The Attack of the DVD Hog!

With all the nasty stuff on TV, we prefer to watch either PBS or movies at our house. In fact, we own about 170 Dvds, which really isn't a lot. We have friends with hundreds, even over a thousand Dvds. Not us. We buy some movies when they are on sale or clearance, but otherwise the library is our favorite rental center. You just can't beat free.

The problem with Dvd movies is that they take up so darn much room. Does this look familiar to you?

Hmm . . . maybe that isn't clear enough. How about this?

Our Dvd collection takes up half the shelf space in our play room. I've recently had to do some creative re-organizing and squishing of our family board games, cause there just isn't enough room for both the Dvds and the games. This is one area of the disorganized mess at our house that just drives me bonkers!

Last month, Real Simple magazine ran a series of articles about organizing your home. They had some great ideas about organizing movie collections. My interest was captured. I researched some more articles on the internet, then came up with a plan to conquer the evil Dvd hogs.

First, I decided how I wanted to organize the Dvds. I really liked the idea of using binders with the CD inserts.

The next step was to figure out how to organize the binders.

Should we put all the movies in A-Z order? Nah, that would be a pain to keep up.

Perhaps we could just put all the movies in binders, number them, then have a master list to find the movies. So if I wanted to watch The Incredibles, I would just look it up, see it was in binder four, then go there and get it. I had to take some time to think about this option, because it could have worked. But in the end, I decided it would be too difficult for our kids to find their movies.

It was actually my hubby who came up with the best idea. Divide the binders into genres. Ooh, what a concept! We even went a step further and chose categories that fit our movie viewing schedule as well. For example, we wanted a binder for the movies our kids are allowed to choose from on Sundays. Here are the categories we came up with.

- Disney Movies (we have lots and decided they needed their own category)
- Kids Movies
- Action, Drama, and Mystery
- Chick Flicks and Musicals
- Sunday Movies
- Holiday Movies

Awesome! I was all excited to get started when I realized I still had some more problem-solving to do. Switching to a binder system created two problems.

1. Our kids like to look at the Dvd cases to decide what movie they want to watch. So instead of putting four Dvds on each page, I decided two Dvds with pictures of the movies beside them would be a good solution. Then the kids can flip through the pages and still have a visual way to choose their movie. The pages turned out like this:

2. I didn't want just plain, white binders sitting on my shelf. I wanted them to be pretty, or at the very least interesting. Yes, I know - this is the decorative female side of me. My hubby just doesn't get it. But I'm sure many of my readers agree. I went to Office Depot and Wal-Mart. I found totally cute binders with stripes, dots, or paisley patterns. I really, really wanted to get them. But I didn't. For two good reasons; a) they didn't have any insert areas where I could label them, and b) they were at least $2-3 more per binder than the white binders, which made my pocket book want to commit suicide. So, I chose the white binders. Wal-Mart had the best deal on 1 1/2" binders with the clear plastic covering so you can insert spine labels and cover sheets. After getting home, I went out to which has lots of pre-made and blank templates you can download and print from home. I found a template for 1 1/2" spine labels. For the cover sheets, I used Google Images to search for pictures. For some of the cover sheets, I used my HP Print Master program, which has lots of clip art. Here are some of the cover sheets I came up with:

Then the real work began. My hubby and I spent one entire afternoon and early evening moving all the movies into the binders. Actually, my hubby and the two older kids organized all the Dvds while I worked on cutting out the pictures for beside them.

Where did I get the pictures? First, I checked to see if the Dvd came with an insert. You know, one of those pages telling you the different scenes in the movie for short-cuts, etc. If there was an insert like this, it often had a good picture just the right size I could cut out. If not, then I took out the paper cover from the front of the Dvd case and cut the picture off there.

