September 5, 2009

Don’t know why I felt inspired to get into this now.  The box full of old audio tape cassettes had not been touched since about 1994.  Maybe it was because a couple weeks ago I consolidated all the audio tapes and CDs into one stack of boxes, instead of being mixed in with videos and other type of media.

I have a cardboard shoebox to hold my CDs, which isn’t big enough for all of them.  The first thing I did was do a fast sort and flip through the CD cases looking for ones that I am ready to let go of.  Enough were pulled out that I can now fit all my CDs in the box, and there is room for about five more.  This was a good practice run for the next step.

Audio tapes.  Not sure how many I had, maybe around 200.  I went through them all without listening to them – only going by the label on each tape.  If I start playing them I’ll never finish.  They were sorted into three piles:

1. Must Keep
Space for these is limited to a storage case I have that has slots for 30 cassettes.  I doubt that there will be any new tapes added at this point.  From now on if I buy a new tape, an old one will have to be discarded.

2. Donations
These are original store-bought music albums on tape that I can part with.  Mostly 1980’s rock and pop bands.  It didn’t feel right to donate or sell a copy of a tape with a handwritten label – only originals.

3. Other
The biggest group.  Copies made of vinyl albums (don’t have the vinyl anymore, or a turntable).  Things I want to listen to before deciding.  Music tapes given to me by people I don’t know anymore.  Tapes that were not labelled.

The sorting was all I did that day.  The three piles stayed that way until trash day this week.  On trash day right before taking it out I will usually look quickly through my piles to find at least one thing that I can throw away.  This time I looked at my “Other” pile of tapes.  I sat down with this one pile again and ruthlessly cut it down to only 10 tapes.  All the rest went right into the trash.  There is probably a way to recycle them, but right now I don’t have the energy to find out the “right” way to discard tapes.

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