Many years ago, when Steve and I lived in an apartment in NYC, doing the whole build-our-careers-before-kids thing… we purchased this beautiful wood media cabinet from Ethan Allen. I mean, I just loved-loved- loved this piece of furniture. Fast forward 15 years, 3 moves, and 6 kids later… and this once-gorgeous piece of furniture is looking…. hmmm… shall we say…. sporting the broken-in look? And while it sure it possesses quite a few deep grooves and scratches- it still maintains its purpose with dignity… as our family's media cabinet. The place where DVDs, CDs, video tapes (yes, we still own some of those) and board games all wait to be played with.
And might I say…. this space had become a bit…. overstuffed?
But these days I have the “decluttering bug”… and I know just what to do to take care of this problem… and get your timers out peeps- because this can be done in just one hour!
Ready? Start your clocks:
Step 1: Empty the cabinet and drawers and sort the contents into piles
I made a pile for DVDs, CDs, Video tapes, board games (actually at one point each board game was in its own pile while I had my daughter sort out all of the stray pieces). As I sorted these piles, I made a separate pile for all of the items that I knew my family had outgrown- preschool DVDs, and board games geared for the 4 and under set.
Step 2: Eliminate needless packaging, create containers for similar items
I think that it is so much easier to keep your DVDs organized if you get rid of all of those plastic DVD cases and just keep them in album-style DVD holders. You can store 50 DVDs in the space that just 5 DVD cases would take up, and if you like to take your DVDs on the road with you when you travel (as we do!) having them in album-stlye cases makes it SO much easier.
Also, so many of the DVDs that I buy come with 2nd DVDs of “bonus footage” or the Blu-Ray copy, so I wanted to find the right way to store these other formats and DVDs separately. To do that, I took a recipe box that I wasn't using and I created dividers for each category of DVD that I wanted to save. Now when I open a new DVD case, I can immediately put the movie in the album case and the additional footage in the file box!
When it comes to all of those old CDs that you own, your best bet is to upload them onto your computer, converting them into digital files that you can take on your phone or other portable device, and get rid of the CDs (and yes, I believe that there are websites that do purchase your old CDs.) But since this is a larger project than can be completed in an hour, I gathered all of our CDs into a large bin and put them away until we can find the time to upload them onto our computer.
And then of course I enlisted my kids to help me work through the board games, making sure we had all of the pieces, and asked them to help me decide what board games to keep and what to donate.
Step 3: Purge, purge, purge
I filled up a big garbage bag with all of the DVD and CD cases that I didn't want to keep, and then started two big piles of items to donate. One was a large box of games (that had all of the pieces intact!) and one was a bag full of movies on VHS tape (I sure that the Boys and Girls Club can use these!)
Step 4: Return the “keepers” in an organized fashion!
Once all of the clutter has been removed, it is so easy to return everything to the shelves and drawers in a neat and organized way! And check it out… I even ended p with a completely empty drawer! Wow! I can't remember when the last time was that I had one of those!
So, does your media cabinet need a little work? If so, have I inspired you to tackle it?