Reader’s Question: What to do about all those DVDs?

A recent question from a reader:

I have a question for you about un-hoarding movies. We have two tubs full of movies taking up space.

We rarely have time to watch movies these days, and if we do it is usually through Netflix or Redbox. But it feels wasteful to me to get rid of all the DVDs we have. Because what-if, one day, all I want to do is watch Shallow Hal or have a House marathon and I gave those DVDs away??

With Netflix and RedBox and whatnot, should we keep all these things? What is your criteria for getting rid of movies?

Movies, good question. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and remember what prompted us to acquire a movie collection in the first place.

The early 70′s: The only choices were the television or the theater. Did you miss seeing a movie? Too bad, you had to wait until it came back to theaters.

The 80′s: You could record Cosby or Family Ties on your VCR. Blockbuster first opened its doors in 1985. Families everywhere are amazed at the wonder of fast-forwarding.

The 90′s: Going to the store to rent a VHS movie was what you and your friends did on the weekend. You hoped they had the latest release you wanted to see on the shelf, otherwise you’d end up renting Overboard again. Know someone who works at the movie store part-time? Score! Maybe they can get you some free movie rental coupons.

The 2000′s: Who wants to rewind? Let’s start a DVD collection instead. We’re so current with our new technology and flip cell phones. Movie purchases are more affordable; buying a DVD is about the same cost as renting a movie a couple of times, without the late fees and wondering if they have what you want in stock. Plus you can loan it to your friends. Win!

The 2010′s: Movies are plentiful now. Here we are with streaming internet, $1 movie rentals at Redbox, free content on YouTube, cheap Netflix subscriptions, and more choices than we could ever watch. As technology changes, I think the concept of the home movie library will change, and DVDs will go the way of the cassette tape.

So no, I don’t think it is wasteful to give away old DVDs. The money has already been spent. Any media or technology has current value, not intrinsic value. They aren’t investments for the future.

Are you thinking of selling your movies? Don’t wait too long — your collection of DVDs probably has more value now than it will a year from now.

And that being said, I do keep the movies on DVDs that you see above, our favorites and kid flicks from when we traveled overseas and other times we couldn’t rely on the internet, but I don’t need to buy more because there are so many other options.

How do you handle DVDs? Do you keep them or have you moved on to other choices?
About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.

Comments

  1. What are those videos in the set of 1-8?

  2. Morning Sunshine says:

    We bought a large CD case, well 3 of them. we moved all the disks in there and tossed the individual cases and paper inserts. we still have a few cases – tv shows in seasons; Lord of the Rings. But the VAST majority of our movies are in 3 3-in cd cases. One case is “mom and dad movies” (these are still clean movies, btw, but the kids are not old enough to see, like jackie chans, etc); one is free for children; and one is the “extra disks” that have interviews or makings-of. it takes up very little space on the shelf.

    I do want to purge them. but it is going to have to wait until we move and I have time to do that kind of thing.

    • We did the same thing and love it! So easy to flip through a pick one out. Good for traveling too- took it to my parents house for my nephews to watch “new” movies that they don’t own when visiting. We only have 1 CD case, but we don’t have kids of our own.

    • the cottage child says:

      Same here – we actually got rid of everything except maybe five of our movies, and only kept as many kid movies as would fit in the case we have. We have a small trunk in our tv room that all our wii stuff and movies go in – if the lid doesn’t close, something has to go. Now about those books….

    • I really like this idea! So you were able to make yourself toss the outer case? As big on simple, clean living as I am, I have irrational difficulty throwing away that sort of thing. I have to think more about this. Thank you for sharing what you’ve done.
      Lori´s last post…Happy Holidays: Prevent the Gimmes by Tempering the Givers

      • Morning Sunshine says:

        I had a hard time throwing out the printed covers and inserts, cuz what if we wanted to give them away someday? It was also VERY hard also to toss those plastic cases. what if they could be used with/for something else? but again, hubby pointed out that they were taking space and we were already not using them.

        We did this over 5 years ago, and to be honest, I have NEVER felt the lack of either the case or the papers. in fact, when 5-yo got a new barbie movie, I tried to throw out the papers as a matter of course, and she saved them in her special drawer.

      • The only thing about throwing away the cases is that you cant sell them at a used bookstore or a disc reclyery store.

  3. Personally, we don’t have (or buy) many DVD’s. We usually borrow them or watch films online when they’re available for free.
    Chrysti @ Hedding Somewhere´s last post…Give Thanks Every Day

  4. We don’t have a huge DVD collection, but we do probably have more than we need. Most of our DVDs are from when I was in college, and in recent years I only buy a DVD if it’s one of my favorite movies or shows that I’ll watch over and over again. It is especially hard to buy a new when I know that I can watch a lot of it through netflix, etc. without spending the money and storage space.

  5. You could also donate your DVDs to your local library!

    Not only will you help beef up their (often) skimpy collection, but you might get a tax write off for it as well. This is especially nice for rural libraries.
    Juliette´s last post…DIY Advent Calendar Round-up 2011 (part 1)

  6. I don’t like to keep any of them! Our library system has every movie I could ever think of (Okay, the one exception was “Return to Oz” and we got that on Netflix instead) so I don’t feel like collecting and storing movies is worth it. I let the library collect and store them for me. (Same is true for me for magazines and books, other than a small bookshelf of children’s books that I have.)

    • Oh, I do enjoy relying on my friends’ movie hoards, also!
      Jennifer´s last post…It’s a Good Thing He’s Cute.

    • I still have on older collection of DVDs which I have put into a CD binder. While I was a little hesitant to throw away the cases, the movies were not getting put back in so it was a good choice.
      As for currently, I have not bought or rented a DVD in over a year. I watch everything online on the network websites, thru Hulu, or thru Netflix. If there is something I really want to watch and it is not available thru these channels, I will rent thru Amazon. At least then there is no DVD to keep up with, nor a chance of late fees or losing it!
      If I still had kids at home, I would probably utilize the library as well.
      Bernice
      Living the Balanced Life´s last post…Do the holidays throw you off balance?

    • I may hold onto a few favorites but I prefer to give them away & send off to the library as well! I really appreciate & support our local library. It’s quite fun to put books, cd’s & dvd’s on hold. Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of audiobooks since I don’t have a great deal of time to read. When they arrive, it’s always a little surprise and it’s always free except the DVD rental, which is nominal!

  7. I have gotten rid of all VHS other than those that have, say, weddings and graduations on them, and I intend to have those digitized. As for DVD’s I no longer buy them, but the kids still like to watch the ones we have. And I admit we do have a collection of holiday movies we like to enjoy at that time of year. (and ok, I may also have all seasons of Little House on the Prairie, but that is my own unhealthy obsession!)
    I abandoned cases YEARS ago, and now I have one nice leatherbound CD/DVD storage case for all our DVDs which looks nice on a shelf in the living room. It takes up very little space, and holds plenty of movies. If we ever fill it up we will have to get rid of a few. I’m not buying another case. (Probably won’t be an issue since we have several baby/toddler videos and our last one won’t be in that stage much longer.)
    Holly´s last post…Salsa Black Bean Chicken

  8. We went through a semi minimalist phase last year and got rid of almost all of our DVDs. We rarely watched them over again and they were taking up valuable real estate in our one bedroom apartment. We kept only a handful of our very favorites then gave some to a local shelter during the winter, sent some to my sister who was I’ll and was home bound, gave the rest to my parents who entertain visitors a lot (the grandkids appreciate the newer kids voids there) and they have plenty of space in their entertainment center. Not once have I regretted getting rid of our 2 baskets full of movies. We did Netflix for a while, but have even cancelled that AND cancelled our cable now. We spend more time together, not just staring at a screen.

  9. The left side of your collection could be my son’s. You’re only missing LOTR and Batman. ;)
    Southern Gal´s last post…Wordless Wednesday

  10. Donate them!
    Sort them out into categories…
    Then make some quick phone calls.

    Day Care Centers
    Senior Centers and Elder Care Programs
    Local Churches
    Schools
    Homeless Shelters and PADS Centers
    Doctor, Dentist, Ortho, Pediatrician, Vet offices
    Local Libraries (get a tax receipt, too!)
    Goodwill, Salvation Army, St. Vincent De Paul

    Or – Sell ‘em at “Half Priced Books!”
    ~
    Dana @ Cooking at Cafe D´s last post…Do You Have a Grown-Up Home? My Little Secret.

