We have a tendency to blame ourselves for allowing our lives to be mired in C.R.U.D. (Completely Ridiculous Useless Debris). We chide ourselves for our procrastination when we opt for a weekend in Vegas instead of a taking a stab at a long, neglected and impacted storage locker or equally impenetrable cavity brimming with nostalgia and insect carcasses. When we want to be particularly self-punishing, we remind ourselves that we made this mess in which we are currently lying. Would it be of some comfort to realize that some of your clutter may not be totally your fault? Yes, too much shopping, garage sales and otherwise, combined with extreme sentimentality concoct the ideal Miracle-Gro host environment for breeding C.R.U.D. But, there are other forces at work that contribute to your inability to stay ahead of the clutter curve.
Both in our book, Good Riddance: Showing Clutter the Door, and this blog we’ve devoted a large amount of typeface to the technological revolution that lays waste to many material victims in its unstoppable wake. We have described some examples in detail including the demise of cassettes, fax machines and records. The changes occur at an alarming rate constantly posing the conundrum of deciding when to upgrade to the current medium and what to do with the near-obsolete collections. You feel more than a twinge of remorse for the dollar value of what you are about to unload, but are resigned to the inevitability.
The media storage industry has grown in tandem with the expansion in home entertainment and information technology. Think of all the shelving, boxes and racks designed to hold and manage large collections of VHS tapes, CDs, DVDs and even older relics that have probably faded from memory like floppy disks and 8-track cartridges. Even when small fortunes in music, software or videos are sent to new homes, the old empty storage racks linger in the shadows, abandoned and useless. And, they take up a lot of room.
Audio, software and video storage ranges from entire dedicated wall units to plastic or wooden boxes outfitted with slots for a dozen disks. But, there is one type of storage rack that dominates – the CD tower. These are the free standing racks, 4 to 5 feet high, fashioned from wood, metal or plastic, that in an earlier decade furnished an address for several dozen recordings. Some are installed on revolving bases. Many of the metal CD racks are shaped like people, animals or guitars. These racks are very unstable and can topple with very little provocation. We have de-cluttered so many of these in the past eight years that the numbers are far too numerous to speculate on. Our advice is to see if a local thrift store can sell them, or if not donate your empty racks to organizations that may need media storage devices for their offices or programs. Anyway, you should not feel any guilt in passing items like these on. You know the only reason they still reside in your home is because you mistakenly thought you could re-purpose because they were too good to throw away.