Thursday, May 20, 2010

Organization bliss

**Edited to add: I got the organizer from Target, in the electronics section. LURVE.

While I work on the kitchen redo, I’m still working on things here and there in our office as well . I was reeeeally hoping to share my desk redo tonight, but it’s taking foreva and a day to paint. More on that soon!

Add in a trillion trips to Home Depot for the kitchen, and it’s taking even longer.  ;) But I’m not complaining!!

Tonight I had to share a quick organization dilemma that was solved for me today. Can you hear the GIDDY in my voice??

Most of you know we have a three-year-old. This sweet three-year-old loves movies. I also have a sweet hubby who likes to buy movies for our boy. I may be a little lot guilty of this as well, but because I can, I’m going to blame him.  :)

Anyhoo, lots of DVDs means our family room looks like this every time the Bub wants to watch a movie:

OK, I exaggerate. Just a tad. But it’s annoying. You know how toddler’s roll – finding a movie is usually an act of “fling every single DVD out like your life depends on it.” So the family room floor is covered with these plastic cases daily – whether we watch something that day or not. (How does that happen?)

We have a great kiddo who loves to help pick them up, but it still gets old after a while, you know what I’m saying? If I step on one more open DVD case…

Enter this glorious $20 contraption:

DVD organizer

I know 90 percent of you have one of these are are all, UH…DUH. But I’ve never used one until today.

And all is right with the world.

My Peanut even helped me put them all in there – he was so excited. It was a bit thrilling for me to see the organization nut coming out of him. It would be a bit freaky for anyone else, but for this Momma…PROUD.

Isn’t it beautiful?? Stunning really. This baby hold something like 150 movies. I thought we’d be set with this for quite a while, until I started filling it up and realized it’s almost half full. And that doesn’t even count all the movies still hidden under the sofas and the TV stand!

Imagine 70 something little plastic cases piled on the floor every. single. day. Ack! Drives me to drink chocolate milk.

Because I am me, and me is a fruit loop, I even cut out the cover of each DVD to put behind the disc:

(Is anyone else SO excited for the new Toy Story to come out?!)

I figure it will be a game of matching for the Bub. It has nothing to do with my weird organizing obsession. Nothing at all. Zero.

Now, I have to take all of these to be recycled:

002

And find something else to put in these baskets in the entertainment center:

014

Gloriously EMPTY!

I thought for a minute I would use them for something other than toys, but then I heard myself laughing…at myself...

Like that would ever happen.

So tell me, have you found any great organization goodies lately?

78 comments:

  1. darn, i was hoping you'd say you were giving away one of those organizers! ;-) i'd have a hard time parting with the covers, but i may be convinced... look at all the space you'd save! hmmm.

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  2. I'm about to do this same thing. Just not patient enough to cut out the covers. Enter the label maker! That way I know of somethings missing.

    And just a thought, you might be able to sell the cases to a local photographer or videographer to use for the photo/video CDs for clients. That is, if you want to wait around for that.

    Just a thought...

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  3. I did the same thing about a year ago, it was so freeing. I kept thinking I can't believe I am putting these cases in the trash, is there something I need to be doing with them and then I realized anything I would do would require dusting and I had enough of that! Check out my blog and how I organized my jewelry. http://ms-smartie-pants.blogspot.com

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  4. Great idea. I'll pass along to my daughter with the toddler.

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  5. When we were driving back and forth from Tennessee to Texas, I discovered that organizer. It was a lifesaver for car trips. I knew all of their favorite movies were within hands reach while I was driving.

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  6. Wow that is a great idea! And what a room saver! I'll have to remember this.... But in my daughters play room it's still the good old VHS from when I was little, no cute carrying case for those ;^)

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  7. It's funny to see this concept put into play and to think of how even as an adult woman this would be a terrific concept to use.

    My boyfriend has a much younger 5 year old little brother who loves to bring his case to us. I never thought about making my own case until this post!

    Thanks for the idea, it's so liberating to have more free space. And in turn a free mind! xoxo Katie

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  8. I got one for our many many music cds and went from 2 wooden boxes down to one notebook that fits on the shelf. Even freecycled the plastic jewel cases! I had about 150 or so. Love it!!!!

