Collecting or clutter?

DVDs, books and games, post-purge

An article over on Unclutterer caught my eye – Is collecting a form of creative hoarding?

As I type this, virtually all of my worldly possessions are sitting in a storage container, waiting for me to pick them up. This includes my DVD collection. I’ve always thought of it as a ‘DVD collection’, never as ‘clutter’. H. has always thought the opposite. Now, I’m beginning to wonder – who’s right here?

For two months now, I’ve been getting by with the stuff I brought with me in my suitcases. And the only thing that I miss is my Xbox 360. I really wish I’d brought that instead of my PlayStation 2. I could be playing Forza 2 and boosting my achievement score right now instead of playing through Kingdom Hearts 2 and hanging out with Ariel from the Little Mermaid. Which, let’s be honest, is pretty fucking fruity.

I tell you what I don’t miss though: my DVDs. I brought a handful in a CD folder — things like 2001, Idiocracy, Spaced — things I could watch again and again. And I’d say I would miss those if I hadn’t brought them with me, but what about the other 1,175?

Let’s pick an extreme example: The Tao of Steve. Will I ever watch it again? I seriously doubt it. It was a bad movie and I didn’t enjoy it when I watched it. I think the only reason I hold onto it is because I had myself convinced that my DVD collection was like some shiny communist state and every disc was equal. So I would no sooner get rid of ‘The Tao of Steve’ than my three-disc Criterion Collection edition of ‘Brazil’.

But they’re not equal. Not even close.

Filling in the insurance forms for the moving company was also pretty eye-opening. Averaging a value of €10 per disc, the insurance on the DVDs alone came to €12,000. And considering the final value of everything was under €15,000, it got me thinking – is this still a collection? Or did it cease to be a collection the minute I started buying things like The Tao of Steve, or Jack Frost, owning them just to own them?

Of the DVDs I own, I reckon there are about 200 that I love. Really love. And I’d be upset if I didn’t have these. That leaves, what… 1,000 DVDs I could afford to let go of?

Anyway, it’s left me with this food for thought. Would I rather:
A: keep convincing myself that it’s worth holding onto films like The Tao of Steve, just in case Donal Logue dies a tragic death and its value suddenly skyrockets and I can retire early.
B: sell the cruft on eBay and use the proceeds to buy myself a Macbook Pro and maybe even a nice new Cinema Display.

So – any offers on 1,000 DVDs?


3 thoughts on “Collecting or clutter?

  1. E.W. Swackhamer says:

    From sharing caves with you for quite some time chief, I have to say I was always impressed with your collection, however, as you are now a globetrotter it would seem to make sense to ditch the 1,000 and use the money to further your enjoyment of the minimalistic lifestyle you have in Italy.

    either that or you could use the cash to start all over again.

    The question you have to ask here is, what would Jeff Goldblum do?

  2. bobby digital says:

    how about this – auction off your dvd collection, but before you do, grab the best lines/scenes/moments of all the dvd’s you have and create the most awesome film montage to the best soundtrack you can muster and put it up on lowbrow.

    ‘JK’s movie moments’

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