I have always had a big problem with my addiction to music. I tend to hear I song I like, then rush out to the local record store to buy the CD, without consideration for whether or not I would actually like the rest of the songs on the set. After years of this habit, I have amassed a huge CD collection, but I have been left with many one-hit-wonder discs that I no longer listen to and just gather dust while taking up space in my small apartment (anyone else fall for the infectiousness of Chumbawumba's "Tubthumping" back in the '90s only to find the rest of the CD less than appealing?). I know I am not the only one with this infliction I like to call " Itchy Trigger Finger Music Purchasing," and we all could use some help in weeding out the now-undesirables to make room for hopefully wiser purchases in the future.
I have an established this routine for tidying my overflowing CD collection:
? Scan through your CD collection with this golden rule in mind ? "If you haven't listen to it two years, pull it out." Make a pile of these discs that have not had a recent relationship with your stereo.
? Scan through this pile of CDs and remove the ones you know you like, regardless of lack of play over the last two years (everyone has favorites, but they cannot possibly be listened to on a regular basis when you are constantly buying new music). Put these back in your collection for future blast-from-the-past urges.
? Take the pile you have remaining and sort them in chronological order. The older CDs are the ones most likely to have been ignored over the years, and thus prime candidates for elimination.
? Read through the track listings of these discs to see if you recognize more than one song by sight. If necessary, slip them into your stereo to refresh your memory. If you are familiar with three or more songs on the set, then you probably enjoyed that CD at one point, and you can use your discretion as to whether or not you want to keep it in your collection, or part ways with it since you haven't listen to it in quite some time. Those discs with only one recognizable song need to go!
Now you should have a pile of discarded CDs and you are wondering what to do with them. Use them as coasters? Use them as Frisbees? Have a CD-burning partying (I'm talking about the pyromania version of burning, not the process of transferring to a blank CD). These options are fine and dandy, but I'd like to suggest a couple of other options. You could invite some friends over so they can take a gander at what you no longer want. What's old and tired to you may be just the thing your pals have been searching for (not everyone can be blessed with good taste in music). The other option is to find folks to trade with online. There are plenty of audiophiles trading at SwapThing. There are many categories at SwapThing, so you don't necessarily have to swap your music for more music; you can exchange your CDs for virtually anything that someone else is offering. Good luck and get cleaning!
SwapThing.com is a site focused on building a strong swap community online. The ShareThing program helps non-profits get access to item & cash donations as well as volunteers and professional services.
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