Emotional Record Organizing for Lovers

28 Apr

“Beautiful music evokes sentimental memories and a nostalgia that can recapture tender nuggets of romance”. I picked that up from the liner notes in my copy of Jackie Gleason Presents Music to Make You Misty. It’s super cheesy and the woman on the cover of the album quite obviously has droplets of dried Elmer’s glue on her face as a stand-in for real tears, but Mr. Gleason has a point. Songs can sway your mood or help you really dig into your current one. Feeling like you might rob a liquor store just to get out of this godforsaken town? You’ll be humming Springsteen when you do. Getting ready for a job interview, an awkward breakup, or anything else that feels epic at the time? Something by Queen will suffice. Boxing up your ex’s crap? May I suggest “You Better Call Tyrone“?

Old songs, especially, seem to tug at the ol’ amygdala. So it only makes sense to organize your old records by emotion. Not only is this a fun way to arrange your music, it makes a lovely and cheap date night. My hubs-to-be and I held hands for the first time while organizing my records. Then we procrastinated so much that the night we finished the project, our record collections were combined and we were paging through them to pick our wedding song. It’s an awfully romantic craft endeavor in my opinion. Here’s how you can do it:


  • records, tapes, or CDs (or I suppose you could organize your iTunes by creating emo playlists)
  • bottle or box of wine
  • floor space
  • paper, markers, and glue
We began by taking all of the records off of the shelf and putting them in piles on the floor according to how we felt about them. For example, Sonny and Cher make me feel like kind of doze-y and dreamy so we put that in the Lazy Mornings category. The Billy Joel record that always seemed to be playing while my family washed dishes after dinner made me nostalgic so it went in Cheesballs and Nostalgia. Depending on your mood swings, you could have 2 or 20 categories. We ended up with 13:
  • Lazy Mornings
  • Dinner Parties (music for entertaining or when I want to feel like Audrey Hepburn)
  • Doing Chores (daze out music)
  • Dreamy Slow Dancing (mostly Smokey)
  • Drinkin’
  • Holiday and Misc.
  • Cheeseball and Nostalgia
  • Rainy Afternoons (there’s no other place for The Carpenter’s Greatest Hits)
  • Singin’, Dancin’, and Gettin’ Around
  • Staring at the Ceiling (for the contemplative fellow)
  • Trippy (our parents’ records)
  • Warm Summer Evenings
  • Writing
After the long and arduous process of categorizing, and depending on how drunk you are or if you get lucky, you might want to take a break after this step. When you’re ready, you can proceed to making the dividers.
Find a few records that you really don’t listen to, that are scratched, or that you have doubles of. You’ll be making these albums un-listenable, so if you can’t part with any from your collection, stop by a garage sale or record store and pick up as many unwanted albums as you have categories. These will be your dividers. Next, take Mod-Podge and glue your divider records inside of their covers so that the vinyl record sticks out of the cover a little more than a quarter of the way. If you’re still making a date of this, you can have your lover set up the records while you glue. Teamwork.
It should look like this:
After that, make rectangle-shape labels out of paper or cardboard or whatever you have lying around and decorate with marker. Glue the labels onto each of your divider records:
Wait for the glue to dry and you’re done! All you have to do now is put them back on the shelf and continue to remember that, if you want to listen to Prince, he’s in Singin’ Dancin’ & Gettin’ Around because you like to dance to “Sexy MF” when you’re curling your hair. Shakin’ that ass. Shakin’ that ass.
Here are a few more pictures of the finished product. The glue smudged the Drinkin’ label a bit, but I figured it’s fine since my vision will be blurry when I’m looking through that section anyway:
Enjoy this craft as fun home project as well as a romantic night with the one you hold dearest. Just remember to close the blinds. You’re grossing everyone else out.
PS: Don’t have records? Too lazy to organize? If you’d like someone else to do the work for you, check out StereoMood, a free internet radio station that creates playlists based on mood. They have everything from “Snuggling” to “Lost in Thought” to your basic “High”.

2 Responses to “Emotional Record Organizing for Lovers”

  1. Rick Roche April 28, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

    Annie, you always amaze me with projects that I would never have dreamed of, but organizing music by mood or use is clever. Where did you get all the old records?

    • Annie April 28, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

      Thanks Rick! I’ve collected my records from a bunch of sources. A lot of them were my parents. My mom even has her maiden name written on some of them. Others I’ve gathered from record stores and garage sales.

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