136 – Spring Cleaning – The Family Gamers Podcast

Spring Cleaning

Let’s talk purging! Sometimes you need to get rid of boardgames. In our case, we do it as part of our spring cleaning.

What We’ve Been Playing

  • Order of Invention
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: A Gemstone Mining Game
  • Rolling America
  • Battleship
  • The Scrambled States of America – we played the gentler version where everyone who has a match may score their state.
  • Go Away Monster (with all 3 kids)
  • Kokoro: Avenue of the Kodama
  • Ancestree
  • Circle the Wagons
  • Sparkle*Kitty
  • EXIT: The Polar Station (creepy!)
  • Tempus Quest episode 0 – get this and future Tempus Quest episodes by joining the Button Shy Board Game of the Month club at any level.
  • EXIT: The Pharoah’s Tomb – we crushed it!
  • Shikoku – (P)review coming soon, but you can pre-order it from Grand Gamers Guild now.
  • Campaign Trail
  • Visitor in Blackwood Grove
  • call out to Asher for actually making it through a game of Fire in the Library.
  • Get the MacGuffin
Get the MacGuffin

SNAP Review: Get the MacGuffin

A silly, fast-moving game of player elimination for 2-11 players. See more pictures and read the summary.

Live Podcast

We’ve been doing more things! Next week’s episode will be our live taping with Flip Florey, Chris Michaud, and friends, at Granite Game Summit.

Spring Cleaning, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Get Rid of Boardgames

Not just because of Marie Kondo. When your shelves are overflowing, it’s time to take a hard look at what you’ve got. How can you decide to get rid of boardgames?

Listener Highlights

“You have to be STRONG and SAVAGE”

Katie @katiesgamecrner

“If I asked you to play this right now, would you? …It was hard for me on some because I really like the game, but if nobody wants to play it with me, then it isn’t fun – and that is what games are supposed to be.”


Dwayna: Donates games that didn’t make the cut to her local library “where we can still visit them”.

Joe Comings: “If the game’s not coming off the shelf and I don’t LOVE it…it’s kind of just taking up space. …I sold off a lot of great games… But in hindsight, I don’t really miss any of them because I still have plenty of great games to play.” Also check out his article on how to cull on ArtOfBoardGaming.com

How We’ve Been Making the Hard Decisions

It’s not 100% about “do we play this game, and if not, let’s toss it”. There’s a bit of subtlety involved.

  1. Emptied the “kids games” shelves. Had each kid pick a few (3-6) that they “own”. Not really about ownership, though, but about how much they want to keep them around. Also set aside about the same amount of games as “shared” games. Even this wasn’t foolproof: Andrew couldn’t bear to let them get rid of Purrrlock Holmes (yet).
  2. If we love a game, but our copy isn’t getting played, why are we keeping it? We have a few that always get played at a friend’s house. So why not just play it with them and get rid of our “duplicate”?
  3. True duplicates should be easy to get rid of; but how about games that have been superceded by newer or better options? For example, Sushi Go! says goodbye because we have Sushi Go Party. We’ll get rid of Machi Koro once we’ve picked up a game that improves upon its mechanic.
  4. If no one wants to play the game with you, maybe you should move it on to a better home.
  5. If everyone in the family is “meh” on a game – don’t hate it but it’s no one’s first choice, that’s another good candidate to move on. Surprisingly, Takenoko falls into this category for our family!

We’ve still got more work to do, but we’ve been making excellent progress.

Now What?

Now that we’ve decided what to get rid of, what do we do with it?

  • If it’s Candy Land, throw it in the trash. Or light it on fire. ;)
  • Kids games get donated to the local school or library, as long as they are in decent shape. If they are not so great, just recycle the cardboard.
  • Some games are traded for new games or expansions for games we LOVE. (Do this either online or at a convention.)
  • Why not donate to a local board game cafe? They might be interested – and you can still “visit” with your games that way.
  • Give some away to friends who would appreciate them – like you, our listeners! Check out our current giveaway for a copy of Guardian’s Call. James Hudson, the designer himself, will be on the podcast to announce the winner!

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Breaking Games: Order of Invention