to them. I am sure that you haven’t played some for several years. So why not make a selection of your real favorites and sell the rest ? (I expect that some readers will say that it is a sacrilege)

  109. Phil says:

    I lost count of my CD/DVD-A/Blu-ray/SACD collection but it’s probably falls between 1500-3000. Since I primarily consume all of it from lossless rips, I don’t feel compelled to fully consolidate or organize the physical media. I keep my high-resolution discs separate from standard CDs, and all of my box sets reside in another cabinet. The CDs are alphabetized because they had the momentum to keep it going. The SACDs were alphabetized because they reached a critical mass and needed it, but the DVD-A’s, Blu-rays, and box sets were not because of the lack of size consistency. Instead of putting my efforts into storage and organization, I focus them on backups and accessibility from various devices.

    As for new discs, to ensure that I listen to them before stowing them, I pile them up where I leave my car keys and such. I have to at least listen to each CD in the car before I can put it away – an inbox/outbox concept, so to speak. It works pretty well, unless it’s a Blu-ray because the car doesn’t support those.

  110. Christian Bachmann says:

    I also have the same space and organisation problems like almost everybody else here. i started to alphabetise long time ago, but CDs and records just kept coming in, and due to a lack of space and time i just put them in piles….after having gathered some piles, i just put them in boxes and stored them in the basement…..it’s crazy, i know, but i just can’t and don’t want to stop….;-)
    I already have two rooms filled with CDs, records and box sets, but i still enjoy collecting physical formats.
    And i do enjoy your videos about the box sets from the past aswell as the new releases very much! Thank you for these!
    Also i would enjoy very much to see more pictures of your collection….great that you put a link to see a bigger version of the above photo of your shelf
    By the way what is this Japanese box set right next to the David Bowie CD box sets?
    Hope to see more videos and photos over the easter holidays…..;-)
    Happy Easter!


  111. DaveM says:

    I have about 1000 CDs in the lounge, most on bespoke shelving I had built. I have another 500 or so in a spare bedroom, some of which are stacked in Really Useful boxes. Last year I had a cull and sold or charity shopped about 200. My Superdeluxe box sets are stored on a blanket box which I have put Lidl cube style wood open boxes on top.
    My listening tends to be seasonal, either related to when I got CDs or to the time of year I want to hear them. So for example Van Morrison, Gerry Rafferty, John Martyn etc tend to be played over autumn and winter cause it feels right, but Thin Lizzy is February because I bought them on a Scottish holiday then. I also find prog a winter pursuit.
    There are perennials on the ‘day shelves’ though, The Beatles and solo, ELO, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac etc

  112. Chrisjewell says:

    Vinyl next

  113. Mark Reed says:

    This collection isn’t sorted alphabetically by artist and release date which makes my head hurt. I cannot sanction such madness! :)

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      That’s part of the reason for my bank holiday ‘sort out’ :)

      • GARETH TAYLOR says:

        I’ve found the solution Paul….move your family into the garden shed….more space for your CD and vinyl collection

        • Klaus says:

          @Gareth Taylor:

          That made me laugh.

          Paul, please keep us informed how long your wife will last together with TWO teenage girls in the garden shed…

  114. Dan Glaser says:

    Hi Paul.
    I know the feeling with this storage malarkey and I’ve got fewer CDs than you! You have obviously got a very understanding and tolerant wife.
    You and your readers are going to hate me for this, so that’s why I’m leaving my solution till the end of my piece! If you’ve got 5,000 CDs and typically an average CD might say have 15 tracks (studio albums usually fewer and compilations more, but let’s say 15 to keep the maths sweet). That’s 75,000 songs and each song lasting typically 4 minutes, then you have in your possession 5,000 hours of music which equates to over 208 days NON-STOP listening. No sleeping, eating or anything else for that matter. More likely, one could squeeze in about 4 hours a day. That’s almost 3½ years. (Never mind the new stuff you’re continually adding to your collection). OK – my solution (please don’t hit me!) but a digital music storage/player. The market places is full of them, admittedly some better than others and the storage capacities are extreme. 4 or even 8 Terabytes stored on an internal hard drive. That’s many tens of thousands of songs stored in a high quality format (Free lossless audio codec – FLAC for short). Now this doesn’t remove the issue of listening to all the tracks, but everything is together and in one (smallish) place and each song, album, artist, genre, can be accessed in a fraction of a second and there is no degradation in sound quality (no moving parts). I know it’s not the same as having the physical format there in front of you with shiny booklets, lyrics, album sleeves etc, but all that these days can be accessed rapidly via the internet. For sure, it’s not the perfect solution, but it certainly suits me (and many many others). What’s the good news? You can now free up some storage space at home and use any spare time!?! to sell what you no longer wish to keep on ebay and quite possibly make some money to boot.
    I feel I’ve committed some heinous crime just mentioning this solution, but my undying love for music has made all this a necessary action.

    • MFG says:

      I’m all in favor of digital music players, if they can playback lossless files (FLAC preferred). Will always keep CDs for physical backups, and to read the liner notes and admire the artwork.

  115. Jeff Davies says:

    Paul…..first of all some very nice boxsets on that shelf of yours……my partner and I have most of our music on the 2nd floor in a “music room”……but with over 1,000 cds and then over 5,000 pieces of vinyl, I know what you mean about not having enough space…..i tend to separate my boxsets from the other cd’s and we even had to move the vinyl we tend to listen to the most and the bigger boxsets to the living room where the stereo equipment is……and dont even get me started on trying to arrange 5,000 pieces of vinyl into some sort of order……hope you and your family STAY SAFE!!!!!

  116. Stuart S says:

    I’m just glad I’m not the only one with these issues / concerns!

    It’s not a home I have but more a warehouse now it feels, surrounded by it all.

    Just as well she has her own place!

  117. Jeremy K says:

    This has been exactly my situation and it is knowing what to do for the best and not wanting to regret it if you go a specific way with it. I’ve recently ‘acquired’ a music room in our house to go with the music ‘hallway’. I’ve got new shelving for cds and vinyl and have been busy getting them built and shelved properly. It does leave me with the age old problem of bringing everything together from many places into one place though and also wether to just shelve stuff or painstakingly try and bring stuff together for each group. I too have had the dilemma over wether to prioritise or not, specifically on wether to just rack up albums and box up/store singles which I hardly ever touch. One could say in these times we do have some time on our hands to consider such things and it’s quite therapeutic to me to be doing it. A couple of things that I’ve found though. 1, there’s no way for me I’m up for getting rid of plastic cases. I do get why people want to do it but there’s a level of protection from those cases and they keep cds nicely upright in the racks. 2, as mentioned elsewhere, the storage of cds from these deluxe boxsets you make us buy Paul , getting them in/out is a faff to play them. I tried those cases that dj’s use that hold lots and smaller ones that you can put in the car but I find that the makes ive tried just scratch the surface of the discs sliding them in/out. Anyone know of good ones of these that don’t scratch the discs?? I’ve put some in slimline jewel cases but it’s hardly ideal. Anyway, stay safe everyone out there and enjoy the music

  118. adam shaw says:

    I had the same situation to you Paul , where my music was creeping into our living space that was a No No from my wife . I got them into our computer room/come office but that filled up quick as well . Most records are in boxes in wardrobes ( ones that I have on cd as well ) . My solution to the problem came from my children , they moved out !
    I know your children are not at that age yet (mine were 28 and 29 ) but when it happens you’ll be amazed what can be achieved with two empty bedrooms . My music room looks amazing now with chosen box sets artfully placed around the room and you can actually sit and listen in comfort with a friend or two .

  119. Alain BRENEZ says:

    Story of my life :
    a few years ago I had to sell my parents’ house where I still had a lot of CD’s. I had never counted how many CD singles I had, thought 2700 but it turned out to be that I had 4400 CD singles. I sold almost everything, kept about 100. I also sold 2400 album CD’s. There was simply no way I could keep them as I have about 2500 CD’s in my house, excluding box sets and vinyl records. Almost all the CD’s are in racks, I must have 15 racks of 180 CD’s each. Plus 2 cupboards with CD box sets, 1 room with almost only vinyl records, 2 tall plastic cupboards with my Japan mini lp collection. And my vinyl box sets are under a staircase as I had no room to put them anywhere else. I don’t want to stock anything in the basement for fear of moisture and humidity and unfortunately don’t have an attic.
    And yes I’m still married….

