Wednesday, February 15, 2006

How I Store Games


One key to happiness – GAMES


I have read a lot of discussions about storing games, and I’ve seen some excellent photographs of the furniture and locations people use for game storage. Obviously, I’m not a “true” game geek, because game storage is not of major importance to me.

When we moved into our house almost 30 years ago, it had an unfinished basement. That was one of the reasons we purchased it. We wanted to be able to finish that space the way we wanted it to serve our needs. However, the walls of the separate rooms in the basement had already been roughed-in by the previous owner. After studying the floor plan and wall studs for a while, we decided that we basically liked the layout, so we did not change the arrangement. Over a span of several years, buying materials when we could afford them and doing the work on weekends, mostly, Sue and I eventually completed the basement to our satisfaction. The only two items we did not do ourselves were the plumbing in the bathroom and the laying of the carpet.

The first three rooms we finished were the bathroom, naturally, and the two rooms that have now become “my room” and “Sue’s room.” Sue’s room was designed to serve as a large bedroom, which it did for our son, when he out-grew his small room on the main floor, and until he graduated from college. My room, it appears, had been planned to be a small office. Both rooms had wall studs installed to form a good-sized closet in each. We decided to finish these “closets” into open storage areas. We installed wide wooden shelves, to hold quite a lot of things. The storage area in my room has held games, puzzles, photo albums, notebooks, paper and other writing supplies, and stationery. As we acquired more and more games, other things got pushed aside or moved to the attic, until almost half the closet was devoted to games. At the peak of our game collection, we had something over 200 games.

As we began purchasing more Euro-games, we found ourselves rarely playing our older games. Last year, I made the major decision to dispose of most of those games we had owned for many years. In all, I got rid of about 150 games. I traded groups of several games for a single new one in several cases, and the games no one wanted to trade for, I gave to a thrift store. We continue to purchase new games, and the space I had created by the “thinning” is beginning to fill up again.

After reading recently about some ways other people store games, I took a look at my storage pattern. While some people store games by publisher, by type of game, by designer, by box size, or some other criterion, it appears my storage is based primarily on the frequency with which the game is played. One area holds most of the games we did not eliminate in the “great reduction” last year. Most of these are seldom played, but were kept primarily for nostalgia purposes. Some of the them probably will never be played again, but we just can’t part with them. Some have been in our families since before we were married, and we will never get rid of them. Others are rather unique or out-of-print and are kept more as collectors’ items. Another area contains new games that we have bought in the past couple of years, but that only get played once a month or so. We enjoy them, but for various reasons, we just don’t get them out too often. One area holds the smaller card game boxes; they are easier to find when stored together. Then, there is the “active” game group. These are games that get played almost every weekend. They are front-and-center, easy to grab and easy to re-file. These are the boxes that are beginning to show the wear-and-tear of constant handling. This is also where the newest game gets stored, at least temporarily, until we discover whether it becomes one constantly-played, or whether it gets relegated to the “occasional-play” group. It appears that, by accident, my game storage has become one simply of convenience. This arrangement works well for us, so I do not expect to change it anytime soon.


--- Gerald … near Denver, Colorado; February 2006
aka gamesgrandpa -- A grandpa who is a mile high on gaming

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