A few months ago, I reached the dubious milestone of owning 2,000 CDs.
Which made me think, why the fuck do I own 2,000 CDs?
I do listen to them all once. Before broadband, CDs were my main format to listen to music – and even discover music, and I would listen to each CD dozens of times. Now I listen once, perhaps twice.
I still buy them. Not as many as I used to, but I still buy one or two a month. It is my way of being able to justify downloading individual tracks via Soulseek or similar methods – I still cannot quite justify paying £1.99 for a track online, when I can get a physical album/compilation for £10. An actual product in my hand. Buying CDs is my way of giving something back to the artists so I’m loathe to stop.
Yet I don’t need 2,000 of them. I really don’t need Wonderwall by Oasis when I guitar music pains my ears. I don’t need Strictly Ayia Napa. I don’t need Jeremy Healy’s Clockwork Orange Mix or any of the other free CDs from Ministry magazine – a magazine that expired around 2002. I don’t need Hed Kandi’s Summer Sampler from 2001. I don’t need a CD of TV Theme Tunes…honestly, I really don’t.
I’ve always justified keeping them because they are part of my musical history. Yet they are also clutter. I feel that a field on the spreadsheet where I list all the CDs I own, bought in chronological order, is sufficient. Knowing I owned it at some point, now seems sufficient. By the way, that is why I know that I own 2,000 CDs. 2,020 to be exact.
I am decluttering
During the summer I started thinking about moving house – I was worried about being recalled to the office and hated the idea of commuting in a mask. The Met line is bad enough when you can breathe, so I was going to move closer to work – and somewhere big enough for all my stuff.
And when I started thinking about moving house, I then started to think about packing my stuff. And subsequently I started thinking about just how much stuff I have, that I never, ever use. Just there for decoration – like the 2,000 CDs. And 20 years of Mixmag magazines. Not to mention various t-shirts that are a medium size. Yes, I used to be a medium. About 10 years ago.
I’m not very good at throwing things away. I kind of think that I might have a use for it at some point in my future life – or I just don’t want to add things to landfill.
So I made a deal with myself – every time I buy something, I have to throw at least two things away. And mostly I’ve been managing to sell things on Ebay – even my Mixmag magazines sell, and I’ve made around £50 from selling them…well…less postage, packing, Ebay fees, Paypal fees…so probably £5 in net profit!
But at least I have a bit less clutter. And I am over my hoarding hill – I actively want to get rid of shit for my upcoming house move which will happen in 2021, honest.
Maybe one day I will be as minimal as my preferred music.