Pages

Monday, 4 June 2018

Downsizing: A progress report

To date my progress regarding downsizing my various collections has been rather erratic and episodic. I could try to explain this by citing the weather (it has been rather hot on several occasions and working in the converted loft space where my toy/wargames room is located has been unpleasant at times) or a rather active social life (Sue and I have been out a couple of times on days when I could have been sorting stuff out) but the reality is my general reluctance to get rid of anything.

I suspect that this is a trait I share with many other collectors in general and wargamers in particular. We have items in our collections that we no longer need and/or have not used in a long time ... but when we pick them up to decide whether they should be in the 'keep' or 'discard' pile, there is more than a little hesitation in our hearts and in our heads to place them in the latter. In the end we usually end up with three piles: 'keep', 'discard', and 'keep if there is just enough room', with the latter being as big (if not bigger) than the other two.


Despite this, I have made some progress. The books are pretty well sorted, and I have already disposed of some hardback novels to an online second-hand book buyer. The other fiction books and few travelogue and guide books are destined to go to a local charity ship. The rest of the books I am going to get rid of – which are almost exclusively non-fiction military books – are sitting in crates waiting for me to list them.

I have begun work on the wargames collections and have found some terrain items (mainly painted buildings) that I can dispose of, and they will most likely be offered to wargamers I know who might be able to find a use for them. Those that remain will be sold on eBay ... I hope! I have not yet begun to think about my figure collections as I suspect that disposing of any part of them is going to be really difficult.

20 comments:

  1. Bob,
    Yes, trimming our Collections is a difficult operation- particularly when there is sentimental fondness involved- or if we somehow think that "I'll keep that- it may be useful later"...I have not had a problem with trimming down my Wargaming Collections of Armies, Books and Terrain in the past...in fact I have a dreaded time in keeping things for any length of time- seems that when a NEW Project comes along - just about everything that went before gets sold or given away. At present I have two 15/18mm Fantasy Armies and the beginnings of an 18mm Fictional 1846 Project...a lot of Terrain in 15/18mm and Buildings which I've designed and made for the Armies- and this is about my lot... and I'm very pleased with it all. I have my own Fantasy Rules and a photocopied set for the ACW and that is it. I wish you well Bob with the trimming down - though I wouldn't recommend going to the extremes that I have done. Cheers. KEV.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kev Robertson,

      Sorting out the books I am getting rid of was difficult enough, but selecting what to keep and what to get rid of from my figure collection is going to be far harder.

      That said, it is going to have to be done one day, and I would rather do it myself than pass that burden on to someone else.

      To be honest, over the past ten or so years or so my wargames have tended to get smaller as my figure collection has got larger, and it makes sense to slim it down to something that I will use rather than just leave in storage boxes.

      There will be regrets ... but better to have regrets than to have so much stuff that is never going to be used.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  2. Ouch...having to downsize for any reason is painful to contemplate. I sold most of my WWII Normandy stuff a couple of years ago (to make space for a new project) and I am regretting it now. I expect most wargamers quickly reach a limit on space in the end and we have all had to make hard choices at one point or another. Now if I can just get the wife to give up the piano(which hasn't been played in years) I'll have room for more book shelves....I live in hope!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lee Hadley,

      It is not something that is easy to do, and I know that I will probably regret getting rid of some of my stuff, but as one gets older one has to be realistic, and I'd rather pass stuff on to another wargamer who will use it rather than leave it in boxes unused.

      All the best,

      Bob

      PS. If the piano is never used, couldn't you gut it and use the inside for storage? :^)

      Delete
  3. I, too, find it really difficult to sell figures, though I have done. But it is one big regret for years after. This is especially so when an article fires the imagination if only you had the figures you sold. Painful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Peter Holland,

      I know what you say is true, but I am finding stuff that I had forgotten that I owned ... and that would certainly indicate that I can do without those particular items!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  4. ..I'm well overdue for a book clear out - which online buyers do you recommend Bob???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Steve-the-Wargamer,

      Good luck with your sort out.

      I got rid of a box full of hardback novels to We Buy Books.com. They were recommended by another wargamer who had downsized. It was quite simple to use their services and you can get paid by PayPal.

      I would have tried to sell some of my books to my nearby second-hand bookshop at Falconwood, but I know that he is trying to downsize his stock at present.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  5. selling figures is like selling your children! Some You sometimes would like to get rid of, but realize that you would miss them too much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dick Bryant,

      Getting rid of figures that I have painted will be difficult, but those that I bought painted are likely to be easier to sell as I have less of an emotional attachment to them. At least that is what I keep telling myself!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  6. I have cleared several collections over the last few years - 15mm ECW, pirates, large Darkest Africa collections, etc

    Mostly because I hadn't played a game in the last 5 years with them and I was starting to run out of space for new projects.

    Also, my hobby is playing games, not hording painted figures that never come out of a drawer...

    I also wanted to cut down to a smaller number of collections that I used more frequently.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mike Lewis,

      I am getting to the stage you were at when you had your big clear out, and I am trying to adopt your way of thinking regarding my figure collections. Only time will tell if I am going to be successful.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  7. Yep, getting rid of stuff is difficult, and having a really good clear-out even more so. I think many of us have gotten rid of things only to find sometime later that we wish we still had them - as Peter says, something piques an old interest and you go off on a new project if only you had kept certain items. And you never know which items those will be.

    But your posts on this subject have at least got me thinking more about the clear-out I should be having. I need to decide what to clear out and how to "dispose" of items (not necessarily tossed in the trash, but possibly given away, sold, donated, etc.).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fitz-Badger,

      It is a difficult process to go through, but at some point someone is going to have to do it, and I'd rather that it was me that made the decisions.

      I know that I will have regrets, but they will be countered (I hope!) by having collections of books and figures that I use rather than just look at. From a purely practical point of view, my stuff is not a museum collection, it is (or at least should be) something h=that has life because it is used.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  8. Ouch. Something I just hate the thought of. Best of luck!

    Cheers,
    Aaron

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Prufrock (Aaron),

      Its not easy ... but it is something that will have to happen one day.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  9. I have got rid of lots of Wargames items and books since the NewYear. I have not really missed any of them and have netted myself around £2K in the process. It is liberating and once you get into the swing of it, it’s fine.
    Just harden your heart and get on with it. Have to go through my 20mm building in the loft next.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Simon Jones,

      I doubt if selling my stuff will generate that sort of capital return, but your advice is excellent and very encouraging. I will just have to steel my heart and get on with it.

      Good luck with sorting out your 20mm buildings!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  10. A little at a time... I have managed a small cull of figures I know will never get painted or ised - fact is, until I found them, i didn't know I had them!

    My difficulty is with accommodation. My storage of stuff is piecemeal, inefficient and heterodox - which often means I'm not even sure of what's in my inventory! Still I have found some useful lamkinated cardboard drawer systems that will I hope cut down on the amount of air being stacked in boxes three or four times the height of the figures!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Archduke Piccolo,

      The one thing that I am trying to do is not to rush the process of downsizing. I know that there is stuff in my various figure collections that I will not paint or use again, and they will definitely be on the 'for disposal' pile. There is other stuff that I will keep for sentimental reasons if there is sufficient room.

      I am also rationalising my storage system (I am continuing to move over to using stackable crates from the 'Really Useful Box' range that I can see through, some of which come with stackable trays inside that are ideal for up to 20mm tall figures) and I intend to eventually produce a spreadsheet that will show what I have.

      The latter is a rather tall order, and will take time, but it will help me control what I have in my collections and will hopefully avoid duplication.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete