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I’m not going as far as to Marie Kondo-ize my physical media collection, but as I’ve been confronted with the realities of limited time and limited storage space, the truth is there are items in my collection that do not “spark joy” (insert latest Kondo punchline here) and that must give up their spots for new purchases that do.

Right now my strategy is that the titles that I don’t have strong feelings about AND that take up needed physical space are the first to go. Like the single seasons (usually season 1) of a TV show I never watched, packaged in a space-consuming digipack. Although generally speaking, I tend to have more attachment to TV shows than I do feature films.

So what’s on your dump list? I may update this later with highlights of what I’ve recently purged.

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Billy Batson

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I can't give you a list, but I regularly have a turf-out of films that I can't see me watching again. I'm quite happy with older films, say, up to 1980, even if I doubt I'll watch them again, it's very satisfying to own them, but any newer films that I don't think I'll watch again gets the heave-ho. I should be doing that with CDs as well, I'll get round to it one day.
 

JQuintana

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I purged several years ago all (well most) of my movies and cds. Dumped off at the local used DVD/CD store. No more having to store this stuff was liberating.
 
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I've hit upon the same realization with my collection. Every few years, I wind up with mission drift. My collection was started, when I was a kid with a VCR, so that I could have access to the films and shows that mattered most to me at my convenience. Over the years, with each new format, I've started out being very precious about what I was willing to buy when the format was new, but then letting the floodgates fly open for purchases once the deals started rolling out. I've added two new shelves over the past two or three years, and to me, that's insane - because my existing shelves had managed to hold my collection just fine for well over a decade. So the fact that my collection expanded so much in recent years did seem a little alarming when I looked closer.

I found a few areas where I had lots of superfluous titles:

1) I worked at a Blockbuster in 2004-2005, and during that time, I was also finishing up film school. I purchased many previously viewed discs either because they were ridiculously cheap given the combination of sale pricing and employee discounts, or because I thought that they would be useful to reference for class projects. Here we are 15 years later, and most of these discs haven't been touched since. They served their purpose when I got them, but they hold little value to me now. If I wanted to watch one of these movies, I'd probably seek out an HD version before I'd watch an old (sometimes non-anamorphic) DVD version.

2) The Tyranny of Box Sets. Around the same time I was working at Blockbuster, some movies I long wanted on DVD started being released, and there were several occasions where it was about the same price to buy a box set that included the couple of movies I did want and a few other titles I was unfamiliar with as it was to buy just the titles I wanted. It seemed like a no-brainer in those cases to just get the box set. The problems came later, when years would go by without me even being interested in checking out those other titles, or maybe I did watch them once and didn't enjoy them. But I felt weird about getting rid of a title I had in the collection. Then, when Blu-ray came out, I felt obligated to upgrade all of the titles in those box sets to HD before I could get rid of them, because I didn't want to lose films out of my collection. It's only in hindsight that I've realized how profoundly stupid it was to buy additional copies of a movie I didn't enjoy or want to own in the first place.

3) More recent blind buys where good discounts made it cheaper to buy the disc than rent the title digitally. Whether it was those Warner-TCM four packs onsale for under $10, or Blu-ray double feature combos, or discs on clearance at $4.99 or less, I wound up with a bunch of movies where it was cheaper or easier to buy than to rent. But I had no intention of making a lifetime commitment to these titles, I just wanted to see them. For the ones I really enjoyed, it's a no-brainer to keep them around, but for the ones I didn't, it's time to let them go.

4) Extra 3D titles. I truly love the 3D format and will see just about anything released in 3D at least once. But there have been some 3D movies where it was easier to buy the disc than to try to rent it, and even though I didn't enjoy the movie at all, I felt I could justify hanging on to it as part of my 3D collection. Here's the thing: no one is going to come over, look at my shelf of 3D titles, and pat me on the back for having such a large collection of 3D discs. I had just picked up the remake of Point Break in 3D, watched it, and didn't like it. The 3D quality was great, but I was so incredibly bored watching the movie. I decided not to add it to my shelf and post it for sale here on HTF instead (still available guys!). But that really got me thinking, that I had at least a small handful of similar 3D titles where I didn't like the movie and wouldn't watch it again. Time to let those go.


In short, I'm trying to bring my collection back in line with the original goal - to have titles that I enjoyed and want to revisit. I don't need my collection to simply be a giant pile of every movie I've ever seen. And I'm appreciating looking at my shelves now and seeing them filled with titles that all hold meaning to me, instead of a schizophrenic shelf half filled with important titles and half filled with cheap junk.
 

