How I moved my game collection halfway around the world.
Tom Vasel
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My wife and I, along with our daughter Melody, moved to South Korea in early 2001. I only planned to go for six months, so didn't take much with me, including my 40K collection.

Nine and 1/2 years later, minus the 40K collection (which I traded to Richard Borg for a pile of his board games in 2003), we finally decided to come back to America. At this point, I realized that moving the 1300+ games I had might be a bit daunting.

Now, let me point out that there were a LOT of things involved in moving, and moving the board games is fairly low on the totem pole. Obviously moving my family and their items is more important, but the game collection was a consideration.

The easiest thing to do, at first thought, would be to simply sell all the games, and pick them up later on. I didn't want to do that, for a couple of reasons.
- Selling the games simply wouldn't make me enough money, once international shipping kicked in; and there wasn't enough interest in my games in Korea to get rid of them all.
- Some of the games are out of print, hard to find, or customized to my liking.

So what did I do? Let's look.
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1. Board Game: Trimmel [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Tom Vasel
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The first thing I did was trim the collection.

Several years ago, I had to get over my ego in having a large collection, and simply cut out some games.

There simply isn't any reason to keep games that I don't enjoy playing, other than if they are valuable (not likely) or that I want to brag about how huge my collection is.

So I've already been getting rid of games I hated. The problem was, I had 1300 games that I liked (or that someone in my family liked). How would I cut that down.

Well, it wasn't easy. But once I got started, I just started tossing games aside. I took games that I wasn't likely going to play again, that had annoying boxes, that I merely thought were "ok", and set them aside. Soon I had a room full of hundreds of games. Over the next couple of months, I either gave the games away, or sold them for rock-bottom prices (except for a couple of Wallace games - he's quite popular in Korea).

Finally, I was down to about 600 games. But that's still quite a few!
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Tom Vasel
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Moving is often based on volume, as well as weight, and most boxes are full of air. So I needed to condense my collection down as much as possible. So I started, by throwing out the inserts.







Then, I started filling the larger boxes with my smaller games, with dice, with plastic bags, with pretty much anything extra I had in my room.



See all this extra space in the Cluzzle box? Wasted!!!



Now you can see I've fixed the problem, as I stuck a smaller game in it, along with a pile of my loose dice.

This caused a few problems in my last months of Korea, because I didn't want to go to the trouble to write down which games I put in which games, but I quickly forgot what I had done. So I simply stopped playing No Thanks and other small games, unless I got lucky when I opened a big game box.


I still managed to keep the "game wall" intact, so those watching my videos, didn't notice that my game collection had shrunk by 50%.


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3. Board Game: Monster Day [Average Rating:6.75 Unranked]
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Now, before I go any farther, I need to point out that while we lived in Korea, we moved three times. Each of those three moves was AWESOME. The movers packed our stuff, moved in quickly and safely, and unpacked it - all for a very low price.

Sadly, the company I picked to ship my stuff to America wasn't quite so good. Okay, that's certainly being too nice to them.

I found a company that shipped internationally, and went with the lowest offer (I know, I know!!!) I thought it was fairly cheap, but moving in Korea was never that expensive, so I didn't put a lot of thought into it.

My second bad move was to pay completely for the move up front. I had the money, and I thought - "why not?" Well, now I know.

To help the movers distinguish what to move, I put everything into the game room that was going to America.



And the game wall started to come down.

Now, I'm not a mover, but the way they packed my games was quite odd.



Since I was shipping the bookcases, they laid the bookcases down, filled them with games (which they insisted on labeling "toys") and then wrapped it up as one big box.







I'm not sure if this is a good way of packing. The movers who put it into my house were a bit furious at the packers, as these boxes weighed several hundred pounds and weren't easy to maneuver.

I had a hard time watching the guys pack, as I heard the pieces rattling around in the boxes. Would all my games make it?

And my game wall slowly was packed up.







Finally, fifty-seven boxes (with about 15-20 of them dedicated to games) were on the truck, and the games shipped out May 15, due to land June 15 or so.


