Organizing Your Media Collections: Books, Movies, Music and More

Is this you?
Is this you?

Do you struggle with an unruly media collection? Whether it is reading material, movies, music or games, these items can detract from the cohesiveness of your space and unnecessarily take up valuable storage area in your home or office.

The first rule of thumb for any “collection” is to evaluate your items and get rid of anything that no longer has meaning to you. You can recycle paper items and plastic cases, sell or donate items in good condition, and throw away things that are ruined.

For the items that you are not ready to let go of yet, consider the following media organization tips.


Most of us do not have an entire room dedicated to being our personal “library,” so book collections need to somehow become incorporated with the rest of the home.

The most chic way to organize your books is to hone your shelf-stylizing skills. You can display your beloved books as part of your décor by blending stacks of books with attractive accessories. Alternate between vertical groupings and horizontal stacks of books on your shelves. Use book ends to keep vertical groupings together and mix up the straight lines by using accessories that feature curves and interesting textures.

If your collection exceeds what can reasonably be displayed on open shelves, consider corralling books in stylish boxes or closed containers that can be stored safely in a closet, basement or attic.

Magazines and Newspapers

Now, this one can be tricky. If you have already accumulated many years worth of periodicals, properly indexing your stash can seem like a daunting task. However, you need to ask yourself, if you wanted to find an article from that magazine or newspaper that you saved, would you have any idea where to start looking? If the answer is no, it may be time to cut your losses and move forward with a renewed plan for saving specific articles that inspire you.

Ideally, you should save only the specific articles, recipes, or photos from periodicals that you really love. Use a labeled binder system with sheet protectors to store and organize the things you want to keep so that you can actually find it again. Also, keep in mind that the Internet is an amazing resource! Anything that has been published in a magazine or newspaper is likely to be digitally indexed somewhere on the web.

DVDs, CDs and Video Gamesdvdpile_680-660x440

There are a ton of options for storing and organizing these disks. If the plastic cases are taking up too much space, consider investing in some inexpensive sleeves that you can keep in media boxes, or purchase some CD flip-cases and categorize your collection with labels and dividers.

You can also display your CD, DVD and video game cases similar to our suggestion for books. Stylize shelves to incorporate these items into your home décor. Most importantly, make sure the system you choose for your collection makes it easy to find what you want, when you want it.

Vinyl Records

Vinyl records are not only nostalgic, but may also be worth some money. Unlike the plastic cases used today, record covers do not take up much space, but can be easily damaged by water; so just make sure these items are stored in a safe place.

If your collection is minimal, but valuable, consider displaying the covers in frames on your wall. If you have a large number of vinyl albums, store them vertically on shelves or file them in decorative boxes.

VHS and Audio Cassettes

Unfortunately, these technologies were not designed to last through the ages. Unless you are able to create an airtight, climate controlled environment for storage, these media devices can start to degrade in just 5 years. Your best bet for protecting the content from an old VHS tape or audio cassette is to have the content professionally converted into a digital file. Many companies provide this service for a minimal fee.

Welcome to the Digital Age

I realize that this might be a bold suggestion, but if your collection truly takes over your space, try channeling your inner minimalist and consider converting the bulk of your media into digital files that can be stored on an external hard drive or data cloud system. Not only does this solution save you time when you want to find a movie, song, or article, but it will also open up so much space for other uses.

For more tips on organizing your home and implementing smart storage solutions, check out the other articles on our blog. If you would like professional help to take control of your media collections, contact Garage Décor and More for a FREE consultation, or call 618-789-7969.