When you went through your CDs in January, you may have held onto some, convinced that you’d listen to them; but, you haven’t. Admit that it may be time to let them go … or, move them to a location where they will be more accessible. If you find that you just don’t listen to CDs, give them away.
If you have a lot of music that you’ve downloaded, you could hold onto it all; or, you could weed through what you have and eliminate the songs or albums you just don’t listen to. Consider that deleting the stuff you don’t listen to will save you time when you are scrolling down your playlist, looking for something you do want to listen to.
Do you have cassette tapes? Do you have something to play them on? Do you listen to them?
If you have favorite albums on cassette, these would make perfect items to requests for a CD or MP3 upgrade for your birthday or the next holiday.
Do you really want the friend or family member who is cleaning out your belongings after you are gone to find a boxful of cassette tapes shoved under your bed? I’m sure this will add some eye-rolling levity to their day and a story to tell their friends over drinks about their crazy uncle.
Don’t be that crazy uncle (or aunt).
(I was a bit surprised to learn that cassette tapes, like vinyl records, are making a comeback, so, well, maybe you could ask for a new cassette player if you don’t have one. I don’t get it; who wants to rewind a tape?)
Here’s my (perhaps not too interesting) secret – I was a huge fan of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television show. I bought all the seasons on DVD and watched them regularly. (I also bought the DVDs for Angel, but I was never quite as fond of this spinoff series.)
However, I realized that since dating, and later marrying, Mac, I haven’t watch these DVDs … for over ten years. The numerous sets of DVDs were mixed in with Mac’s DVDs and are the only I still own.
So, I’ve decided this year to watch them all one last time and then donate them to my library.
Do you still watch the DVDs that you own, or do you just hold onto them because you liked those movies? Chances are that you can catch these movies On Demand or on Netflix or Hulu or some other service you may subscribe to. Do you really need the physical DVDs?
If what you own no longer fits the space that you devoted to the DVDs, try to eliminate enough so that what you keep fits. Also, consider watching the series, documentaries, workout videos, and movies that you’ve been holding onto. Do you still enjoy them as much as when you bought them?
It’s okay to pass them on to a new fan.
I wouldn’t have thought of mentioning this until I saw someone post a photo of their VHS tapes and I realized that, yeah, they’re still out there – even they’ve been boxed up and moved to the basement.
If you have the tapes, do you still have a functioning VHS recorder? Even if you do, chances are that you’ve upgraded to a DVD player or streaming. Really, who wants to rewind VHS tapes when there are other options?
Whether the VHS recorder works or not, you can put it in a box where you’ll collect items for your town’s next electronics collection day. (Check on your city or town’s Department of Public Works site to see if they have a drop-off location for electronics. If you have a private trash service, check out their website or give them a call.)
I’m not sure that thrift stores or libraries still want VHS tapes of movies and documentaries, so check before dropping off several boxes. (And, if your VHS recorder still works, you could send it along if they accept the tapes.)
As for VHS tapes, what if they contain weddings and children’s birthday parties and other family events? Since it’s not cheap to get the contents of the tapes converted to a digital format, you might want to ask the people in the videos if they even want to view the events.
If they say, yes? Pass along the tapes to them or ask for contributions toward converting these tapes. No one wants to help with the expense and you can’t afford it? Get rid of the tapes.
I know, I know, that’s harsh advice; but, in their current format, you can’t really view the events on the tapes so all you’re saving is pieces of plastic.
Check online for places that recycle or reuse the tapes as some business have been created to solve the problem of what to do with items like VHS tapes.
Only if this doesn’t apply to you: delete 5-to-10 digital photos.
Do you still listen to music on CDs? Have your most recent purchases been digital? Do you have CDs that you haven’t listened to in … you can’t remember how long?
For years, I had a special storage unit for my CD collection. It had a small footprint and held a bunch of CDs in their cases, so it definitely seemed worth the space it took up. Then, a few years ago, I decided to upload everything to the cloud and then I sold or donated what I had.
Although the CD tower didn’t take up much space, I knew how much music was there and that felt like clutter.
Yes, it took a while to upload the music (and I didn’t have a vast collection); but I did a couple of CDs each day. Usually, I was reading my emails at the same time.
So, do you have CDs that you no longer listen to? If you think you’d miss them if you got rid of them, remember, you currently have them and you’re not listening to them … do you miss not playing them?
If you want to keep the music, you can make a point of saving it to the cloud. If you haven’t missed the listening to the music, why not save yourself the time (and the clutter) and get rid of them?
If going through your entire collection is overwhelming, eliminate five CDs during the next fifteen minutes. You can go through the others on a different day.
~ ~ ~
Only if this item doesn’t apply to you … use your 15-minutes of decluttering to get rid of three-to-five computer files you don’t need.
Susan Caplan McCarthy
I'm Susan, a writer and teacher developing a second career as a Decluttering Coach.