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Let's Start Getting Rid of Some Things (Movies Edition)- My Minimalism Journey, Part 1

Photo by That Weird Girl Life
We all love movies. Watching them and going to them (well, not so much now! I'm writing this deep in 2020, so you know what I'm talking about). And from streaming services to renting services to our own home collections, we've all been watching them a lot while we've been staying at home. So I decided that my first act of minimalism would be going through my own collection of DVDs and blurays and declutter my movie collection!

I hinted at this in my previous post about what I was up to in May, so if you want to read my little blurb about it, click here!

Hey, It’s a Start!

I know, I know...this may not be the right way to to start to declutter, but I decided to dip my toe into minimalism the easy way- because honestly, all I've been doing has been watching a lot of movies and TV (okay, not all I've been doing, it just seems like it!) and it made me think, "if I'm watching all of these TV shows and movies on streaming services, what am I not watching in my own movie collection? If I'm not going to watch it anytime soon or in the future, do I really need to own it?"

That's always the question that gets me when I declutter: do I need it? But in this case, it was more of the question: “Will I watch this again in the future (numerous times)? And will this be something I’d recommend to family and friends so they could borrow it?” With that, I culled through my DVD/bluray collection!

My Life in Movies (and How My Tastes Have Changed)

I will have to admit, though my DVD collection isn’t huge, I was still surprised at how many I had and hadn’t watched in so long! Some of my DVDs were OLD! (Like I have an original copy of Signs from when it was first released. That was in the early 2000’s, I think? That’s pretty impressive, you gotta give me that! Also, that scene with Joaquin Phoenix in the closet watching TV with the alien footage is still the best reaction scene ever!)

It was actually pretty fun to go through my collection. It was like a walk down memory lane. I was reminded of why I bought the movies in the first place, where I was in life, what I was going through, the memories that movie (or even that copy of the movie) holds for me. I honestly buy movies because I like them and I really do mean to rewatch them, but even though the movies are good, I tend not to rewatch certain ones, for some reason or another (I blame streaming services! And books. Books always distract me).

So I gave myself a little mission: watch some of the movies I was unsure about, and decide if I really want to keep them or not. Because, honestly, I hadn’t watched some of these movies in such a long time, that I had forgotten if they were any good or not! (I mean, I obviously thought so if I bought them in the first place, but it had been so long!) And you know what: it worked! I ended up being reminded of movies I thought I liked, but now didn’t really enjoy (no fault to the movies. Sometimes your movie taste just changes over time!). Into the pile they went!

Others were easier to decide to give away. They were the ones I had once loved, but had outgrown. Or ones I still liked, but rarely watched and were just gathering dust. And what’s the point of having a whole bunch of movies if you’re just never going to watch them?? Plus, I reminded myself that it’s not like these movies are disappearing forever or I have the only remaining copies in the world (I’m not that special!). I can always borrow them from the library, rent them, or watch them when they pop up on a streaming service! Or the old school way- borrow them from a friend! (Remember when we used to do that sort of thing? And Blockbuster and Hollywood Video?? Okay, now I’m really showing my age!)

And it gave me a fun reason to send my niece a fun package in the mail! I have a few kids movies that are nostalgic favorites, but I never really watched, so I thought maybe I could share a bit of my childhood with my niece (I had, and still have, excellent taste, even as a child). So not only was I able to let her borrow some of my personal favorites (and I gave my sister the option to keep them if my niece really liked them!), I was also getting rid of a few more movies! Bonus!

A big stack of just SOME of the movies I got rid of! Also, can you spot the random cat hair amonst the cases? Photo by That Weird Girl Life

What Movies I Decided To Get Rid Of*

*and a little reason or two on why I decided to not keep them:

Black Swan- I love me a thriller! But I rarely watch this one, despite loving ballet and all of the dark themes.

Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging- I loooved these books as a tween, and was so excited when I heard they made a movie about it in England years ago! The movie is super cute, but not one I watch on the regular. I may just be a little too old for it. (Also, Georgia is supposed to end up with Dave the Laugh! Even though the guy who played Robbie in the movie is super cute!)

Aquamarine- Another one I’m just a little too old for. But it’s adorable and it’s all about mermaids and the power of friendships. Not going to lie though, I saw this when I was legit 18 years old and loved it.

Shutter Island- Here’s another thriller while I love, but again, don’t watch that often. That twist though! Still makes me shiver!

Oculus- I remember watching this one in theaters and being so disturbed by it! In case you didn’t know, horror is my favorite genre, and while this movie is good, it’s not one of my go-to horror movies and one I’ll watch over and over again.

Whip It- Girl power and roller derby! Ellen Page and the rest of the cast is amazing in this, and I love the empowering message in it. But again, I couldn’t remember the last time I watched it (judging by the layer of dust on top of it, not for quite some time!).

The Haunting in Connecticut- This was a horror movie I initially liked when I first saw it, but after rewatching it, I didn’t really like it that much! Just shows you how your tastes can change!

Hook- Oh, Hook. A childhood favorite! A lot of people think this movie didn’t age well, but I still like it. Just not enough to keep it and watch it on repeat like I used to when I was little! Rufiooo!

Moana- Now, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Moana! But the bluray, not the movie itself, holds some bad memories for me. Thankfully, I can give away the bluray, but always watch the movie some other way (again, streaming services!).

Mad Max: Fury Road- Man, this movie was good! But intense. And not one I watch all that much. (Though I will pretty much anything with Tom Hardy in it, let’s be honest, good or bad)

Girl, Interrupted- You know how you really relate to certain movies at certain times in your life? This was one of them and as much as I still think it’s an excellent movie, I really don’t ever watch it (it hits a little too close to home, you know?).

Mama- This was another horror movie that I really liked when I first saw it, but then on a recent watch, decided it just wasn’t as great as I remembered. Or even as scary as I remembered! As someone who likes horror, I have to admit that I like my horror movies more on the scary side than not. (Also, I thought the original short it was based on was way more creepy. Sometimes less in a horror movie is more!)

The 40 Year Old Virgin- This is one of those classic movies that makes me laugh, but I’ve just seen it one too many times. I’d probably be happy to watch it in a year or so if it ever goes back onto a streaming service, but not to own.

The Back to the Future trilogy*- For some reason my family had two of these sets on DVD? We don’t need two, we just need one. How did we get two sets of these movies??? Sorry, older edition, you’re out!
*Not pictured

Signs- As mentioned above, I have one of the first releases of this movie on DVD (humble brag). And as great as this movie is (unlike some of M. Night Shyamalayn’s latest movies...ahem), this is one I’ve seen a lot and really don’t plan on watching in the future (at least anytime soon).

Heathers- Okay, I love me some Winona Ryder and this movie truly is a cult classic, but did I watch it more than twice since I bought it years and years ago? Nope! Sorry, Veronica! Also, what's your damage, Heather?

Jennifer's Body- Another cult classic, but one that I watch frequently? No. (But you should totally check it out! It’s highly underrated!)

Shaun of the Dead- a great horror-comedy that's so funny and clever. But I haven't watched it in so long! (Also, I’m kind of over zombies at this point)

*Bonus* Loaned to my niece (and she has the option to keep them if she likes them!):

Annie*- Such a classic and one that I hope my niece will sing the songs over and over again to annoy my sister and brother-in-law (I’m such a good aunt!)

Coco*- I love this Pixar movie, but every time I watch it, it makes me sob! Damn you, Pixar, for making some stellar animated and emotional movies that hit me right in the feels! That's why I can rarely watch it! Wah!

Anastasia*- This movie was my go to as a kid and I still love it to bits! But do I watch it over and over like I did as a kid? Nope. The soundtrack is still really good though! (But again, I just listen to that via Spotify or YouTube!) 