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  9. I <3 this idea, which is why I did this a few years back, then after purchasing my second case I figured, NO more movie buying... I had 3 toy storys 2 Robots tons of duplicates, little hands must have thrown into the cart..! So I now buy them sometimes..HAHA!

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  10. How did you know I've been going over what to do for DVD storage? Right now, they're currently in the hall closet. Sometime in the near future, I would like reclaim it for linens & other things besides my 150 dvd movie collection.
    I saw a Closetmaid 9 cube shelving unit at Target on sale this week. I thought abuot it getting it for the living room & then putting the movies in bins on the shelves.
    I still may go with the book idea though.. Any thoughts?

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  11. Our problem wasn't the boxes being on the floor, it was just space to store all of them. I invested in those half size boxes. You know, the ones that you get when you buy a box set. I of course had to cut the labels to fit but now twice as many movies fit in the same space!

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  12. Ok. I've been struggling with pulling the trigger on this idea for a few years. Actually, it was either going to be the pouch-holder book thingy (with the label cut-outs, of course) OR - and the credit goes to my Hubby for this one::: purchase a 500 movie DVD changer/player (which obviously has not happened yet).

    But I've really struggled with following thru with the pouch organizers for two reasons:
    1) I am having a hard time parting with the full cases & paper inserts on the "keepsake" DVD's, like my Julia Roberts collection (yeah, yeah... I know), Boxed seasons of Friends, Sopranos, etc. 
    and 
    2) My ridiculous Perfectionistic tendencies are paralyzing me. I have this idea in my head that the DVD's need to be alphabetized in the cases so I could fine them easily. Now, Obviously, I know my ABC's.  But the thought is that if I put them in alphabetical order, then I should leave open spaces for future movie purchases... right? And how many blank spaces do I leave? What if I don't leave enough space? Wil I have to re-organize the entire book??

    Right? Am I crazy?
    *crickets*

    Anyone else having this problem?? 

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  13. We just did this! Our boys tend to scratch the discs, so we mainly did it to "save" the dvds (much easier to keep a binder out of reach, than 100+ dvds in their cases). We ended up having WAY more dvd's than I thought. I finally broke down & bought a second one. Now we have one for kids movies and one for "mommy & daddy" movies :-)

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  14. @Laurie you could always just organize them chronologically. ;)

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  15. I have been thinking of doing this for years. (I love that you put the DVD cover in there so it could be put away properly.

    My thing is I dont' want to get rid of the cases, so that is why we still have hundreds of DVD on the top shelf of our bedroom closet.

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  16. This is BRILLIANT! lol. Why I never thought of it I do not know!

    I have the cd's in one and I so know your problem of pulling them all out. What a space saver too! I am in a 1 bedroom unit with 2 kids and this will free up and entire cupboard!!

    THANKYOU! lol

    Love your blog btw!

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  17. That's a whole lot of plastic to be recycled. Our recycling service here only takes type 1 and type 2 plastics. *wondering if DVD cases are marked?*

    Di

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  18. Where?? Where?? Where?? I've wanted that book for a long time, but I can't find anything like it. Where did it come from?? I would guess Target, because it matches the small ones we already have, but I sure haven't seen one.

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  19. You know, we're still swimming in DVDs that are still in their cases. Perhaps it's time to follow your lead!

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  20. Just a couple of things in my bathroom.

    http://mommymovesagain.blogspot.com/2010/05/diy-week-glass-jars-for-bathroom.html

    Otherwise, you have to come by and see how a stuffed animal became a DIY project this weekend!! :o

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  21. that's funny that you did that because it has been on my mind for a while now. We have about 400 DVDs and storage is becoming an issue. Thanks for the motivator, I might need to actually do that.
    Bonnie

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  22. I've been saying I'm going to do this for the longest time, but I just can't bring myself to get rid of the cases.

