My husband has an obsession with collecting music and movies. Luckily, the invention of iTunes, the iPod, and finally, the iPhone, created an organizational hub to house his ever-growing music collection. Not so luckily, what started out as VHS has now evolved to DVDs and even to the ever-so magnificent (his words…not mine) Blu-ray, none of which can be condensed into an electronic library. Yes, I know several DVDs and Blu-rays come with digital copies, but not all do…and who could convince B to part with his very first copy of Old School or The Dark Knight…no one. After coming to the conclusion that he (1) thinks of his movie collection as I do my pink-velvet covered Sex & the City: The Complete Series…precious and imperative to life as we know it; and (2) keeps his mouth mostly shut about my clothes and shoe collections… I decided to look the other way and just accept it.
After my compliance of the movie collection, I decided an organizational formation was in order (pun intended). Pre-home purchase, I didn’t have much luck… our rental was beautiful, but definitely not a “forever home.” Post-home purchase, I found my opportunity. We agreed on a den/office that would serve as his “man room.” Let me tell you ladies, this may be the key to a successful marriage! I have my closet/ladies room/guest room…and the office/den poses as his room to hang all of the sports memorabilia and beer-related knickknacks his little heart desires. It is absolutely perfecto!!
Proceeding along with my structuring goals, I began with decorating the space with an organizational prospective. Ikea has these beautiful cabinets (which actually mirror our armoires), that were perfect to house B’s movie collection. They have a decent window to show transparency, yet combine a bottom solid portion to hide whatever is needed. We use that hidden portion for the N-64 games as well as the continuously updated movie print-out.
When we first moved in, all of the DVDs went straight into the cabinet with no order whatsoever. After getting settled, I took a Sunday afternoon (most likely while B was watching football), and went to town. First, I left everything as it was (very out of order) and made a spreadsheet from left to right, top to bottom, consisting of two columns: (1) Title and (2) DVD or Blu-Ray. After everything was typed in, making sure to include any movies we had purchased on iTunes…just to keep the library up-to-date…I sorted the spreadsheet by “A to Z,” (see step-by-step instructions of sorting in Excel here).
Next, I used the same process for TV series, saving it on another tab inside of the same workpaper. **Be sure to save as you go! I even back-up our list to my Google Drive so we can update it as we add to our collection.** Now, the fun part…start alphabetizing! We opted to discard any duplicates (donating to friends or Goodwill), obviously keeping the newest version of each duplicate (i.e. the Blu-Ray over the DVD).
As I mentioned earlier, I keep an updated print-out of our list inside the cabinet. This way, you can easily browse the list if you want a movie night, let a friend choose (without all of the visual scanning), and have a complete list of what you have so that you don’t end up purchasing something you already have.