Reducing my Boardgame Collection

Running low on space and time

The messy game cabinet

One of the things I mentioned in my 2018 in Review post was that I wanted to start reducing my boardgame collection until I could end 2019 with around 300 games.

I’m basing this amount on the expected number of games that I could fit into two large Kallax shelves. These are frequently referred to as Kallax gamer shelves. You can search on the Ikea website for Kallax if you are interested. I’m talking about the tall 5×5 shelves. Yes, they used to be called something different, nerd.

Many of my friends have already started this process. My friend Mark Johnson has dedicated more than a few episodes of his podcast to this idea. The latest one, as of this post, Downsizing a Collection, aired in June of 2018. It’s more about the why of shrinking your collection than the how, but it features a good spread of opinions and viewpoints.

Why downsize at all?

I think it’s common for people to reach a point in the hobby where they feel the need to reduce the size of their boardgame collection. Usually, this is due to the limits of their storage space or the amount of time they have to actually play games in their collection. In my case, it’s a little of both of those things. I don’t play as many games as I did a decade ago, and I just don’t need all of the games in my collection.

Marc Gilutin asked some really good questions when I posted a teaser about this episode on my Facebook Page. The one that really hit home was “What percentage of your collection got played last year?” I maybe played 10% of my collection, and honestly it’s more like 5% if I only count it if it was my personal copy that was played. It’s time to move some games.

How do I plan on reducing my boardgame collection?

Boardgame collection
This is part of the somewhat tidy cabinet.

This first step for me is to get a real sense of my inventory. I have a lot of my collection logged into Boardgamegeek (BGG), but there’s a bunch that I never entered. I’m starting with what I have there and I’ve created a list that you can see at the end of this post. It’s a work in progress, so it will change as I catch up entering games or as I move them out of my collection.

I started with my somewhat tidy game cabinet. I have two large game cabinets and probably seven or eight large plastic bins. After doing a thorough inventory of the tidy cabinet and I found 174 games including a dozen or so expansions, but – and it’s a gigantic but – I found 32 games that were never added in BGG. I’m guessing that there are as many games on my overall list that I never marked as sold. Hopefully, it will even out in the end.

So right now, I’m looking at a collection of 400 – 450 games, not including expansions. So how do I plan on reducing my boardgame collection down to 300? My plan is to focus on three strategies.

Selling online

Some games I plan on listing on the Geek Market. This will be my choice for rare games or games that tend to sell for more than $50. I don’t need to be in a hurry with these, since I can just add them to the market and wait for an offer. I feel like this is where someone into the hobby will start if they are looking for something in particular. If they don’t sell by the end of the year, I will take them out of the market and move them out of my collection using a different method. I might even try eBay. My friend Joe Aguayo has had some luck there, but I haven’t used it in many years.

Consignment

My friendly local game store, the Crazy Squirrel, allows customers to offer games for sale on consignment. My plan is to put up five games every month and just take the earnings in store credit. Yes, I do want to reduce the size of my boardgame collection but I also know there will be games that I will want to buy. These games have to be priced pretty low in order for them to move, so we are talking $5 to $20 as an asking price.

Selling at events

One great way to move a lot of games at once is to sell them at an event like KublaCon or at a local games day. Some game stores even hold special events where you can pay a small fee to participate in something like a garage sale. Typically, it’s a good idea to share the list of games that you are selling online so that people can make offers and then just pick them up on the day of the event.

Tracking my progress

This is a table where I am going to track how successful I am at reducing my game collection. Hopefully, by the end of the year, I will be removing a lot more than I add. The count is a cumulative account of how many games I manage to move. I will mark their status as owned, pending or sold as I work through my inventory or sell them.