  120. My solution is to have many different places for CDs. The main collection is in my home office, which of course therefore is also the music room. The danceable samplers and some “cult” albums of the mid 80s are in the cellar, in my party room. Zhe classical and jazz things are in the living room, next to the TV and music equipment. I still have hundreds of CDs to give away, sell or exchange. They’re in the music room too, but hidden in boxes.

  121. Del Murray says:

    The reality of this is…..we are junkies! This is a serious problem. Like women with shoes…..if we added up the amount of money we’ve spent in the past 30 years on CDs, it would be an eye-opener. I’ve uploaded my vinyl collection into my Discogs account …..over £20K!!!! That’s not including my cds which are in a storage unit. The majority of them are stored on two 1TB hard drives. Makes one think don’t it?

  122. John Naisbett says:

    Hi, I too have a similar problem. My collection is over 5000 including Cd’s, Box Sets, Cassette’s & Vinyl. Until 3 years ago all the cardboard slipcase CD’s & box sets were on a large bookcase in the living room & the CD’s were in storage drawers under the stairs along with the cassette’s & vinyl.
    We were having a lot of building work carried out so everything was moved up into the loft which is converted. After the work was finished I couldn’t face carrying them all down again so I made the decision to leave the c.d’s, cassette’s & vinyl in the loft & bring the slipcase c.d’s & box sets back down. As I have all my music on a hard drive at home & at work & I also listen to music in the car on a usb stick it is not too much of a pain for them to remain up there. The loft has a window & is carpeted & has a heater so if I do require anything it is not uncomfortable to be in the loft. I also have a stereo up there so when I decided to catalogue everything on Discogs I was up there days on end. My wife & kids thought I had moved up there.
    Thankfully I have a very understanding wife & kids who understand my obsession. I could never get rid of my collection but storage is always an issue.

    Regards. John.

  123. PDS says:

    You’ve surely ripped all your CDs to iTunes or similar so you don’t have to physically access the CD and you then also have a back up of your purchases. Obviously time consuming but can be done over time ….

  124. Michael says:

    I always like to have my music collection sorted and displayed… for myself anyhow. I have a main wooden cd shelf unit, like a bookcase built for cds, that houses my main collection of things I play or have interest in. I dare not count them but it is under 1000. i have a few books of other cds, a separate shelving in the living room for boxsets and a few other things. Then there are the bookcase units I converted to house lps. And all with some thin sense of organization in my mind.

    Fortunately I have sold off as much as I own over the years or else I would be overwhelmed. I like having a curated collection. If I have no interest in something it gets sold or traded or donated.

  125. Tim Weldon says:

    Great article and glad to hear there are others facing the same conundrum! There’s no easy solution to this, especially when you have a wife who is into interior design. However I have talked her into having a ‘music room,’ which is one of the greatest achievements of my life! However, I was horrified to discover that despite this, when it came to bringing out my entire collection from various storage places, there still wasn’t enough room to display everything. I don’t have as large a collection as some but it has made me realise how much space everything takes up – vinyl, CD, and particularly box sets. Anyway, I’m not adverse to keeping all my CD’s in boxes on some of the shelving (my wife particularly likes IKEA’s Kvarnvik range in grey – they look nice whatever the décor) but my problem with this – as you hinted at, Paul – is that as I get older I forget what I own if I can’t see it. I think this is the reason most male music lovers like everything on display, especially as you approach 60!

