When I was in my twenties, I think I bought every CD that came out. By the time I hit 30, I had amassed hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds of CD’s…and displayed them proudly in several gigantic bookcase racks, in alphabetical order. They looked kind of like this:
At the time I thought they looked cool…until one day I thought it was way more clutter than I wanted in my life and decided to do something about it. (It might have been after a move, when the boxes full of CD’s filled up half the moving truck) So I went out and bought a bunch of those zippered cases that each hold a few hundred CD’s, and began the process of cleaning up my media clutter. I took each CD out of its plastic jewel case, along with the liner booklet, and tucked them into the sleeves of the new cases. This took days and days to do! I even had to make runs back to the store to buy more of the booklets, as I had way more music than I even thought possible. Once I was finished putting all of them away, I was left with a Mt. Rushmore-sized pile of plastic CD jewel cases. I struggled to find what to do with them, but eventually I got rid of them all. And all I was left with was a series of black CD books that fit in a regular bookcase…nice, neat, and organized. Over the years, I have pared down that collection even further, either by getting rid of the music I no longer listened to and/or by digitizing them into iTunes and discarding the physical CD. This is what I am left with now:
I have not bought a physical CD in about 5 years. I buy all my music online in digital format so there is no plastic waste or CD’s to store. Eventually, I want to have all my music on my computer, and I will get to it eventually!
As for video, well, I have never been a believer in buying movies so that hasn’t been an issue. Other than maybe Star Wars, there aren’t many movies I can watch enough times to warrant actually owning it – I can always just rent it again. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have some videos at the house that need organizing…they just happen to be home videos from when I was a kid. The 8mm film was transferred to VHS years ago and the rest were shot directly to VHS, and there are hours upon hours of footage that needs to be looked at. VHS tape tends to degrade over time, so I have taken it upon myself to digitize all of my family’s home videos onto DVD. Every time I visit my mom’s house, I return a few VHS tapes and take a few more back home with me to convert. It’s a slow process, but it is getting done. Eventually the tapes won’t work anymore and we can get rid of them, and by then I will have DVD copies for the family and digital copies stored on my computer.
What I want is to basically have everything stored digitally and to rid myself of physical media. I am well on my way to this goal, but getting all those CD’s ripped to the computer is going to take a lot of work. What about you? Do you keep your physical media proudly on display? Have you gone the zippered book route? The digital-only route? Let us know in the comments!
I was doing that for a while, ripping my DVDs to ISOs on a hard drive and storing my music digitally as well. But then my hard drive failed on me. Twice. I have since gone back to DVDs because if one DVD fails, I only have to replace that one, and not the entire library. It’s a reliability thing.
Totally understandable Tom! I do backup my hard drives every week, and then store the backup in a safe in my house. So really, both would have to die, on the same day and at the same time, for me to lose everything.
I just finished ripping my ~200 cds and selling them. It’s yet another really liberating step in getting rid of all the STUFF cluttering up my life…
Downside…now my mom has me ripping all of her cds, then I get to move on to the LPs…already ordered a USB turntable. Looks like I get to hear the whole White Album finally!
That’s what I need – A USB turntable. Maybe I can find one to borrow…
When I’m done with this one…it’ll be going on Craigslist. Let me know if you want to work something out and I’ll save the packing. The latest I’ll be selling it is late July…
Let me know when you are done with it, might be interested. Thanks Jesse!
how to you transfer vhs to digital?
I have an analog-digital converter, and I use Final Cut Pro to import and edit it.
Thanks for an excellent post. I’m motivated now to go through my CD collection too.
I just locate all my favorites on http://www.playlist.com and listen ‘for free’ like I’m doing now. I kept only enough to carry in the car when I can’t get my play-lists because due to copyright laws, I can’t download from playlist. But, no matter, I gave my CD’s to friends and family who didn’t have a music collection like I did. Sharing is nice…………
I make curtains with cd’s. If you want, you can send me all that you do not want to. =)
Hello, David! I’m reading through your archives and just thought I would share my own story. When I began de-cluttering the hardest things for me to let go of were my DVDs. I took a long time weeding through them so I could fit them all in our TV stand’s built-in storage. (I wanted to sell the DVD racks that were cluttering up the living room.) Finally, I managed to sell them all. I sold every DVD I owned because I realized that 1) I didn’t need to see a movie 20 times to really enjoy it. Once was enough. And 2) our local library has an impressive selection of DVDs to choose from. No, they don’t have everything I had in my collection, but they have things I wouldn’t have paid for. So I take a chance and check out a movie for free from them. This has also resulted in a lot LESS time spent in front of the TV, as there is only one TV series I pay any attention to. 🙂
Good part – all my digital content – movies, music, pics, home videos, facebook posts/albums/videos, magazine articles (Evernote’d, google drive’d or box’ed). With LTE enabled phone and always connected life, everything is always accessible
Bad Part – How do i organize everything so i know what is where and how to look it up?