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  23. Oh SARAH!!!!! STOP!!!!! Dont recycle those cases - My sister did this for her little girl in a travel sized case. Lets just say that in a matter of about 2 weeks almost all of the DVDs had scratches and skipped! She now has about half as many DVDs as before because the "special" cases have destroyed them. This has also happened to my hubby's cd collection over time.
    I know that Bub will be "playing" with them so I hope that this offeres you a little but of advice. Sorry to bust your organizational bubble. :(

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  24. I have a step tansu cabinet that is amazing!!! (our Japan find from our time in the Navy). It looks like stair steps and is a beautiful wooden piece of furniture with lots of different drawers and cabinets. I have yet to fill it, but when we get our new place, it is going in our office to organize all of that office clutter that just gets thrown into drawers. The stair step shelves will look great with books here and there, and some decorative items (knowing me, it will probably be picture frames). I love it!!!

    I also love you blog. Thank you so much for sharing it with the world : )

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  25. We found this to be a great saver as well. We started out with our daughter's music CDs in the car. It really has saved a ton of space.

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  26. I just bought the same DVD case holder as I've had it with the mess the kids make trying to find a movie too! I'm thinking it will make a great project for my daughter this afternoon when she's complaining that she is bored! And yes, the kids aren't the only ones around here waiting to see the new Toy Story movie!

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  27. I love having our movies in the 'book'. I think as long as you supervise the movie selecting the movies will be fine....little ones do tend to scratch them if they are allowed to play with them. We keep ours out of sight and the kiddos only get to look in the binder when we are able to help them. Wonderful space saver! Love, Love, Love your blog!!

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  28. Laurie, I'm right there with you! I'm o/c about putting things in alphabetical order, too. That's why I had to go with the old fashioned recipe box instead of a notebook. As for the cases, maybe a local school could use them.

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  29. I have done this with all of my CDs for years, mostly because those little jewel cases broke 75 percent of the time when trying to open them

    I have yet to decide what to do with our DVDs, though I am strongly thinking about DiscSox (look them up on Amazon, they're an awesome invention!). But, we don't have kids, so keeping things organized is somewhat easier (because I still do have a husband *LOL*).

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  30. I love it! My boy just turned one, so we don't have this issue so much yet... but I will file that away for when we do! I love anything that gets me organized! :) I was pretty excited to come up with a way to organize the extra 'stuff' that accumulates in our kitchen. Check it out!

    http://somecraftylove.blogspot.com/2010/05/extra-storageorganization-anyone.html

    Thanks for your awesome blog! I check it out all the time!

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  31. I've been meaning to do this for months! I need to get on that ball. :-) I love that your little guy got so excited to organize the movies, sooo cute :-)

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  32. I had such a hard time putting my DVDs in a case. I even kept all the boxes in the garage for a couple of months because I was sure I would hate it. But we now have 4 huge cases of DVDs (we love movies) and it is the best thing! I save a couple of boxes for when we lend movies out, but that is it! I love it!

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  33. We've been in the binder for a couple years, and it's so freeing to be rid of those boxes! I keep the kids' movies arranged by genre (i.e. Veggie Tales, animal movies. Disney movies, etc.), with the labels behind them. If you want to order by alpha, leave the inserts on the back of the pages empty, and use as a buffer (kind of like adding to an address book). Because it is a bit of a hassle to get down and unzip and then back out of the baby's reach, (it's heavy) we have a small stack of our frequent flyer movies out at all times. I keep meaning to bring out a short cd spindle to keep them from getting scratched on the shelves. My kids were just as likely to scratch the dvds in the cases as in the binder. At least now they won't break them trying to yank them out of the case!

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  34. This is a fabulous idea. I have thought about this before and I have no idea why I haven't moved my butt and done this. I am slow. Thanks for the tip!

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  35. So... yeah! This is amazing -

    The only "organization goodie" I have done lately is went though and emptied out all my herbs and spices, cleaned the jars and refilled and labeled them! They make me happy now!

    Happy Day, The Lady of the House

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  36. I would love to do this but what do you do when it is time to sell the kids videos? Has anyone had any problems with the resale without the cases?

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  37. oh my gosh...we have used cd cases for years because when we lived overseas space was at a premium and I just didn't have room to store all the CD/DVD cases. But it has always drove me nuts that no one could put the CD back in the case in the same sleeve they got it from. Putting the cover in there is genius! We don't resell our videos so I've have no problem with cutting up covers and throwing them away but if you wanted to keep the case in tact you could photocopy it and just cut up the copy or just make your own little label to put in the sleeve using the computer.