Now, I have to be honest here. Cutting all those pictures is a pain in the tush. And I'm still not done! I've finished the Action, Drama, & Mystery and the Sunday Movies binder. I'm halfway done with the Disney and Kids movie binders. And all the rest still need to be tackled. It takes a lot more time to cut and insert all those pictures than to move the Dvds into the binder, but my kids love it. I highly recommend that if you are going to do this, to invest in a paper cutter. I found one at Office Depot that had a sliding cutter and would cut up to 13" for $15. It's not the best or sharpest blade, but it gets the job done much more quickly and less painfully than using scissors.

Another decision we had to make was what to do with all the Bonus Feature Dvds? We thought about just putting them right with the movies, but we hardly ever watch them. So for now, we have them in a CD case. But after I finish this set of binders, I am going to buy another binder just for them.

After all the hard work my hubby and I put into it . . . and still need to do to finish it, we've really liked the results.

I still can't believe we fit all those Dvds into just seven binders! There's even room left for more binders. And look how much free room is left on our shelves now.

I'm so excited about all this extra space! My next project is going to be to re-organize all the games. If I'm lucky, when I'm finished I'll be able to put pictures and other fun stuff on the shelves! Isn't organizing so much fun?

Would you like to comment?

Amy said...


What a great idea. I love how it all worked out. You've definitely got my mind working on how to adapt your idea to my media storage challenges. Where did you pick up the CD inserts for the binders?

-Amy Marble

Danyelle Ferguson said...

Hey Amy

The best place I found was at Office Depot. They came in boxes of sheets - and each box held 200 cds. Don't ask me how many sheets that is - but each side of the sheet held 4 cds. I think it was about $20 per box.

Glad you found the post helpful. Let me know what you do for your media storage.

Teri said...

Earl put all of our movies on his hard drive. Then he loads them on his "Archos" movie player and we watch them on the tv. It is great! I love not having to store them all!

Danyelle Ferguson said...


What a great idea! What do you do with the dvds? Do you keep them somewhere in case the hard drive dies?

Shanna Blythe said...

Wow. You have been busy. Want to hear my idea for organizing dvds? Just rip them all to hard drive and then have them streamed to wherever you are in the house to watch! Then you can pack them all up and never have to worry about them again . . . well that is until the hard drive crashes! ;)

Danyelle Ferguson said...


That's what I would worry about - the hard drive dying and losing it all. Although I guess if you have all the dvds saved, you could just put them on a new hard drive, eh?

Thanks for sharing your organizing ideas!

Unknown said...

That is very impressive. I can't let my husband see your blog or he'll get it in his head that I might actually organize something. :)
My husband wants to buy a 400-disc DVD changer so we just stick them all in the changer and not think about them anymore. Your way would make people think I'm not as scatterbrained as I like them to believe...

Danyelle Ferguson said...

De -

Wow! They make disc changers that big? Holy cow, I'm impressed. But what would it do to the discs to constantly be in there?

So you prefer to be thought of as scatterbrained, huh? :)

Christine said...

Okay, you guys just have way too much time on your hands. I would like to think I am organized, but WOW, I am a novice compared to you. Great ideas, though.

Danyelle Ferguson said...


Have you seen the organizational blogs under my "Other blogs I like" links? If you want to feel really inadequate, you should check one or two of them out. I'm nothing compared to those organizational gurus! :)

Teri said...

Yes, we do keep the DVDs just in case, but it is so nice to store them in a box in the storage room rather than out where everyone has to see them!

Unknown said...

If people think you are a bit scatterbrained...disorganized, etc. Their expectations aren't as great--and when you do good things, it surprises them. I don't know if I like being thought of as scatterbrained so much as I like keeping people guessing. :)

Danyelle Ferguson said...


I like the idea of not having them out for others to see them. That was one of the hard things about switching to binders - is that if they were going to be out, I at least wanted them to be pretty. I think it worked out pretty well - not super cute like I wanted, but nice.

Thanks for you tips!

Danyelle Ferguson said...

De -

Keeping others guessing is always such fun, isn't it? My hubby likes to keep me guessing as much as possible. :)