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Subject: Physically organizing a collection rss

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Richard Hensman
United States
Everett
WA
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Hi Geeks,

I have a large collection of games, arranged around my game room on shelves. Actually, "arranged" is a bit strong of a word. They're randomly shoved onto whatever shelf had space at the time. And that's gotta change.

I am intending to rearrange my collection so that when I'm looking for something to play, I can go to one or two areas to look for something that fits the current mood/situation.

For example, separating two-player games, so that when it's just my wife and me, we can look there and not have to search the whole room.

What I've come up with so far is this:
Party games
Solos
2-player (only) games
Group games that play well with 2 players
Quick Setup
Games that play well with a large group
Co-op games
Deck Builders (which I want to separate because my wife doesn't like them)
Worker Placement
Mini-based dungeon crawlers (which I want to separate because I have so many of them!)
High Luck games (because sometimes you don't want to think too much)

I guess some people (but not me) would care about things like "Kid Friendly" too.

Does anyone have any further suggestions? Obviously some categories will overlap, and some people will have different scenarios that they experience often, so not every suggestion is useful for everyone, but how do YOU sort (or wish you could sort) your games?
 
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'Bernard Wingrave'
United States
Wyoming
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If you think that one or more younger children may be coming to your house at some point, you may wish to consider putting children's games where they can reach them and games you are more attached to (favorites, or particularly valuable games) on a higher shelf or in a different place altogether.
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Kevin C.
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Bethlehem
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Quote:
Does anyone have any further suggestions? Obviously some categories will overlap, and some people will have different scenarios that they experience often, so not every suggestion is useful for everyone, but how do YOU sort (or wish you could sort) your games?


I don't know how people make categories work. I tried it, but the boxes are all different sizes, so I wound up with inefficient use of space.

I've got 600+ games on various bookshelves all around my office. They are arranged by size mainly. If categories wind up forming, it is due to serendipity. Kosmos 2P, for example, has it's own shelf because they are all the same size.

"Big games," like Middle Earth Quest or War of the Ring, form the base and then other games can go on top of them.

If size allows it, I do try to group by category. So, all my GBOH games are together, as are other GMT's that stack nicely.

I'd be curious how this turns out for you. As I said, when I tried it, I wound up with boxes of all different sizes trying to share the same shelf, which lead to dead space or squeezing games in where they really didn't want to physically fit.

Good luck.

Kevin
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Quantum Jack
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I sort mainly by "family" weight games vs "gamer" weight. Then I separate co-ops. Some games are out of place due to size constraints.

Within those groups, I have them organized by my personal favorites. All in all, it is a little haphazard, but I dont have a huge collection either.
 
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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We are pretty limited by space. (We have game on one shelving unit, the top of a bookshelf, and in a bin that goes to game night.) And we have a young child. So our solution is to store children's games and any other games we care less about on the lower shelves; within that, it's by size. Upper shelves are for games we care more about, and they are also mostly by size. When stacking games of a single size, if there is a heavier game, I put it on the bottom of the stack.
 
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river tam
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I too organize by "play situation". I also make the more frequently played catagories more accessible, with prime location going to 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hour weeknight euros.

Some similar to your and some different.

Party/word games that gamers will play

party/word games that only my causal gamer friend will play

long game that I only play on weekends

I have a shelf of sock organizers from ikea that I use to sort small card games into similar mechanics.

solo playable games is another.

I use a dvd rack for my small but deep games

All my little japanese games are put together as only some of my gamer friends like.
 
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Richard Hensman
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Everett
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hippiephysicschick wrote:

I have a shelf of sock organizers from ikea that I use to sort small card games into similar mechanics.

This sounds great, but I can't find a sock organizer on their site - do you have a link, or even the product name?
Quote:

solo playable games is another.

Solos, good point, added!
 
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Richard Hensman
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Many people mentioned, so just a general reply:

Sizes. My collection is large enough that I have a range of sizes across each category, so I can still place by size within each space. This is also why I'm trying to keep the categories as large as practical... Then size is no more of a problem than it is with the collection as a whole.

However, I hate the oatmeal right now for the size disparity between exploding and imploding kittens...
 
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Eric Nolan
Ireland
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It seems like this is not going to work out very well. In my opinion you have too many categories which will hamper your ability to make best use of the space and you will run in to issues with games that fill more than one of those categories.

My, probably overly simple, solution is to have two areas. A normal one where every game we play on a regular basis or which I'd like to play more often gets put and another one for the unloved games. Sometimes people root around in the unloved games and find something they want to play. This is also where I look when it comes time to find games to trade away or sell.
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Dan B.
United States
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I tried this and failed miserably. In practice, this seems like a fun thing to do if you enjoy organization, ease of picking a game, etc etc... However, box size trumps all if you are trying to fit games into a certain area, and having Telestrations stacked on King of Tokyo instead of Dixit due to size just makes the shelves more practical. Good luck, you will probably need it!

-Dan
 
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Georg Wolgast
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My collection is still relatively small by BGG standards, but I try to sort it by ideal amount of players. Of course certain boxes disrupt the order due to size, but my collection is small enough to that this isn't a problem.

I do it this way because the size of my gaming group varies a lot, so it's very convenient to be able to just focus on one shelf for the amount of people that are present.
 
