When I think of family memories, many a movie night will come to mind. And what better place to watch a movie as a family than in the basement?! It’s cozy and spacious all at the same time. Dim the lights and you have the perfect Friday night. An entertainment room that can host events like this does come with maintenance, however. What good is having a DVD or CD if you can’t find it? Well organized media storage ensures your selection is easy to find yet is out of the way of traffic. Further, proper storage methods provide protection so that your family’s DVDs, CDs, VHS tapes and record albums remain usable for years to come. This article, fifth in the “Storage 101” series, contains tips for storing your media and accessories in ways that reduce entertainment room clutter, protect the media and add to the fun of using your entertainment room.
Storage units for media range from simple shelves and cabinets to custom-made wall-to-ceiling units that blend into the room’s decor. Some wall units pull out to reveal shelves full of CDs, DVDs and VHS tapes as well as racks of old shellac resin or vinyl records that play on turntables.
Each family’s media collection is unique to the family and was put together according to that family’s interests. The best method of organizing space for your media collection depends on the preferences and habits of your family. Choose a method that makes media easy to find and keeps it out of the way when it is not in use.
Media Storage Requirements
To maximize the life of any film or music media, create a dry, dust-free storage, away from extreme heat or cold and out of the sun’s rays. A temperature between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal. Here are a few other tips.
Rewind, eject and store tapes immediately after they finish playing. Store tapes upright, the same way that you would store books on a shelf. Tapes that are laid on their sides tend to sag over time instead of staying evenly wound on the reel. This creates playback problems.
The easiest way to keep videotapes clean is to store them in individual plastic cases before placing them on shelves or grouping them in containers. If you do not have the original cases, you can find replacements online or at your local video store.
As your stored video footage gets older, consider making backup copies in another format (electronic). Media players tend to become outdated and hard to find, and video recordings often deteriorate over time, no matter their environment.
Storage of Shellac or Vinyl Records
If you happen to have a collection of the old 78 RPM records, most assuredly they are a treasured possession. These records were originally made of a shellac resin, which becomes quite brittle. Whether made of shellac or vinyl, records are best stored fully upright in a vertical position in dustproof jackets or covers. Wire record racks work well.
CD and DVD Storage
Clean discs before storing using the following method:
Use a soft cotton cloth and cleaner made especially for disc cleaning.
Remove stubborn grime with isopropyl alcohol.
Moisten the cloth, not the disc.
Start cleaning at the center of the disc and wipe in a straight line toward the outer edge.
Repeat this action until the entire disc is clean.
Make use of jewel cases to color-code your collection. Alternatively, place your CDs and DVDs in sleeve pages made for ring binders. Label the ring binders and place them upright on shelves. A third option is to organize your CDs and DVDs in hanging sleeves that fit inside acrylic bins. Number the sleeves, and use dividers to separate them into groupings. Create a master index for each bin. While these processes take time, just remember the usable life of your CD’s, DVD’s, and vinyl records is at stake.
Next week, we will be sharing more tips about media storage!