  11. That’s an issue my husband and I struggle with. When we got together I own maybe five DVDs, my all time favorite movies I couldn’t bear to be without. My husband owns 390 DVD movies (probably that many tv shows on dvd as well) as well as 589 music CD’s. (He has excel files where he keeps inventory) They take up SO much room, but he refuses to get rid of them because he loves having a hard copy and doesn’t trust digital media. It’s hard when you’re a minimalist and your spouse is the opposite of a minimalist!

    • My husband uses a database for keeping track of his DVD collection, http://www.invelos.com/ . We purchased it once years ago, and you don’t have to pay a subscription to get the updates.

      • Karen (scotland) says:

        Oh, man, don’t get me started on my husband’s CDs. Apparently, MP3 isn’t the same quality as CDs which is why we still have two CD-changers that hold 300 CDs (yes, two, not just one) plus all the paper inserts in folders and empty jewel cases in boxes, in case… who knows what that “in case” is.
        :-(
        Going to go and glare at “Daddy’s music cupboard” for a while.
        Karen (Scotland)

        • Yes! I’m not alone! My husband also has a HUGE movie collection that he won’t part with, or even put into binders. Right now we have three full bookshelves full of movies, for a total of more than (get this) 1,000 DVD/Blu-Ray boxes. Yeah, I know. Luckily we have the space. My worry is when we move in a year, making sure they’re at least displayed nicely!

  12. I’m ripping my DVDs/CDs to a hard drive right this minute! Then they go in the loft. I’ll think about what to do with them permanently in a few years. Digital storage has got seriously cheap recently – just get a terrabyte and a free copy of MakeMKV (or Windows Media Player for CDs) and then all you need is the free VLC player to play the MKV files. Go on, free up all that shelf space forever!

    • I’m about to clean out one of our downstairs closets that happens to be housing both dvd’s and cd’s. The idea of going through all of those is totally overwhelming. Cheap digital storage is a good motivator!
      Katherine´s last post…Just a Quick Post

  13. I don’t own a lot of DVD’s and tend to rent from the library a LOT!
    One option is: http://dvdswaps.com/.
    It’s a free service and all you pay is postage to send dvd’s to someone that requests them, then you get credits and can request dvd’s from other members.
    I haven’t used it, but am on http://www.paperbackswap.com/index.php
    all the time. I get rid of books and look for ones that I want to read. I get to read what I want and then keep or swap the book when I’m finished, saves me a lot of shelf space!
    There’s also a CDSwap, but I haven’t tried that one either.

  14. I just filled five fruit boxes of VHS tapes and wasn’t sure I could really part with them but after this discussion, I’m going to do it (other than wedding & photo ones as someone mentioned). I have started to put DVDs in a binder but I could do a lot more and free up a good bit of shelf space. With the library, Redbox, Amazon Video and Netflix there’s no shortage of choices!

  15. I have the largish VHS collection of Disney movies that I purchased when my daughter’s were young and VHS was cutting edge technology. My grandchildren now watch those same tapes when they visit. When my last VCR dies, I will get rid of the collection, but for now I’m glad I’ve kept them.

    • Once upon a time, I had the entire series of Star Trek: The Next Generation on VHS, in the cases. I didn’t purchase them, but as an avid trekkie, my dad found them at a yard sale about 10 years ago. We watched them plenty, but then when we started watching more and more online, I could not continue justifying the space they were taking. I tried selling on Craigslist, to no avail, and eventually took to Goodwill, where some other trekkie would be able to enjoy them!
      Bernice
      Living the Balanced Life´s last post…Do the holidays throw you off balance?

  16. We tossed all our cases, but kept the dvds in a CD organizer. That way they take up about 1/10th of the space they were taking up before, but we still have them to watch because we aren’t in an area where we can stream shows online.
    Jennifer@A Blog of My Very Own!´s last post…Seeing the Lord in everything…

  17. I decluttered many children books and DVD’s and was going to donate to the library but then I was driving by a local Ronald McDonald House and they were glad to have them for the families that stayed there.