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Edited by PMF
 
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I don't have a dump list.
If I have something to dump, I dump.
 

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I’ve slowly been getting rid of titles I’ll never watch again, mostly post 1980s stuff. For some reason, even titles that I know i won’t revisit I’ll keep if they are pre 1980s. I guess I figure that the odds are low that the early stuff won’t ever be easily found streaming as opposed to the newer films. That’s on the rare instance I decide to watch it again. I have my core collection I revisit often and those will never go. Like Josh I have some box sets on dvd that have one or two titles I really enjoy but could care less about the others. Others I enjoy the box set on dvd but only one film has been upgraded to Blu-ray (such as colossus of Rhodes) so I have a duplicate of it on dvd along with land of the pharaohs and the prodigal). It’s a tough dilemma.
 

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I've been using an app to keep track of what I own and how often each disc is watched, and I've had that app since about 2012. Before then, I had a list that I'd keep in a word processor, and I even participated in some very old school HTF "track the movies you watch" threads. So when I got that app in 2012ish, I migrated as much of the data as I could into the app. This makes it sounds enormously high tech and cool, but really, just me doing data entry while watching TV in the background.

The interesting thing about having all of that data in front of me is that I can use the app to sort titles by when they were last watched. When I did that recently, that's when I first realized that the bulk of my unwatched (or rarely watched) discs were DVDs picked up during my Blockbuster days. It's the kind of thing I might not have noticed otherwise because they're mixed in with everything else alphabetically, and many of them were either popular films or critically acclaimed films, so it's nothing that would give me pause as I passed by it on the shelf. But not having touched a disc for 15 years is probably a good sign that it can safely go.

I'm also getting rid of anything I bought to "make a statement." It sounds silly now, but 15-20 years ago, physical media occupied a much more prominent space culturally, and there were albums and films that people would buy not necessarily to watch over and over, but because having them on their shelves reflected supporting a certain idea or belief or genre or whatever. I can't say I regret those purchases, because I probably did watch them once, and those discs did spawn a lot of conversation in college and immediately afterwards. But in 2019, people are not coming over to my house to browse my collection and talk about it, so those "statement" choices that haven't been watched in over a decade can go.
 

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I very rarely buy something I won't watch repeatedly, and most of my viewing is re-watching discs I've sampled several times before.

I did make a big mistake in buying the Twilight Time disc of Body Double: one viewing and I gave that away. (Great disc; lousy movie) I have a few films in my collection I didn't enjoy: De Sade which I bought because I like Senta Berger; I Walk The Line which I bought because it's John Frankenheimer and Gregory Peck and I'm still puzzled that I can't get on with the film: The Red Tent because it has Claudia Cardinale and Sean Connery; and the biggest mystery of all The Blackboard Jungle which I used to enjoy and now find a chore to sit through.

I going to make myself watch them all again to see if I want to keep them, but if not: out they will go!
 
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I haven't cleared out any unwanted discs in years. But I think my upcoming Spring Cleaning Massacre will include the following:

Mirrormask
Southland Tales
Where the Wild Things Are
Eragon
Grand Prix.

I also have to dump a lot of vhs and dvd titles that I upgraded to blu long ago.
 

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Southland Tales is actually an example of a title that I'd be inclined to keep - I really liked it, it's weird and wacky and not something that I'd revisit often, but I like having it around. But I realize there's a very tiny group of people who actually like that movie, and I don't begrudge anyone for not feeling a need to hold on to it.

I've also gotten rid of some Twilight Time stuff I picked up prior to becoming an official reviewer. They were mostly blind buys, and my reaction to a lot of them was that the discs themselves were beautifully designed and packaged, but that the actual movies didn't interest me as much. I think that was just a relic of a time when TT ran sales so infrequently that it seemed worth it to jump on every single one.
 
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I really don't have a "dump list" per se, but about a year ago I placed most of my discs into large binders so I could dispose of the cases.
 
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I'm also getting rid of anything I bought to "make a statement." It sounds silly now, but 15-20 years ago, physical media occupied a much more prominent space culturally, and there were albums and films that people would buy not necessarily to watch over and over, but because having them on their shelves reflected supporting a certain idea or belief or genre or whatever. I can't say I regret those purchases, because I probably did watch them once, and those discs did spawn a lot of conversation in college and immediately afterwards. But in 2019, people are not coming over to my house to browse my collection and talk about it, so those "statement" choices that haven't been watched in over a decade can go.
Yes, that hit the spot! Visitors don't even notice shelves of discs these days (video & CDs), it's just me, so any posh title (Federico Fellini ect.) I bought to make my collection look good, is a waste as I'm the only one who sees it. And as I get older, 70 next year (I can't quite believe it, I'm still in jeans & T-shirt & listening to Steely Dan), visitors are getting a bit thin on the ground.
 

