Before I start this I would just like to say that I don’t intend to insult anyone here. If you sort your movies in one of the ways I recommend you don’t, do not take offense. We are all different people with different ways of sorting movies. Although I call this “The Essential Guide To Sorting Your Movie Collection,” if you have your own way of sorting that is different from mine then by all means go ahead. I just typed this up mostly due to boredom and thought it would be fun to share. So without any other warnings let's just jump into it.

Keep it Alphabetical:

This is BY FAR the most important part of keeping your movie collection organized. Sorting your movies from 'A' to 'Z' will keep your movies in a neat, tidy order and most importantly, easy to find. Want to throw on Pulp Fiction? No problem! There it is under the 'P'’s where it should be. Unfortunately, some movie companies out there do not want to make it easy for you. Every now and then there may be some exceptions. Yes, I know it sucks but I’m here to steer you in the right direction; to let you know when it is acceptable to not go the alphabetical route.

Movies that start with numbers:

There are two different ways you can go about sorting movies that begin with a number. If you have movies like “28 Days Later” or “300” there are two acceptable places to put them. First off, you can put both under 'T', since both numbers start with a T, but I wouldn't recommend it. My recommendation is to start off your collection with those titles and put them all in numerical order, (obviously) before you get to “A”. Then you are off to the races!

Ignore "The's" and "A's":

For movies that start with the words "The" or "A" then file them under whatever word starts next. "The Crow" should go under 'C' and "A Nightmare on Elm Street" should go under 'N'. If you put every movie you had that started with "The" under 'T' then your 'T' section would go on forever, it’s just foolish. Foolish I say!!

The Differently Named Sequel Problem:

Just about the worse thing in the world is when a movie studio decides to fuck with the name of a series. Take The Evil Dead series for example. You have The Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2 and then Army of Darkness. Uh-oh! One of these things isn't like the other! So what do we do with Army of Darkness? If we are going with our strict alphabetical order then it goes under 'A' but then you are breaking up the series. Seems like you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t.  Well I believe this is one of those rare cases when the alphabetical order rule has to be over ridden. Army of Darkness should go under E after the first two Evil Dead movies. The worse offender of this is the James Bond series. What do you do with that one? Put each one alphabetical under its own name, in order of release date under the number for 007, or under B for Bond? Well if I were you, I would just avoid this entire mess, buy the box set to save you from the stress! If you don’t want to own them all then I’d put them under 007 in the order of release date. Still, if you buy a series in a box set then your work is done for you... just put it where the box tells you. No need to worry about how the hell you’re going to organize those troublesomely titled Rambo movies, just keep them all in the box, put them under R and relax (which coincidentally enough also starts with 'R').

Boxsets that are too big to fit on the shelf:

This can be a serious problem. If the box is the same height of your DVDs or blu-rays, then you can put them where they should go in the alphabetical order of things. On the other hand, if they are too tall then the only real solution is to put them on top of the shelf in all their glory.
Do Not Mix Formats:

Let’s face it, as movie fans we all have movies showcased on various types of formats (DVD, VHS, Blu-ray). Some movies simply haven’t made it to every format. On top of that, if you have a big DVD collection then it is damn expensive to replace it! This may result in some people mixing their DVDs with their Blu-rays. There may even be some VHS in there as well. One of the main points of putting your movies on a shelf is to keep them organized and looking neat. How can this be accomplished when you have cases of various sizes mixing with one another? It just doesn't work. Your DVDs should be all together in one place, your Blu-rays together in another place, and your VHS in another if you still have any of those lying around. The best idea for those pesky VHS' that we all love too much to get rid of (we are all guilty of this) is be placed on the bottom one or two rows of your shelf. Depending on how many you have of course. There is no way that they get nearly as much play as your DVDs or Blu-rays, if any, so keep them closer to the floor out of eye level. 

Movies and TV Series Should Not be Mixed:

Just like the title says, movies and TV shows should not mingle together. There is nothing more annoying than looking through a movie collection and having to skip through twenty seasons of  "The Simpsons".  Just like with the alphabetical order, there is an exception for this, but only one. That exception is when your TV series collection is small. Do you have 200 movies but only own one TV Series? Well if so, then put that series in with the movies! No harm no fowl and it is pointless to have a section just for TV if you only have one or two different shows. 

Do Not Organize by Genre:

Seriously don’t do this! If so, the organization of your collection is doomed from the start! More people fall into this trap than any other, especially when your collection is just starting out. It makes sense to divide your movies by genre, who wouldn't want to keep all of their action movies together? The big problem though is when you’re going into sub-genres or even worse, a crossing of genres. First, the sub-genres. Look at horror, if you’re going the sub-genre route you have slashers, zombies, vampires and any other number of monster movie types. Giving all of those their little mini-sections in the horror section is just tedious.  Then you have the cross genre movies. Where the hell do you put something like “Tremors”? It would be right at home in either your horror or comedy sections.  How about “Big Trouble In Little China”?  Action? Yes. Comedy? Yes. Fantasy? Yes. That’s three different genres that you could conceivably put that movie! If your collection is small and you don’t plan on expanding it, then go for it! Otherwise you’re just splitting up your collection in a dozen or more different sections and complicating the ease of finding that one movie you might want to watch.

Do not Organize by Director or Actor:

Okay. This takes the multiple genre problem and makes it even worse. Is sorting by director really an option? I have one friend who seems to think so, but where do you go from there? How do you sort the directors? By name?  By who you like the most? By who you have the most movies of? Once you have all that figured out what do you do when you have a person visiting who isn't in the know on which directors directed what? From someone on the outside looking in, the collection just looks like one big unsorted mess. If you’re sorting by actors you have all of those same problems you get with sorting by director plus another very big problem. What actor or actress do you sort them under?  Take "The Expendables" for example. Where do you put that? Under Stallone? Statham? Li? Okay well the obvious choice here is Stallone, but you can understand my argument right? It is just a massive mess waiting to happen and trust me, it won’t be a long wait either.

Do Not 'Not' Organize Your Movies:

Above all else this is the most important rule to go by. It sounds weird to say do not 'not' organize your movie's, it’s a double negative but I’m sure you understand.  For this one I’m talking to you crazy ass backwards people that have absolutely no organization whatsoever. You folks who take your movie and put them down wherever they may lie in no order at all. Or even worse! The people who don't match their cases with their movies!! For example, you open up the "Inception" case and the "Fight Club" movie is sitting in there! WHAT THE HELL IS THAT!? Even if you can manage to find the case of the movie you’re looking for, you will then be on a wild goose chase tracking down case after case with the wrong movie in it.Twenty minutes later and you are so frustrated that you don’t even want to watch a movie anymore. If you are one of those people you have my sympathies and are unfortunately too far gone to help.

So in Conclusion:

I know it sounds like there are too many 'do not’s' but trust me it is all for the best. Just go the alphabetical route. Your collection and any guest will thank you for it. All that said, I know that there are some of you out there who do indeed sort their collections in the ways I say you shouldn't  That works just fine for you and good for you on making that work. I think my obsessive compulsive head would just explode thinking about my collection in any other order than the way it is.