  126. Mark says:

    Living, as I do, in Manhattan, space was always going to be an insurmountable problem… not least of all after I’d reached that point in life where I emphatically did NOT wish to sit on my sofa and have a clear view of everything that I own. Mercifully, I began building — or re-building, really — much of my collection in my iTunes Library very early in the game, so it’s never been a daunting or insurmountable task. I’m left with my core vinyl and compact discs in our flat, and the rest in an off-premises storage unit. For me, in the main, it’s always been more about the music than the platform [with obvious exceptions], so the arrangement works quite well for me. Vinyl in the sitting room, compact discs in the office/spare bedroom. And, of course, all of it organised and arranged in a way that would never make an iota of sense to anybody but myself!

  127. B57 says:

    Tk God For digitising. In addition to my collection I used to have 100’s of burnt CD albums to keep the originals mint (one of those guys). I’m ocd to the point of having a preference for certain CD trays and don’t think I could move to wallets. and stay well superdeluxers

  128. Cristian Elena says:

    Hey Paul,
    even if my CD collection has never been close to yours in terms of quantity, I’ve experienced similar problems.
    Being a bit short of money a few times in the last 10 years helped me indirectly to downsize without suffering that much ;-). While listening again to some CDs to see if they were keepers or actually “eBay candidates”, I found out many of them weren’t as indispensable as I thought. On the other hand, I realised I’ll unlikely have the time to listen to aaaaall those CDs again, considering I’m going to get some new ones in the future.
    Enjoy the tidying up (*BTW: Where is that Marie Condo when you most need her?!) and happy Easter!

  129. Rare Glam says:

    I feel your collector’s angst Paul. I can almost identically match your story, I recognised every word! Are your shelves (pictured) one disc or two discs deep? I have floor to ceiling, bespoke wooden shelving in my ‘office’ that are two CDs deep, so there is another line of discs behind the ones at the front on the same shelf on every shelf. I keep having to remove two or three from the front rows to remember what’s in the line behind them! I have not removed jewel cases though I have often considered it. I do have CD wallets full of CDs bought cheaply (thanks Music Magpie) that are mainly original one time only issues I consider collection fillers until or unless a box set appears that better presents them (the three Audio Slave albums for instance, all of The The’s albums and the four or five Squeeze albums that were never reissued as Japanese minis (that I have) or as digipaks like their last two were.

    I did have several blocks or towers of CDs growing off the floor as overflow until my wife said ‘get some more shelving, I can’t stand going in that room anymore’. My loft does have the overflow of CDs in it, though one day’s overflow is tomorrow’s necessity, so like you said, there were frequent trips to the loft to retrieve what I had only put up there a week before. My loft though is more full of LPs than CDs, all in those ‘Really Useful’ brand clear plastic clip down lidded tubs. Very heavy they are too, comprised of lots of 000’s compilations of 60s garage and psych.

    Being old and decrepit, I’m now more concerned about the legacy I’m leaving my family, the guilt or overwhelming incomprehension for them of what to do with it all, if I snuff it first! whereas I could realise a pretty penny for the rarer stuff if I sold the best of them on eBay but I can’t let go (as the song says) and I think the process would be overwhelming just in terms of quantity. Plus I’d keep getting those annoying emails from eBay asking if I am dealer as I ‘seem to have a lot of stock’!

    I do like feeling immersed in my collection (or perhaps it is curating me?) and despite the off-putting searches for discs I know I have but can’t find (and yes, like you I have bought stuff again I know I already have rather than look for it!) I enjoy them albeit with increasing pangs of anxiety. Is it selfish to keep them I wonder or just self-preservation. I’ll email you a few photos of the shelves, maybe you could upload a collage or photo gallery of them if other readers did likewise?

  130. Jamie A says:

    Not quick but pretty fool proof. Every time you use or listen to a CD place a small Post-it Note on the inside cover. If you use it again, put a hashmark on it. After several months you can see what you used and how many times. Or export your Discogs collection and do this digitally, putting an indicator on the spreadsheet every time you use the cd.

