DVD storage ideas – here’s one I prepared earlier

As someone who regularly uses off-air recordings of TV programmes in my teaching (see BioethicsBytes), I’ve generated quite a library of DVDs which have been knocking around for a while in a series of boxes. With storage of the discs being in need of a bit of rationalisation, I bought an allegedly purpose-designed CD/DVD unit from a high street store. (We won’t embarrass them by naming them, but the shop sounds very like the boat on which Jason and his pals set off in search of the Golden Fleece). It turned out that the system of pre-drilled holes allowed the shelves to be arranged for CDs or for mixed media, but could not be made to work in any sensible manner for DVDs alone.

I finally decided to take the solution into my own hands, and in the best Blue Peter tradition I decided that with the aid of a little sticky-backed plastic the solution was much closer to home. I’m very please with the outcome, so I offer you the following practical suggestions.

The first thing needed is a cardboard box of suitable dimensions. The best ones I’ve found for the purpose are used to supply Corning Costar 5ml or 10 ml disposable pipettes. The width of the boxes is perfect for DVDs and each box can store 27 discs. They are, however, a little too tall, so some careful cutting is required. I would recommend that you choose a standard height of somewhere between 14 and 15 cm up from the base; if you slip below 14 cm the top of the DVDs will show, but if you go too much towards 15 cm then covering with tape (often 5 cm wide) becomes less convenient since you will need an extra circuit of tape to neatly cover the box. About 14.2 cm may be ideal.

recommended equipment for preparing DVD storage box

recommended equipment for preparing DVD storage box

A Stanley knife is the most efficient method for cutting the top off the boxes, but in this age of litigation I should point out that knives are potentially dangerous and you carry out this step at your own risk. If you have any doubt that you can use it safely then a sharp pair of scissors is a sensible alternative. You will need a straight edge to cut against – a metal ruler or the back-edge of a saw are ideal.

the flat back-edge of a saw can offer a good straight line to cut against

the flat back-edge of a saw can offer a good straight line to cut against

Having cut the box to the appropriate dimensions, it’s time to cover it with some suitable tape. Standard brown packing tape is feasible, but not a very interesting option. Several alternatives are possible; I’ve used  Floor Marking tape manufactured by Advance because it was available from a local supplier, but I notice two other UK suppliers with interesting colour and pattern options: Marnic and Le Mark (who even offer a camouflaged tape, if that happens to light your candle).

50mm wide vinyl tape is available in various colours

50mm wide vinyl tape is available in various colours

With careful application of tape it should be possible to cover the whole box using just three circuits of tape. One roll of tape should then be sufficient to cover 7 or 8 boxes.

27 standard DVD cases fit in each Corning box
27 standard DVD cases fit in each Corning box

Overall, a pretty satisfactory and relatively cheap storage option. I recognise that the availability of the Corning boxes I’ve suggested are a bit unusual – you need to be involved in lab research, or know someone who is, to have these at your disposal. Please use the comment facility if you’ve got more readily available alternatives you’d like to recommend.

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2 Comments

  1. Homage to the 50th anniversary of Blue Peter? ;-)

  2. Excellent life hack! Soon we won’t need to worry about storage as you might just have everything on a hard disk in your pocket.


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