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I’m not so much “low-tech” as “no-tech” – my only power tool is a cordless drill (still fairly new) so I have to look for no-tech solutions to most problems.  This is my first Instructable, so postive criticism would be appreciated.


I didn’t really have much option on this: I’m severely visually impaired, with a useful visual range of about four inches in good light (so please be gentle with any typos!).  I simply can’t see to read DVD spines – apart from the fancy typefaces, the rubbish colour contrast, the shiny covering reflecting light back into my eyes – even apart from all that, having to turn my head 90o for any length of  time didn’t half make my neck ache!

So I came up with this:

You will need:

CD box – or any small strong box that you have around. 
Plastic wallets with fold-in flap
Strong A4 or A5 card for index labels – I don’t know what gauge I used, but it feels about greetings-card thickness – too thin and the tabs will soon bend and tear, so that’s a trial-and-error process, depending on what you can find to use.
Sticky labels to label each disc – I used A4 sheets of 14, divided each row in half so I had 28 lables per shet, just had to cut them in half when printed.  You'd need much smaller font size than I did, so you could use smaller labels, and divide them as much as needed.

Index tabs
I created a table in Word: I measured the CD wallets I had and made the cells 5” tall and 5.25” wide (so they’d fit the box better and stay in place).  The top row, which is the bit you’d see when it’s in place, was trial and error; I added a row and then worked out how small I could make it and still be able to use large font. 

You’ll probably be able to make the top row a lot smaller, and get more tabs per card.  It’s best to print out your trials on ordinary paper, then use card only when you’re sure that you’re not going to waste it.  If you have A5 card you can print one index to each sheet, but this was all I had to hand.

700+ DVDs in six CD boxes

I had a lot of problems working out which tab to put the typing into; more than once I’ve printed a card and found that I’ve put the typing in the wrong box’; if I’d used that, it would have been directly behind another and out of sight.  Eventually I put the same typing into each of the tabs; then I could check which one I actually needed and cut off the other two.

Labels
I used A4 sheets of labels – 14 labels per sheet – 21s weren’t wide enough.  14s were a bit too big for one-line titles, so I divided each row into two, which gave me 28 labels per sheet; when they were printed, I just had to cut each label in half.  Some DVDs had more than one programme, so I needed bigger labels for those: most fitted onto a single 14 label but some needed to be put on an 8 label – and I still had to abbreviate some of the titles to get them in. 

You’ll very likely need much smaller labels than I used.  I don’t know what the smallest commonly-available size label is, but I’m sure you can divide larger labels across to make ones of the size that you need. Again it’ll be trial and error to find out what works best for you – and again I suggest that you print out your trials on plain paper – hold them to the light with the sheet of labels behind and you can see if they’ll fit or if you need to tweak anything.

(While I was tying the labels I also logged the titles in an Excel file, so that I’d be able to see at a glance  what I had; I’d been meaning to do that, but I’d look at all those shelves and think, I’ll do it tomorrow)


I counted the discs in by “Films-A” box – 139 and there’s still room for a few more.  How much room would that many DVDs take if still boxed?

It can be a bit of a nuisance when you need a new tab in the middle of a box and it’ll either be hidden by the tab in front or be in the way of the tab behind, but printing all three tabs will give you some room for manoeuvre. Or you could print labels and relabel all the tabs.  I’ve gone for asymmetric filing – so long as I can see the tabs, I don’t care if they’re neatly in rows or not.

 
Heck of a mess! I'll have to learn how to mix words and pics. And I need to learn how to do point-and-show tags on the pics - I should have given all the pics a title. If I could delete this Instructable and tyr again, I would. <br> <br>Still, it IS my first go.
<p>Hi where did you buy the nice boxes from and what was the price</p>
<p>Hi, I bought them ages ago, here and there, from local pound shops or those &quot;sell-anything&quot; shops; they were cheap, but not in the quantities I bought them! some are press-stud closing, some have small nuts and bots. </p><p>Annoyingly, they're not all exactly the same size, so the lid off one box doesn't fit another.</p><p>Ikea do them - Kasset, I think, but &quot;CD boxes&quot; should find them there, or elsewhere. Would be surprised if Amazon don't do them, or eBay</p><p>just checked; Google has plenty of suppliers, alas a bit dearer than these old ones! but they're only pressed card: you could make your own maybe, out of thick card or thin wood, or cut-down cardboard boxes - they'd need to be strongly assembled, as a load of CDs or DVDs does weigh a bit.</p><p>Good luck! :-)</p>
A great idea. Thank you for posting. We have a massive collection of movies and just not enough room. I'm going to use this and stick all the old cases in the attic out of the way.
How did it go? or is it still ongoing? <br> <br>Thought: you could get those plastic wallets that have holes punched, and file discs in small folders, that'd save having to make index cards
Thanks for that, glad you were able to make sense of it! it didn't turn out how I'd thought, and couldn't find a way to make it. ah well. <br> <br>I was trying to save the boxes in the garden: a few at the bottom of large pots to add bulk without weight, or for my model garden: stack them up and cover with dirt to make &quot;hills&quot; and such - but I did most of these at one go, or several goes in one huge session, and ended up with four dustbin bags of boxes; too many to put away till needed! <br> <br>Going to do the same to my CD collection next: those playlists are even harder to read than DVD spines. but shee, the size labels I'll need for them!

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Bio: I'm severely visualy impaired, so intricate work is out of the question - so is anything that needs electric tools or blades. Prefer tactile work ... More »
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