  131. Andrew r says:

    Paul everything you said chimes with me . Storage is the bane of my life . All the recent SDE sets that I have acquired courtesy of your marvellous site have filled the one small study I have to bursting point . Box balanced on box , like one of those extreme hoarder tv programs you see . In my case it gets tidied every few years , but I have to tell you however you do it space is space and it’s finite ! ( unless your Dr Who with a yard is )

  132. Andrew M says:

    As some will know I moved to Kuwait a while ago (nearly a year ago) and I put my CDs, vinyls and Blu rays into storage complete with plastic.

    The aim eventually was to ship them over here but in the meantime I bought a stereo HomePod pair to go with my Apple Music sub.

    Then it became clear that it would cost over a thousand pounds to ship them here and even if I did that and paid it, I had nowhere to put them here. And no CD player. And no record player. I could buy the hardware to play them but we are planning to travel the world over the next decade to fifteen years and I couldn’t keep lugging them around.

    But we were paying 100 quid a month to store them in the UK.

    I spent best part of six months pondering a solution and I think I’ve finally come up with one although it’s not ideal.

    I have decided to get my father back in UK to throw away all the packaging and put the CDs into these plastic wallet sleeves like you get at amazon and HMV. I asked him to do the same with the Blu rays. All the nice box sets I’ve asked him to ship over intact and I’ll work out what to do with them when they get here. The only vinyl will be in the box sets (Origin of Muse, News of the World etc etc).

    However, I have no idea what to do with the rest of the vinyl yet.

    Then Coronavirus happened and My 81 year old dad is isolated in a 1 bedroom flat with 1500 CDs about 150 box sets, 500 Blu rays, and 400 vinyls poor man.

    He FaceTimed me the other day.

    He could barely move bless him.

  133. Rob says:

    Yep, it’s a problem without an ideal solution.
    I rearranged my ‘study’ last year so that all my CDs fit, but only by having shelving where there are 2 rows of CDs so I can’t see half of them.
    Sympathy not forthcoming from the other members of the household!

  134. Chris Lüönd says:

    Hi Paul, which wallets did you get? Hama?
    Thanks for a short feedback.
    Regards and happy Easter

  135. David Brown says:

    Hi. I have 10k + items. I started logging stuff on index cards right from the beginning (1976). Then transferred to a database in the 90’s. Sometime in the 00’s I took the decision to digitise cd’s into Lossless. All analog and any digital with card sleeves, digipaks or box sets is inside. Anything in a basic jewel case goes into Really Useful boxes stored in the garage. I’m pleased that I digitised, but it is hard work. You don’t realise how poor the information is on Gracenote and how hard it is to maintain consistency/accuracy across a large collection.

  136. Chris O says:

    I went the route of getting rid of jewel cases and using 4×6 index card boxes for storing the remaining contents

    These are the index boxes I used

  137. richard says:

    where do you find the sleeve that fit the back cover?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I’ll dig out the details of the company I ordered them from…

      • Warren says:

        I got them from a company in the Netherlands called Discoguard they now house my entire cd collection in alphabetised storage boxes. Which means I’m able to enjoy my collection again it was the best thing I ever did.

    • Attila Nemeti says:

      I have a different type than Paul’s: a bit thicker and longer and open on the side. I am in Europe, and while there are multiple retailers in the US (some do ship worldwide but typically expensive), I had a difficult time to find any in Europe, until I found Whos Your Daddy Records in the Netherlands. That’s where I got mine.

      I have used up the first 1000, now I am starting my second 1000 batch. I like them a lot better than jewel cases. You change the sleeve and it looks like a newly bought CD! Although after a while I start to get a slight ring wear (just like vinyl sleeves) on the plastic sleeve if I pull them in and out of the shelve multiple times, but I can live with it. Maybe the one Paul has doesn’t do that… But jewel cases also get scratched easily, plus they have this plasticky feel and take up 5 times as much space as these sleeves. So I highly prefer the sleeves. Good luck!