Title of GameBGG RatingPlaysStatusNotes
2301Owned
6 nimmt!76Owned
7 Ate 902Owned
7 Wonders06Owned
7 Wonders Duel010Owned
Agricola79Owned
Airships03Owned
Alea Iacta Est72Owned
Alhambra96Owned
Alibi41Owned
Andromeda01Owned
Animal Upon Animal726Owned
Animalia77Owned
Anomia03Owned
Apples to Apples Kids61Owned
Aquaretto72Owned
Aquarius64Owned
Arboretum02Owned
Archaeology: The Card Game712Owned
Ark71Owned
Arkadia82Owned
Armorica01Owned
Ascension: Apprentice Edition83Owned
Aton72Owned
Attribute72Owned
Azul07Owned
Bacchus' Banquet02Owned
Balderdash71Owned
Balloon Cup76Owned
Bananagrams61Owned
Los Banditos76Owned
Bandits62Owned
BANG! The Dice Game09Owned
Basari86Owned
Battle Line815Owned
Battleship: The Tactical Combat Game0Owned
The Big Cheese0Owned
Big Points814Owned
Blink79Owned
Blokus73Owned
A Blood-Red Banner: The Alamo04Owned
Blue Moon City84Owned
Blueprints04Owned
La Boca01Owned
Bohnanza910Owned
Bonn Von der Roemerzeit bis heute0Owned
BOO0Owned
Boomtown01Owned
Boss Kito0Owned
BOX0Owned
Buccaneer84Owned
The Builders: Middle Ages02Owned
Bull in a China Shop73Owned
Burgen Land83Owned
Burger Joint72Owned
Burger, Baumeister & Co.62Owned
Byzanz85Owned
Ca$h 'n Gun$73Owned
Cacao84Owned
Cafe International04Owned
California75Owned
Can't Stop916Owned
Carcassonne811Owned
Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers78Owned
Caribbean01Owned
Cartagena72Owned
Cartagena 2. The Pirate's Nest71Owned
Castle Panic79Owned
The Castles of Burgundy04Owned
Catan Card Game72Owned
Catan Dice Game63Owned
Cathedral0Owned
Cheeky Monkey815Owned
Chicago Express01Owned
China82Owned
Chrononauts62Owned
Chunky Fighters72Owned
Circus Flohcati75Owned
Citadels811Owned
Cities810Owned
The City02Owned
Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure03Owned
Cleopatra and the Society of Architects73Owned
Clocktowers63Owned
Cloud 973Owned
Clubs02Owned
Coconuts03Owned
Codenames: Duet08Owned
Coin Age0Owned
Coloretto712Owned
Colossal Arena82Owned
Commands & Colors: Ancients82Owned
Corsairs0Owned
Corsari61Owned
Crappy Birthday04Owned
Crunch: The Game for Utter Bankers0Owned
Dark Stories0Owned
Dark Stories 20Owned
David & Goliath75Owned
Dead Man's Draw64Owned
Dead Man's Treasure66Owned
Deadwood 18760Owned
Deep Sea Adventure08Owned
Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)03Owned
Diamant79Owned
Dixit97Owned
DOG87Owned
Don't Rock the Boat0Owned
The Downfall of Pompeii7.56Owned
Drachen Wurf01Owned
Dragonheart76Owned
Dschunke0Owned
Duck, Duck, Bruce724Owned
Duell04Owned
Dune8Owned
Dungeon Roll06Owned
Egizia010Owned
Eketorp71Owned
Elder Sign02Owned
Eleminis65Owned
Elk Fest77Owned
Emerald04Owned
Enchanted Forest63Owned
Enemy Chocolatier0Owned
Entdecker06Owned
Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre71Owned
Escalation!719Owned
Ethnos97Owned
Evergreen0Owned
Evil Baby Orphanage0Owned
Excape011Owned
Fairy Tale810Owned
Fairy Tile04Owned
Famiglia86Owned
Family Business71Owned
Family Fluxx67Owned
Famous 500: The World's Smallest Car Racing Game01Owned
Favoriten0Owned
Felix: The Cat in the Sack76Owned
Finca79Owned
Finito!817Owned
Fireball Island01Owned
FITS05Owned
FLY01Owned
For Sale925Owned
Forbidden Desert08Owned
Forbidden Island819Owned
Formula D09Owned
Four Dragons01Owned
Frank's Zoo710Owned
Fresco01Owned
Friday07Owned
Fuji Flush03Owned
Full Thrust0Owned
Fundstucke03Owned
Fzzzt!72Owned
Galaxy Trucker89Owned
Galloping Pigs63Owned
Geisterwaldchen74Owned
Gelini Nightlife75Owned
Get Bit!06Owned
Ghost Blitz74Owned
Gingerbread House02Owned
Giro Galoppo75Owned
Glen More88Owned
Gloom73Owned
Glucks-Piraten64Owned
Go0Owned
Great Wall of China61Owned
Greedy Greedy Goblins02Owned