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  38. we do this as well, but without the covers behind the dvds. I will have to go and dig out all my cases now and put the covers in!!!

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  39. We went this route about two years ago. (I cut out the covers also!) It's been a life saver. We send the movies to grandparents houses, and also use them for the DVD player in the car on long trips. It's been wonderful. None lost and none scratched.

    In fact, we just outgrew our original portfolio. This weekend, we're going to our second portfolio. #1 will be all Disney/Pixar movies, and #2 will be all else. (I guess we'll add #3 for all Blu-Ray when we take that plunge!!!)

    PS- I've also taken all of hubs CDs this route too. Can't stand the look of jewel cases on a shelf. So 1994. We have 4 huge CD portfolios. He complains, but he was gone when I did it and by the time he noticed - it was too late :)

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  40. We've had this system for about a year(Love it) but unfortunately my kiddos have destroyed the dvds by them being able to access them so easily.

    Also, I put all of my cases on freecycle and someone came and scooped them up for who knows what. LOL

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  41. Bubs is a little young for this, so file it away for use in another three years or so.

    Six year old boys like legos. Lego kits come in boxes, lots of boxes. Lego pieces are very small and can get lost easily. Very, very easily. I'm not saying they might be in the vacuum cleaner bag or anything like that, but don't look in there, okay?

    To solve this problem (because legos are interchangable, and you can use pieces from one kit in another design), I mixed the legos in a large under the bed storage bin. It lives under the bed. Yay. Then, I took a 3 ring binder with page protector envelopes that I put the kit directions in and cut the picture off the box to store in the envelope with the directions. This lives on his bookshelf.

    My son hasn't found out about the vacuum, I mean doesn't miss lost legos, and I don't have 150 lego boxes to store anymore.

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  42. Now if someone can only help me with the VHS collection since I can't afford to replace with dvds!

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  43. Um, I'm having a "duh" moment right now too. I could clear up a lot of space if I did that...but I'd want to organize them by genre or alphabetize them or something stupid. It would take me forever, but it would be worth it. ;)

    I am sooo excited to see Toy Story 3...maybe even more excited than my 4 year old. ;)

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  44. Do you watch Modern Family?
    Whenever I see the awesome staircase with the white mold and blue paint I think of you.
    I HEART that house.

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  45. We did this for my daughter a few years back, and let me tell ya -- you stumbled upon gold, friend!

    One thing I did that you may be a bit too, umm, whatever ;) to do is to get rid of all the Disc 2's. You know, the bonus material? Do you EVER watch those? We tossed them all and haven't looked back. It's decrapification at its finest!

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  46. I am in love with baskets right now. Especially in the bathroom to hold all of those magazines in the bathroom ;-)

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  47. We did this for my daughter a few years back, and let me tell ya -- you stumbled upon gold, friend!

    One thing I did that you may be a bit too, umm, whatever ;) to do is to get rid of all the Disc 2's. You know, the bonus material? Do you EVER watch those? We tossed them all and haven't looked back. It's decrapification at its finest!

    So... we have a medium-sized case for my daughter's movies, which are sort-of organized by genre (Disney, Barbie, Kipper, etc.). I leave several blanks, plus the binder we have allows you to add/remove pages. DH and I have two BIG cases -- one for our movies, one for our music.

    We also keep Wii discs and our old XBox discs in these binders.

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  48. I love this idea!!! Where did you get this case??

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  49. People worried about kids scratching the dvds- yup it's happened a lot here- what my husband did was make copies of all our dvds. The originals are all in a big cd case and the copies are in the boxes. Maybe we'll have to put the copies in another binder just for the kids sometime. But the originals are all put away

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  50. I just did this with all of our CDs - they were driving me nuts! I downloaded most of them onto our iPods and put the disks into the CD binder and tada! no more annoying CDs kicking around and taking up space. I feel so light now! : )

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  51. I'm a freak. I LOVE to organize, and I love buying organizers and labels. Woo! So a couple days ago, I got a binder and some inserts and tab dividers and organized my coupons. Last weekend, I bought bins and labeled them and organized my cupboards and closets. (Dollar Tree has tons of awesome bins for.. $1.) I wonder if I have a touch of OCD sometimes. Ha!

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  52. I have been urging DH to let us make the switch over to the DVD case. I am so ready to get rid of all that excess crap.

    Where did you get your case? I love it :D

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  53. I did this a little over a year ago, but I did it with all of our movies. Because, what can I say, my husband and I also seem to collect a lot of movies and I was tired of using good built in cabinet space for DVD cases. I got four full shelves back and 2 large cases that hold 250 dvds a piece. I just wish all of my decluttering was this easy.

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  54. Nice. And I'm WAY OCD when it comes to movies. I do them alphabetically. I can tell when one has been moved. Sometimes I hate being so annal about having them in the right order cause it drives me nuts when I know people having been moving them (I don't have kids yet. I know I will have to get over this once I do).

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  55. Oh my goodness- I read your blog every single day and I've never posted a comment until now. Your post was just so perfectly timed! I too have a toddler that rips the movies out of the shelves and opens them- even those little "child proof" tabs. And she's not even 2 yet... GRR! So yes, I rip my hair out everyday. I just told my hubby yesterday (after my sweet child snapped Kung Fu Panda in half trying to get the disc out by herself) that I wanted to get a case like that for our movies. My hubby is also a movie collector and we have well over 300 movies (not counting the multi-disc packs- yikes!) and I didn't realize that until I started counting to see what size of case we needed.

    So where did you get yours and do they have deals for buying multiple cases/larger sizes?

    I love what you do and LOVE reading your blog!

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  56. Oooh! I did this a while ago, too. But for some reason I can't seem to get rid of the cases they came in. What do you do with those?
    And all the VCR tapes. I think I might drop all of those off at good will...yes?

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  57. Ive thought about it, but couldnt do it. Was it hard to ditch the cases?

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  58. I love that idea! I think it is awesome for you to put the movie cover in there too. That way you will remember where the movie is. And cutting the cover means you have to throw the cases away. I would have a hard time with that part.

    Oh, and yes, I am way excited for Toy Story 3, and I don't even have kids yet! Except my 2 year old nephew thinks he's Buzz.

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  59. I did that a long time ago! It was the best feeling to get rid of those cases. As a mother of a toddler you collect many I mean MANY DVD's, so it has to be done! Now breath! Happy Recycling!

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  60. My latest joy was that someone gave me a wardrobe! It was as tall as the ceiling in our house but it is wonderful. It is now the sewing organization place of my dreams. Mainly, that is because the drawers are so wide! I can put bolts of cloth and cutting boards in the drawers!

    I also turned an old dresser into a gift wrapping station. I actually cut the rolls of ribbon to fit the width. Now I use the wider pieces for big packages and the ends for little gifts! It looks great and no more wasted paper!

    I love that idea about the CD's and am seriously going to consider doing just that! Besides, the kids never want to put the movies back in their cases anyway!

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  61. I recently got one of these for my kids' DVD's and LOVE IT! When I asked my husband to do the same (with his) he was taken aback, like how dare I ask that, LOL! I'm like uhh you can keep the covers in the basement if it means that much to you!! LOL He agreed!
    Kristi

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  62. Cool Idea; but I would never be able to do this since I collect movies and like to keep the case as well. Same for the CD's (yes, I still buy CD's and also downloads) I'm helping the industry people!

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  63. I did this a few years back, but now my kids have collected new DVD's and they are still in their cases. Shame, shame on me. I think you've just given me a new project.

    -FringeGirl

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  64. Good for you! Your organized self wins again!

    We have built-in bookcases in our media room, so we keep our movies in their cases, lined up like books. Now, I am not organized. . . I wish to goodness I were organized! But movies are the one thing that I do keep in good order. They're on the shelves in alphabetical order. That way, when someone wants to find a particular movie which OF COURSE WE OWN BECAUSE WE OWN SO DOGGONE MANY, they can locate it quickly and easily. It gives me a rush just to look at my shelves of alphabetized DVD's. :)

    So maybe there's a bit of an organizer inside me after all. Just a bit.