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I've been using an app to keep track of what I own and how often each disc is watched, and I've had that app since about 2012. Before then, I had a list that I'd keep in a word processor, and I even participated in some very old school HTF "track the movies you watch" threads. So when I got that app in 2012ish, I migrated as much of the data as I could into the app. This makes it sounds enormously high tech and cool, but really, just me doing data entry while watching TV in the background.

Is there a particular app that you recommend Josh?
Thanks in advance
 

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I've been using an app to keep track of what I own and how often each disc is watched, and I've had that app since about 2012. Before then, I had a list that I'd keep in a word processor, and I even participated in some very old school HTF "track the movies you watch" threads. So when I got that app in 2012ish, I migrated as much of the data as I could into the app. This makes it sounds enormously high tech and cool, but really, just me doing data entry while watching TV in the background.

The interesting thing about having all of that data in front of me is that I can use the app to sort titles by when they were last watched. When I did that recently, that's when I first realized that the bulk of my unwatched (or rarely watched) discs were DVDs picked up during my Blockbuster days. It's the kind of thing I might not have noticed otherwise because they're mixed in with everything else alphabetically, and many of them were either popular films or critically acclaimed films, so it's nothing that would give me pause as I passed by it on the shelf. But not having touched a disc for 15 years is probably a good sign that it can safely go.

I'm also getting rid of anything I bought to "make a statement." It sounds silly now, but 15-20 years ago, physical media occupied a much more prominent space culturally, and there were albums and films that people would buy not necessarily to watch over and over, but because having them on their shelves reflected supporting a certain idea or belief or genre or whatever. I can't say I regret those purchases, because I probably did watch them once, and those discs did spawn a lot of conversation in college and immediately afterwards. But in 2019, people are not coming over to my house to browse my collection and talk about it, so those "statement" choices that haven't been watched in over a decade can go.
What app do you use to keep track of your stuff?
Is it available for a smart phone? That’s a good idea to have a database of a collection in this manner.
 
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BarryR

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At the moment I have maybe 350 discs on a shelf. This, after donating almost 200 over the years. I have no specific dump list, but it's easy to weed those that are doubtful repeat viewings, and this includes former favorites. Some movies I've just seen enough of after multiple viewings, or have outgrown one way or another. It's an odd feeling to revisit a supposed favorite after a ten or twenty year lapse, and no longer have any attachment for.

:wacko:
 

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Yes, that hit the spot! Visitors don't even notice shelves of discs these days (video & CDs), it's just me, so any posh title (Federico Fellini ect.) I bought to make my collection look good, is a waste as I'm the only one who sees it. And as I get older, 70 next year (I can't quite believe it, I'm still in jeans & T-shirt & listening to Steely Dan), visitors are getting a bit thin on the ground.
Listen, when all your friends have died, you are going to take great pleasure in your stack of Fellini and Antonioni discs. I look guiltily at my still shrink-wrapped titles and think that I'll eventually get round to seeing them when I'm bedridden and infirm and no longer have any friends left. At the moment, it's simply hopeless trying to put on L'Avventura, when all they want to see is Mary Poppins Returns in 4K!
IMG_8301.jpg
 

skylark68

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I'm also getting rid of anything I bought to "make a statement." It sounds silly now, but 15-20 years ago, physical media occupied a much more prominent space culturally, and there were albums and films that people would buy not necessarily to watch over and over, but because having them on their shelves reflected supporting a certain idea or belief or genre or whatever. I can't say I regret those purchases, because I probably did watch them once, and those discs did spawn a lot of conversation in college and immediately afterwards. But in 2019, people are not coming over to my house to browse my collection and talk about it, so those "statement" choices that haven't been watched in over a decade can go.
Funny how much alike I am with my collection. I probably should purge quite a few of my Criterion collection because of that aspect. I blind bought quite a few of them and while I enjoyed most of them a lot of them I probably won't ever watch again... I did the same thing with books for awhile, I bought quite a few of the Loeb Classical Library (the red for Latin and green for Greek) books for my bookcase. I think I read about 3 of the 20 or so I have... haha