Games & Puzzles

Do you have a regular family game night? Or maybe you have friends that you play games with on a regular basis? Maybe you don’t have regular gaming times but instead, occasionally enjoy a nice night in over a crib board or intense game of Catan. (If you prefer to watch video, scroll to the bottom of this post.)

Our family has always enjoyed board games and card games alike. We played often with the kids growing up and now we have a couple of gaming friend groups that we meet with every few weeks.

Today we’re minimizing our board games, card games, and puzzles.

Bring all of your games and puzzles to the dining table, so you have some space to sort them. Have a donate box, garbage bag, and keep area ready.

Pick up the first game or puzzle, whichever is closest to you and ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Does this game/puzzle have all the pieces? Are there missing cards from the deck? Missing pegs from the crib board? Broken chess pieces?

This is the first important question. If the answer is no, this game or puzzle is garbage. It can’t be donated, that’s not fair to the next user. And if there’s items missing, even if you really like this game/puzzle, you will avoid using it and pass it over every time. So, let it go.

If it has all the pieces, continue with the following questions:

  • Do we like this game/puzzle?
  • Do we play this game? / Did we make this puzzle?
  • When was the last time this game was played?
  • Have we outgrown this game/puzzle? Are the puzzles too easy?
  • Did you try this game but not like it, so now you keep it because you spent money on it?
  • For puzzles: Were they completed and put back in the box and will they be made again? Could someone else be enjoying this puzzle?

Depending on the answers to each question, it will become clear if the game or puzzle is ready to be donated. A thought that some find comforting is “could someone else be enjoying this item?” There’s no point in having it sit collecting dust on your shelf when it could be bringing joy to another person or family.

Moving forward, I’d like to suggest a strategy that my husband and I use that works really well to help determine picking new games. If you come across a game that sounds fun or interesting, seek it out on YouTube first. There are several YouTube channels that not only review games, but they will go over the rules and even play a full game that you can watch. This has saved us a lot of money and reduced the impulse buy. The description on the box will always sound enticing, they are written to be so. Save yourself time and money by doing a little research first.  

Alternately, check out your local gaming cafe and try some new games out yourself before buying. We did this recenly for my daughter’s birthday and had a great time.

I welcome your ideas, thoughts, and questions in the comments below.

Remember you can share your journey with me and others by using hashtag #MarchMicroMinimizing, and tag me on Facebook or Instagram using handle @suzannegouldenILC.

Here’s me talking about sorting games and puzzles.

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