  18. Dee Llewellyn says:

    If I really like it and it is one of those classics that is going to be issued and redrawn (like Harry Potter) then I keep it. Otherwise they go to various family members

  19. If anyone need a solution to “keeping the inserts” to DVDs, you can try putting them into a 3 ring binder using plastic paper sleeve protectors. These are VERY inexpensive, and will hold 2 each, back to back. The cases can be donated to your local charity store, as a lot of people need them to put their home DVD’s into, ’cause when you buy blank DVD’s they come in a stack on a cylinder, not in boxes! Hope this idea is somewhat helpful. :)

    • We actually buy blank covers for them from our local Big W (from Australia here). They cost about $1-$2 dollars.

      We also tend to lend out our movies to friends and family, and we give them the DVD in a blank cover with our name on it, so they know who they borrowed it from. That way the “gap” in the shelf stays there for the movie.

      We also have a database that we keep a list of them on. My husband is a Virgo lol.

  20. This is a tough one. We have a fair few DVDs. Hubby works nights at least every other week and does a 12 hour shift. He has to be awake and can watch telly. So usually takes his laptop or DVD player and a selection of films. Personally, I own no more than about 15 DVD and even some video’s -the rest are all hubby’s or we bought them together.

  21. We have over 700 titles of DVD’s, and we re watch them often. We’re movie buffs, and only buy the movies/tv shows we’ve seen before and love.

    Most of our collection we bought before little miss 3.5 came along so when we need to have a date night, we tend to chuck in a DVD once little miss is in bed, and voila, date night at home.

    We store them using the Billy Bookcase system from Ikea. Currently using 2 of them, needing to invest in a 3rd one soon.

    Works out great for really hot days when it’s too hot to go outside or wet days, especially for little miss 3.5 … except she has trouble deciding which movie to watch!

    • We’ve also thought about looking at Ikea for storage solutions. Affordable and customizable!

    • Billy bookcases are great for books, DVDs, CDs, videos, etc. We use Expedit for LPs. Mind you, when we’d got to about 8 Billy bookcases in one room with everything double-racked, thats when I decided to digitise everything possible.

  22. We didn’t have very many to begin with but the ones we do have are gifts and mainly for the kiddos. We have a stack of 5 DVDs out that are in constant rotation and we have less than 20 total. We use redbox and the library for our viewing needs. Great synopsis of the history of video and home entertainment, it’s interesting to see how the home library of anything is completely unnecessary.

  23. We purged our DVD collection about a year or so ago, sold the ones we didn’t really want via Amazon. It wasn’t so big to begin with, anyway. But I *had* to keep my Buffy collection, Pride and Prejudice, and Bull Durham! All of these are DVDs that I watch again and again. We removed most of the DVDs from their boxes (which you can recycle via a company called GreenDisk) and now keep them in CD sleeves. The entire collection now fits within a couple boxes we bought from Ikea, with room for more. Though I don’t imagine we’ll be buying many more.
    Rachael´s last post…{Almost} Wordless Wednesday: Saying “Yes” and “No”

    • Karen (scotland) says:

      I’ve got Buffy and Angel too! Am currently working my way through them for the 2nd time. Totally worth the money I spent and the space they take up.
      :-)
      Karen
      (Scotland)

  24. We’ve whittled down our collection to our absolute all-time favorite DVDs — but even those only have a few years left in them before we transition away from DVDs all together.

    The idea of owning movies seems so bizarre to me now. Partly because there’s so much new media to consume (on TV, on the Internet, in theaters, through Netflix/Amazon or Redbox) that I hardly ever go back and watch old movies/TV shows unless it’s something I really adore. But also because all the old stuff is more available than ever on the internet.

  25. Jennifer Ekstrand says:

    We have a media storage box for our DVD’s. It suspends inserts like file folders, ours holds 80 discs if you put discs in both the front and back pockets of each “file” (we use mostly the front).

  26. My husband burns the files to our computers, which then back up all our info on an online service. (We can plug our laptops into our tv . . . though in our current house, we just didn’t find the right space for a tv and don’t have one.) Then we can donate or discard the hard copies. But I do keep a hard copy of a few of our favorites, like Love Actually, which is one of my best-kept holiday traditions. I guess I’ll watch it on my laptop this year. :)

  27. pssht–DVDs! I’m still hanging on to all my old vinyl from the 70s!

