Conquering the Entertainment Center

Included in this article:

  • Supplies
  • Sorting Movies
  • Sorting Games


When I was a kid, our entertainment center was the backyard! Now, there is an explosion of things you can buy to entertain your kids. Some of it is even worthwhile. The problem is how to organize it.

In 2010 the movie Avatar sold over 10 million copies. That is a lot of DVDs. Factor in that nearly every household in America has some type of game system featuring controllers, floor mats, musical instruments, steering wheels. That’s a lot of clutter.

I see nothing wrong with enjoying a movie at home with the family or playing video games with your kids. I love the fact that video games like the Wii and XBox Kinect encourage us to get up and get active. What I’m not keen on is the mess. Follow a few simple steps and you can have a nice, neat entertainment center and maybe some extra cash in your pocket.

Supplies:

  • 2 Boxes
  • Marker
  • Trash Bag
  • Dust Rag
  • Several Baskets

Sorting Movies

(Crystal, let’s include a cd/dvd binder as an organizational tool, too. Here’s one at Amazon… maybe find one at Walmart, too. http://www.amazon.com/Case-Logic-DVB-200-Liner-Capacity/dp/B000JJSQ3K)  and you’ll want to include this in the supplies. So maybe a paragraph on planning first. Figure out what you have the most of.  You can still keep the sort/give/sell, just cut it down because it’s very similar to the clutter article. In fact, you can mention it briefly and include a link to the clutter article. Less redundancy. Browse around and find some creative examples for storing/organizing stuff and include the links. You can give credit to the links. Look at Curbly.com

Also for rockband stuff check into the rock box… they have it at Costco and Walmart. We have one. It stores everything, including controllers.

Since the entertainment center is a place the whole family gathers for fun and games, cleaning it out should be a family event. Gather everyone together on a Saturday morning and rip into it.
Start by emptying the entertainment center. If it is a pretty day (no rain), you can spread a few blankets out in the yard. Place all movies (DVDs, Blu-rays, etc.) on one blanket. Place all video game consoles on another blanket. Then finally place all video game discs/cartridges on another blanket.

Take your marker and write “Sell” on one box and “Give” on your other box. Now comes the hard part. Deciding what to keep, what to sell and what to give away. Let’s start with the movies. As time goes by, I have come to realize that with all the many different ways I can obtain a movie or TV show for my viewing pleasure (i.e. Netflix, iTunes, Hulu, DVR, OnDemand) there is no need for any family to own more than a handful of movies. So, most of the movies in your collection will end up in one of your 2 boxes. To decide if they are to keep, give or sell, ask yourself some questions.

  • When was the last time I watched this?
  • Do the kids watch this often?
  • Can I rent this for $5 or under?

The only movies that will go in the “give” box are VHS tapes or DVDs that were bought at a dollar store. These do not sell very well but can be given to your local Goodwill. All the rest can be sold individually or in lots. While you are sorting, keep in mind those questions. When we did this at my house I had a few family members who wanted to keep every movie. If you have movie hoarders in your family, you may have to give them a limit. Tell them to pick out 5 or 6 of their favorite movies.

When it comes time to sell your DVDs, you can sell them all at one time on eBay as a large lot or you can check out sites like www.sell-dvds.com or www.dvdpawn.com and sell them individually. Take the remaining DVDs and put them back in your entertainment center in alphabetical order for easy access.

Sorting Games

If you or a member of your family is an avid gamer, you may have more than one video game console. It’s okay to have a variety it’s not okay to be redundant. For instance, if you own a Wii and a GameCube, then you should know that all your GameCube games can be played on the Wii. So, you only need to keep the Wii. You can sell the GameCube console on eBay. Vintage video game systems sell fairly well on eBay. As for video games that people no longer play, GameStop has a great buyback program.

Sort through your video games in the same manner you did with the movies. Remember to ask yourself the same questions you did with the movies. Has it been played recently? Can I rent this for under $5? Remember, companies like RedBox and Gamefly both rent video games. It is not necessary to own every video game on the market. (too many ‘remembers’)

Once you are done sorting place consoles and controllers into their own baskets for storage. After you have put all the movies and games back resist buying new movies or games. Not only will you keep your entertainment center clutter-free, you will put more money back into your pocket.

For Video Game trade-ins http://www.gamestop.com/gs/specialty/tradeins/
RedBox Video Game Rentals http://www.redbox.com/games
Gamefly Video Game Rental http://www.gamefly.com/
Sell used DVDs www.sell-dvds.com  or  www.dvdpawn.com

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