Here's a Fool-Proof Plan for Cutting Down an Overwhelming Collection

Here's a Fool-Proof Plan for Cutting Down an Overwhelming Collection

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Taryn Williford
Sep 21, 2017

New technology is forever changing the way we live with media at home, but I bet you're still hanging onto some relics of the past. Instead of ignoring them—hidden away behind the doors of a TV console or the depths of a storage closet—today, we'll try and cut down on those collections.

If you have a cherished collection—say, a perfectly curated assemblage of vinyl records or books—today's mission will go quickly. And if your DVDs or CDs are just dinosaur-era stacks that need to finally be purged, it'll go even quicker.

Today's Assignment

Identify one media collection that you could stand to pare down, and hammer through it.

It's ultimately up to you where to focus your energy today, but a few collections that could be on the chopping block for you are books, magazines, DVDs, CDs, vinyl records, or maybe even cassette tapes. Or you might decide to work on a digital collection of photos or songs, if you think that's where you can make the most impact today.

If you know you want to keep most of it...

Pick a few to get rid of. A good rule of thumb is to try and cull your collection by around 25 percent. If a first keep/toss pass doesn't get you close to where you'd like to be, you can try again working in batches. Pick up 10 items and try to eliminate two or three you'd be content to get rid of.

Eliminate: Anything you have duplicates of. Anything you haven't listened to, watched or read in the last year.

If you know you want to get rid of most of it...

Pick just a few to keep, and pitch the rest to the side, in bulk. Done! Doesn't that feel better already?

Keep: The pieces that have sentimental or monetary value. The few that you watch, read or listen to regularly.

Whatever doesn't make the cut can be sorted out into trash, recycling, "sell" or "donate" boxes.

Tip: CDs and DVDs can be recycled! Google "cd recycling [your city]" or mail them off to the CD Recycling Center of America.

And don't forget...

We're still working on that monster zone, piece by piece. Head in there and remove one more thing.

Want to catch up with Apartment Therapy's September Sweep decluttering plan? You can see all of the month's assignments right here.

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