  28. Bf and I have a lot of DVDs – and now blurays. Films (and certain series) are our passion. If you really love a film, you can’t count on rentals or whatever. Keep and cherish your copy, in case you want to rewatch something 5 years from now. :)
    We sometimes purge though and sell some to the second hand bookshop.

  29. Love what you have, love what you buy—-I keep some of the movies we buy in a large shoe box or DVD keeper. I generally don’t buy many so what I don’t like I sell to a pawn shop or gift to the local library. If they are scratched, I make outside mobels to keep squirels away from the bird feeder and if placed just right, this will catch the light, giving my cats something to ‘bat’ at as they twirl from a window seat with their ‘rainbow’ type reflection of light on the floor. Don’t they teach us to reduce, recycle or reuse (repurpose)? They also make great twirly’s for the trees outside at and during the holidays. Just a thought.

  30. I have stopped buying DVDs for the most part (with a few exceptions) in favor of downloading the movies and storing them on my hard drive. I also keep an Amazon Prime subscription (as I’m a student, it’s $40/year) that allows me streaming video privileges of hundreds of movies and TV shows, including the British dramas and mysteries I prefer to watch. I have a Netflix subscription, but I cut it back to just DVDs so I could get the new releases I miss in the theater, and when this current gift certificate expires in 5 months, I will not be renewing.

    Last year I spent a lot of time and energy researching Blu-Ray players, and ended up buying one with a wireless dongle that was internet ready to play Netflix, Pandora, and YouTube. This year, when I began downloading movies, I realized that my Blu-Ray player is obsolete and I will probably not replace it when it kicks the bucket because my entire library will be digital. I have a 500 GB external hard drive I acquired over the summer when I bought my Mac that is the size of a large compact, and holds my favorite TV shows, music, podcasts, movies (all the Harry Potter movies, and several of my favorite action titles from the past few years), and audiobooks. Why clutter up my space when I can go digital? I have asked for an AppleTV for Christmas- it plays whatever is on iTunes on my TV, and has access to different special-interest channels for free. Gotta love that.

    That said, I still have a DVD collection. I go through it regularly and prune out movies I haven’t watched in a while and know I won’t watch very much in the future. This post has reminded me that I need to go through it and start purging again! There is only one movie in my collection that I have sold and then bought again (several times, in fact)- Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow. I don’t know why… :-)

    • I wonder if my husband would like the movie selection with Amazon Prime. It’s such a bargain. He doesn’t seem too happy with the choices on Netflix, but he always wants to go to Redbox instead. Our DVD player will stream Netflix movies, I wonder if it could stream Amazon movies. I really don’t even know how to work it.

      • Amazon Prime has most of the same things for streaming that Netflix does- but to make sure it had what I wanted, I did a search when I signed up for the service to make sure it had the shows I would watch. That might be a great idea for your husband- if it’s part of the service, it says so next to the movie.

        I’m pretty pleased with it- this is about $3.50/month, when the Netflix streaming is $8, and another $8 if you want DVDs with it (don’t get me started on that whole business- what were they thinking???), and I can get the same things (and a few more) that I was watching on Netflix there. The biggest problem I have with Amazon right now is that it is not simple to find what I want to watch. There is no queue, you have to do individual searches when you are looking for a particular video.

        I don’t know if many DVD players stream Amazon or not, but with an HDMI cable, you can hook your computer to the TV and watch it from that!

      • It really is easy with the HDMI cable, if you go to an electronics store they can help you get the right thing (Frye’s is great if you have one). We have had ours connected to our computer for several years. We did have to get a long cable and run it from the kitchen to the living room, but this is how we watch any TV show, so it is worth it!
        Rachel, do you only have Netflix online or thru a Wii as well? That setup seems to have more options, I believe.
        Living the Balanced Life´s last post…Do the holidays throw you off balance?

    • Amazon Prime is free for up to a year for moms and mom-like people (full-time caregivers, but also anyone who can fill out a form with the right answers and spend $30/month in the baby store). It’s a pretty killer deal, and it made me realize the value of eventually paying the $80 annual fee.

