Monday, July 13, 2009

Shedding of Innocent Stuff: Video Tapes and Media

Do you ever find yourself in this situation? You have a cabinet that id dedicated to media that you have purchased (DVDs, VCR tapes, CDs, video games, what have you) and you think to yourself "am I ever really going to watch any of these again?" I'm going through this experience right now. I realized that we had a skewed sense of what we had and why we kept it when I realized that we had moved a storage cabinet into the 1/2 bath upstairs, and that the storage cabinet housed video games and DVDs. I wish I was kidding about that.

It helps to move back a little in time to where our heads were at regarding this. We knew that when we bought our house in 1999, its 1800 sq. feet was going to be a limitation eventually... and that's not a bad thing; if anything it forces us to be realistic about the stuff we have gotten over the years, though not realistic enough to realize that we have been doing an endless shuffle of stuff because of it. Now, for the record, I'm not going to go the George Carlin route... buying a bigger house so I can keep "more stuff"... we are very happy with the home that we have and we are not going to move in any time frame less than decades, seriously... but that still brings us to the point of "what do we do with the stuff we have in the space we have without buying more stuff to hold the stuff we already have (sorry, Carlin does it so much better (LOL!) ).

Anyway, one area that I keep looking at is our videotapes and DVDs. Frankly, I have just a few things I really like to keep and will hold onto indefinitely, but many other items are just strangely hanging around for years and years. Yes, I'll admit it, I have my top five movies as DVDs, I have a few classics, and I have some of my favorite anime series on DVD. We also have a bunch of videocassettes that we have held onto for the kids, yet I seriously wondered if they have bothered to look at any of these lately, and if they would actually miss them.

If you decide to be the "big meanie" and try this, here's my suggestion... take all of the VCR tapes and DVDs that you think might genuinely not be missed, put them in a box and put them someplace not obvious (but not someplace you would totally forget). Put a date on the box, say three to six months. Then wait... if you get one of your kids coming up to you saying "Dad, I can't find [fillInTheBlank]", then you know you have come across one that somehow matters to the kids. Go and get it, say that you found it, but don't divulge the hiding place of the other tapes (I don't know about the rest of you out there, but with my kids, anything that is suddenly in eye sight becomes indispensable, never mind the fact that they haven't watched or thought about it for close to two years prior !!!).

Right now I've gathered a good sized box of kids VCR tapes, most of them likely to never be watched again. Frankly, if I'm going to strike on this, I need to strike now, while VCR tapes are still a viable media. Five years from now, there may be no interest among friends for VCR tapes; they be about as coveted as 8 tracks (and yes, I am old enough to have owned 8 tracks, don't rub it in (LOL!) ). I would much rather see these go to people that have young kids that would enjoy seeing them than keep them floating around my house not being used, not being watched, and taking up space that is coming at a greater premium each year as the kids get older.

Thus we have begun a new experiment. I'll check back in October to tell you all what ultimately happened :).

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