Listening — at least theoretically — will always be the main reason why we collect records, but where’s the fun in hoarding mass amounts of heavy, unwieldy physical products if you don’t get physical ~physical~ with them?
Now that most of us are stuck indoors without much to do let’s pass some time by grabbing some records and reorganizing our record collection.
From A to Z
The obvious first choice is alphabetical order by artist name. Unless you have a truly massive collection, this one is probably the default option: easy to find and easy to clean up. The only question is by first or last name? I go by last names — it’s easier to find Coltrane under “C” instead of “A” for Alice (Cooper? Clark? …In Chains?).
There’s always time to dig deeper while using this sorting method. Sorting by country is an exciting choice, especially for those who want to show off large amounts of wax acquired from lands far off.
Genre is another easy option, especially for those who have more extensive collections or go out of their way to collect specific styles. This would also work for anyone who extensively collects albums released by specific labels, whether it be Blue Note or Sub Pop.
And there’s always the option to sort chronologically by year of release — appealing to those with a historical bent who want to see how music and their own tastes have evolved over decades of releases.
Dividers Handcrafted in San Francisco by Koeppel Design
Give It a Personal Touch
Then there are the hyper-personalized approaches to ensure that your collection is truly one of a kind. Sorting albums by “listened to” versus “not listened to” may bring up a twinge of guilt if you have a decent back catalog, but now is probably the best time to catch up on your listening. You may even find something you can add to the database!
Sorting by date of purchase may prove difficult if you’ve been collecting for years, but those who have only just started to build up their collections can implement this unique sorting challenge to preserve some sweet memories.
You could also pull a “High Fidelity” and sort autobiographically. First record you ever got? An easy one even for the most seasoned collectors amongst us. Beyond that? Tricky stuff.
Either way, good luck unless you have been diligently updating your Discogs Collection from day one or keeping notes and receipts for years before that!
Add to Collection
Of course, one of the easiest ways to figure this all out is by keeping your Discogs Collection as up to date as possible.
Using the Collection feature also opens up a few more ways to organize that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. You can show off how much cash you’ve dropped on each record by arranging by value. Scored something that made our monthly Top 30 Most Expensive Items Sold list? Flaunt it!
On the other hand, utilizing the rating system is an easy way to separate the wheat from the chaff. Stick all of those 5-star albums up front for easy access.
The Rainbow Connection
My personal choice? I sort my records by spine color to create a beautiful rainbow of unorganized records. That’s my picture above. The top two rows are sorted by color and then by shade, while the bottom rows in black and white are sorted alphabetically by last name. I only decided to reorganize my collection in this style while writing this article and, full disclosure, this took a decent amount of time, even with my very modest collection.
Impractical? Absolutely. But I’m enjoying the new perspective on my collection, and thanks to the new shuffle I’m listening to some records I had previously forgotten! So let’s all stay safe and healthy by spending some quality time indoors sorting and spinning.