  31. Dear Reader,

    Please let me tell you of the times that I’ve gone to my favorite thrift store and found that some amazing person has purged from their wealth. Once I found a huge bag of Plan toys…a train set for my dear son. It was obviously expensive new, and well loved, but my son was thrilled, and I had tears of gratitude in my eyes for the dear soul who purged her kid’s toys and didn’t just send a bunch of junk to Goodwill. Another time, I found just exactly the pair of jeans (like new, great brand) that I needed after I was talking to my hubby about how I needed some new clothes but didn’t feel like we could afford anything. And then there is my son’s favorite movie that came from someone’s collection…

    As you think about purging or not, maybe by releasing the movies that seem like too much you’ll be able to bless someone else, along with lightening your load.

  32. We still have half of our vhs collection. Every year as I replace our favorites on dvd, I then get rid of the vhs tapes. We own many dvds and plan to start weeding those out after the first of the new year. We dont have cable, or netflix. Many of the dvds we have we have purchased used. Any new movies I want to see I get from the library. We also dont go to the movies. It is cheaper to stay home with our favorite movies and snacks.

  33. I have gotten rid of almost all my dvds. Except for only the very best and meaningful ones I watch often to chill out ( Think Bruce Parry and Tribe ). The rest are better off elsewhere, especially the library where I donated them. Many others get the pleasure then.
    Tasmanian Minimalist´s last post…The Pleasure of Herbs

  34. This is a tough one for us! A few years back, I gave away all our VHS tapes expecting to replace our favorites with DVDs… then I found out that many of had not yet released on disc, and still haven’t been. That makes it hard to get rid of our DVDs. I don’t like my available choices to be decided by marketing departments.

    We don’t have cable service or Netflix, and don’t want to use our credit card or drive to the store every other day for a Red Box rental… so our DVD collection IS our regular source of entertainment. I can’t justify getting rid of them just yet. We don’t buy them anymore though. When we want something new/different, we get it from the library or borrow it from friends.
    Stephanie´s last post…Jack-Be-Useful

  35. We have taken them out of their cases and put them into a CD slip zipup folder. They’re easily kept out of site because they’re compact and fit so nicely into the tv unit’s storage. And we have two different colored folders, one for adults and one for kids. So there aren’t any mixups.

  36. Funny, we just got rid of all of our CD cases, and I’m in the process of transferring all the music from the discs to our computer. But we’re still kind of attached to the movies…my husband is a huge movie buff, and I really doubt I could get him to get rid of most of them. Maybe we’ll have to try the zip up folder method for those too…
    Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm´s last post…True Confessions of a Bookworm

  37. We purged quite a few of our dvd’s almost a year ago. We have stores called Vintage Stock here and they will buy dvd’s from you (based on popularity). Hubby really wanted a wii, so I made him a deal that we would only spend $50 on one and he had to make up the rest in trade-in’s at Vintage Stock. He did it! Took a few months, but we bought a lightly used wii from the same store and it only cost us $50 out of pocket (plus we had some credit left over to buy some games and extra remotes). I need to go through our collection again, but currently they’re packed up for our next move.

    Also I can totally relate to those of you with husbands that collect cd’s! My husband has, somewhat reluctantly, agreed to transfer most of his cd music to his external terrabyte drive which will free up TONS of space for us. He will keep a few cd’s and he also has vinyl that he enjoys listening to.

  38. How about getting a double layered DVD case. I have seen them in stores in Australia and they are basically a front section for the ones you watch all the time and then a back section for the ones that you might watch again. The top section slides from one side to the other so you can see half the back ones at all times. This way you can store the DVD’s all together but don’t need to have soooo much space taken up.
    I would definitely keep them as I have given away a couple and now wish I still had them.

  39. Just sold a whole bunch of DVDs (and books) back to amazon- got about $90 in credit! very exciting, much better than having them take up space in the house!

  40. Oh boy. I really need to purge our movies. We have at least 3 large bins, and we still have a bunch of VHS tapes, too. We are participating in a yard sale this Saturday, so this is the perfect! Thanks!
    Elizabeth@ReadySetSimplify´s last post…Menu Plan for the Week 11/6 – 11/12 | Cute kids enjoy cute pizza

  41. yes. we did the same with our zipped cases. one for general audience. one for especially animated children’s movies. one for adults (stealing beauty, 300, etc)

  42. My husband and I have gotten rid of nearly all of our 100+ DVD’s we had accumulated over time. At first we used SwapADVD to trade some in and get others we wanted to see, but more recently we’ve sold quite a bit of them on Amazon. We’re using the money we got from Amazon to buy Christmas presents :)

  43. We’re packing up to move in December and our new house is half the square footage. We aren’t being quite ruthless enough (maybe when we unpack and have no room!) but being able to eliminate the DVD cabinet last week by transferring to a zipped binder helped!