  138. Melvin Welters says:

    Great article Paul, and I can completely relate to that. For the first time in years I have my full collection in one house. But still the CDs, my CD-Vinyl ratio is 85%-15%, are in various rooms. A stack in the living room, piles in a spare bedroom, and the best stuff is in various racks and closets in the attic. The main stuff and some of the boxes are on display, mainly for my own entertainment. And some exclusive stuff is in cabinets. The main stuff is alphabetically ordered and easy to access. But it can be a nightmare finding other items. I have most stuff catalogued on discogs now which prevents purchases of items I’ve already got. One policy to keep my collection manageable is to sell “doubles”. So for instance when Edsel did the Suede 2CD-1 DVD Packages I replaced standard albums with the new ones and gave away or sold the originals. In a perfect world, and in a house bigger than I can afford, I would have all items in a music room. One can only dream! Absolutely love the picture of part of your collection. Would love to see a feature where readers would post snapshots of their collections. You’ve got some great items there Paul!!!

  139. Tony Smith says:

    The eternal dilemma- how to store all those CDs? I’m lucky enough to have a den. One wall has shelving from Shelfstore.co.uk and houses CDs in jewel cases and a few box sets on the top shelf! Opposite more of this excellent shelves with shelves of different heights to accommodate box sets. As much as possible everything is arranged alphabetically and chronologically.We have a comfy small sofa under the window and a tv on the opposite wall. I have a Hi-Fi set up in there and a small surround sound system. It houses about 5000 CDs and a couple of hundred box sets of varying sizes. Vinyl, mini discs etc. Are boxed up elsewhere around the house. The biggest problem is how quickly the collection is growing, part time job in a record shop doesn’t help! I must admit I can spend hours in there just browsing through my collection, without actually playing anything.

  140. Tracey says:

    Excellent topic, Paul! I’m currently facing this same “dilemma” and will be very interested to read the advice/responses from the SDE community. Best of luck with your project!

    • DiscoDave2000 says:

      @Tracey / @Paul – I’ve used JewelSleeves (https://jewelsleeve.com/shop/) for my collection. They take care of 1 and 2 disc jewel case editions no problem. Since so many albums come in digipaks or other non jewel case formats, I typically make/print a cover and/or backing card using CD Cover Creator (http://www.thyante.com/index.php?cdcovercreator) and then store them in JewelSleeves as well. It’s freeware (but I’ve donated to the developer since the software has really filled the need for me). Jewelsleeves are not cheap, but it has certainly helped with the space issue. I have close to 7000 titles in my CD collection.

      Deluxe Editions and CD singles in the thin cases

  141. John Simmons says:

    My CD collection was up to about 1,000 2 years ago but is getting to 1,500 but i won’t know until i get them on a spreadsheet like you do!

    I’ve got 9 more years of full time work and the wage to go with it until i retire so the retail therapy can continue until then, i’m also fortunate (or maybe unfortunate) in that I’m single so there is nobody to ask me why i have to possess 3 different editions of The White Album.

    My plan is to celebrate my 60th birthday in 2 years time by getting a Brennan B2 hard drive thing (actually i might get 2 as a back-up), by the time the pension kicks in at 67 i should have them all copied on there which will work well as i intend to spend half the year travelling around in a campervan.

    If any large bills or expenses come in after i retire and the pension isn’t as good as expected i can at least have a little weep as i put a Deluxe Edition on every month to pay the electric bill.

    By the way can anybody with experience of the Brennan give me their honest opinions on it, alternatively can anyone recommend a very user friendly external hard drive for storing music on that could then be plugged into a laptop or desktop for home or dj-ing purposes.

    Sorry if I’ve gone a little off topic here!

    • Colin Crews says:

      I had about the same number of CDs as you and a couple of years ago transferred them to a Brennan B2. I’m very pleased that I did so as the music is very easy to look through via a PC or laptop and there have been all sorts of refinements to the software. I still buy CDs but also high-res downloads which can be transferred via NAS or on a USB stick. It takes only a couple of minutes to rip a CD and it is compressed when the B2 is idle. There’s no need to buy two either as the whole collection can be backed up to a hard drive. I play the music through wired speaker or Bluetooth headphones and it’s a joy to be able to play a three hour Grateful Dead set without having to get up and change CDs. Another bonus is that I’ve been able to sell my rarer CDs on EBay at a considerable profit.

