DVD Overkill

156, 157, and 158…wow, that’s a lot of movies!  My wife and I own 158 DVD or Bluray cases.  By the way, that doesn’t include our TV shows which we own as well (which is another 21 seasons).  So in total I would estimate I could likely watch about 1.2 hours per day for an entire year and not repeat one scene.  That doesn’t include borrowing DVD’s from the library, the digit copies of some movies or using Netflix.

It’s odd, but counting that collection and working out the estimate of how much time I would need to watch it all really showed me how ridiculous my collection is.  What’s more amusing?  I’ve already done purges on the collection  twice in the last year.

So the question I have to ask myself is is: how much is enough?  Where did this collection of a few turn into a pile of excess?  While I really don’t know when or where this occurred, I do understand if you keep buying a few of your favorite films every year the pile tends to add up.  After 20 years, it becomes sort of an obvious problem…it’s sort of like compound interest on a debt.  It keeps growing if you don’t deal with it.

Yet throwing out movies makes me feel awful, since I tend to only buy ones that I would watch again in the first place.  So what’s the solution?  Well for some of the them I’m going to make a digital copy and then get rid of the physical disc.  The rest I’m just learning to let go, since in some cases I’m not the same person who bought that film in the first place anymore.  While I don’t have an ideal collection size in my head I’m going to purge until I’m below 150 and then start using the one in and one out rule.  That way at least I can stop the collection from growing.

So how do you keep your collections of stuff from growing too large?  What works for you?

8 thoughts on “DVD Overkill”

  1. I don’t have quite that many DVDs (no BluRay here!), but what I did to reclaim the space they took up was to put all of the discs into one of those large CD wallets (4×4) and recycle the cases. They now fit underneath the TV stand and freed up three bookshelves worth of space. I no longer buy DVDs — ever. If I want to re-watch a movie, there are plenty of sources to do that nowadays. I’ve also lost interest in re-watching movies multiple times.

    We didn’t do the same with the TV series boxed sets; if we ever get sick of re-watching Supernatural or BSG (ha!), I can easily sell them at a secondhand bookstore or on Kijiji.

    (First time commenting — Hi!)

  2. I found a solution for some of my books and DVDs that in theory I might read/watch again. I donated them to the library.. and can rent if/when desired! 🙂 It felt really great to get rid of them actually.. and leaves room for new things to come.

  3. The DVDs go into a 300-disk changer. The DVD retail boxes go into a plastic tub in the attic.

    We’ve got two changers now, the collection having been built up over 15 years. The DVDs are dust free, not being scratched by handling, and readily accessible.

    We don’t subscribe to cable or satellite and about half the collection are typically not stocked at the usual outlets. In a couple of years, we’ll be moving to a location that does not have good internet access.

  4. Maybe you can keep the top 100 DVDs, rank them, and like you said from now on, one in one out. You can start watching your top 100 collection when you retire, at 45.

  5. As a result of not owning a TV or a DVD player for that matter most of my movies have been ripped into videos and stored on my hard drives. I usually watch films on my laptop and the doubles as a DVD player of sorts, and we use a film projector across a wall as our TV.

    I think owning a lot of DVDs is fine as long as you watch then from time to time. I own a few DVDs in movies that I could not bear to get rid of, so I kept them for sentimental reasons.

  6. Thanks everyone for the good ideas. I appreciate it. I like the top 100 and perhaps I’ll get there over time. I’m also getting more comfortable with the idea of having s digital copy of something instead of a disc. So far I did pull 8 obvious DVDs out of the collection so at least I’m down to 150.


  7. while I have ripped all of my movies, I still keep the original discs around, but **without the cases**. There are 80-100-disc holders that take up a foot or a bit more of space by packing all the discs closely together and only taking them out via contact with the edges.

    Another alternative is to get a blu-ray burner ($80 external in the US for a good one) and start burning dual-layer blu-ray discs of the compressed rips; if you compress things to what you think is the maximum resolution and audio quality you need, quite a bit can fit on a 50GB disc.

    Also, optical media has a much lower failure rate than hard drives! If you *really* don’t want to lose data after DISCarding the discs, make sure you either have multiple copies or have a RAID setup that will allow reconstruction of data if a single drive fails.

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