  44. My husband and I have only a handful of dvd’s. We are fortunate to have a local movie theater that charges $2 to go see almost new popular movies and a netflix subscription – just the one for online watching, we don’t like waiting for them in the mail. The nice thing about netflix is that I prefer foreign films and documentaries to hollywood releases, so that is where I go for them. If my husband wants to watch a new release that hasn’t made it to our local bargain theater, he gets it from Redbox. I have considered Amazon, but for the time being, I find Netflix easier to use.

  45. How timely that this topic should come up just when I was going through my VHS tape/DVD collection. Yes, some of us still have VHS tapes. I try not to buy anymore of those, but if I see one at a garage sale for a movie I haven’t seen, I am willing to spend $1 and then just donate the tape to a library sale or take them to Half Price Books. Either way, I’m not out much money.

    I would like to get rid of my entire dvd collection if I knew I could watch any of those movies whenever I want for a minimal price (less than $5). However, we are Netflix members and I can tell you most of what is in our collection is not always available for streaming, and we may someday cancel our membership, so I’m holding on to my dvds for just a little bit longer.

    Also, every winter our local recreation center has a book/dvd swap, so that’s reason enough to hold on to them to get something new later.
    Cindy May´s last post…Book Review

  46. If you decide to purge from your collection – I was reading yesterday that some VA centers/hospitals take donations of DVDs. Contact your local VA office and find out if your DVDs could help some veterans.
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  47. What a timely post. We just went through our own tub of dvds last week. And we ended up trading them in to Amazon in exchange for a giftcard.

    When we tried to sell our dvds at a yardsale a couple of years ago, people scoffed at the $1 price tag. So we decided that while some of the prices we got at Amazon were sad (25 cents), others were great ($2.75), that even the quarters add up after awhile. We ended up with $18.55 in giftcards on the account just in time for Christmas. And Amazon pays for shipping! It’s a pretty convenient way to thin out your collection. But we also kept our kids movies and all of our favorites. If you have holiday movies that you watch traditionally, you may want to hang on to those. You’re chances of getting How the Grinch Stole Christmas BEFORE Christmas from Netflix is very slim.

    • good point about holiday movies not being available, unless you’re streaming them. I know most families have a favorite holiday movie.

  48. Our dvd’s are all in a zip-up Cd case and I pitched all the cases/liners. I like to follow Peter Walsh’s advice about putting limits on things, so if the case gets full some DVD’s have to go.

    I had my older two kids pick their two favorite Disney VHS tapes and they go in their keepsake totes. They were not happy about getting rid of all the rest, but they were unwilling to take them to their own homes.

    I love the idea of taking the extras to places like Ronald McDonald house, hospital, etc.

  49. We keep all our DVDs in a CD case to save room. I like to quilt or work on projects with a good movie on in the background, so I have what I call my “quilting” movies. Ones I know by heart and can throw in and only go halfway through. Like When Harry Met Sally, Princess Bride, the 1950′s Little Women. You can’t always find what you want when you want it with Netflix or Amazon, so I keep my favorites on hand.
    Kait Palmer´s last post…100 Days of Tatum

  50. Ugh, how I hate our DVD collection. We have probably 800 DVD’s (all in their cases). James Bond had a DVD obsession for a long time even though we rarely watch any of them. He won’t get rid of any of them despite the fact that most of them have been put on an external hard drive (and backed them up to another external drive). It drives me crazy. There are maybe 30-40 that we watch on a fairly regular basis. We’re about to move again (JB is in the Army so we move a lot) and I guess we’ll be schlepping them all with is. Sigh.
    Mom in High Heels´s last post…Latest Captain Lacey Novel: A review

  51. I work at a video rental store at an overseas military base (the one reason we’re still in business- no US broadcast TV except AFN which is at least 6 months old). Anyway, we’re always accepting DVD cases to use. Perhaps there’s still a traditional video store in your community, or the local library you can take the old cases to. Those covers go through a lot so we change them out as they break.