  142. Greg says:

    Boy, does this post speak to my heart. While I have a good system in place for cataloging my CDs on shelves in the basement (alpha by artist, then alpha by album; compilations before everything else) I still have close to 600 releases (many are multidisc) that are in boxes because I haven’t gotten to them yet. I like to catalog everything on my PC and then rip the audio to my NAS drive but that takes time. And yet I keep buying more! The curse of being a meticulous collector, I guess.

  143. Mark Tomlinson says:

    I have the same issue Paul, though not as large a collection as you. Getting rid of the jewel cases as you did would solve the issue. But I can’t bring myself to do that.

    Your McCartney statement about making bootleg storage boxes got me thinking- do you have any “bootleg” cd collections that you’d be interested in discussing? Maybe favorites for what they include, great live shows, unreleased songs, particularly impressive packaging, etc.

  144. Paul Soper says:

    I’m in the middle of sorting out my CDs, and it is a nightmare.

    One of my biggest challenges is storing CDs from box sets. I don’t want have to go to the bottom of the Dark Side Of The Moon immersion box, for example, to dig out the CDs and Blu Ray, so I keep them in slim-line plastic cases under my coffee table. Same for all my Beatles stereo and mono CDs, and various other box sets. It keeps them handy, but I don’t like it because it looks untidy.

    There’s also the issue of trying to keep sunlight off CDs. I’ve noticed some CD spines have faded. Some, The Beatles Anthology white plastic cases for example, are yellowing with age.

    • Rare Glam says:

      My ‘office’ / music room is a box room that used to be our daughter’s when a baby. At that time we had a black out blind put up over the window to aid her sleeping. Now I have this room the black out blind is the perfect foil to excoriating sunlight bleaching the text on my CD spines, just pull it down and it’s like night time!

  145. Dave says:

    For years, music has been as escape for me – probably like a lot of you out there. I can completely see my situation in Paul’s post. I don’t even know how many cd’s I have, but it is in the thousands, including literally hundreds of SDE’s, box sets, etc. I do not say this intending to brag in any way, it is more to illustrate the problem. It is more music than I could possibly enjoy in the rest of my lifetime. One of the issues I have is I don’t always listen to the music when I get it, so it just accumulates. This often occurs after one of Paul’s posts about a new release or a dreaded ‘SDE Deal Alert’ – I check out something I had never paid much attention to, then wind up buying huge amounts of that artist’s catalog.

    Big problem is – I am getting older, and I have come to the simple reality that most of the collection has to go. We are about to become empty nesters and are in severe need of downsizing. I am trying to figure out the best way to go about this – I would love to get the collectible stuff to a nice home that will still appreciate it, but sadly most of it will likely go for next to nothing at used cd stores. If something were to happen to me tomorrow, my wife would have no idea what to do with it all, and it would just go to Goodwill. Anyone else out there have a similar issue?

    THANKS for all the great info and a very insightful post Paul!!


  146. Bruce Nicholson says:

    I have a similar storage problem. I keep ‘core’ vinyl and cds (and sde’s) in the house and have an overflow in the garage. The overflow though is about 50 kallax cubes of vinyl, dj boxes full of 12 inch and lps, and about 15 really useful boxes full of 7 inches. Then theres all the cds stored in a random order in a shelving unit that used to be wall lockers in a school (dont ask). And other boxes with SDEs in which dont get played regularly. Then theres the vinyl box sets in the bedroom. It’s ridiculous really.

    Added to this, the ‘core’ gets updated with new stuff to listen to, then something has to go in ths garage…

    But bringing order to this is never ending. I too once had visions of a room devoted to music, but it isnt feasible in a family home.

    I like the idea of getting rid of jewel cases and have thought of this in the past. Where did you get your plastic sleeves from to do this?

  147. Bob M says:

    Hi Paul

    I can’t recommend Space Savings Sleeves enough


    It took a lot of patient work, but I have over 2500 CDs on one wall, only special jewel cases and of course boxes and digi’s were exempt. I estimate the linear space to be about 4 CDs in the space of one jewel case.

