Sunday, June 19, 2011

Pack Rat No More

In December of last year, my wife and I decided we wanted to move. We didn't necessarily need to--nothing was forcing a move--but with the housing market where it is we wanted to find a place where we could happily raise a family and, ideally, not have to move from for the remainder of our adult lives. Partially because we wanted a home that would always be home and, I'm sure, partially because moving sucks.

As we packed to move from our old house to our new house, it became apparent to me that I kept altogether too much crap. I'm not a hoarder by any means, but I do tend to hold on to things despite trying not to.  Mostly what I do hold on to comes in the form of collections. So even though I am no hoarder, I am a collector. Some of these collections don't take up too much space. For example, my baseball card collection can be stored in one rubbermaid tub. That's not really a big deal. However, my music and DVD and comic book collections... well, those took up a ton of space. And you really learn how much space something takes up when you have to move it.

After having moved all of my junk from one house to another, I have made it my goal to get rid of just about anything I don't actively use, need, like, or are interested in. After evaluating all of my collections in this manner, there really isn't much I want to keep. I'm also starting to realize the value that open, de-cluttered space holds.

So one of the first tasks I undertook upon moving was filtering though my DVD collection. I successfully condensed it down to movies that my wife and I absolutely adore and plan on actually watching again. We don't need to hold onto things just for the sake of having them. Our collection of movies now takes up only a small corner of a closet in our entertainment room. It's quite liberating to not have to manage so many items that, in reality, are just taking up space. Truth be told, we pretty much use Netflix and Hulu Plus for 95% of all of our TV and movie watching so owning physical copies of things doesn't do us much good.

With our DVD collection whittled down, I moved on to my music collection which was much, much, much larger in size. As of today I have successfully sorted all of my music. I'm keeping approximately 200 CDs that have sentimental value and that I know I will always enjoy listening to. I gave away about 200 to my niece who enjoys much of the same music as I do.  I have another couple hundred that I'll be sending out to staffers at Decoy Music for the work they've done over the year. And finally, the bulk of my collection I have put up on Right now, I currently have 810 albums listed for sale. And that's after having sold about 100 albums in the last few months.

When I add of this up, I somehow had nearly 2,000 CDs. If that isn't overkill, I don't know what is. Thankfully a subset of those albums were submissions for Decoy Music that I didn't have to purchase, but let's be honest, I know I've bought probably 1,000 CDs (maybe more) in the last decade. That averages out to around 100 CDs a year (skew that number a lot higher in my college years and a low lower in the last couple).  It boggles my mind when I start looking at the numbers (and my collection in box stacked upon box stacked upon box).  It feels great to start cleaning out and with every CD I sell, I'll feel even more liberated.

The next project, which is already underway, is cleaning out my comic book collection. It's not going to be pretty... mostly because my comic collection dwarfs my CD and DVD collections. God help me...

No comments: