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In 2016, I was handed a devastating blow when we ended up downsizing our home. Yes, we were in a nicer area, but it meant that I had to give up two very important thing in my life: my book and CD collections. (I know I’m lame for this).

It hit me hard at the time that I would no longer be able to choose from the 1,000+ albums I’d accumulated over the years whenever I jumped in the car. I had to live with a few highlights for a little while. But things have changed now – I’ve got a lot of space, and our landlord even let me keep the media storage cupboard in the utility area, so why haven’t I done anything with it for all this time.

I think I’ve felt spoiled over the past few months. Having so much to choose from now, any trip that involves over an hour’s worth a driving begins by grabbing a stack of CDs to drop in the car. I never get around to them all, so the others sit in the car until the next drive. Eventually, I’ll end up with about 40 CDs beneath Cameo’s car seat, and I basically just dump them back in the cupboard. It’s meant that my nice, organised collection has become a state.

This isn’t like me – considering how well organised even the spreadsheet of my CD collection is – so it’s time to fix it.

I don’t know how other people arrange their music collections, but the only way that makes sense to me is to have things in chronological order. I hear the reason for ordering things by act, and doing it alphabetically, but the music I listen to is usually stylistically constrained by the time it was made. If I’m in a 1990 mood, I want to see all of that New Jack Swing together, rather than going to Guy, then Keith Sweat, then Bell Biv DeVoe. They should be sat together.

Hollie absolutely hates this system. She gets very frustrated that she can’t just grab her favourite Trey Songz, Jagged Edge and Usher albums, because she can never find them.

I’m really not happy with the depth of the collection yet, because there are so many gaps, but it’s because I’m strict on how much I’m willing to spend on a CD. Unless it’s ultra-rare or new, there’s no reason to buy one for more than £2, when people are always handing Music Magpie their old goods, and putting them back on the market. 

I separate based on genre. While it’s not perfect, we have:

  • (North) American Rap from between 1988 to 2018; requiring more
  • R&B (encompassing Soul, Funk, Gospel) from 1982 to 2018; requiring more
  • UK Rap, UK Garage and Grime from 1990 to 2018; requiring more
  • Reggae and Dancehall from 1984 to 2007; requiring more
  • Compilations and Pop from 1992 to 2004

Now I see it all, it’s more motivation to get it to a point where I can say I’m happy with it. Until then, it’s going back into hiding.

*Listen to Pete Rock & CL Smooth*