Cash That Just Gathers Dust: A Technique For Paring Down Your Media Collection

When I was spending money like it was water, I was buying about ten CDs and DVDs a week. I was a media addict, buying all kinds of music and movies without knowing much about them at all – following off-the-cuff recommendations and “trendy” sites like Pitchfork Media.

While I did discover a lot of things that are very dear to my heart now (for example, the greatest album ever recorded), most of the stuff I bought turned out to be utter rubbish that I really didn’t like all that much, with varying degrees of like and dislike among them.

Eventually, I reached financial meltdown and I found myself staring at a mountain of CDs and DVDs that were basically signs of my frivolous spending, but as I went through them, I had a difficult time deciding which ones to sell and which ones to keep. So I developed a plan that has worked amazingly well for me, and it might help you to figure things out, too.

First, I divided my collection into two, with one “collection” starting out completely empty. I did this with both my DVD and CD collection, of course.

Then, for the next six months whenever I watched a DVD or listened to a CD, I put that one into the formerly empty collection. It became clear after a while that the “new” collection was full of things that I actually enjoyed, and the ones left behind were the ones that I didn’t enjoy.

When the six month mark came up, I went through the remaining DVDs and CDs, saved just a few of them, and sold the rest. There were a few items that I didn’t want to part with for sentimental and child-related reasons, and there were more than a few that my wife refused to get rid of, but when the first purge occurred, I sold off more than half of my DVD collection and a good-sized portion of my music collection.

Then, I started over. This enables me to filter out anything new that I’ve purchased that is really unnecessary, as well as find any borderline rubbish that I watched a time or two but really have no interest in seeing or listening to anymore.

This technique made it easy for me to determine which portion of my music and video collection that I could liquidate without a change to my lifestyle and by investing the proceeds, I took assets that were just sitting there and slowly losing value and turned them into an asset that just sits there and gains in value. Not to mention the storage space that I freed up.

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