The Wheaton Blog

Organizing Your Media Collection after a Move

July 13, 2015 | Packing Guides & Tips

Moving to a new home presents the perfect opportunity to organize your media collection(s). Media comes in many forms: books, movies, comic books, and video games. The more you have, the harder it gets to find what you’re looking for. Not to mention your items look great when lined up.

Here are our step-by-step instructions for organizing your media after a move.

Step 1: Have a Place for Everything

No one likes to see books stacked on the floor. Before you begin organization, make sure you have a place for all your items. Most items fit on shelves, but you can also use filing cabinets or special containers.

A lot of media comes in standardized cases, like CDs or DVDs, so try to find shelves built for those mediums. Doing so will increase space efficiency.

Watch: How to pack books

Step 2: Pick a First-tier Organization Style

Once you have a place for everything, choose an organization style. First, we recommend organizing by type of media (it might confuse you to mix music with books or video games). Here are the most common ways to arrange your media:

  • Alphabetically: This is the most obvious way to organize. However, it might not be as straightforward as you think. For example, you could organize by author or by title. For books, organizing by author is common, but for movies, most people prefer to organize by title.
  • By Genre: Genre is a popular method of organization, and it’s self-explanatory. Genres can include action, drama, romance, mystery, comedy, horror, science fiction, or nonfiction. You can choose an infinite number of genres. Choosing them depends on your tastes and what genres your media emphasizes.
  • By Color: If you like art, organizing by color might excite you. Many people like to display an interesting color arrangement. You can even create a rainbow by arranging the red media together, followed by orange, etc. Some like to create mosaics from their media, such as arranging their red, white, and blue media into an American flag. We recommend this method only if you have a lot of media to work with.
  • By Date: You can organize all your media by the date each was originally published. You could also organize them in the order that you first read or watched them.
  • Chronologically: If you have a lot of historical media, you could organize it in historical order. Similarly, if you have a lot of long series, it doesn’t always work best to list them alphabetically. For example, if you purchased all the Marvel films, you might want to put them together in the order they came out.

Step 3: Pick a Second-tier Organization Style

Once you have picked a first tier of organization, some like to choose a second tier. For example, if you organized your first tier by genre, you might choose to arrange your media alphabetically within that genre. A second tier is not always necessary, but it can help.

Step 4: Keep a Catalog

If you have a large volume of media, keeping a catalog is essential. We recommend having a list of all your media in the order that you chose to organize them. That way, if you take something off the shelf, you know exactly where to return it. Keeping a digital spreadsheet is anCD - DVDother step up, because then you can sort through the data to find what you need.

Step 5: Label

This last step is optional, but many people like to label their shelves. This is especially useful if you need to move to a new home.

You or the moving company can easily mark boxes with the appropriate label as you unpack shelves. Thus, unpacking becomes easier.

As you unpack and organize your media, follow some of our suggestions, and you’ll always find the media you’re looking for.

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