Best Way to Organize Audiophiles' Lives and PCs

Further to the many WAF ("Wife Approval Factor") comments on Audiogon, perhaps this thread can help everyone with another critical WAF topic.

Given the technical and intellectual demands of our hobby: hardware, cables, acessories, software, CDs DVDs etc, PCs, file storage etc. my wife finds my desk and our "music room" hopelessly complicated and difficult to keep organized.

For my PC based life, I also crave a better way to organize audio files, movies, photographs, websites documents etc. while separating but also be able to back up my personal and business lives. It seems this challenge is a new field also known as "knowledge management".

Could any of you who consider yourselves unusually well organized share some of your secrets:

1) What furniture/storage solutions have helped you with different types of media, hardware, software etc? How do you keep your listening room tidy and organized?

2) For your computer life, what software helps organize your life and interests? Could anyone recommend PIM (personal information management) software? Online backup services for media files? Online to do lists or contact management?

With greater efficiency, we can all have more time to spend on Audiogon and listening to music!
I would take a look at the Apple Mac. It's easy and can be a quality music source when setup correctly. Apple's built-in software and iLife suite is excellent for media, as well as contacts, documents and websites.

As for furniture and hard media storage, I recommend drawing out what you need and keep it simple. I use some Ikea solutions and have clients that have custom built cabinets. I don't think anything "special" is needed as long as it fits your needs.
LPs all go in Gothic Furniture Record racks.

CD's after I rip them (I dont want to display or shelve them as they are completely useless once the bits are on a drive) go in these Large Transparent CD/DVD Media Box and are piled up in the basement - never to be heard from again....
I agree with Notec. Once the CDs are on the HD they are in large plastic tubs and stored away. Of course DVD's and LPs are different - you need them for playback. The only things on my desktop are the Calvalry Ext. HD, iMac, M2Tech Hiface, pair of chintzy computer speakers and a desk lamp. Extra cables, etc. are in one small section of a closet separated by type in a nifty set of plastic drawers in a rack. All personal paper files are in a file box in the same closet. That's it.

Cwlondon - you must have a lot of "stuff" to keep track of.
One other thought - We have about 800 DVDs that are stored in two Sony carousel type DVD players. They don't play particularly well BUT but they do make excellent storage facilities for the DVDs. You just dial up your choice from a written record, hit eject, watch the DVD in another player and put it back later. Dust free, organized and easy to use.
First, best you have a 'man cave', with the wife not allowed to enter your 'mess'. Racks etc are all about not having money to spend on gear and media, a bad idea. Once you get use to it, you will know exactly where everything is, no need for 'order'. Hey it is a 'man cave'.


I am very familiar with the man cave phenomenon, which in fact inspired this thread! But I have to admit that I enjoy the cave even more when it is tidier and better organized.

Ballan, iLife sounds like a good solution, but I would also love to hear from Windows users.

For some reason, I am predisposed to not using normal Microsoft solutions (especially Outlook) and yet I also dont want to simply "get a Mac!" because it would complicate the integration with the office and Blackberry.

It is amazing how many threads on Audiogon are answered with "Get a Mac!"