Life Without DVD Cases

Despite all evidence to the contrary, Rocks In My Dryer is not going to become an organizing blog.  Plenty of other bloggers are doing that a lot better than I could.  (Especially since they’re all organized and I’m, you know, not.)  But so many of you have asked about the Great DVD Case Debate of ’08, I thought I should give you an update. 

In short, they are gone.  I had one tiny moment of panic as I carried the box to the curb, but it passed, and oh, my friends, life without DVD cases is sweet indeed. 

I’ll refresh your memory.  This was the "before" picture:


We completely emptied every DVD case (taking out both the DVD and the paper label).  We put the DVDs in a regular travel CD case, and I stacked all the papers into one Ziploc bag:


Remarkably, this is how many empty DVD cases we had (demonstration aided by my six-year-old son):


Do you see how much space that was using?  It was like getting rid of a six year old!   (Now that I think of it, the DVD cases didn’t eat or talk back nearly as much.  But they weren’t nearly as cuddly, and their burping skills were much less impressive.  We’ll keep the six year old.)

I posted to Freecycle about our empty cases; much to my surprise, there were FIVE takers.  I didn’t have to haul all that stuff off, and it’s being used by someone who actually wanted it (someone who must, incidentally, have more storage space than Martha Stewart.)

Now for the moment of truth.  Here’s the cabinet with the DVD cases gone:


That plastic drawer that used to store our cassettes (also purged) now holds our camcorder accessories and an assortment of miscellaneous wires.  (My husband, God bless him, is unable to throw away miscellaneous wires.  He lives for miscellaneous wires.   I’m convinced he could wrap the globe three times.)

And that beautiful, almost-empty top shelf is all that’s left of our DVD collection.  They all fit in that case, with the Ziploc bags of papers stacked neatly on top.  At some point, I’ll containerize that space and try to use it up more efficiently.  But not until I’ve had a few weeks into breathe in its beautiful emptiness.  Tonight, as a family, we’re going to join hands and dance in circles around this cabinet, while doing rhythmic gymnastics with all the miscellaneous wires. 


65 thoughts on “Life Without DVD Cases

  1. Anonymous says:

    I love the idea. I have so mant DVD’s in the car,the boxes are all over the place, and we can never find the one we want. If they were all in one(?) case it would save ALOT of room.

  2. Gabriela says:

    I love the idea. I have so mant DVD’s in the car,the boxes are all over the place, and we can never find the one we want. If they were all in one(?) case it would save ALOT of room.

  3. ukrainiac says:

    Hmmm…I hadn’t even THOUGHT about permanently keeping DVDs in one case. We loan a lot of movies so I’m not sure that this will work for us (ex-pats all sharing whatever we have here!), unless I just keep a couple of thinner jewel cases to use for loaning them. Thanks for the idea…

  4. Michelle says:

    We did this as well. It was very liberating and I LOVED all the extra space that we had. My husband had the hugest DVD collection when I first moved in, and it seriously took up an entire wall in the spareroom. Now they all fit in on ginormous DVD case. Perfection.

  5. Annette says:

    The only problem this will create is it reduces the resale value for you. But wow…much nicer looking and much cleaner for you (way less dusting too) 🙂

  6. Annette says:

    Oh…just reread comments. What would people want the cases for? If like my hubbie and makes disc’s of our services for broadcast and shut in’s he needs the cases for transport. We’ve often gotten cases off of freecycles (or full circles as it’s known around here) for that purpose.

  7. Just Beachy says:

    I did this as well, and I am so glad I did. Now, its easier for the kids to put the movies back in the case when they choose another more multiple cases thrown about. It also makes it easier for road trips, we just grab the case and go!

  8. pam says:

    Now that’s what I call stepping forward “Without Fear” into a whole new organized world! That is awesome. We need to do the exact same thing here.
    BTW, little Mr. 6yr.old (Joseph?) could easily pass for my JD Green from the back. He loves those shirts and we have those pants in just about every color they make.

  9. Dana says:

    I just did a cartwheel in celebration 🙂
    Seriously, I should think of doing the same thing… much space is taken up with those cases???

  10. Jendeis says:

    I love you! My husband is the same with the miscellaneous wires. My problem is that he always does seem to have the right miscellaneous wire for the job. Shoot.

  11. stacy says:

    my hubby has the same problem with wires except he wants me to know where they all are kept and the name of them. Why?

  12. Jamie says:

    We’ve run out of space in our DVD cabinet, so I’ve been looking at doing this. The thought of getting rid of the cases is holding me back, though. Maybe I’ll box them with an “expiration” date and show myself that I don’t need them. Baby steps, lol.

