ideas for organizing VHS tapes?

pammyfayMay 7, 2009

I have a lot of VHS movies that are still good and I want to keep; there's no sense in getting rid of them and buying DVDs for the ones I really love (well, at least not for a while, yet!).

Right now, they're stored in my finished basement room (with a TV, sofabed, bookcase, lighting) in 2 black Ikea-like closed-door waist-high cabinets (which look like the Billy bookcases but with doors).

I think I want to get rid of these cabinets--too much black in the basement--and put the videos instead on my tall Intermetro chrome shelving unit, the wire-shelf type, because I recently got rid of a number of books and magazines and there is space on the shelves, and I'd rather keep that than the cabinets.

I can adjust the shelves on the Intermetro shelving piece, but the shelves are kind of deep, so even tho I haven't measured this for sure, I'm pretty certain that 3 "layers" of tapes could fit on a single shelf.

Of course, then you wouldn't be able to see the titles behind the first line of videos.

Any clever (and cheap!) ideas for a way to store these on the shelves and still see the titles? Ikea used to sell plastic risers, I think, but I haven't seen them in stores recently.

Here is a link that might be useful: Intermetro shelving piece (but mine's silver)

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There's the coated wire shelf splitters that could work for you. One of the best things I did was to number my tapes years back and then made a list of them with the contents. So when I wanted Arsenic & Old Lace, I could look on the list and see it was on shelf 2, 5th tape in. My own version of a library numbering system. And I spent the time to put the labels on the ends of the tapes so I could see them. Was careful to put them back properly and by doing it this way it wasn't difficult. The philosophy of make it easier to put away even if it's harder to get out. It worked for me.

I too still have a bunch of tapes and see no reason to replace them. In fact just bought a bunch of tapes the library was selling out for $1 each.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 9:55PM
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Here is what I would do:
- Space the shelves real close, to have the tapes on their sides. (Perhaps I¢d need extra shelves though - if I could not get any I´d have a display area in the vacant space : framed art comes to mind for it)
- Make boxes out of cardboard (I bet this wouldn´t cost much) open at the top, long as the shelves are deep, wide as the tapes are tall, tall as the tapes are wide. The labeled sides of the tapes would be seen from the top of the box (hope this makes sence).
- You can make them as elaborate as you want, cover them in something patterned or colored to match you decor, attach handles, label them... They would function like drawers.
- You could label the boxes alphabetically (provided you sort the tapes that way), or by genre, or using numbers (only this way you´d have to compile a list with the titles and the numbers they correspond to).
- Drawer like boxes make it easy to take out AND put back in. In my experience, it is a PITB to have VHS tapes standing like books even 2 rows deep, let alone 3!


    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 3:21AM
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Just aome random thoughts on organizing things library-style. At the Pediatrician's office, files are color-coded. ie red for last names A thru D, blue E thru L, etc, altho everyone knows how to alphabetize, having a color makes it easy for the brain to head for the correct area when pulling or returning files. I remember when I was a kid I had lots of books and a wooden bookcase. I would organize my books by size (height) or type or color. Any system where you can "see" where things belong rather than having to put in an arbitrary order helps. Just remember to always put VHS tapes away when you're done viewing. My husband still has quite a few VHS movies. Some he purchased and some he recorded himself off his favorite TV channels.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 8:51AM
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The commercial "photo" boxes (find anywhere, but go on sale at Hobby Lobby, Michael's, etc) are just the right size for VHS tapes, so you might be able to use them in sub-dividing or otherwise organizing on shelving units and sometimes even the color (including basic black or white)will add to the decor statement, such as uniform/neat, or a fun color contrast.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 12:07PM
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If you are looking for cheap but not pretty, you can use cardboard bin boxes. This site has cardboard and plastic ones in a variety of sizes.

Here is a link that might be useful: bin boxes

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 12:57AM
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I'm basing my avice on the assumption that I couldn't talk you into getting rid of them.

Did you ever think of burning them to DVD? Do you have a DVD recorder? My parents have a VCR/DVD recorder. Do you have a camcorder? My camcorder allows me to plug in an analog device and send out a digital signal which can be captured by my computer. If you made DVD's you could put about 100 of them in something the size of a photo album.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 12:42PM
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I'd love to burn them to DVD, but (1) I don't have the technology and would rather spend that money on other things for the house right now, and (2) I just can't justify spending money on the VCR/DVD recorder and the DVDs I'd have to buy when the videos play just fine right now. Not that I'm a miser, but my new mantra is "Think harder--think cheaper!"

But down the line, when I'm not spending on the house, that might be a tax-refund moment!

Thank you all for your advice! I might just start with building my own wrapping-paper cardboard risers and see if that looks OK for now.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 1:11AM
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What I did was give each of my tapes a number. I didn't care what order they were in. I then listed all in the computer by number and by title then filed them on the shelves by number. When I wanted one I'd look at my list (which I sorted by number and then another sort by title (Alpha)) It was so easy to find and replace a tape. I made nice lables for the spines of the boxes but found over the years that a marking pen number on the box (and tape by the way) did just as good.
Hope this helps.
I recently got rid of about 100 tapes I knew I'd never look at again

    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 5:36PM
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