I’ve been thinking lately about getting rid of my CD collection. It is not large and doesn’t take up much space, since years ago I moved all my discs out of their cases and into sleeves that fit neatly into two storage boxes. But honestly, I can’t remember the last time I took one of them out to play. Their digital files all reside on my computer and are backed up to the cloud. And most of the time I listen to music, I do so through an online streaming service. So why am I holding on to the physical copies of my favorite albums?
We are living at a time when technology is moving so quickly it is hard to keep up. It wasn’t long ago that having at-home entertainment options meant storing a large collection of CDs and DVDs (or vinyl and cassettes). Even though we now have access to nearly any movie, TV show, or song at the touch of a button, many of us still maintain our old library of entertainment. If you haven’t played any of those movies or CDs in years, but are still having trouble parting with them, here are some ways to make the break:
1. Take an honest look at how you consume entertainment – When is the last time you played a CD or rewatched one of the movies or TV shows that you own? Do you get any use out of your collection, or have you switched over exclusively to streaming options like Netflix and Spotify? With such easy access to more entertainment than we can enjoy in an entire lifetime, returning to old favorites has become less likely. If your collection is just collecting dust, consider giving it away to someone who might enjoy it. Or you can try the Decluttr app to make a little money on your stuff!
2. Think about what you enjoy about the process – Do you love pulling out your old vinyl records, looking at the album artwork, and listening to the warm, imperfect sound? Do you keep your favorite CDs in your car to easily pop in and sing along? I watch It’s a Wonderful Life every year at the holidays and I like the convenience of having my own copy. But most of my other DVDs haven’t been played since their first viewing. If you still get enjoyment out of your media, by all means keep it. But if it’s no longer adding value to your life it might be time to let it go.
3. Remember, very few things are irreplaceable - Not only do we now have digital access to virtually unlimited entertainment, it is easy to replace movies and albums for very little money. If you get rid of something and find you really miss having a physical copy, you can probably find a used one on a site like Ebay. For movies and shows I’ve wanted to watch but couldn’t find on my streaming subscriptions, I’ve been able to purchase a used copy online for just a few bucks. Your local public library is another great source for entertainment options. It’s free to borrow their items and they even store them for you!
Becoming content with access to entertainment instead of ownership requires a shift in thinking. But the advantages are great, including more space, less clutter, and unlimited options. By all means, keep the items you use and love, but get rid of the music and movies you’re keeping just in case. It's much easier to do knowing you can always access another copy if you really want it.
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