We own a lot of movies.
I used to buys tons of DVDs, whether it was a yard sale, ebay, Black Friday deals, etc. That was before Redbox days and there were no video stores in our area; it was cheaper to buy inexpensive DVDs than go to the movie theater.
But we amassed a huge collection of DVDs. Like too many.
At one point, we purchased two large DVD cases (like book cases, but narrower.) It worked out great, but took up so much space! If we had a media room or den, it would have been fine, but that massive DVD collection was in our bedroom.
There was no peaceful bedroom with all those movies sitting there collecting dust. (Because we don’t even watch much TV anymore!)
It had to go.
I did two things:
1) I seriously cut down down our collection by more than half. What I couldn’t sell on craigslist or yardsales, I donated or threw away.
2) I figured out a new way to organize our DVDs more effectively.
I tried a few different things until I finally figured out this efficient method for DVD organization that I’m going to share with you today.
Whether you have a couple dozen movies or a couple hundred, this idea for DVD organization will keep your movies nicely sorted into a small space.
It takes up so little shelf space compared to having DVDs laid out in a bookcase-type fashion and it’s still easy to scan through and find your desired movie or browse through them all.
Want to know just how much space you’ll save?
If you have more than 25 DVDs, just imagine how much room you’re going to save!
Two things to note before we get started:
1) You’ll want to sort through your DVDs and sell, donate, or toss anything you don’t want to keep. No sense hanging onto that Baby Einstein video when your youngest is five.
2) You’ll be getting rid of most of your DVD and Blu-ray CASES. (That’s the space-saving part!)
Don’t let this stop you! I was hesitant to throw away the cases before (I was almost weirdly attached to them) until I realized something:
DVDs don’t have great resale value anymore. Have you ever tried to sell them on Craiglist or at a yardsale? You’re LUCKY if you get a $1! It’s simply not worth keeping the case and taking up room under your tv or bookcase for the off-chance you might make a buck later.
BUT. If you have a favorite collector’s edition movie, season box set, or Disney movies (which DO have good resale value), you can still keep them with cases intact. I’ll show you how to organize those DVDs too!
Let’s get started!
What You’ll Need:
- medium rectangular storage box (I recommend Rubbermaid Bento Medium Storage Boxes– found at Target and Amazon *update see below)
- movie sleeves – I used Atlantic movie sleeves, but here’s a new version that’s cheaper
- a small plastic bin or two for movies with cases you want to keep
*June 2019 update: it seems the original Rubbermaid bento boxes I used in the photos here are no longer available. An approximate 6.5″ width is ideal as it allows you to stand the DVD/blu-rays up in the sleeves without room on the side to fall over.
I am searching for a good alternative, but in the meantime, here are a couple options found at Amazon that should work:
- Woven media basket with handles – this basket is a little wider – 8″ as well as taller and longer but it *should* work
- clear plastic bins for gaming, DVDs – this basket is a little narrower – 6″ compared to 6.5″ and I’m not positive the DVDs in sleeves will work.
- wooden storage box, X-SMALL – this bin is very pretty and has great reviews. I’ve just purchased one myself to test it out. It is only 6″ wide so it may not fit the sleeves. I will update when I receive one. OR try the SMALL size and lay the movie sleeves on their sides.
The width is the most important dimension as you want the DVDs to fit nicely but not tooThe dimensions you will want to look for are: 6.5″ wide by I’m searching for a good alternative, but in the meantime here are a couple of options. The bento box dimensions are
I purchased several bento storage boxes and around 10 sets of movie sleeves. If you have a ton of movies like us, this system does cost some money to set up (I probably spent $100 on the movie sleeves and another $60 on Bento boxes), but it was worth every penny to have my DVDs organized so neatly and conveniently. And if you have fewer movies, it’s cheaper. (More incentive to get rid of extra movies you don’t watch!)
I’ve been using this DVD organization system for over 2 years now and I love it just as much as the first day I set it up. The bento storage boxes are sturdy and still going strong (even with four kids whipping them in and out.) The sleeves have lasted quite nicely too. I haven’t bought any new movie sleeves since my initial purchase thanks to my new rule of thumb? If we get a new movie, an old one must go.
DVD Organization Set Up:
Begin swapping all your movies to the sleeves. Each movie sleeve has two pockets for two discs – one for the main feature and a special feature disc if you want.
You have to fold the DVD or Blu-Ray insert in half in order to fit it into the sleeve. I’ve heard some people aren’t fond of this, but it never bothered me since I no longer need to see the title on the shelf. If folding that seam in half means saving space, I’m okay with it!
Slide the insert into the main sleeve, then slide the disc sleeve inside the middle of the insert.
Do this for all your movies. If you have a lot, pop in a movie and watch while you sort DVDs.
If you’re like me, you’ll have a pile of old favorite movies you want to watch again! Organizing your DVDs is a great way to spend a relaxing, yet still productive evening!
Here’s a quick tip for storing even more movies. Use one sleeve to store two movies. I do this for movie series or similar styles, like Freaky Friday and The Parent Trap here.
Next, sort your movies into the storage boxes.
The bento storage boxes are the perfect size for organizing DVDs. You can fit around 75 DVDs in each one and still be able to easily flip through them. Plus the pop-out dividers will keep your movies from sliding down to the bottom.
Depending on how many movies you have, you can have separate bento boxes for each movie category – kids, family, action, romance, comedy, etc. Or just have two – one for the kids and one for Mom and Dad’s movies. It’s up to you.
Our movies are sorted by category because we (still) have a lot and they fit nicely in our TV cabinet. I still keep a few boxed sets (my Friends collection for example) on a shelf in my closet, but the majority of our DVDs fit exactly where we want them – by our tv.
And as for the other still-in-their-cases DVDs, like Disney? I use small plastic bins (I found these at Michael’s) to store these DVDs.
You could use the bento storage bins too, but the plastic bins seem to work better for the cased DVDs.
And that is how you organize a lot of DVDs into a small space!
Looking for more ideas for how to organize small spaces? Maids.com has fabulous ideas and resources you should check out!