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4. Board Game: Trouble [Average Rating:3.69 Overall Rank:11895]
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I put the games out of my mind - I had other things to take care of, with airplane tickets, finding a car, getting a house, etc.

We landed in America on July 6th. I slightly worried that my stuff would get to Homestead, FL before we did, but I figured we could store it somewhere temporarily until we were able to move into our house (on August 1st).

When I called the moving company in California to see if my stuff had arrived, they assured me that it had, and that it had made it through customs quickly. Great! Send it to me immediately, I demanded.

That's where the problems started. See, the company in Korea shipped it to a different company in the US, but didn't bother to send that company any money with which to ship the stuff. Add this to the fact that the company in CA seemed to not understand how to ship stuff to Florida, and it quickly added up to a big mess. Both companies refused to deal with me, telling me to talk to the other one. For a long time we went back and forth, with both companies threatening me at different points that I might never see my stuff.

Finally, a THIRD company, that I found, picked up the stuff and shipped it to me (and even they took a while). Sadly, I had to pick up an additional fee (quite hefty) to do this. But at least my stuff was on the way.

September 1st, my games arrived.
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5. Board Game: Pack & Stack [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:1338]
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After the movers dropped the stuff off, I unpacked everything. Games are fun, but lower priority than the other stuff (dishes, pictures, tables, books, toys, etc.). After getting everything else away, I finally turned my attention to the games.

Happily, I have a room in my new house which I can dedicate to gaming. It's an enclosed garage, and not quite as nice as my old game room, but it had enough space to set up the shelves. Now to put the games on. Simple and fast, right?

Eh.

First we deal with a death in the family.

The movers had accidentally packed an anti-humidity container full of water in the one bookcase. It spilled, and several games got soaked.




We put the boxes out to be dried, but the games were mostly nonsalvageable. I managed to save Quandary and Carcassonne the card game, but Ark of the Covenant, Polar Derby, and Rattlesnake all bit the dust. Sad, but acceptable losses for a move, and at least none of them were my favorites.

Other games suffered a "spill" mishap, and I'm still not quite sure of their standing, such as Dungeon Twister and "gulp" Ticket to Ride Marklin.


So I started with the shelves.


I put up a few games on the shelves to make room for the ones I was sorting out.





The pile on the floor was daunting to start with.


And as I started opening boxes, pulling out the smaller games, and other pieces that I apparently put in while brain damaged, the floor didn't look too good.





It got better as time went on. I put most of the pieces in my plastic cabinets, and put "lost pieces" in a box.







Now I know some of you are gasping that the games look that poorly on the floor. But I'll tell you it was chaotic, and it was a pain enough to figure out how to put the games on the shelves.

Meanwhile, I was keeping track of the games, counting them and the number of expansions I have.



Putting the games on shelves takes some doing - it's like a fun game of Tetris that gets longer and more annoying as time goes by. Companies should be required to make their boxes one of five different types.


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6. Board Game: I Don't Know, What Do You Want To Play? [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:4545]
Tom Vasel
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And finally, the game room is sorted out. There is a lot that could still be done, but this is a good start. Most games are complete, and have survived the 7726 miles they traveled.

A LOT of thanks goes to my wife, for putting up with me, and allowing me to have a room. Just as much goes to my gaming partner and daughter Melody, who helped me sort out the room and put the games in the proper place.

So here we are!!

The door



The most important Wall O' Games



The two side walls.




And finally the back table, which has games to be reviewed yet. These may make my collection, if I can find a hole for them!


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7. Board Game: New Rules for Classic Games [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:3427]
Tom Vasel
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So what have I learned?

1. Check out moving companies before using them.
2. It's fantastic to have at least one child who loves games.
3. Getting rid of inserts is fine, you get immune to it after a while.
4. Learn to let go of games when you can.
5. Hexagonal boxes are a pain to move.

and finally

6. Next time, toss all the games and start over!

It was four months, and several hiccups, but I think we're where we need to be. Next step, time to start cranking out the video reviews. We're back, baby!
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