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Bastian Winkelhaus
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hippiephysicschick wrote:
I too organize by "play situation".
...
long game that I only play on weekends


Quantum_Jack wrote:
I sort mainly by "family" weight games vs "gamer" weight.


Thats what i went for also: "Play Situations".

My categories are
- 2 player-only games
- weeknight main "gamer" games
- "gamer" games that take too long to play on a weeknight
- filler games to start or end a "gamer" session
- family games to play with non-"gamer" friends

The second category (weeknight main gamer games) is the largest in my collection, i also sorted these games by maximum number of players, so that with 5 players for example, i dont have to look through those games that can only be played with 4.

 
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Derry Salewski
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Augusta
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I have the wargame shelf and the euro-y game shelf. Both of which are free to kinda overflow all over the place. And the magic shelf.
 
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Ole Enes Ebbesen
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I used to order my game after player number. Worked ok for my 130+ games. Even though the 2-4 player shelf was very overrepresented.

My most important category is "Have not played yet", as I try to play every game I buy at least once.

Don´t know how that will play out with your 2000+ games collection.

Good luck on the organizing.
 
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river tam
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what I use for small card games. Only the small and medium in the set are really useful

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50300275/
 
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Jeff Johnson
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I have a feeling Pete may have some ideas on this.
 
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Richard Hensman
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Thanks @hippiephysicschick !
 
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Cool User
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My games are generally sorted by size to minimize the space required. When I want a 2p game (or whichever category), I open up BGG and do an advanced search (specifying my collection only) and the possibilities are instantly listed for me. I suppose if one had a gigantic collection one could also make a note in BGG where they have stored each game.
 
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bort
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I find I organise more or less based on how much a game gets played. I'll keep all my current favourites on one shelf

But thats just me, I dont find myself looking for stuff by type (co-op, deckbuilder etc)

Small boxes go into containers, not on the bookshelf
 
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Karl
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I have several ordering criteria.

In one shelf I only have regular PvP games.

The other shelf houses Coops, Semi Coops, 1 vs Many, Dexterity and Party Games (* with two games from the PvP section having sneaked in due to size constraints)

Within the shelves I roughly order them from top to bottom by game weight. So Settlers and the like are on top, middle weight games are on easily reachable middle height and the 4+ hour marathon stuff is on ground level. Reasons are that I play mostly the mid weights so in a good height they go. Also heavy games tend to be heavy in pounds while easy ones also often tend to be light game boxes. So I feel more comfortable to reach for a light game when on a chair.

In the categories games are ordered by size obviously, so games boxes by with the same dimensions are stacked on each other. I also try to keep them sorted by publisher if possible.

Next criterium is weight and value. I try to put heaviest games on bottom within a shelf and most valuable either on top and/or in a stack that is moved less to reduce shelf wear.

Finally, I put games that are played frequently on top while games plaed rarely are found at the bottom of their stacks.

I am aware that all of the constraints cannot be met at the same time, but you'd be surprised how many of them actually can. And its kinda a fun puzzle to figure out the perfect shelf solution.

Of course I know the place of each of my games in that shelf and could reach for it almost blind. Downside is that the shelf is so perfectly compacted for space that of ever someone would pull out all games and start fresh there would probably be 20% of games that would end spilling over to other places.
 
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Robert Ligon
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natsean wrote:

I don't know how people make categories work. I tried it, but the boxes are all different sizes, so I wound up with inefficient use of space.

I've got 600+ games...If categories wind up forming, it is due to serendipity…. Big games...form the base and then other games can go on top of them.

If size allows it, I do try to group by category….

I'd be curious how this turns out for you. As I said, when I tried it, I wound up with boxes of all different sizes trying to share the same shelf, which lead to dead space or squeezing games in where they really didn't want to physically fit….


Kevin's method reflects much of my organization. My collection is heavy in miniatures and terrain in addition to boxed games. I have bookshelves or shelving devoted to a few of my larger collections… Egyptian ruins, D&D, Warhammer models, LOTR figures, 15mm historical figures, bins of terrain, Star Wars miniatures, craft supplies, etc. There are exceptions everywhere due to odd sizes to make things store more efficiently.

I get a lot of mileage out of empty boxes from work… computer technology boxes of a consistent size.
 
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Richard Hensman
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And a corollary question - how do you store small (single-deck to about CAH size) games in a non-wasteful way so you can still see all of them? This one is the worst sorted part of my collection...
 
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We organise by time taken to play. One shelf for 30 mins, another shelf for an hour etc. Mind you we only have about 70 games so not too tricky. Good luck.
 
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Rebecca Jensen
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I do roughly organize by category for the bulk of my games, but I also have another area on top of a wide bookshelf where I "feature" games. It's in a spot that's a bit easier for guests to browse and has a mix of my current-favorite, most-frequently played, or just-want-to-display games.

So if you're finding that you can't get everything to jive in one place, think about how you might be able to highlight some of them in another place.
 
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Jim Carvin
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I also go by box size, that's easy enough to find a game as long as your know the box size, which I generally do. I do have a separate shelf for kids' games for my daughter, though that line is starting to blur. I then keep less played games on the high shelves where I don't need to get them down very often.
 
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