Spring Cleaning: Media Edition

how to declutter your dvd collection

This month I’m cleaning out my CD, DVD, and book stashes. It is too easy to accumulate more of these little guys than you even know, until you put them all together and realize how many you actually have! And I don’t know about you, but I tend to stick with the digital side of things these days. There are SO many resources out there for FREE and MOBILE music and movie access, who needs their wall collection of DVDs anymore??  They can take up space we could use for other storage or display.

I find this topic interesting too because I’ve been reading articles lately that address this aspect of de-cluttering. Certain theories challenge you to get rid of books and movies by asking how many times you will actually re-read or re-watch them. I started asking myself this question. I realized, I tend not to return to something unless it really made an impact on me the first time around.

I’m not a big book reader or collector but my husband appreciates a good book and the way it feels in his hands. He also is the type to re-read most of his books, so those we keep. As for the movies, we tend to have different opinions on those. I could easily purge most of his movie collection [lots of things blowing up…no thanks]; they tend to circle around genres that don’t interest me. He could just as easily get rid of my “chick flick” cache because he can’t stand to watch most of them.  Therefore those movies rarely get watched, but at the same time, we have trouble agreeing on what to donate. Our solution? Every so often, we roll a dice and each remove that number of movies from our reserve.

Some of our other movies are ones that we thought we‘d love, so we purchased them, but it turned out that they weren’t so great. Others were purchased during a time where the $5 bin at Walmart was popular. You know, before Netflix and Hulu and all of these other “instant access” apps were prevalent? I always felt prepared for unexpected company or a late night study session, when I had my big selection of pop-in movies.

Some of those I still adore and keep for times where I need some noise but also need to work. Or maybe on a night when I can’t fall asleep. Plus, who doesn’t love a classic love story?

To help get our collection under control, I’ve created a system to help evaluate the “keepers”. If you’re struggling to pare down your “media” reserve, try these 3 tips I use to keep myself in check.

  1. I’m honest with myself when asking if it has been watched a second time. If I’ve had it longer than a year and the answer is “no”, I get rid of it. If it turns out that I really miss it, I can probably head back to that $5 bin and pick it up again.
  2. I ask myself if it still fits my style and personality. I have to admit that I still have CD’s from when I was a teenager. Back then, I craved a good love song or a strong female-power ballad. Don’t get me wrong, I still appreciate them but I’m drawn to many different genres these days. Those have to go too unless I’m really attached.
  3. Lastly, I keep a limit for our family on how much space can be used for storage of these items. If there are more objects than space, something’s gotta go. It isn’t always fair for the unsuspecting guy that gets tossed from the bunch, but hey, that’s life.


After I separate out what CD’s and DVD’s are going to donation, I like to regroup the items I’m keeping. We have a little media stand that holds most of our DVD and CD collection but for the series sets and overfill I found these cute boxes that I hide them in and store on our bookcases. There are tons of different designs out there that allow them to serve two purposes, hiding our media and adding a cute flair to our living room décor.

If you’re a movie fanatic but short on space, there are also tools out there that can assist you in transferring your media to a digital file so you can easily view it from your laptop or tablet. Then you can ditch the hard copy!

Looks like I’ve got another pile ready to be dropped off at Goodwill!

What movies do you struggle to let go of from your collection? What other ways have you found to keep your media collections under control? I’d love to hear from you!






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  1. Sara Skillen

    Those are some great questions to ask when clearing out the CDs and DVDs – we have a lot of kids’ classics that we still pull out (even though they’re teenagers now!), but there are lots of others that could stand to go to a new home. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Melissa Rogers

      LOVE the classics! Definitely understand holding on to some of those goodies… I have some I just can’t part with either 🙂 But some of those $5 bin pick-ups….they need to go! Haha

  2. Seana Turner

    We keep some movies on hand… Harry Potter series, Star Wars trilogy, etc. But I also recently did a cull. Most of them we won’t watch again, especially because we tend to stream movies now. Good tips!

  3. Jill Robson

    I recently managed to get my family to purge out the movies that were on VCR tapes, we haven’t had a player in years!!!

  4. Sabrina Quairoli

    This reminds me that I need to go through our movie collection again. I think I still have movies my kids loved from 10 years ago. I will be adding this task to my spring cleaning to-dos this year. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. Janet Barclay

    We converted all our music CDs to digital last year but we still watch movies on DVD. Unfortunately, we didn’t convert our VHS tapes before we got rid of them, and they were some of our favorite movies!

    • Melissa Rogers

      Oh no! I just donated most of the VHS stash from my parent’s house. We did keep the classic Disney movies but most else went. I really want to figure out the digitizing process because we have a BUNCH of home movies that are on VHS! Holding on to those until we can figure out how to transfer them!

  6. Olive Wagar

    I don’t stream movies, so I like to keep the actual DVDs of my favorite movies. But I did let go of the cases & put them all in sleeves which really saves space. I like the idea of setting limits by rolling the dice!

    • Melissa Rogers

      For some reason, I can’t let go of the cases! I have a need to keep everything in original condition if possible so that if I decide to re-sell it later I can. Even though, it has become almost impossible to re-sell any media these days unless it’s a collection or special edition…

  7. Matt

    Some great points to think about. I’ve recently gotten rid of all my old CDs and DVDs, there is so much streamable. In fact, I don’t even have a DVD player anymore, I’ve just realised.

    • Melissa Rogers

      Isn’t it crazy how much has changed in our lifetime? From rewinding VHS tapes to now getting everything at the drop of a button?? But, it’s true! So much is accessible now…why take up space in your home with it?


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