*Also not pictured

The After Effects of Getting Rid of a Whole Bunch of Movies

Going through my movies was actually really, really satisfying! It gave me a chance to look through what I had, evaluate my taste in movies (it’s changed a lot!), what I was holding on to just for the memories, not necessarily the movies themselves. And it really reminded me that movies are for watching, just not collecting. I mentioned above that I used to watch certain movies over and over again as a kid, but obviously as adults, we don’t do that. So the movies we do keep tend to be favorites that we don’t watch that often, but watch often enough that we actually own copies of those movies. Or at least, that’s how it should be. So after going through all of my movies and deciding on the ones I want to keep, I know that the ones I’m keeping are the ones I’m definitely going to watch multiple times in the future and are going to be the ones I like enough to recommend enough to others (and enjoy watching myself!).

In fact, my mom’s friend was asking for a movie to borrow and I asked her what she was in the mood for. No musicals, nothing scary or dramatic, just something that she’ll enjoy and is an overall great movie. Thanks to my pared down movie collection, I knew exactly what she would like: the 1994 version of Little Women. And guess what! She loved it! We even had a great discussion after she watched it (the Jo, Laurie, and Amy love triangle is timeless) and then I suggested she watch the 2019 version when she could so she could compare the two movies. See! My decluttering helped!
Also, I came up with a few tips (four, exactly) that helped me when I was decluttering and they may help you get rid of a few of your DVDs, blurays, and old tv shows (or laser discs or VCRs or whatever old school devices you may watch movies on. I don't judge!):

My Tips For Going Through Your Movies/TV Shows and Getting Rid of Them 
  1. If you’re unsure about it, give it a watch! See if it still makes you laugh, cry, or if you still simply enjoy it. Then think about if you’re going to watch it again multiple times. If you will, keep it. If not, let it go!
  2. Give yourself time to think it over. I initially thought I wanted to keep one movie after rewatching it, but after giving myself a few days to think about it, I decided I really wasn’t going to rewatch it anytime soon. Buh-bye!
  3. Think of places to donate your old DVDs/blurays to! Whether it's a thrift store, a used bookstore that also takes movies, or a charity or even a friend, think beforehand where you're going to give them away so they just don't sit there! Also, make sure your movies are not scratched and are in good working order. If not, look into how to properly dispose of them or recycle them in your area! (Or somehow reuse them if you're a super crafty DIY person!)
  4. And just remember, it's not like you’re never going to watch any of these movies again! Like I mentioned previously, there are tons of ways to watch movies without owning them- renting/streaming and borrowing! So don’t be afraid to give away a movie you just “like”, not “love.” You’ll always be able to watch it again! (You just won’t own a physical copy of it!)
All my books ready to donate in my cute cat canvas bag! (I'm not donating the bag though!) Photo by That Weird Girl Life
A sneak peak inside the cat bag of all of the movies I'm giving away! There were more than I thought! Photo by That Weird Girl Life
It may not have been the most earth shattering decluttering cleanse in history, but I cut my DVD/Blu-ray collection in half! I'd definitely say that's a success for my first dip into minimalism! I definitely feel a lot more organized and I liked that I prioritized what movies I really liked and wanted to keep. Now I just have to figure out where to donate all of these movies to! (This trying to stay at home thing is really getting annoying when you want to get rid of things!)

What did you think of the start of my minimalism journey? It may have been an easy start, but it was a great way to practice on how to think through what you want to keep or give away. Any suggestions on what I should sort through next?  And I can't wait to get started on my next decluttering project! (Dresser drawers? Books? My closet? Ack!!)  And if you have any tips for me on decluttering and getting rid of things, let me know in the comments!

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10 comments on "Let's Start Getting Rid of Some Things (Movies Edition)- My Minimalism Journey, Part 1"
  1. Welcome back Emily :) My family has so many DVDs that we don't watch but we threw away the cases and put them in this big organizer so they're kinda just stuck there for the rest of time lol.

    Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging started my teenage crush on Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Robbie) then he was Kickass and things only escalated. I had no idea it was based off a book though. I also discovered through searching that Georgia is dating Rupert Grint...well this comment went somewhere else.

    Any way, good luck on your journey :)

    1. Hi Meagan! Thank you so much!! It's been quite a while, I know! Oops ;) Oh, that's a smart idea! I bet that saves a TON of space! DVD cases are small but put a whole bunch together and you've lost a lot of space. Plus, the cases just waste a lot of plastic, too.

      Oh my goodness, me too! I was so sad when he got married. But good for him. I'm happy for him...sigh. I do tend to watch most of the movies he's in. Just for the eye candy, you know ;) Oh, I saw that too! AND they just had a baby! So crazy! It's weird to imagine the guy who played Ron Weasley is now a dad.

      Aww thank you! I'm already starting on part 2, which is books. Which may take a while, but I'm determined to go through my book collection!

  2. Great post! It's inspired me to go through my own DVD / Blu-Ray collection again. There are so many I haven't watched in years and some I've probably neber watched, but thought I'd like the story. I actually watched Girl, Interrupted recently and forget how good and relatable that movie is to me. It was hard to re-watch it.

    I like how you rewatched any you were unsure of. That's definitely something I should try. Although I'd never part with Shaun of the Dead myself! Also, I don't think I've ever watched Signs.

    1. Hi Kim! Thank you so much! And yay, that's so exciting! That's exactly the same way I was. There were movies I hadn't watched in years, so I kept thinking, "why am I keeping them??" Did you? It's such a great movie, but I agree, VERY hard to re-watch. It hits a bit too close to home for me!

      Thanks! It was actually a fun trip down memory lane to do that! If anything, it's a great way to kill time right now ;) Oh really? It's a fun zombie comedy, if you're into that type of thing! And Signs is a great horror movie. Again, if you're into that type of thing ;)

      Thank you so much for reading and for your wonderful comment! <3

  3. Loved this post! My brother has his whole closet filled with a collection of dvds. It’s pretty cool! And I loved Aquamarine, I wouldn’t be surprised if I rented it out at Blockbuster like the good old days. (;

    1. Thanks, Payton! Ooh that's impressive! I know some people LOVE collecting DVDs and are big movie buffs, too. My brother-in-law has a whole closet full of DVDs too! Oh, Aquamarine is such a good movie! I actually saw it in theaters and I was probably way too old to be watching it, but I loved it. It's so cute!

  4. I've been on a minimalism journey too, starting off with clothes. I really should tackle the DVDs ASAP! My collection is probably covered with dust, because I never use them. Cutting your collection in half is great! x

    1. Hi there! Oh, that's exciting! It's kind of fun to go through and declutter things, isn't it? I hope going through your clothes goes well and that going through your DVDs is fun too! Aw thank you! I was kind of impressed with myself! I hope the rest of my minimalism journey can be as successful as my first try!

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting!! <3

  5. Yay to a successful decluttering session! There's no wrong way to start decluttering and I think DVDs are as good a place as any! I think we tend not to be too attached to them so it's probably the best way to "warm up". I can't wait to read your next decluttering post!

    And I LOVE your cat canvas bag. I have my own cat canvas bag too! Haha, is that a cat lady thing? :)

    Great post!

    Julie |

    1. Aww thank you, Julie! It was actually pretty fun to start decluttering! And I'm glad there isn't a right way to declutter, because I'm sure I'd mess it up if there was! But it felt really good to get rid of stuff I never watch. I felt so much lighter afterwards!

      And thank you! Do you really?? It MUST be a cat lady thing!! And I bet your cat bag is super cute, because how can a canvas bag with a cat on it NOT be cute? ;)

      Thank you for your comment and always being so wonderful and supportive! <3


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