Gulo Gulo78Owned
GYM0Owned
Habe fertig0Owned
Haggis84Owned
Halli Galli54Owned
Hanabi06Owned
Hansa76Owned
Hare & Tortoise01Owned
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle06Owned
Harry's Grand Slam Baseball Game836Owned
Hearts Blazing: Melodramatic Sci-Fi Adventure0Owned
Heimlich & Co.03Owned
Hero Realms77Owned
Heroscape Marvel: The Conflict Begins02Owned
Hey, That's My Fish!714Owned
High Society01Owned
Hisss03Owned
Hit or Miss75Owned
Hive79Owned
Hollywood Blockbuster74Owned
Homesteaders72Owned
Hop Hop Hooray!711Owned
Horse Fair Card Game02Owned
HUE01Owned
Igel Argern71Owned
Igloo Pop73Owned
Illuminati7Owned
Illuminati: New World Order0Owned
Imaginiff71Owned
In Limbo72Owned
Incan Gold79Owned
Industria0Owned
Industrial Waste011Owned
Ingenious: Travel Edition76Owned
Iron Man 2: Game of War03Owned
Israeli Independence67Owned
Istanbul06Owned
Jager und Sammler04Owned
Jaipur710Owned
Jamaica85Owned
Jambo72Owned
Jolly & Roger01Owned
Journey to the Center of the Earth72Owned
Kachina75Owned
Kahuna61Owned
KakerlaCard0Owned
Kakerlaken Poker74Owned
Karuba98Owned
Karuba: Das Kartenspiel02Owned
Kaseklau!820Owned
Keer op Keer01Owned
Keltis03Owned
Keltis: Der Weg der Steine Mitbringspiel825Owned
KeyForge: Call of the Archons914Owned
King of New York02Owned
King of Tokyo817Owned
King's Breakfast712Owned
Kingdom Builder8.58Owned
Kingdomino53Owned
Kings of Air and Steam01Owned
Kingsburg819Owned
Kittens in a Blender03Owned
KLASK01Owned
Klunker01Owned
Knock! Knock!01Owned
Kung Fu Fighting72Owned
Labyrinth01Owned
Las Vegas07Owned
Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game814Owned
Level X86Owned
Liar's Dice74Owned
LIE01Owned
Lifeboats81Owned
Linko!02Owned
Living Labyrinth74Owned
Loch Ness04Owned
Loco Motive03Owned
Loonacy011Owned
Loopin' Louie78Owned
Loot76Owned
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game823Owned
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Deck-Building Game04Owned
Lords of Vegas01Owned
Lost Cities820Owned
Lost in Time0Owned
Lost Legacy: The Starship03Owned
Love Letter710Owned
Machi Koro07Owned
Mad Gab52Owned
Mad Gab Card Game01Owned
The Magic Labyrinth810Owned
Magic: The Gathering7Owned
Make 'n' Break75Owned
Malarky6Owned
Mall of Horror61Owned
Mamma Mia!77Owned
Manoeuvre72Owned
Maori722Owned
Marrakech01Owned
Marrakesh77Owned
Martian Dice010Owned
Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers vs. X-Men811Owned
Mastermind5Owned
Megastar62Owned
Melee71Owned
Memoarrr!01Owned
Memoir '4402Owned
Metropolys73Owned
Midnight Party73Owned
The Mind76Owned
Mint Tin Aliens01Owned
Mint Tin Pirates0Owned
Mmm ... Brains!51Owned
Modern Art01Owned
Monopoly4Owned
Monopoly Deal Card Game712Owned
Monster Maker42Owned
Mord im Arosa04Owned
Mosaix87Owned
Mow89Owned
Mr. Jack77Owned
Mr. Jack Pocket79Owned
Munchkin53Owned
Munchkin Booty0Owned
Munchkin Crazy Cooks0Owned
Munchkin Marvel0Owned
Mysterium96Owned
Mystery Rummy: Escape from Alcatraz0Owned
Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper01Owned
Mystery Rummy: Jekyll & Hyde72Owned
Mystery Rummy: Murders in the Rue Morgue0Owned
Nacho Loco61Owned
Nemo's War (second edition)06Owned
News@1101Owned
Niagara76Owned
Nightmare Before Christmas Party Game0Owned
No Thanks!76Owned
Novo Dice02Owned
Nuclear Escalation7Owned
Nuclear Proliferation7Owned
Nuclear War7Owned
Numeri05Owned
Oceania02Owned
OctoDice06Owned
Octopus' Garden03Owned
Odin's Ravens74Owned
Olympus0Owned
On the Dot72Owned
One Night Ultimate Werewolf010Owned
Onirim76Owned
Opera71Owned
ORC0Owned
Outburst!42Owned
Owner's Choice02Owned
Pairs012Owned
Pairs012Owned
Pandemic87Owned
Parade04Owned
Paris Connection02Owned
Pass-Ackwords0Owned
