Cd storage..what's an audiophile to do?

I have a small Cd collection of about 200 discs. It is already difficult to find a way to find a rack to store them in and I do not even have the >1000 disc collections that some of you have. So I ask you, how do you all store these large CD collections and as an extra bonus question how do you arrange them?
I built a few CD racks using 1" x 6" shelving with a sheet backing. This is VERY easy to do and can be finished to match other materials in the room. With the dimensions that i used, they hold about 450 cd's each. I still need to build at least one more and maybe two.

My collection is "loosely" arranged by Classical in one section, Jazz / Blues / "mellow" rock in another and Metal / Hard Rock in another. I do try to keep artists lumped together, but that sometimes doesn't happen. Sean
I use a Tansu cabinet in the living room. It has five drawers that are suitable for CD's (on end) and will hold approx. 250 CD's per drawer. I place a length of wood in the bottom/back of each drawer so that the CD's do not extend to the very back. The drawers are closed when we are not searching for music and everything is out of sight. Any chest with many shallow, sturdy drawers will work the same. Ours is almost half full and I will have to figure out additional storage space eventually. I separate classical from soundtracks from popular music from World, though everything is a mess right now.
Check out the metal racks from Boltz USA if you don't mind buying online at Modular design w/ small footprint make them easy to "upgrade" and fit apartments/listening rooms of any size.
jdwek: know in advance that the finished basement in our house is, but for the laundry room, my exclusive enclave. (o.k., i do occasionally invite my bride of 34 years to watch a dvd or two). that said, i use 3 different cd racks, as much for aesthetics as "classification." (NB: i also store about 2,500 of 5,000 my lp's in self-designed, professionally built cabinets in my soundroom, too.) i have, first, a rotating soundstyle rack that holds 250 cd's; this stores my folk collection. second, i own a 1000 cd rack made by billy baggs. this is divided by my own classifications, only i understand; each classification is alphabetically arranged. (see "high fidelity," a great movie for record collectors; highly recommended.) the top shelf stores "boxed sets," other than classical. shelves 2 & 3 are devoted to classical music. shelf 4 is solely for grateful dead. shelves 5-7 are "rock," shelf 8 jazz, shelf 9 blues and shelf 10 soundtracks and musicals. a third cd rack, which hold about 300 discs, is built in as part of my lp storage units. it houses: (1) unopened discs; (2) "heavy rotation" and demo discs; and, (3) replacement jewel boxes. in addition, i usually have 100 or so discs on top of equipment racks and various tables i've not gotten around to storing. i have room for another 1000 cd rack but need more desperately to buy shelves for the rest of my lp's. i recommend your purchasing or building as large a cd storage system as you can accommodate. rest assured, you'll fill it sooner rather than later. -kelly
Flush them down the toilet, buy a turntable, listen to records. But.....if you have to..... I keep a collection of about seventy or eighty, for when I ride the train. I keep the jewel boxes in a horizontaly situated suitcase, that I sized to fit the jewel boxes. The discs themselves, I keep about twenty, in each of a number of case logic 12/24 CD wallets. Then I can just grab a CD wallet, headphones, and discman, before catching the train, Elmo.
Hi Guys,
an audiophile must close all cds in a refrigerator, and listen only Lp's
JD use link below for good assortment of inexpensive CD
storage systems from 100 to 1000+ Of course you should always buy bigger storage than you now need, or make sure it is modular for future expansion.

Boltz system is moderately priced system with a high tech
look, but has no back so can look "cluttered" against a
wall, however I like the industrial appearance.