    • Cindy says:

      I didn’t like the idea of getting rid of my jewel cases until I just saw these space saving sleeves. I like how they have a spine. I have 1500+ CD’s, and some vinyl (not much). I wouldn’t dismantle box sets and I guess I’d have to keep the cardboard digipaks in tact. Right now the CD’s are alphabetized by artist/release date in a tower I’ve had for a long time. Everything is on iTunes and backed up on an external hard drive save for two cd’s I’ve haven’t gotten to yet. After I initially ripped my whole CD collection to iTunes when I got my first iPod years ago, I always do it whenever I get new CD’s to keep up. That said, I only buy physical copy of my faves. Some I feel I can just download. The other issue is that while on lockdown I could read this article and everyone’s great comments about CD storage all day while doing nothing about my CD storage, LOL.

      • Bob M says:

        Hi Cindy

        Just a comment – I have my CDs in RECORDED order, not release date. The year recorded is one of my things as it suits my interest in the progression (or not) of Rock and Jazz and other artists’ works. Let it Be is always before Abbey Road! Plays havoc though if I get polled on top 20 albums in a particular year – usually if not always requested within the release year. My personal database has no record of the release year.

  148. Eamonn says:

    I’d love to see other people post pics of their superdeluxe’d shelves. Reissue porn.

  149. Jon m. says:


    I had the same problem. I had thousands of cd singles, largely from the 90s plus many cdr compilations of 12” remixes that people sent me over the years.

    In the end after two kids and a few decades of growth, I contracted my collection and kept anything collectible, box sets and rarities. I digitized Most everything and now mostly listen To that. It’s easier to do that even when playing music for friends.

    Yes most of my cd singles I digitized to save on space and I purchased Storage books of these to get rid of the jewel cases:

    These books really saved on space. I bought 6 of them and was able to store an entire cabinet’s worth of cds, primarily UK cd singles. As you know, Uk cd singles only have one insert rather than backing plus an insert. I was very careful about it and only put the insert in one slot and the cd in another slot. Yes I had to purchase more of these books and book inserts to do it that way but it was very safe and secure.

    These books go right next to my box sets and they are all in alphabetical order. If you make a mistake, just add a new insert into the book. Ended up really helping me. Here in California, we had a massive fire In Anaheim a few years ago and we thought we might lose our house. I had only seconds to grab stuff – of course I grabbed photos first – but then I grabbed box sets and these cd storage books. Wouldn’t have been able to save cds otherwise.

    Good luck! I don’t have any regrets in the consolidation of space, happy wife (and family) happy life.

  150. Gregg P says:

    Hi, Paul. My CD collection has grown to around 7,000, and I did not get rid of jewel cases (and likely won’t at this point). I live in a one-bedroom unit with my sweetie, so the collection takes up space in the living room (don’t ask about the 1,000+ vinyl albums on shelving in the hallway…)
    Most useful investment I made was in multiple-drawer library style storage cabinets from Can-Am (which are available in the UK) – http://www.cdcabinets.com/CD-storage-DVD-storage.htm
    Expensive, and they ship directly to you, but I’ve never regretted buying them.

    • Trevor Smith says:

      Thanks for the link Gregg, these look really smart. Is there an option for 7″ singles though? :)

  151. David M says:

    What are those McCartney sets? They look a strange size, are they promo versions.

    Most of my CDs are in wallets, I also threw cases away. Shelves are devoted to vinyl, plus box sets.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      The are bootleg boxes for my mini-LP CDs!

      • H says:

        Hi Paul.I had the brilliant idea a while ago of sorting everything alphabetically – a good idea in principle but putting all the new stuff(which usually gets listened to a bit more that the old stuff) meant loads disappeared and were forgotten about.Now gone back to stacks of unsorted newer ones in front of the sorted ones but at least I’m listening to those recently bought .Whilst we are all probably loath to getting rid I sometimes wonder what’s the point of keeping things you never ever listen to and wonder why you ever bought it in the first place.The principal of clearing the house out of anything you haven’t used for over 12 months doesn’t seem to apply to music collections.Take care and stay safe.

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