Saturday, March 28, 2015
What to do with DVDs?
I'm not sure what your media center looks like, but ours looks beautiful - on the outside. But open the doors (and they always tend to hang open) and it's purely chaotic. There are DVDs stacked up that were haven't been put away since Christmas. Of '13! Really, you could argue that minimalizing our DVD collection could be extremely easy - just throw away all the DVDs that are sitting in our DVD racks! :P This situation is complicated by a couple factors. 1. I've never in my life been in the habit of putting my media (starting c/ VHS and tapes) away when I'm done. 2. Our kids watch the same cycle of about 5 DVDs day in and day out. Actually, that wasn't very many factors, was it...? It's hard to look at the media center and not get frustrated with the way we keep it, but that hasn't yet led to real changes in our system.
Since starting to work on minimalizing our lives, I've developed this wonderful vision of ripping all our DVDs, storing them on an external hard drive, and streaming them to the TV. PC World has a good article here that describes how to accomplish this using a nice app called Plex. The problem is that doing with require buying more stuff.We could then get rid of all the cases, and just keep the disks in a nice disk binder. At a minimum I would need to buy another external hard drive, a large disc binder, and some way to splice a tablet to our TV. I've argued with myself that buy more for the sake of minimalizing might be acceptable, but that argument isn't gaining in my mind. When you couple that with our impending shopping fast, it gets halted completely.
So what options are left to us? The first step will be to do a minimalization just like we've started in the rest of the house. All the DVDs will come out of their racks - added step of going back in their cases - and then we'll decide which ones are really worth keeping. For the sake of ease we'll move the kids' FWDs (frequently-watched DVDs) up by the TV (in their cases!) and put the remaining disks back into their racks.
The Minimalists advice for your DVD collection was basically this: get a life and stop watching the same movies all the time. Others have said to embrace Hulu or Netflix instead. I get those thoughts, but we're also trying to spend less time in front of the TV completely. We do really enjoy watching the movies we have and we found that when we had a subscription service we were spending WAY too much time watching it because there was always something new to watch. I think if we focus instead of having a core collection of movies that we actually value enough to keep around and watch repeatedly, we'll had the right things that we'll watch the right amount.
Any thoughts/ideas that I haven't covered here? What have you done to try to mange your media? I'd love to hear some more suggestions!