These are nice, and relatively inexpensive, wood racks available in several finishes. I have one w/ 250 cap. that's very solid, and I plan on replacing it with a larger one in the not-too-distant.
Here is the link to Boltz site, you might as well look at the CD 600 size because bottom 2 shelfs are a pain to use
so this will give you room for future expansion.
Also see the other, another thread on this very subject for a few suggestions. As to how you should section your cd's--good luck, I doubt I could even put how I do it into words. People ask what's up with it when they see it or try to find something they know I have. Come to think of it, I should come up with something better, it's taking longer and longer to produce.
I've been looking at this very closely myself as of late and can second the recommendation for Treedesigns. I think that this is what I will be going with myself, but there are a couple of other vendors worth looking at. The CD storage racks that I REALLY wanted can be had at Can-Am ( ...but they are a bit expensive, though not unreasonably so, considering the solidity of the product. I also thought that Sorice ( offered a nice product, and when you request a catalog they send along an introductory pricing offer. I had also looked at CDHoldings (, who had some interesting choices as well. If you want to try something on the cheap, aside from DIY of course, you could do what I have been doing. Look for a store that sells Sauder brand products. These are typically found at Target, Meijer, Value City, etc. They make a CD rack that holds 161 discs and costs about $20. It's one of those cheap, pre-fab units that you assemble yourself, but is actually surprisingly solid in build and really does not look bad at all. They don't take up much space and the look of several of these units lined up next to each other is discreet and perfectly acceptable.
I had a cabinet maker make a cabinet for me. Pull out drawers. Each drawer holds approximately 250CDs and there are 5 drawers. It's made out of natural mahagony and uses very heavy rails.
Personally, I folded on trying to keep all of the jewel cases and got a number of those Case Logic folder style deals (the big ones, holding around 280 CD's each). Unfortunately, I just didn't have the room too keep all the boxes and had been anguishing over how to store all of the CDs. It finally pushed me over the edge when (in addition to the fact that the CD's were literally taking over my appartment) I was hanging out with a bunch of jazz musicians over the course of a 36-hour barbeque memorial day weekend and they all seemed to come equipped with their own folder of 200+ CDs to share. Call me crazy, but I was converted. However, I still do have 2-3 big old shopping bags filled with now-empty jewel boxes. I suppose my conversion isn't official until I decide what to do with them...
Mezmo, I support you in making the transition. To help you make it official, I'll take a bunch of them off your hands, paying all costs. I am hard on jewel cases.
Mezmo: I have been looking for a way to store CD's that will be burned from our old cassette collection (and isolate them from the rest of the CD's as well). I assume that these things look like books and can be placed on a bookshelf and will look into them. I don't plan on keeping the cassettes, so will have to make backup copies of the rare, popular (to us) and out of print ones and could use a smaller book to store these.
Didn't have room for hundreds of jewel cases, the patience for unsuccessfully keeping them organized and the frustration of seemingly never being able to find a desired disc. Eventually put all the CDs in quality binders and threw the jewel cases out. Upsides are much recovered space and having every disc at my fingertips. I keep them organized by band/artist's name and satisfying musical whims is so much easier than before. The biggest downside is accessing the liner notes. Right now they're in a box, but will be put in another set of binders when there's space in the schedule. I also refrain from taking the binders in the car, such as on long trips. This keeps dirt and grit out of the sleeves which have put minor scratches on a couple of discs. Haven't found a good solution for that yet.
They have some very nice free standing (floor) CD shelf units at IKEA if there is one in your area. Or get their catalog.
The Case Logic binders I got are pretty un-fancy, to be sure, but they do the trick just fine. (They seem to come in either that heavy-duty nylon webbing style fabric or a lovely faux leather). If you look around, you can probably find nicer ones, although possibly not as large. Pretty sure they can be had just about anywhere, got mine at Tower Records. They are the zippered book-style, four disks to a page (eight, double-sided) even complete with handles, as they can get a little unwieldy when fully stuffed.

The one concession that I've made is to stuff the liner notes in the same sleeve along with the disk (thus filling two binders, instead of four). However, it's still on a trial basis as I am not sure that I won't be scratching things unnecessarily in the long run by cramming them in against the paper. I may just have to get a couple more binders and give the disks and the notes their own sleeves, but I bought out Tower Records in the style I picked the first time, so I crammed (and I just can't bear to separate the CDs from the liner notes...). Anyone had any experience regarding whether I may someday become quite cross about the damage I've unwittingly done?

