Hello everyone! Welcome to BirthMay 2020 AND Self Care Sunday! Today I want to focus on decluttering entertainment items.
In general, Self Care Sundays this BirthMay will have a decluttering theme. With small declutters I’ve done throughout the past year or so, I’ve noticed that it really helped clear up my mind and so I thought it was a great form of self care to share with you. I did find a lot of inspiration through books, blog posts, friends, and other sources, but here’s what I did as I was decluttering and what worked for me.
In case you’re new, BirthMay is my annual birthday celebration where I blog every day for the month of May. This is the fourth annual BirthMay and no matter how many BirthMays you’ve been here for, thank you for your support!
So this was a weird category to declutter in present quarantine day, considering that most people were looking for more ways to entertain themselves at home, but I figured that between YouTube, Netflix, by own book collection, and Libby (not sponsored by any of these), I had plenty of options. So I grabbed a few reusable bags and started filling them with what I want to declutter.
Step 1: Am I ever going to read/watch this again?
I find it much easier to part with books that I’ve already read so I always start with those. I’ll then consider if I am going to actually read those books again or not. If the answer is “no”, of course those head out! If the answer is “maybe”, I’ll put them aside but eventually I realize that the answer is likely “no”.
There are a few books, mostly classics, where I used to find it harder to get rid of. They tended to be books that I read years ago and didn’t let go of (think books from high school or college English courses) thinking I might reread them. I do keep some of them even now, so I can try to read them again and see if I still enjoy them or if I enjoy them more now, but since discovering ebooks from Libby (that I can rent by using my library card), I am not so worried about keeping those books. For some reason, I feel like they’re so much more accessible now to me if I don’t have the physical book so I’ve been able to get rid of a lot more of those. Of course, sometimes the book isn’t available right at the second I want to read them, but I can put it on hold and get it eventually.
For movies, I don’t have many of those actually. I just have a handful of my favorites. Some of them are available through Netflix, which is the only streaming service I use, or previously were available but I’ve still kept them because things can be removed from Netflix. For example, Disney is removing their stuff from other platforms to only have them on Disney+ so I’m glad I have my favorite films, or at least a good amount of them, so I can still watch them. I figured anything else though, I don’t have to purchase as I can get them at the library (when it opens again eventually!).
I also have a decent collection of video games. Those are kind of difficult to get rid of too, because you actually do need the physical game if it’s not a downloadable purchase, and I tend to only buy physical copies of games. I have gotten rid of a few that I had but realized I honestly wasn’t going to play anymore. I haven’t gotten rid of that many though and honestly the games that I haven’t played are games that my sister bought for the Playstation 3 back when she lived with me and I don’t want to get rid of them without asking her since they’re hers. I will say, the PS3 games get played much less than the newer PS4 games do now, but they’re still fun and I do sometimes switch between consoles so I don’t immediately discount those games, but there are a few that I know I likely won’t play again or just don’t enjoy playing anymore that I can consider getting rid of.
Step 2: Am I ever going to read/watch this version?
Sometimes, I end up with multiple copies of the same book or movie, but with slightly different content. So with books, I have some copies of the same book in English and in Spanish or movies with new previously deleted scenes. Lately, I’ve become more aware of authors releasing “special edition” books that have different content if it’s just a standard version or maybe an exclusive version that you can only get at a certain store.
For those books I’ll tend to keep the English versions over Spanish because I can’t read quickly in Spanish and I feel like I don’t understand as much of the book in Spanish either. With movies with new content, I’ll keep the newer version usually. And for any books that are special editions, I do tend to keep the more “special” of those, but I rarely ever have multiple copies of those since they’re newer (usually I’ll get them as gifts if I do have them).
Video games are totally different for me. Usually the game will come out and after a few years there’ll be a new anniversary version or a version with all DLCs included. Or sometimes it’s just a version for the newer console. Since I don’t tend to buy games right away when they’re new, since I’m always a few years behind, I usually just have access to the newest version of the game and just buy the more complete version. If I did buy the original without the new content, I just don’t worry about it, since I won’t buy a new version of the game. Otherwise, if I did, I would likely only keep the newest version.
And sometimes, I end up with a book that I don’t intend to read! Sometimes I will buy a book thinking I do want to read it but eventually I realize that I’ve owned it for years. I haven’t picked it up and sometimes tastes change, so I don’t want to read it anymore. If that’s the case, then i can throw it into my declutter pile!
Step 3: Can I easily get a copy of this version later if I do want to revisit the story?
Now, a lot of times when deciding if I want to keep something I worry about wanting it later. However rarely this happens, I still worry that I’ll want to read a book or watch a movie but I won’t have it anymore. To combat that worry, I’ll think about how easy it is to get later. My first option is usually to remember that I could get it at the library and borrow it if I wanted to. Even though libraries are closed by me right now, eventually they’ll open up again and if it’s not available then I could consider purchasing it.
I don’t think I’ve had anything where I have wanted to revisit that story again though, since I have so many other options that I haven’t read/watched/played yet so oftentimes, realizing that makes it easier to declutter.
Step 4: Is it sentimental/something I want to dedicate shelf space to?
I used to dream of when I would be able to fill up an entire room with book shelves, so that I could fill those up with books! Nowadays, I don’t really want that anymore so I’ve started to try to decrease the number of shelves I fill up. I still have way too many to be able to style the shelves all cute, so I’m continuing to work on reading the books I have to decrease how many I own and be able to have cute shelves! Not saying that they’re not cute when they’re completely full, they totally are, but it’s just not the vibe I’m going for right now.
Where can it all go?
So, now I have two bags full of books I want to declutter (and a few other random entertainment items such as DVDs), and I’m waiting to get rid of them. I normally take my stuff to a store called Half Price Books, that buy used books/DVDs/etc. from everyone. It’s not like they pay a ton, but I have always come out with a few bucks that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. If they don’t think they can resell and item for things such as poor condition or don’t see a need for that item, they’ll still take it so they can recycle it for you. I love that they do that, because I don’t want to have to take anything back with me. If you don’t have a Half Price Books you could try other small indie used bookstores and see if they buy stuff. Normally they’ll have a sign in their window I think if they do.
If you don’t have any store willing to pay for your old books or DVDs you can always take them to a donation place and drop them off. Since the pandemic, lots of places have restrictions or special requests for donations so just check in advance to make sure it complies with the requirements right now. You might want to also check your local library. I believe most take donations but not too many actually want donations, usually because they keep carefully analyzed data on what their patrons want and aren’t likely to actually use your donations. They don’t turn you away (some libraries might but I don’t think that’s common) but they will likely donate the books again because they don’t have a need for it and only have limited shelf space. I only know this because I used to volunteer at a library when I was a high schooler, and some libraries might be different, so you might want to check with yours first to see if they actually do want donations.
Alternatively, you can keep some old books to use for DIY projects (old books are perfect for that so you don’t have to rip out pages of books you do want to keep for projects) if you need something to do or maybe see if friends or family want those books. I have gotten many books that way and given plenty away too!
What are your tips for decluttering entertainment items? Let me know because I still have a lot of books on my shelves and need to continue to make room!
Thanks for reading!
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