  13. Cindy says:

    We did the same thing and I wondered why I hadn’t done it YEARS ago! If only our favorite VHS tapes could be scrunched into a little book. Any ideas there? 🙂

  14. Michele says:

    It sounds wonderful, though I don’t think I could bring myself to do this. I always think, “What if I want to resell this someday” and of course, I’d need the cases at that point. I DO however related to your cord-keeping companion! Mine is a guitarist and I have amplifier, electric guitar and music recording cords strung from hither to yon…and beyond! I finally dedicated ONE large filing cabinet drawer to all of them and now I only trip over the ones currently plugged in to something or other! 🙂
    Keep at it!

  15. suzanne says:

    We went to having our DVD’s in a CD magazine zipper binder type deal. It’s not only cleaner, but takes up MUCH LESS space.
    It’s easy to grab every spring and summer weekend when we head out in the camper, we bring the creature comforts (our DVD’s) with us.

  16. Alana says:

    Congratulations – don’t you feel lighter? My husband has the same compulsion with wires, cables and cords. His theory is that someone might need them one day – I gently asked him to find that “someone” and send them on there way. He did find a recycling business that you can send up to 25 lbs of various cords to – I will get you the info. Why can’t they collect something small and easier to store – like paper clips?

  17. Tracy says:

    What a great idea! My friend put all of her movies into a CD carrying book thingy so that they can easily transport to car and house and take up less space while being protected. Cool!

  18. charlotte says:

    I love the “moment of panic”. I am proud of you for letting go.
    In the tower of DVD cases I noticed we have the same curtains, gotta love Target?

  19. Elizabeth Ingersoll says:

    My hubby doesn’t throw ANYTHING away. Ever. But he has decided to attempt some semblance of organization. So instead of 239,462 DVD cases (just kidding, kinda) just lying around, we now have 14 (OK, just 3) DVD stacking towers to place said DVD cases in.
    It’s a start.

  20. Erin says:

    We have FOUR tupperwares that size full of miscellaneous wires. Plus all the wires stuffed into the computer desk. And the camera bags. And the closets. My husband is addicted to wires.

  21. Emily R says:

    I envy you today. I married into 1300 cds, that evidently NEED to be in their cases, on their many racks, in my home. My husband also can’t let go of a wire, but since he used to be an electrician, I believe that he will find use for each one someday. It’s that danged “someday” that gets to me.

  22. Ann'Re says:

    Glad to hear your DVD success story. Freecycle, huh? I wonder what I can get rid of through Freecycle. I may be able to declutter my home after all!

  23. Melissa says:

    I am laughing with all the commenters commiserating about your husband and the wires. Mine does this too. I have no idea why. But we’re never short of a cable around here…

  24. Mommy says:

    Ooooo. It would be hard to get rid of those DVD cases….but your “after” picture looks so alluring, especially since our DVD storage space is so limited and our DVD collection keeps expanding. I’m keeping this idea at the front of my noggin to mull over.

  25. Megan says:

    Oh my goodness, that CRACKS ME UP!!! …while doing “rhythmic gymnastics” with all the wires! LOL I’m new to your blog, but I do think I’m hooked! 🙂 Especially with all the circular dancing and rhythmic gymnastics! {{P.S. we did this with our CD cases last month… it was absolutely ridiculous how many we had! We never listen to CDs anyways… they’re all on our computer and on our ipods now. Because a CD is just way too cumbersome to have to lug around, you know. And my retro (3-year-old) ipod is (according to my niece) SOOOO HUGE!}}

  26. Angela says:

    GO YOU! I didn’t mean to be so passionate about the cases being gotten rid of…or well maybe I did… Really though, I’m so glad you didn’t listen to the evil fraction of commenters who said you should keep them. You’re so smart and pretty and organized! Go you!

  27. Anna says:

    Wow that is utterly and completely hilarious. I mean, I’m glad for this, but the whole thing was soooo funny how you put it. Maybe I’m just really tired. ha.

  28. Dot says:

    We did this with PS2 games. They don’t get scratched as badly and the little booklets fit in the pocket at the back of the binder. We even have room in the zipped binder for the PS2 console when he wants to take it to grandmas.

  29. Jessica says:

    We opted to do this about a year ago… We have over 400 DVD’s and put them all in A huge leather CD case… (Well, four of them to be exact!) We actually chose to throw away all the cases, they take up ALOT of room… I don’t regret it a bit! Great job!

