Pre-Format Anxiety

I have a DVD player.  I use it almost daily.  I have a huge collection of DVDs, all sorted nicely in their tower shelves.  When I watch movies at home I exclusively watch them on my DVD player, or saved on the DVR.  I can even watch Netflix movies on my Wii now, by putting in a special DVD.  So why in the world am I staring at a giant stack of VHS tapes and wondering what to do with them?

I am currently packing up my house, preparing to move, and in doing so I have unearthed a number of “treasures” that I forgot existed.  I hadn’t forgotten about my VCR of course; it’s still there at the bottom of my entertainment center.  It’s not plugged in though, and I haven’t used it in years.  When I found the boxes of video tapes in the basement, I had two immediate and competing instincts.

1) Look, more crap to throw away.  I’m going to need a bigger garbage bag.

2) Wow!  Look at all these great videos!  I will save them forever because I love them!  And they love me!

The first thing I did was to hook up the VCR and start watching the tapes that were not labeled.  Mostly old reruns of ‘The Simpsons’ that I’d saved when I decided I wanted to save all of the episodes in the series.  These were easy to throw out, as I now have most of them on DVD.  Bam!  Straight in the trash!

Next were all the musicals I was in from high school, things I had filmed in college, and other personal and unique videos.   These were definitely for the save pile.  Maybe I could convert them to DVD later and enjoy them in a modern way.

Finally, the actual movies, bought and paid for.  Almost all of them I had purchased again on DVD, so I put them to the side, in their own pile.  And that should have been that.  But here they all are.  What should I do with these VHS tapes?  They are in fine condition, but who would ever want them?  eBay?  Craigslist?  Yard Sale?  Trash Can?

Somehow I can’t bring myself to just toss them out.  Maybe Ruby can use them for building blocks.  Maybe I can make a cabinet out of them.  I don’t know.  Why can’t I just throw them away?!  I have no idea.  If I leave them in the house, will the new owners appreciate them? (No)  Does anyone still own and actively use a VCR? (My Mom)  Wait, that’s it!  I’m sure my Mom would LOVE some episodes of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon that I got as a present when I was in 5th grade! (No)

Ultimately, I will probably throw them out, but I’m going to leave them in their stack for now.  They are old friends of mine, so the least I can do for them is stay their execution until we move.  And if anyone wants any VHS movies, let me know.

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Posted in DVD, Movies, Moving, VHS.


  1. I am DESPERATELY trying to get all the old Elementary/High School plays converted to DVD. It ain’t cheap, and even if you are set up to do the transfer at home, it ain’t easy! So I have been agonizing over that, and they’ve all been trapped on VHS for ages.

    The store-bought VHS movies, etc that I’ve re-purchased on DVD are easy enough to toss/bring to Goodwill (I bring things that are difficult for me to part with to Goodwill, in the hopes that they will go to someone who wants/loves them, and if not, I don’t have to SEE them go into the trash)… It’s the ones that I bought and haven’t re-purchased yet–or are irreplacable that seem to be my problem as well. I’ve been trying in league with Pat to get his computer set up to do the transfers, but some of the VHS are still right-protected, so it’s often a losing battle (Oh, sweet old VHS with all of Harley Quinn’s appearances on Batman TaS, and Dead Poets’ Society… *sigh*).

    However, basically, I must suggest Goodwill as a fine place to retire your old VHS tapes… 🙂

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