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  65. i too did this for my 4 year old son but watch out by putting the covers behind the dvd's, after awhile my dvds began to stick to the paper (from lack of use i guess and just sitting there?), so then the dvds were ruined, arrr!

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  66. I just finished writing down all of our dvds so that I could put them in alphabetical order into a book..I'm so sick of the dvd cases laying around!

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  67. We have to keep an exercise weight ball in front of the movie cabinet to keep the little ones from flinging them everywhere. Thanks for the tip!

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  68. Since you don't care about the case looking good and such, buy used DVDs from blockbuster and such off of Amazon. Money back guarentee, less new plastic waste and SUPER cheap!

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  69. I love this idea!

    One suggestion: Save the proof of purchase from the DVD covers. I just sent away for coupons from Disney for upgrading DVDs to Blu-ray discs. I needed the proof of purchase though.

    Love your blog. Recommending it to others ALL the time. :)

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  70. Before you toss any VHS cases, think about doing what Wendy Russell from "She's Crafty" did to repurpose hers! She cut the hardcover off the pages of a book and wrapped it around an old clamshell video case. Instant secret valuables safe! It would probably work with DVD cases too (as long as you use a slim book and maybe just hide papers).

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  71. We are on the same wavelength my friend. Just today (before reading your blog) I said to myself, I need to buy a cd folder for all these stinkin' movies! I have a 5 and 10 year old and they do NOT help pick them up and they are notorious for not putting them back in their cases either (clearly I have failed as a mother!) but anyhoo! I noticed this morning that the inside of the drawer where I have so discreetly stashed them for the past 6 years was sagging...IKEA furniture is great but it won't last forever. So, I am totally getting one of those folders (like I already did for my cds about a year ago) and I'm with you on the DUH, why didn't I do this sooner? Plus, when we go on car trips with the portable DVD players, we can bring 'em all! :)

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  72. ACK! don't throw away the DVD cases! sell them to a photographer/videographer online! craigslist! ebay! ME!!!!!!

    {seriously, i'll take 'em AND pay you for shipping...jjac02{at}gmail{dot}com}

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  73. I definitely could not part with the cases! I LOVE this idea though! I will be doing the same thing, minus getting rid of the cases. I'll just box them up. We sell movies at our garage sales or on Craigslist as the kids outgrow them (or pass them down to family) so I would like to still have the cases for that. But I'd rather take up the space in the garage than in our living room! Wow! What to do with three new empty shelves on the bookcase...?

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  74. I discovered one of those holders when the ex (owner of a bazillion music cd's back in the day) brought one home...but I felt sorry for the plastic left-over 'carcasses', so didn't do that with mine. One of the commenters had a suggestion on gifting/selling them to a photog...insightful. Nowadays, I just use a spindle, that comes with CD's to be burned, and every so often change out what's in my small 30-pocket organizer.

    One q: did the cardboard/paper labels scratch the dvd's? The ex devoted a facing pocket to each cd, to prevent scratches. Music collection went from filling entertainment center to 7 big binders. Now it's probably down-sized again to mp3's....

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  75. LOVE your blog, writing style, energy, knowledge, innovation & humor!! Pahleeeze keep it comin'! Thx for your helpful, hilarious reminder...I must do this for my DVDs!
    ~CDs: I did this last year for CDs. Each CD is stored in a slot with it's label in the slot underneath the CD. Empty cases were banished to the garage.
    ~ DVDs: There is a DVD binder that has slots for the covers that I've only seen online. For those of you that think DVD labels always must be cut out of the case...some cases don't require this - you just open the case wide like a book & reach under the clear protective cover to remove the DVD label.

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  76. Oh, forgot to ask ... do tell where you found your binder ... pretty please!

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  77. I just recently did something similar with our DVDs. I also saved the Disney proof of purchases for upgrade discounts. I called our local library and asked if they could use the cases and they said they would LOVE them, so we dropped them off there to be reused.

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  78. I did this also....make me so much less stressed!!! I need to organize my home a little more though!!

    Thanks for the tips!!

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