Storage seems like a minor part of collecting but in reality it might be the most important part. Without proper storage a collection that sits untouched can accumulate dirt and damage. This will be a pretty basic and quick once over about storing your CDs so they will stay the way you want them to be, unharmed.
First we should talk a bit about how you will utilize you collection. Is it a usable collection or is it just a showcase or it might even be an investment collection (some of these CDs can go for a good deal of money). I personally like to use almost all of my collection for listening, and if you are not tossing them around and rubbing your fingers all over them they should stay in super good condition.
On the subject of shelving I will just say if you want to invest in purpose built CD racks that is fine. I would suggest something that will hold you CDs in a vertical position. I would suggest something along the lines of the shelves pictured below. Depending on the size of you collection you may need more shelving, that will be up to you.
Make sure you will have enough room to store those odd sized CDs. In reality you do not need any special shelving, any type of bookcase, DVD or the like shelving will or work.
One thing I do not recommend are the wire racks that hold the CDs in a horizontal position.I personally think that they put to much pressure on localized areas of the CD case. I have also found them to be a bit unstable if they are too tall. But, maybe I am just not a fan of them. You will have to judge yourself. Example of the horizontal wire rack below.
Now that we have talked about basic storage space lets get down to the storage of individual CDs
When protecting individual CDs your first line of defense will be the CD cellophane bag. You can buy these pretty easily on Amazon or other online market places. I usually buy them in packages of 100. They come in all the sizes you will need to store all sizes of jewel cases, slimline, standard and double. One thing you will want to make sure of is that the adhesive to seal the bags is not on the bag flap but on the bag itself. You don’t want to be sticking your bag to your CD now do you?
Now that you have you bags you have another thing to decide. This one can be seen as a bit odd by some but others think it is something you should do. It is the question of keeping the original cellophane wrapper. Japanese CDs have very easy to remove wrappers, you just pull a tab and it unzips the bottom, CD open, easy. Some like to keep the wrapper so that no sticker that are stuck to it are lost.
Keeping the wrapper like this will of course mean more trouble if you want to listen to the CD. I don’t think it really makes a difference if the wrapper is kept or not. If the CD is open, well, it is open. On the other hand sometimes the stickers are interesting.
Next thing you will have to decide is how you want to handle the obi strip. Usually the title on the obi strip is bigger and easier to read than on the spine of the CD. They can be a bit troublesome to get in and out of the cellophane bag. I personally like them on the outside, I think they look great. The other way that they are stored is inside the case, either inside the booklet or under the tabs that holds the booklet.
Now if you are building some sort of showcase collection or investment collection you probably won’t need to worry about all the above mentioned obi strip stuff. You will just be bagging and shelving those CDs, probably never to be touched again. If you are building some sort of showcase type display you may want to invest in a couple of display stands to show off your best or most prized CDs. Something like the mini easel below.
Final storage and display is really just up to your imagination. Really the sky is the limit.
Next: Purchasing CDs