Day 18 – Decluttering DVDs, CDs, Cords and Cables

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Originally published January 18, 2016 and updated January 2018 and January 2024.

It’s Day 18 of the 31 Days of 10-minute Decluttering Tips Challenge. If you’re like most Americans, you’ve got a pile of DVDs, CDs, electronic cords and cables. Maybe more than one pile of them. Our goal is to clear clutter that we don’t need from our lives and home so that we can better enjoy life. Now is the perfect time to go through those DVDs, CDs and cables. Let’s see what we want to keep and then clear the clutter

lined notebook paper with "day 18 DVDs, CDs, Cords and Cables"

Before we get started, let’s think about what DVDs and CDs mean to us. Sometimes they were gifts. Sometimes they represent our youth or happier times. Sometimes we got them on sale (you know, that “great deal”). The CDs and DVDs are just schtuff if you’re not using them. They are not memories or our youth. We need to remember than before we start looking at our collections and begin purging.  Honestly evaluate how often you’re listening to those CDs and how often you’re watching those DVDs. With music, movies and TV series available on iTunes, Netflix and Amazon, do you really need to keep all those CDs and DVDs? Do you have a way to listen to them and watch them or has your CD player been broken for years? And let’s be honest, do you still have any VHS tapes hanging around?

Now let’s think about the cords and cables that we have shoved in boxes and drawers throughout the house. Some of the cables may be as old as those VHS tapes you may or may not still have. To keep this pile of unidentified cables from happening again, commit to labeling every new cable as soon as it comes into your home. Sure you think you’ll always remember what that cable belongs to, but take my word for it, you won’t. Label the cables and cords as soon as you open the electronic item. 

Two red and black audio cables on a white surface, amidst cords and cables.

Clearing Clutter – Tips for Purging DVDs, CDs, Cords and Cables 

Now, let’s go through our CDs, DVDs or cords and cables. Grab the 6 purging bags you created earlier and your free printable Purging Clutter Checklist.  If you’re tackling CDs or DVDs, take the bags to where the CDs and DVDs are stored. If you’re tackling cords and cables, quickly gather them from around the house and bring them to a central location. 

Take Everything Out- Keep in mind we’re doing this in 10 minutes. Only take out as much as you can go through in that time. You can come back to the other items another time you have 10 minutes. Lay the items you take out on a table or the floor.

Group Like Items Together – Quickly group like items together. If you’re going through CDs or DVDs group them together by artist or genre, whatever makes sense to you.  If you’re going through cords and cables, group like ones together. 

A stack of cds and cassettes on top of each other, along with cords and cables.

Evaluate – Look at each group you’ve created. Check each box and make sure the CD or DVD is in the box. If the box is empty, it’s out of here. If any of the discs are scratched or damaged, they’re outta hea. Are there any duplicates? The duplicate can go. Are there any that you haven’t listened to or watched in the past 6 months? If it’s holiday related, you can keep it only if you listen to or watch it every holiday season.

Be brutal in purging here. Remember you can access most music and movies online now. 

A pair of earphones and a credit card next to each other, surrounded by cords and cables.

Evaluating cords and cables can be more challenging. If you can determine what the cord goes to, label it with a label maker or masking tape and a Sharpie now. If you recognize the cable and no longer have the item, then there’s no reason to keep it. It’s outta hea.

Once you’ve identified all the cords and cables, take the rest and test them out on your electronic devices. Label any additional cords that you are able to identify.

Finally take all the unidentified cords and get rid of them. If getting rid of them makes you feel too anxious. place them in a bag and label it “Unidentified Cords” with the date. Place that bag in a closet and mark your calendar. If in the next six months you’re still not able to identify what the cords go with, then they need to be purged. 

Purge – Remove items you don’t need to keep and place them in one of your 6 purging bags. 

Put Everything Away – Put the items you’ve decided to keep back away. Be sure that any cords or cables that you’re putting away are labeled first. 

Organizing Tips for CDs, DVDs, Cords and Cables

You can make an earth-friendly and no-cost CD or DVD organizer.

box with newsprint paper holding CDs with title text reading Tuna Box Organizer

This easy upcycled sweater box could be used to organize CDs and DVDs or cords and cables.

pink striped box

Organizing Products for Cords, Cables, CDs and DVDs

Selecting the right organizing products is crucial for maintaining a clutter-free and functional space.

CD Storage Ideas – More than 85 CD storage ideas, tips and products from a professional organizer for every budget and CD collection (also works for DVDs).

black bin with music CDs and cords.

Select organizing products that are adaptable to different types of cables and cords is essential. Look for products with adjustable features or customizable options to accommodate varying sizes and shapes of cables.

Silicone Cable Ties Reusable Cable Management
$9.29 ($0.46 / Count)

Multipurpose Elastic Cord Organizer for Bundling and Fastening Cables, Cords and Wires

20 Pack in black, white, pink, green

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/13/2024 12:48 am GMT
Portable Electronics Organizer and Travel Cable Case

 for Cords, Chargers, and Tech Accessories

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/13/2024 12:48 am GMT
White Cable Clips, Cord Organizer

Cable Management

for Desk, Car, Home, and Office

2 Packs Cord Holder (5, 3 Slots)

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/13/2024 12:54 am GMT
Magnetic Cable Clips Cord Holder

Under Desk Cable Management

Adhesive Wire Holder

for Home, Office, Desk, Phone, Car, Wall, Desktop, Nightstand

6 Pack 

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
Cable Management Box, Power Strip Holder

Desk Cord Organizer

Cover TV Wires

Wire Storage

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/13/2024 01:02 am GMT
Wrap-It Storage Cinch-Straps
$14.99 ($0.94 / Count)

Hook and Loop Straps with Metal Buckles

Write on Labels for Easy Cord Identification

Waterproof, Reusable, Multi-Purpose, Adjustable

Assorted 16 Pack

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/13/2024 01:38 am GMT
Cable Organizer Storage Box

with 10Pcs Rubber Ties

for Office, Home, Desk Accessories, Supplies and more

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/13/2024 01:38 am GMT
BAGSMART Electronics Organizer Travel Case

Small Cable Organizer Bag for Travel Essentials

Tech Organizer/Cord Organizer

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/13/2024 01:43 am GMT

We’ve done it. Whew. Another day of purging down. Join me tomorrow for Day Nineteen in the 31 Days of 10-Minute Purging Tips challenge. Let’s purge some more so you can enjoy life more.

Find all my decluttering tips, printables and challenges in the table below. You can scroll though the table and look for ideas or search for specific ideas with the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner (on desktop). Click on the topic and then click through the specific article.

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  1. I don’t understand how I end up with so many cords! I am definitely participating in today’ purging task.

    Your sweater box is super cute!

  2. Identifying them can be the hardest part, along with the nagging feeling that you shouldn’t get rid of it because you might need it. I like your idea of putting them aside for a period of time and then letting them go if you haven’t needed them.

    1. I battle myself with keeping them “just in case” and clearing out the clutter. Glad to know I’m not the only one, Seana.

    1. So glad that you’re finding the challenge helpful, Shari. I need a nudge every now and then to purge clutter in my life.

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