Affordable CD storage sans jewel cases
November 26, 2008 8:36 PM   Subscribe

What is the best affordable CD/liner notes storage system?

My boyfriend has a lot of CDs. We live together in a small space, and the sheer volume of these CDs has been a bit of an issue. He's cool with getting rid of all of the jewel cases and just keeping the CDs and liner notes. Storing the CDs as-is is *not* a possibility.
What he needs is a way to store not only the CDs, but also the full liner notes (including the ones from the back).

I want to do all the work of storing them (it will take many hours, I'm sure) for him for Christmas, but I'm having a hard time finding an ideal storage solution.

Obviously, I will need some sort of binder that has sleeves which can hold the CDs and the liner notes. I know he'd prefer to keep the CDs with their liner notes, rather than having them contained separately. The main obstacle is cost. All of the acceptable solutions, like at the Container Store, or here , would end up costing several hundred dollars to store the number of CDs he has.

Any suggestions for affordable CD/liner notes storage solutions? I'm willing to shop online or brick-and-mortar, but unfortunately my budget is $100 or less. This may be impossible, I know.

note: before anyone suggests ripping the CDs and discarding them altogether, this is time prohibitive for us to do it, and cost prohibitive to pay someone else to.
posted by fructose to Home & Garden (11 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I use these binders from case logic. They work well and are durable. And it looks like they're on sale, 208 capacity for $25.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 8:49 PM on November 26, 2008

Response by poster: Are you able to fit the liner notes (including the back ones) in there comfortably? I'd seen those, but they looked a bit tight.
posted by fructose at 9:08 PM on November 26, 2008

I use the HIPCE storage cabinets, at 100 CD/DVDs apiece:

The liner notes would have to be stuffed in with the disk, but I'm cool with that. YMMV. Affordable; I think I got them at the Container Store for $20/case.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:09 PM on November 26, 2008

I use these and they're awesome. I have about 4000 CD's stored and the space saved is unbelievable. I don't know how big the collection is, but 15 cents a sleeve is well worth it. And they're designed to hold both liner notes and rear tray liner, so you'll have all the artwork.
posted by pdb at 9:34 PM on November 26, 2008

Okay, by these I meant these.
posted by pdb at 9:34 PM on November 26, 2008 [2 favorites]

Oh, I was going to say that I use something like these, which I have been very happy with. All of the artwork fits in. I then store them in stylish CD boxes from IKEA.

But from now on, I'm using what pdb uses. Those things look great.
posted by cincinnatus c at 2:53 AM on November 27, 2008

Before everything went digital I used the Case Logic binders kuujjuarapik linked to. And yes, they can hold liner notes. If you want to keep the back liner notes, you'll have to either fold over the sides or trim them off. Even if you got slim-line jewel cases you'd still have the fold/trim problem.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:07 AM on November 27, 2008

C_D is right, the back liner notes are a bit tough to fit in the case logic books. My approach to that problem was "eh, who needs 'em, anyway" so I kept the ones that were unique or necessary. I thought about keeping them around for resale value but the reality is that I'll never sell my collection, and it's more about the music than the package. Another potential problem with the binders is that it is very difficult to store any of the 4 panel cardboard folding type cd covers. I just tucked those into the pockets at the front of the binder.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 7:12 AM on November 27, 2008

I was very happy with the DiscSox line of products, and their staff was instantly helpful with a minor order discrepancy, too.

The DJ sleeve is the one which will hold the cd, booklet and traycard all together, runs about .50 cent per. I just got my collection of >2k cds all tucked away. Now I just have to figure out how to get rid of the giant stack of empty jewelcases!

Another note: if your BF likes things organized, binders will drive him crazy. If any new music is added, and wants to go in a certain place, he'll end up shuffling things back and forth endlessly. I like the individual sleeves because they can shuffle around in their cases to fit my sort order, and I can grab any of them for travel or sharing at a moment's notice.
posted by Aquaman at 8:41 AM on November 27, 2008

I use the Diskkeeper anti-static sleeves from Sleevetown. They're cheap like borscht.

The back inserts do not fully fit within the sleeve, but extend out the open top of sleeve. I want to keep the back inserts, but I do not care about them so much that I worry in particular about having them stick up a little. It even makes it a bit easier to find things, since the names on the sleeve are easier to read when flipping through the relatively densely packed drawers that I keep them in.

The big advantage to switching to keeping my discs in individual sleeves in drawers over storing them in binders is that the drawers readily accommodate digipaks, while the binders so totally did not. I have about 900 physical discs, and maybe 50 of them are digipaks, and those were a giant, sucking pain in my ass when I was keeping the discs in binders. Either I had to keep the digipaks totally separately, or somehow attach them to the binders themselves. Not worth the hassle. With keeping them in drawers, I just slide the entire digipak into the drawer where it belongs in alphabetical order. They take up a bit more space than the de-cased CDs, but not a whole lot.

If you do go with the binder route, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, for the love of god: buy binders with sleeves that clip and in and out, not binders with permanently attached sleeves. Unless your boyfriend files his CDs by the date of acquisition, in which case, I guess it doesn't matter. But holy hell, maintaining any other kind of organizational system in a binder with preset sleeves was a nightmare.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:36 AM on November 27, 2008

Aquaman -- I listed mine on Freecycle, on the off chance anyone might want some, and the people who came not only took away my giant box of jewel cases that were in good condition, they also took away my giant bag of half broken jewel cases with the intention of matching up okay fronts with okay backs to create full cases that were okay.

I've since listed jewel cases in smaller lots a few times, and I have never, ever failed to have someone take me up on the offer. I guess they sell jewel cases in Staples for a reason, after all, and if all you want is for them to be gone, craigslist or freecycle will get them out of your house.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:41 AM on November 27, 2008

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