DVD wasteland? Not anymore with these 7 tips!
Now, here’s the scene: you are a collector of DVDs. You wake up in the morning and find yourself next to two DVDs you’ve been watching last night before you fell asleep. You get up and walk to the kitchen to have your daily fix of coffee only to find your feet on top of a pile of DVDs you’ve been organizing before. Your last count is around 600 DVDs, mostly science fiction and historical films and quite frankly, the number overwhelms you. You wonder how you got to the point that you’ve amassed 600 CDs when you only consider yourself as a casual film buff.
Whether you own 600 DVDs or maybe just 50, try to organize right now before it becomes too much to handle. Studies have shown that stress levels can actually go higher when there’s too much clutter. We don’t really mean to label clutter as something bad—but more often than not, clutter goes hand in hand with dirt, and besides, it eats up too much space and inhibits productivity. When your DVD collection becomes a prime breeding ground for cobwebs and spiders, it’s high time to do some general cleaning.
But how do you de-clutter? Where do you start?
1. Start with the ceiling down to the floor. Gather all your CDs and DVDs together—from your bedroom, to the DVD next to your coffee brewer, to your car’s dashboard. Put all of them in an empty corner, probably the one next to your bedroom door. Initially removing your CDs will help you see the space your collection has occupied.
2. Sort out the DVDs you want to keep from the DVDs you don’t want to keep. Think of where you want to dispose your DVDs. For educational DVDs, you can donate them to your local public library or to non-profit organizations. For music and movies, you can sell them online or, if there’s any in your place, in flea markets or independent stores which usually buys and sell DVDs. If you want to have a good estimate of how much each CD will cost, try websites that can estimate the price just by entering keywords!
3. For the DVDs you want to keep, you might want to go the extra mile in prolonging the shelf life of your collection. There are a lot of factors affecting the CD’s longevity, and its long-held reputation during the ‘80s as an indestructible disc where you can store your data has long been dispelled. You can put them in reseal able plastic bags or trays to provide additional defense against dust particles and scratches. Be sure to label each and every CD not on the CD’s surface, as it might affect its longevity and performance as well. The CD should also be stored in a cool, dry place—away from direct sunlight.
4. Whether you bought storage organizers with individual slots for disks, CD towers to just about any style of CD rack and shelf there is, the best time to install your DVD space-savers and organizers is after you’ve emptied the room of clutter. Installing these will reduce clutter and will save space as well.
5. De-clutter! Clean the DVDs you don’t want to dispose. This doesn’t mean you have to wipe each and every jewel case with a damp towel. If you have the time to organize your CDs, try putting them into slimmer cases to save space. Organize it alphabetically, by genre, or by mood, among other categorizations.
6. You also have to decide on whether you want to keep each CD in their original jewel cases or buy padded binders to collate them into folders (organized by date of purchase, for example, or by genre). Although jewel cases actually take up more space, these offer more protection from scratches and are able to keep the liner notes and list of songs along with the cover art as well. Binders are also a good way of keeping CDs—some of them can store from 100 up to 700 CDs!
7. Consider it done and digitized. It’s good to have multiple back-ups of your DVDs, especially since DVDs can deteriorate through time. It will surely be worth your time to make your collection digital, and organize it on your computer instead. (But again, nothing beats owning the real CD!) Try “burning” your CDs and convert them to MP3s so you can put sync them to your devices. The MP3 format also allows you to put those files on external hard drives or to your cloud storage servers, so you can access it whenever you need them.
Always remember that the key to reduce clutter is to organize your DVDs whenever you use them, as this avoids the need for general cleaning. If it helps, schedule your DVD back-ups as well as your quarterly general cleaning! Tell this to yourself: as soon as you use a DVD for watching movie or listening to music, arrange them the very moment you’ve finished using them—or risk experiencing the DVD morning wasteland scene all over again.