Patchwork07Owned
Patrician917Owned
Peanut Butter & Jelly Card Game51Owned
Penguin Pile-Up51Owned
Pergamon913Owned
Pick Picknic712Owned
Pickomino6.517Owned
Pictureka! Card Game31Owned
Piece o' Cake813Owned
Pieces of Eight: The Cursed Blade01Owned
Pieces of Eight: The Maiden's Vengeance01Owned
Pig 10714Owned
Pina Pirata02Owned
Pirate Fluxx03Owned
Pirateer0Owned
Piraten0Owned
Pit71Owned
Pizarro & Co.02Owned
Plato 300003Owned
Plato 300003Owned
Pocket Mars0Owned
Pocket Rockets74Owned
Poison710Owned
Poo: The Card Game02Owned
Pop the Pig0Owned
Pop-Up Pirate!04Owned
Port Royal018Owned
Power Grid98Owned
Punk sucht Lady01Owned
Quarriors!03Owned
Queen's Necklace83Owned
Qwirkle04Owned
Qwirkle Travel04Owned
Qwixx08Owned
R-Eco816Owned
Ra73Owned
Ra: The Dice Game834Owned
Race for the Galaxy813Owned
Rack-O03Owned
Rage0Owned
Rat Hot76Owned
Rat-a-Tat Cat617Owned
Rattle, Battle, Grab the Loot0Owned
Red Flags03Owned
Red November71Owned
Red703Owned
Reef Encounter84Owned
Regular Show Fluxx04Owned
The Resistance02Owned
Risk0Owned
Risk: Star Wars Edition0Owned
Rivals for Catan: Deluxe0Owned
Robber Knights01Owned
Robotory0Owned
Roll For It!03Owned
Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age941Owned
Rook0Owned
RUM0Owned
Rum & Pirates0Owned
Rummikub02Owned
Saboteur71Owned
Saint Petersburg811Owned
Salem 16920Owned
San Juan88Owned
Santorini02Owned
Santy Anno71Owned
Say Anything84Owned
Scattergories66Owned
Schotten Totten03Owned
Scrabble61Owned
The Settlers of Catan61Owned
Sherlock710Owned
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective01Owned
SHH0Owned
Show Manager03Owned
The Simpsons: Slam Dunk07Owned
Slamwich62Owned
Sleeping Queens713Owned
Slide 574Owned
Small World88Owned
Small World Underground0Owned
Smash Up06Owned
Smash Up: Awesome Level 90000Owned
Sobek88Owned
Sorry! Sliders713Owned
SOW0Owned
Space Beans73Owned
Space Empires: 4X0Owned
Space Hulk: Death Angel The Card Game63Owned
Space Station Assault73Owned
Speculation04Owned
Splendor811Owned
Spot it!713Owned
Star Fleet Battles7Owned
Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game012Owned
Starbase Jeff0Owned
Starship Catan73Owned
Startups01Owned
Stich-Meister01Owned
Stone Age913Owned
StreetSoccer01Owned
Strike011Owned
Struggle for Catan01Owned
Subdivision02Owned
Super Hero Squad Card Game710Owned
Super Showdown0Owned
Sushi Go!011Owned
Sushizock im Gockelwok710Owned
Taboo03Owned
TAJ0Owned
Tapple02Owned
Tattletale01Owned
Telestrations910Owned
Thebes71Owned
They Who Were 80Owned
Thurn and Taxis1028Owned
Tichu84Owned
Ticket to Ride89Owned
Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries0Owned
Tiki Topple76Owned
Time's Up!914Owned
Timeline: Americana0Owned
Timeline: Diversity02Owned
Tin Soldiers0Owned
Tiny Epic Galaxies02Owned
TKO01Owned
To Court the King75Owned
Tokaido06Owned
Too Many Cooks0Owned
Top & Down01Owned
Tor-Duell0Owned
Tortuga 166701Owned
Traders of Carthage87Owned
Trans Europa78Owned
Treasure Falls01Owned
Treehouse61Owned
Trendy02Owned
TSCHAK!72Owned
Tsuro88Owned
Turn the Tide02Owned
UNO06Owned
Unspeakable Words79Owned
Uruk: Wiege der Zivilisation84Owned
Valdora87Owned
Vegas Showdown72Owned
Viva Topo!714Owned
Vs. System719Owned
Wacky Wacky West02Owned
Walnut Grove915Owned
Wasabi!76Owned
Weapons of Mass Destruction0Owned
The Werewolves of Miller's Hollow01Owned
Witch's Brew86Owned
Wits & Wagers71Owned
Wizard7Owned
Wizard01Owned
WOO0Owned
Wyatt Earp84Owned
Xtronaut: The Game of Solar System Exploration0Owned
Yahtzee Free for All75Owned
Yggdrasil01Owned
Yspahan86Owned
Zeus on the Loose01Owned
Zombie Dice718Owned
Zombie Fluxx74Owned
Zombie in my Pocket64Owned
Zooloretto77Owned