  52. Love this! We have a few DVDs but make it a point to never buy them again. It’s a waste because we only really watch movies we rent. I was wondering if you could also do a post on CDs and their cases. I just feel guilty getting rid of all of those CDs I collected in high school. I can put them on a hard drive, but what if it crashes? Will I regret getting rid of them like my parents regret getting rid of their records. I am really not a materialistic/hoarding type person. I would love to see them go, but I don’t want to regret it!

    Jenna
    callherhappy.com
    Jenna@CallHerHappy´s last post…My 11.11.11 at 11:11 Wishlist

    • Having recently having had a massive unintentional downsizing – get rid of them. Sell them, donate them, then get them digitally and keep them in the cloud. Less space wasted and can’t be lost when the sky falls… But then, maybe my perspective is a bit skewed right now. :)

  53. Donate them to victims of disasters. I know – not the first thing you think of donating, but really, it was nice to get them. We lost our house in the Bastrop TX wildfires of Labor Day this year and the childrens DVDs especially were very helpful. It’s a distraction, often they are familiar (Dora, Wonder Pets, Curious George…) and are a step back to more “normal”. Grown up DVDs serve the same purpose. We didn’t have access to our Netflix (via Roku) or anything else but being able to watch a movie and escape was a huge help to our mental well being. Donating to a library is also a good idea, but as a person who is very grateful for all of the amazing help that we’ve gotten – sending it to the friend of a friend of a friend who has just lost everything – well, it helps more than you hopefully will ever know.

  54. Joining late… to echo the other comment about CD’s. I would LOVE you to answer this question. All our music is now digital, even our old cd’s. But if we give them away (we’re talking 100′s) that seems to break copyright laws since we still own those songs digitally. That’s something you don’t address in this DVD post but DVD’s aren’t a problem for us, having never bought any we want to keep forever, ie: when we get rid of the hard copy we don’t keep a soft copy.

    • It IS a copyright violation to keep a digital copy and dispose of the hard copy. The digital copy is supposed to be a “back-up” copy of the hard copy. It is unlikely the copyright police would come after everyone that has done this, but that is also what was said about all of that music file-sharing stuff that got a number of private parties in trouble several years ago!

  55. My husband and I are both media geeks and for awhile, DVDs were taking over the house. We’ve decided to prioritize buying on Blu-Ray discs (prefer the quality) and only shelve our Blu-Rays and collectors editions. Everything else gets shoved into a media wallet and the cases thrown away. We have more shelf space and less clutter this way.

  56. We purged almost all of the dvds we had accumulated (which still weren’t all that many) expect the kids movies, and I haven’t wished I had x, y, or z since.

  57. Your picture made me laugh. I recently boxed up all of our DVDs to get rid of them but kept the Bourne movies and the Ocean’s movies and a few kids movies. Additionally I kept Princess Bride and a couple of foreign films I thought might not be as easy to rent. Although, with Jennifer’s suggestion to donate to the library (so you can borrow them again!), I may not need those either!

  58. We had a VCR, but we never bought many movies (Usually, we rented tapes and those we bought we’ve kept as collectibles.) However, we have some home movies we need to transfer over to digital format.

    As far as DVD’s go — we didn’t buy any of those and only rented a few (still have a couple or so given to us.) We have a DVR and we stream movies, occasionally.

    The problem is they’re aren’t that many movies we want to see. We’re sci-fi /adventure buffs around here, and they’re aren’t that many good ones being made. It gives us time to do other things.

  59. One thing you could do with the DVD’s you no longer want is to donate them to the Senior Living Communities. There are people there ranging from age 50 all the way to 100 so almost all titles are welcome.

  60. I got rid of a lot of our dvd covers and put them in a cd book too. now i can fit 100′s of movies in one flat compact place :-)

  61. Husband is old fashioned so while changing over to some flip books for the DVDs, I had to keep two shelves full to satisfy him. He never watches them but for two! I will be making it one shelf of DVDs in cases soon. We moved to a much smaller home (his choice not mine) so things have to compress or disappear.

  62. Wanting to simplify but hubby bought 10+ DVDs for Christmas!! We have no TV so we watch movies. Still working through this :-)