With the arrival of the New Year, many of us have made “Resolutions” as to what we’d like to accomplish in 2011. Topping most lists, of course, is the usual losing weight, quitting smoking, exercising more, and getting organized. While there isn’t much advice I can give regarding the first three, I may have some helpful tips regarding the last. Not to worry, horror fans, we’re not compromising our site by trading in Penny Dreadful for Martha Stewart (though it can be argued that she’s the scarier of the two witches). Organizing your collection is not only ascetically pleasing, it makes for much easier access.
Most of us horror movie and host show collectors have amassed quite the DVD collection over the years. It’s great adding new rare and wonderful shows to our database but, at the same time, we are left with a terrible dilemma; how to get them cataloged and organized! A few DVD’s on a shelf can soon lead to a pile of unorganized discs in the closet! So let’s roll up our sleeves and get started!
The most important thing that needs to be done, first and foremost, is cataloging the collection. This not only lets you know what you have but also be readily available to send out to other collectors you may wish to trade with. An alphabetized list is a must! There are many ways to go about this and much of it depends on what type of operating system you’re working with. While I can not speak for Mac users, I can say that for those of us that use Windows, the 2007 Office package is best. Here you will have access to Word as well as Excel which is what I use. Excel is nice because it leaves room for note-taking which is especially helpful regarding International films carrying multiple titles and for hosted shows as well. I may be in the mood to watch Dr Destruction but also want to see the show where Count Gore de Vol made a guest appearance. Excel makes it easier to locate the correct episode. Also, if you do collect host shows, keep a separate list from your mainstream movies.
Okay, you know what you’ve got and now you’re staring at piles of discs that need a home! Store bought DVD’s come with their own cases but, in my case, I started running out of room and the last thing you want to hear from friends and loved ones is that you have too much crap – leading to a possible intervention. If space is an issue, you may want to turn to binders. The binder system works quite well and is the route I chose for my non-hosted horror films. Original covers can be stored in the attic while your collection remains at your fingertips. It has not only conserved on space but also allowed me to place films in alphabetical order for easy access. If ink isn’t an issue, you can also make your own custom covers to place in the binders.
One important factor when using binders; always purchase one that is larger than what you need. There are few things more time consuming (and exasperating) then shuffling entire binders of discs to make room for new acquisitions. Best to leave extra space and pages to accommodate. I use the largest binders (520 disc capacity) but purchasing a good one can cost an arm and a leg. Rather than take out a second mortgage, I opted to buy cheap ones via ebay. The problem is, they tend to be delicate and even more so once full. Reinforce the rings with metallic silver duct tape to prevent the loss of pages and NEVER try carrying your binder with its side handle.
Last Spring I made the error of trying to incorporate my horror hosted movies along with the non-hosted ones. As a result I quickly ran out of room and was stuck constantly rearranging my binders despite the extra space I had allotted. No matter how good my intentions, I was ill prepared for adding over ten copies of THE GIANT GILA MONSTER, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN’T DIE, etc. To rectify this issue, I decided to look outside the box or, rather, “inside” of one! I sought out boxes that could be used to file hosted movies while also keeping their work separate.
It was a funny thing trying to figure out what type of box to use. There were some located in electronics by the DVD binder and media organization section. The problem for me was that they seemed too short and, in some cases, had those “hanging file” dividers. They’re usually numbered and, had I chosen this option, would be stuck once again having to reorganize constantly. Instead, I found a cheaper option at Target over in the “Office/School Supply” section. These boxes were longer and much better suited for my purposes. Discs fit in nicely and I could use regular CD/DVD sleeves for the discs (or in my case the plastic sleeves) while easily rearranging the shows for alphabetizing. They were also nearly $10 cheaper!
I was happy with the boxes but not exactly thrilled with the color & design. After all, these are being used to store horror movies and not cooking recipes. So I opted to get creative and customize them (Martha’s really kicking Penny’s butt in this blog). This was done using decoupage and images that best fit each boxes contents. Supplies needed are 1) decoupage from a craft store, 2) paint brush, and 3) whatever images you want to use to decorate the box.
Fill a small bowl with the decoupage solution. The solution looks and has the consistency of Elmer’s Glue. Be sure to work in a well ventilated area as the fumes can get overwhelming. Keep a wet rag nearby in case you make an error and wear clothes that you don’t mind ruining. If decoupage gets on your clothes it is almost impossible to get out.
It is not advisable to do an entire box in one sitting. Give a couple of sides time to dry before moving on to the rest. While it dries fairly quickly, I recommend giving it 24 hours before going back to it.
Congratulations! You’ve now gotten an organized collection that not only allows easy access to the shows you already have but the new ones you’ll be getting in the coming year as well. Anyone who has any other ideas or suggestions, please leave comments. What works for some may not work for others.