JT, I'm still in the anticipatory separation anxiety stages regarding my jewel boxes. If I decide to fully take the plunge and get rid of them, I’ll drop you a line.
I do what Mezmo does. I have about 8 case logic cd storage cases. I keep them in two draws. I take out the insert that comes with the jewel box and keep them all, in no order, in my bookcase. I through out the empty jewel cases. I have the case logic books arranged by music type, but within each one, I can't keep the cd's in order.
For those with a small collection (I have around 500) and needing a high SAF, I recommend The Cube by Lorenz Designs. They do have a website, but I don't have the link at my finger tips.
Be careful about not keeping jewel case/graphics and booklets. Your Cds have 0 resale value without these. There is a thriving used CD market on the internet, especially for pop/rock music, where you can get up to 50% retail, sometimes more.
Just a note to say that the plain jewel cases are replaceable. Most computer super stores (Fry's, CompUSA, etc.) have them on hand. The inserts like liner notes and "covers", as well as the paperboard cases some releases come in, are irreplaceable as Megasam points out. As a rule of thumb, if it's unique, I keep it.
O.K., here's what I built to hold my CD collection:
6" wide X 48" long pre-finished shelving (white or wood)
3/8" X 72" threaded steel rod, nuts and washers to fit
the rod. Simply measure and drill holes in all four
corners of each shelf (use a square to make sure all holes are the same distance from the edges!) Screw the thing
together. You can adjust the distance of the shelves to
fit whatever you want to hold. I use 3/8" connectors on
the bottom of the steel rod to level the unit. I have
built component racks using the same method and it works
pretty well! I usually paint the steel rod flat black if
I use wood shelves or white to match white shelves.
I think my total investment in the CD rack is about
$25-$30. for 300 CD hardwood cabinets with glass doors (keeps dust out) and shelves-- classy looking, about $180-200. depending on options. I have 2 with smoked glass doors plus some homemade cabinets with smoked plexiglass doors. Craig
Thanks for the correct URL for the Boltz website...I really need to catch up on my sleep!
We went through this dilemma last year after breaking the 300 disk barrier. After a lot of looking we settled on the Can-Am products - relatively inconspicious, lifetime build, enormous capacity and easily expandable. While not cheap, they are actually good value when you consider what you get. While they're textured steel, they're attractive enough for most living and listening rooms. Another interesting product we considered was the "EZ-View" system from New Age Furniture ( My wife and I have separate drawers for our collections - she prefers to go alphabetically; I prefer to group by genre.
Does anyone using CD books have a problem when there is a new addition to their colection that, for orginizational purposes, needs to go in the middle of a binder? Wouldn't you have to move everything else behind it down one?
I guess you could just clip in a new page, or guess at how much empty space to leave in each section.
Ok to all but does anyone know if we could use the disc cabinet as an RPG diffuser like thing similar to irregular bookshelves?
Grungle, I add pages as they're needed and occassionally go through and shuffle disks to back fill when there are too many empty sleeves. That or go shopping for more discs!
The rock stuff I sort by name of group, then by year put out. (I use the numbers from videocassette insert thingys) and put the 67 or 68 69... (Dylan) on the spines, so I keep track of there historical order. Classical I sort by composer, then solo, duet, trio, quartet etc, opera at the end (in each I sort by performers/conductors last name, so my zillion Beethoven piano sonatas are by performer.) I have no ear for Jazz, so no Jazz CDs.
Office Depot and some music stores have fake leather binders with plastic pocket pages which are used to hold CDs and CDRoms. There is a pocket that has enough room to hold the folders and the disc. You can throw out the jewel boxes( or keep them in the garage). The binders come in various sizes. I have some which each hold 100 CDs with the folders from the jewel boxes.
CAN-AM sells modular 2 and 3 drawer cabinets. Each drawer holds 270 CDs. Lots of other cabinets available. Highest quality products and first rate service. Check out
Check out have several storage units at good prices, especially their barrister type shelving with glass doors, and they pay the shipping!
Agree about Boltz. Bought the CD 330 and just added the extesion to store 660 CD's. Nice contemporary quasi industrial look. Also, the *best* customer service I have ever experienced. My first purchase actually arrived the next day. Fully assembled. No charge for Fed-Ex. No sales tax (I'm in California, they're in California). Boltz actually picks up the sales tax. The extension had extra pieces of esch component that went into the assembly. First rate.

Now...what to do with the LP's. Getting ready to get a new turntable and unpack the boxes. Any ideas? As weird as it sounds, I wouldn't mind a set up like the record shops. Everything facing forward, easy to label, easy to see. Any suggestions?
Jim, I believe Boltz make shelves for LP/LDs also...check out the "Shelving" section on their homepage...
Mgs, thanks for the tip...I didn't pay too much attention when I looked for my CD rack. Very nice stuff. Also a plus to be able to match the looks and materials for LP/LD and CD storage. Pricier, but still fairly priced. I guess that's to be expected given the difference in design and amount of material. Getting the size right is more critical since the shelves do not appear to be expandable. This is a nice feature with the CD storage systems. Thanks again.
I store my 800 Cd's in CD binders which takes up about 1/100th of the room. I just store the CD's alphabetically with the liner notes in the binder and browse the as I need.
The only thing Best Buys is good for is that they carry Atlantis CD racks. Atlantis make a 500 rack that is very much like Boltz with MDF side pannels. However, instead of costing $200 + they cost only $75. These are very attractive and have aluminum rods. It is a very sturdy design and worth slumming to Best Buys. Just wear some sun glasses, hat and oversized clothing. No one will notice you!