Hey Gamers! A while back (and I mean a while) I made a post with some quick tips to trim a collection! In general, I would still say that those are good suggestions and could definitely be helpful if you’re looking for ideas on how to cut out some games.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t doing a great job at following my own advice and my fiancé and I were being equally bad influences for the whole situation. Our collection was growing too large with games we didn’t really want or need. So, now speaking with a little more experience, here’s how we finally got rid of some of those dust collecting games!
3. Checked Player Count
While now we are lucky enough to have friends who we see once a week for game night, getting 3-6 players consistently, it wasn’t all that long ago that we really only played 2-player games with the occasional friend over for a 3-player game. And while that weekly game night is awesome, and we’ve been able to try out a ton of new stuff, 6 days out of the week, most weeks, we’re still only playing 2-player games. So, one of the first things we had to look at was player count.
Basically, if it didn’t play 2 minimum (and I mean normally, not with some weird or “special” variant) then it wasn’t for us any more. Of course, we held on to a handful of our favorite social deduction and party games, for those occasions when we do have more, but for things that had the rarest plays of those, or things we both deemed only “okay,” we had to part ways.
It was kind of difficult to make that executive decision, especially because we did still like a lot of those games. But ultimately, we had to step back and say “is one or two plays a year on all of these worth hanging on to it?” Nah, probably not.
2. Ixnay on the Iftingthray (+ Budgeting!)
We used to accumulate a lot of games from thrift stores, which was a huge part of our problem. We would always rationalize a few dollars here and there for things that looked and seemed cool, or had sick pieces, or funny covers. The problem with doing that is that those “few dollars” add up a lot quicker than you think. So, we had to severely limit our thrift store trips. This was helped in part by our move last year because we were no longer as close to a thrift store, but if you aren’t going to be moving any time soon and you also have a thrifting problem, you can try the other methods we adopted.
We started to record how much money we were spending on thrifted games, and then compared that to how long we played those games, how highly we rated them, and how many of them we actually kept after the first or second play. Most of the stuff we picked up from thrifting were lighter titles or even kids games, again, because they seemed silly, or weird, or funny. But, we were finding that we were tossing about 50% of our thrift finds after the first play because they were not as cool as we initially believed. (Spoiler: They were not cool at all). So we were spending a lot of money, having a minimal amount of fun found from the games, and then re-donating or parting the things we didn’t want (i.e. not making any money back). It amounted to a lot of wasted money, and that just wasn’t something we wanted to do any more.
Now, we still love thrift stores, and you can find some treasures or even holy grail games there. Just a few weeks ago we found Tornado Rex, complete for $4.00, which was awesome! So of course, we picked that up. The point is not to completely cut yourself off from picking up strange titles or old kids games. When we looked at those buying vs keeping details, we set ourselves a monthly game budget to help keep us on track and help limit frivolous buying of silly, one-time-plays.
Could it have been anything else?! Of course not! The number one thing we finally did was take those unplayed, dusty games that we didn’t remember any of the rules to off the shelf so that we could play them and make a proper executive decision. Again, we play most of our games 2-player, just us. So, if one of hates it, why are we keeping it? We played through a ton of things that had been on the shelf that we were both, or at least one of us was, lukewarm to previously so that we could decide what was really worth hanging on to.
Some things surprised us. Some of the titles we didn’t remember well, played smoothly and we had a great time with them, so we kept them, and kept that in mind so we could play them more. If we played it and we were both kind of “meh” on it – would rate it a 5/10 on BGG for instance, felt it was mediocre, et cetera – then we added it to the trade/sell pile. We had some games that I know we bought because the pieces were cool, or the theme was fun, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good game for us, so we had to cull, and we’re both glad we did.
Again, playing through them was the number one thing we had to do to decide what to get rid of. If there are games on your shelf that you’re dreading getting to the table, either because you hate it or everyone you play with does, maybe it’s time to say goodbye to those. I know it hurts, but pain makes you stronger sometimes … or something like that.
A few final comments while we’re still on the subject of culling. Don’t get me wrong here, folks. I love games, I love having a lot of games, and I still have a LOT of games despite getting rid of a fair amount. Culling can be one of the hardest parts of the hobby because more often than not we don’t want to admit that we don’t like/never liked/grew out of a game we picked up. But, sometimes it has to be done and, if you’re lucky, you can sell a few old games to make money for new games! Wait… maybe that’s not how this is supposed to work… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Happy Gaming, Everyone~
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