My Compact to Compact My Compact Disks

man shoveling CDs.jpg

This is sort of a follow-on blog to my blog of yesterday in which I made a compact with myself to downsize, minimize, and simplify my life.

To put that into action, I decided today that I would go through my CD collection and get rid of as many of them as I could stomach doing.  I should preface all this by saying that there is no earthly reason why I should be hanging onto them at all.  I have ripped them all onto my hard drive and can listen to them any time I want.  Furthermore, the  CDs themselves have for years been packed away on a nearly-inaccessible shelf in my home office closet.  In all that time I have only had to get to them once or twice, and that was usually to add even more CDS to the pile after I’d bought and ripped to my hard drive.

For some inexplicable reason, we can form emotional attachments to these little plastic disks and their beautiful jewel cases and colorful inserts.  As I went through the stacks, I encountered the very first CD I ever bought back in the late 1980s (America’s “View From the Ground”, which was one of my favorite vinyl albums from my college days).  There were CDs I’d received as gifts from friends and family members.  There were CDs that I listened to for hours on end at various points of my life and that are now indelibly associated with those times.   There were CDs that had taken me decades to find and buy (for example, Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk” or Harry Chapin’s “Verities and Balderdash”).  So, for some irrational reason, it is hard to part with them.

Do I need those disks to be able to listen to that music?  No.  I do not.  But they are like photos of periods of my life now long since past.  It is hard to bring myself to get rid of them.

But I did it.    Sort of.

I dug all the CDs down out of the closet.  I didn’t count them, but I estimate there are about 700+ CDs.  I went through them one by one and said “yes” or “no” and put them in the corresponding pile.   This system broke down a little when I got to my Yes CDs (particularly “Tales From Topographic Oceans”), but I was soon able to recover and move on.

Again, I did not count them all, but I estimate that I put about 300 CDs in the “get rid of” pile and about 400 in the “keep” pile.   So, my efforts to cut my collection down to a manageable 50 or 100 CDs was a failure.  But … I am getting rid of about 300 of them, and that is a good start.  Maybe in a few months I can get rid of another 2 or 3 hundred.

Here are the ones I’m getting rid of.


Here are the ones I’m keeping.


They are just in this shelf temporarily (and, yes, alphabetized by artist).  Tomorrow they go back into the closet.  I will try again in a few months to whittle them down to a mere 50 or 100 … or preferably zero.

Next up on my to-do list of things to get rid of …. my massive book collection!  Will Biff be strong enough to do this?  Stay tuned and find out!





  1. Good luck – brave choice! I find it easier to get rid of CDs as I know I can always replace them if I need to in the future, and I don’t really have emotional attachments to them, but even though I no longer have anything to play them on, I’ve kept some of my vinyl records. And the reason is for nostalgia – and some simply because I like their covers. (For instance, I can live without hearing Hawkwind again, but couldn’t bear to part with In Search Of Space with its open-out cover! And there is NO WAY I’m ever getting rid of my first and second Led Zeppelin albums, or my London Stage version of Hair… never ever…) But I don’t have an ipod or any other thingy to digitally play stuff on apart from the pc which crashes so frequently that I wouldn’t trust it to look after anything permanently.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Val! Thanks for the great comment!

      I used to believe that, since I had all of my CDs downloaded onto my iPod classic, that I had a permanant backup of them. I found out that’s not true. My iPod classic finally died, so I bought an iPod Touch (the closest thing I could find to an iPod). Unfortunately, iTunes won’t let me use my old iPod Classic database on my iPod Touch. So, I essentially have to re-rip all of my CDs! Luckily, I still have most of them.

      And I agree, there are just certain CDs (and vinyl albums) I will never, ever part with, no matter what. Especially since some of them can’t be had for love nor money.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hmmm… things go like that though, don’t they? I remember having to put all my records on reel-to-reel tape, then from the latter onto cassette, then onto minidisc (yeah, I use those still), then onto CD, then I just gave up which is why I don’t use digital players. There’s only so much transferring I’m willing to do!
        Do you back up the media you’ve got on your pc and iPod Touch to an external drive or two? Otherwise… well, y’know…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I still buy a CD from time to time. It’s a great way to support a band, and they still sound the best in the car with the volume cranked up. I don’t imagine I will ever get rid of them all…well, unless the day comes when I have nothing to play them on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the comment, J.M.! And I agree. I’m still old-school in that I’d rather get something tangible for my money. And, like you said, I like supporting the artists.

      And you never know about the technology. I never thought I’d see the day when vinyl albums would come back into vogue, but here they are! So I imagine CDs will be around for quite awhile.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Another big part of it is the stupidity that digital often costs the same or more than a physical copy. This is extra true with video games. If I’m paying full price for a new release, why they heck wouldn’t I try to get a disk out of it? And a couple months down the line, the disks will be half price on Amazon but still full price for digital downloads on the Playstation store. It’s absurd.


  3. I finished a post about this same thing the other day and have it in the queue. Do you have any CDs in your car? That might be a good way to figure out what to keep: listen to them on the way to work.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great title, with great wordplay.

    However, there is one little note I’d like to add. I’m in the process of transferring CDs to my new iPod myself. (I’m the very definition of a late adopter.) While I dumped a couple of dozen CDs I’ve never liked, I’m keeping the rest. Why? you might ask.

    Redundancy. Some day, for some reason I can’t even fathom, some nefarious someone may hack the iGadget system, and none of our Apple devices will work. With my CDs and old CD player, and a stash of AA batteries, I’ll be rocking out while the rest of the world freaks out. Think about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Linda! Great point! That was my motivation in keeping the ones that I did. I wanted to be able to keep playing them if (or when) my hard drive files crash (or I am no longer allowed to play them by the Internet Police). As you say, I’ll dust off my DiscMan, get a good supply of batteries, and I’ll be good to go!

      Thanks for the comment!


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