Monday, 14 November 2011

It looks worse than it is ...

Clearing my father's house and contemplating having to do the same to my father-in-law's bungalow has made me realise that I absolutely MUST give serious thought to sorting out my wargames/toy room. I started doing this in September, but circumstances – and a general lack of motivation – have meant that I have made little progress ... until now.

So today I have gone at it with a will ... and at the moment it looks like an absolute tip. There are things everywhere, and it looks totally disorganised. However I now have a much clearer idea about what I have stored in my room ... and what I need to think about keeping and what might need to be disposed of.

This is both a therapeutic and a disheartening process, but it needs to be done if I am to make – and maintain – serious progress on the projects that are really important to me. I need to free up some storage space and to 'declutter' so that my collection is manageable for the immediate future and remains manageable for years to come.

20 comments:

  1. I have much the same quandary Bob.

    I have a substantial collection of models, books and games. I expect that none of my family (all female) will want any of it once I am gone.

    I am thinking of leaving some form of index with entries like 'worth a few quid, sell on eBay', 'worth quite a lot, sell on eBay for at least £x amount', 'give this to so-and-so, he'll like it' or 'throw this in the bin'!

    I expect that I may start to move things on before I go as I have spent more than 40 years collecting it all and I doubt if I have 40 years of gaming left in me.

    Sad but true.

    Jim

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  2. Sounds very familiar. I just wish it was easier to get rid of things without throwing them in the garbage.

    I can recommend NOT playing a last game with figures before they go....

    Good luck!

    -Ross

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  3. Bobn

    I know exactly what you mean - here in 'quake hit Christchurch (NZ) ours is one of thousands of homes that await repair. When our time comes, we will have to pack EVERYTHING up and shift it out while repairs are undertaken. I look in my wargames room, and my workshop, and feel despair at the prospect. But you are right, we have to start somewhere.

    Kind reagrds
    Robin

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  4. Tim Gow,

    As someone who might 'benefit' from the process, just how big IS your loft?

    All the best,

    Bob

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  5. Jim Duncan,

    I do have a nephew who wargames ... well he did before he took up learning Chinese and Tibetan at university ... and I was thinking of leaving my stuff to him. An alternative would be to appoint a wargaming executor to ensure that my collection is appropriately 'homed by donation' as I don't want it sold just to raise money for my estate or just to be thrown away.

    I need to rationalise. In the back of my mind I have known this for some time, but I have blindly carried on with 'new' projects that will never be completed. What I need to do is to take stock of what I have and then decided what I am going to do with it BEFORE starting anything new.

    It is a sad fact of life that I am not getting any younger, and what I need to do is to wargame with what I have got, and not to buy more stuff 'just in case'.

    A sombre series of thoughts ... but realistic ones.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  6. Ross Mac,

    Having read your comment I feel like I am following in your footsteps.

    I will take to heart your comments about NOT playing a last game with figures before they go ... I know that if I do, they will NOT go!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  7. Robin Sutton,

    Yours is a situation that I am glad that I have not had to deal with ... but I sympathise with your plight and hope that it will not be too long before your house is repaired.

    You are going to have to undertake the same sort of exercise as I am, but for different reasons. That will not make the task any easier, but it has to be done.

    Luckily for me, the work I have done on my PORTABLE WARGAME has mentally prepared me to ‘go smaller’. I have realised that I don’t need lots of different large collections of figures to fight wargames with; what I need is lots of small collections, each of which is easily transportable. Had I not devised PW1 or PW2 I would probably have gone for something like DBA/HoTT for my future wargaming needs, and that would have required quite a few ‘small’ armies. By a judicial choice of period etc I can put together armies that can – if the need arises – be put together for the occasional ‘large’ wargame. For the rest of their ‘lives’ they will exist as separate entities.

    I understand that Stuart Asquith approached this ‘problem’ from an interesting angle some years ago. He decided that in future each of his wargames armies would fit into a single box … and he built them up to ‘fit the box’. These were all of a standard size and he had ended up with quite a collection of small wargames armies that he can use as and when he wants to … and also leave on the shelf untouched without feeling guilty about not using them.