Share your own stories of managing your collection. Have you reached a point in your hobby experience where you feel better having a smaller number of games? Do you think that’s nuts and enjoy having a really big collection? Tell me about your experiences.

Be thoughtful of others. Make a small change for the better even when you feel like things are too messed up for anything to matter.

14 thoughts on “Reducing my Boardgame Collection”

  1. I feel your pain. I’ve sold about 30-40 games in the last year. But I’ve successfully wittled my collection down to less than 200, and they’re mostly games I still occasionally play.

  2. I wish you luck! I’ve been struggling to reduce my collection for quite a while. When I started, the biggest hurdle was overcoming attachment to a game. Now, I’m past the sentiment and I struggle with doing the actual work necessary to get the games out the door. Your strategy sounds good, and I think you’ll do well.

  3. Boy, I like that consignment idea. Get them on someone else’s shelves! It’s always listing and shipping that’s the problem.

    After that, if you really want to get some progress, I recommend listing them *all* on EBay at once. Put a cheap price, and get your “if it fits, it ships” boxes ahead of time from the PO. Charge $5 for shipping and raise the asking price, this excites gamers. Then, all of your listings will close at the same time. It’ll just be *one* trip to the post office, and you already have the boxes you need.

  4. I’ve had good success doing much as you’re setting out to do.

    As Greg mentions, getting over the mental hurdle of letting games go is a big step. Sometimes it’s old favorites that just don’t get played any longer. Other times it’s games you worked hard to acquire…then never actually played. Really, they all have their stories. I found that once I was ready to let go, it got easier as I went.

    I was lucky to have a local (well, 3-hour drive!) game flea market that helped unload a sizeable chunk to get me started. It was a full weekend’s work before to inventory and price everything. Then the drive down & back, the sales…and the feeling of loading at least half of that inventory back in the car, back onto my shelves.

    After that it was a cinch to list those games for the same prices on Geekmarket. Several more moved over a few weeks, and since then it’s been the proverbial “long tail” of very occasional sales.

    When things stalled out I did a Geeklist auction on BGG, which helped move another batch. I’m due to do another Geeklist auction for small games now. (I’d prioritized selling larger games first since storage space was my main motivation.)

    I keep a bunch of USPS Priority Mail boxes in my garage, so if someone buys something through Geekmarket (as happened twice this month), I can immediately box it and give them a shipping cost. Sometimes it’s those Medium Flat Rate boxes Davebo mentions, other times it’s a by-weight Priority Mail box, and I have a digital kitchen scale that does the trick. Between PayPal, USPS.com, and print-at-home postage, I’m now really quick at this process. A sale comes in, I can have it boxed & shipping-quoted within 15 minutes, and often I’ve received payment & printed the shipping label the same evening. The next day I just drop off the package at the local (satellite) post office without waiting in line.

    As you can tell, there’s a learning & efficiency curve to doing this, but once you’re on a roll it’s easy. Good luck!

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