  30. Brandie says:

    Did you ever find an eyeliner that wouldn’t smudge? I thought about you the other day when I was hunting down my favorite WATERPROOF one! It’s the best. thing. ever. Rimmel makes it and I can usually find it in Walmart, but I’m finding that they don’t always have the waterproof kind. Anyhoo, just thought I’d share that with ya!

  31. Angela (Dimplequeen) says:

    I actually took ALL the kids DVD’s and put them in one of those travel cases back during the Chirstmas break. We took a trip to Colorado and I wanted to take them with us. I have not put them back since. However, I also haven’t gotten rid of the cases yet…..this will be a small battle with dear hubby! But with some prayer it will get done!

  32. GiBee says:

    Personally, I’m sick and tired of dvds lying freely all over the blessed place! Last night I counted 4 DVDs… 2 Go Diego Go DVDs, 1 Barney DVD, 1 Blues Clues DVD all lying within feet of each other, out of a case.
    Do you ever get that? If so, what do you do?

  33. jenni says:

    What a great idea. I just ripped all of our cds to the computer, and sold them all. I made about $200 and have so much more space!!

  34. Mrs. Who says:

    Oh, I admire you but I couldn’t POSSIBLY do that. I love my bright and shiny DVD cases, all lined up so nicely like books on the shelf. They do take up room but I still like them.

  35. LeeAnn says:

    Good for you! I ought to do the same thing to CD cases. I never thought you could get so attached to individual pieces of plastic.
    And what is it about cords? My hubby is attached to those too. Usually computer cabling. And spare hard drives and mother boards. He actually purged a bunch a couple of months ago as well as a couple of old computers. Amazing!

  36. marina says:

    I REALLY LOVE THESE!!idea I am going to try it b/c much like you I have a mess with DVD’s these will be my next to do list!!marina

  37. sara says:

    So inspiring! My husband has 3 containers of miscellaneous wires! General Electronics, Computer and Music. I am always begging to purge!

  38. Kris says:

    If they ever get rid of that chick — Mary Roach, I believe — who writes the really funny monthly article in Reader’s Digest — the one that makes me laugh out loud…alone…in the bathroom — anyway, if they ever get rid of her, you should totally apply for her job. I sit here and read your blog and laugh out loud. Alone. In the basement. 😉

  39. Renee says:

    This is great. We did this last year and promptly filed all our DVDs and music CDs into two separate cd cases found at Office Max stores. I typed each title on the computer, printed off the page and the children are responsible for ensuring all are in alphabetical order. This is necessary when you have a large family or they go “missing”, are “borrowed” and other such lovely things, so when there’s an empty space, we simply refer to the list inside the front cover of the case. If any additions are made, the list is revised on the computer and another printed for reference. Thanks for sharing!

  40. Kristen says:

    Funny you should mention miscellaneous wires…my husband has a love affair with them as well. Also miscellaneous electronic doohickees. That he might fix some day. Twenty years from now when they are obsolete. They are funny creatures, aren’t they?!

  41. Angie says:

    When you posted about it, it also inspired me to get rid of ours too. I cleared out DVD cases, as well as game cases (Playstation & Gamecube/Wii). We ended up with well over 100 empty cases. It was two kitchen trash bags (13 gallon) packed neatly and FULL. We moved all the games and DVDs into binders, and we’re all loving it!!!
    Oh — and I also ended up with three different people on Freecycle who asked for them. I have no idea what someone will do with all of those, but one woman said they were reorganizing and could definitely use them all.
    Funny how one person’s reorganizing can be the exact opposite of somebody else’s.

  42. Carrie says:

    Maybe the people looking for these cases on FreeCycle did the same thing with theirs years ago and are now deciding to resell the DVD’s, thus they need to put the papers and DVD’s back in a case?
    I would love to do this but unfortunately my husband flat out tells me it’s the packaging that he loves, even more so than most of the movies!

  43. Becca says:

    We recently bought 2 Discgear 100 disk organizers ( had them way cheaper than anywhere else) and they are the coolest thing…we got rid of all of our cases too, about a month ago, and just have these 2 organizers sitting on the shelf. I think they’re worth checking out, we paid less than $50 for both of them, and each of them came with a free sport case for 20 dvds.

  44. Lisa K says:

    I did this with the CDs last year. My plan is to tackle the DVDs this year. It’s so much easier to find what we are looking for. Plus the 4 year old won’t scratch the movies trying to put them back in the case!!! Awesome job!!!

  45. becky says:

    I did this a while ago, too. It makes such a huge difference.
    I also did the same with our CD collection, but I haven’t really organized them into a good system yet. They’re just stuck in the travel case right now.

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