    I hope that your situation resolves itself soon and to your satisfaction.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  8. Hi Bob, this is one of the few drawbacks to our hobby...it switches on our dormant Magpie gene! I was fortunate enough to go through an interesting divorce many years ago and had my major decluter then...although things are starting to build up once more, much to my second wife's concern. Ah, how little she suspects!

    As for the disposal of your own collection when the time comes....well, what you need is some nice protege, someone of taste and discernment, perhaps a slight London accent........no? oh well.

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  9. Leofwine Wargamerson,

    I don't know a wargamer who is NOT a collector. Our byword seems to be 'I might need that in the future' ... and it is something that we are all guilty of!

    You never know ... something might come your way one day!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  10. Hi Bob,

    As someone that has regularly decluttered as well as downsized, changed direction and perspective, given up x for y (or even vice versa) I can confidently state that it however laborious it may be the end result is always worth it. I would also echo Ross Mac with the 'last game' syndrome - avoid it at all costs!

    All the best and good luck - think of what you can raise to fund the new era by your potential disposals!

    DC

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  11. David Crook,

    My wargames/toy room looks a real mess at the moment ... but I can just begin to see my way forward.

    What has amazed me is the amount of stuff that I had forgotten that I had stored BEHIND the main bank of storage boxes etc.

    I have found two large Chaco War-period armies made up from 15mm Peter Laing figures which I can use 'as is' for my PW rules. I thought that they were 'lost' in my shed ... but they are not!

    I also found a small painted but unbased 15mm Essex Miniatures Late Sudan Campaign army ... which I do not remember painting! In addition, I have found numerous unmade plastic kits, and unpainted 20mm World War II Russian and German figures.

    What I am attempting to do is to make an inventory of what I have and what I am likely to use. That list may well help me decide where I go next. After all, is their much point in painting my new Spencer Smith figures if I already have suitable painted figures (albeit in 15mm-scale) in my collection going unused?

    This exercise is giving me much to think about over the next few weeks.

    All the best,

    Bob

    PS. I have found five boxes of Jenga-style blocks from The Works. Do you want them?

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  12. Oh it's plenty big enough! Whether the crossbeams will hold is another matter....

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  13. Bob,

    I started thinning the herd last year. I got rid of the boardgames I knew I would never play again by selling them on eBay. Many of the games dated back to the late 1960s, and some were not even unwrapped. The good aspect is that I made almost $5000 (!!!), much of which has gone into current projects. The bad aspect is that it was saying goodbye to a lot of my youth.

    I guess we all have to do this sooner or later...and now it's later. :(

    Best regards,
    Chris

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  14. Hi Bob,

    If they are the versions in a green box called something like 'Traditional Wooden Games Tumbling Tower' then yes please! They can be included in our great transaction as and when - the SSM figures are en route and they will also be in the large box of bits I have for you.

    All the best,

    DC

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  15. Tim Gow,

    'Building collapsed due to excessive ownership of wargames equipment' will look quite interesting on the surveyor’s report to the insurance company!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  16. Chris,

    I suspect that a 'cull and sell' of my collection might raise a few hundred pounds that could be used for future projects ... but I have yet to take that fully onboard for the same reasons you cite. It will feel like giving away part of your life.

    That said, I did a similar exercise for my father some years ago (before he began to suffer from dementia) and sold off his collection of football memorabilia for him ... and that raised well over a thousand pounds. It is certainly an option that I should consider.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  17. David Crook,

    Those are the little blighters, and I have already put them to one side for you!

    I am not sure how easy it is going to be to meet before Christmas to do the swop, but it is something that I would like to do sooner rather than later.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  18. Hi Bob,

    Many thanks indeed! There is a Toy Fair at my daughters school (the one at the bottom of the road) in a couple of weeks - so I will let you know when. There is usually lots of FLW kit available and the show is quite small.

    Perhaps, if circumstances permit, that may be an option - especially as there is usually a lot of old firing 54 mm artillery up for grabs...;-)

    All the best,

    DC

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  19. David Crook,

    That sounds like a distinct possibility, although I do know that most of my weekends between now and Christmas are likely to be very busy.

    It is certainly something to think about.

    All the best,

    Bob

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