The dilemma I faced tonight: do I refuse to order from FreshDirect because they stuck flyers both under my door and on my windshield, or do I order from them because they offer $50 worth of free produce as an incentive? Answer: free food is alwaysa reason to do things. People who know this usually use it to their advantage, too. (This is why, if you ask somebody outright to give you professional guidance, they will often decline, but if you ask them if you can buy them lunch at [insert name of restaurant, doesn't have to be at all expensive] and pick their brain, they will much more often say "sure.")

So another advice question just came in. Actually, I'm not entirely sure if this one counts as "advice," unless someone wants to pattern their own CD-organizing techniques on mine. I do also give advice on matters of the heart, people--! And on everything else, so why not:

How do you store and organize your CDs? Do you keep them in jewel cases, or do you break them down in some way to save space? Alphabetically? By genre and alphabetically? By label (that's a jazz-geek thing only, I think, but a surprisingly common one)? Prefab shelves or self-built joints?

3000 of my CDs are in big beautiful wooden shelving units that were custom-built by my friend Sheila close to 4 years ago; another 1400 or so are in wooden shelving units I bought at HMV. Those are the permanent collection--the things I know I want to have around. Another 1000 or so that might be sticking around or might not are in cardboard and plastic bins; many of them will be purged shortly.

Almost all the CDs are alphabetical by artist and, where it's convenient, chronological. The exceptions are:

* Compilations, which are at the end, alphabetical by title.

* World-music discs for which the point is where it's from, not who made it; those are organized in their own little section, by label (because it makes sense to have, say, all the Ocora stuff together).

For a couple of weeks in the late '90s, I was occasionally taking CDs and booklets out of their cases to save space. But then the CDs roll around, and it's a hassle and ugly, and finally I decided the hell with it, and started filling boxes with CDs to put into storage instead of having them on the wall or giving them to charity. Someday, I will have a house, and the house will have a basement. And in the meantime, I find myself wishing I had easier access to discs I've put into storage all the time--this week, it was Squarepusher's Maximum Priest EP I really could've used.



previously ask for advice