Minimise Your Media: Take Back Your Shelves

How are your spare surfaces and shelves occupied in your home? Are they filled with things you treasure, things with a purpose, and things that enrich your life?

Or are they filled with old books you won’t read again, DVD’s you’ve seen twice but also have saved on your hard-drive, and CD’s when you no longer have a machine to play them?

Too often we collect what is familiar, and what we once treasured, because we associate warm nostalgic feelings with it.

I have three shelving units in my house, and I would say that over 90% of the space on them is used to store books. However the books on there are books that I or my husband place great value in. Perhaps we will read them again, maybe they are books waiting to be lent to friends and family because we enjoyed them so much, or they could be ones we are keeping for our children to read one day.

We used to have so many more. I mean hundreds.

Now I see nothing wrong with this if you have the same and you value each and every one. If each book on your shelf adds warmth, meaning and experiences to your life.

For me however, I often kept books simply because I had bought them, read them, and needed a place to store them.

My husband was the same with his DVD collection, even though we currently have a Netflix and Amazon Prime subscription, as well as a hard-drive with over 100 of our favourite films on. Over a period of a year in our flat in Scarborough, we agreed that if we got a DVD out to watch, we would put it in a box and store it. If the TV cabinet was clear of DVD’s by the end of the year, we would keep them all.

We didn’t remove a single one.


Again, if your collection is something you value than of course, keep it. However for us, it was just yet another form of clutter taking up valuable space in our home.

Now, I get more value in giving someone an amazing book I have just read to also enjoy themselves.

I love that I no longer need to spend time sorting, dusting and finding space to store a huge CD and DVD collection.

And I appreciate my smaller media collection much more, as now it is made up of a smaller but wholly more significant collection of key books which I really truly love.

Today, make a deal that if you play a DVD, read or think about a book or listen to a CD, you turn it backwards on the shelf.

In four months, look at those that remain front facing. Do you feel sentimental about them? Keep them.

Are they significant and you can’t part with them just yet? Keep them.

If not. Give them a new home.

Let someone else enjoy that book you devoured in two sittings. Allow a friend to watch that film that made you cry with laughter, and share that CD with your family to introduce them to that new band you love so much.

 Because talking about your experiences with these pieces of media often are more enjoyable than seeing them sit on a shelf collecting dust.


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