Yes, it is once again that time fellow gamers. It is spring time. Time for us all to clear that winter fog out our head. It's also the traditional time to do some much needed cleaning. So what does that have to do with Role-Playing Games? Glad you asked. It has to do with the pile of papers and such that you have on your desk and in your bookshelves. Yes, I scream sacrilegious words. I scream, we do need to clean our mess.
Now before anyone goes off the deep end, I'm not suggesting that we go throwing things out for the sake of throwing things out. What I'm suggesting is that we take a hard look at what we got and get it reorganized for the year. And yes, we will have to throw things out or get rid of them.
Let's start with gaming books. We all have them. As gamers, we all feel the need to keep them around forever. But I ask you do you really want to keep the gaming books that you purchased and find out were useless or have no purpose for. So, I'd make a stack of books that you currently use in gaming. Then add the books that you have used or will use within the next year. That was the easy part. Now comes the hard part. As an RPG Game Collector myself, I know have to decide if any of the other books are worth keeping. So too should you. If it's something that has no sentimental value and you haven't used in ten years, is it worth holding on to? For example, if I still had Torg in my collection, I would put that in the discard pile. I just never got into the game and it has no sentimental value. On the other hand, the AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide, now that is something that has great sentimental value and I actually do reference pages now and again. One other thing I can suggest, if you only use a few pages from a book and nothing else, is to use a scanner to scan those pages. Then you can get rid of that book, if has not additional value to you.
Next, let's go to the massive amounts of paperwork that you have. Even with computers, I dare say that at least 90% of all gaming material is on paper. Most of paper can be broken down into character sheets, maps, adventures and game notes.Perhaps the most sentimental thing gamers tend to have is character sheets. We hold on to them through thick and thin.We hold on to them even though that game hasn't been played in ten to twenty years. And yes, I know people that have sheet from that long ago. What you need to do is go through them and find the characters that may have been used only once and are for a game that will never played again. I know it's hard, but yes you can get rid of them, you need to face the facts that it's not going to be used and no one is really going to miss it when it's gone. For characters that have sentimental value but haven't been used, I might I suggest the scanner again. Scan and store them. While it may not quite be the same, it is better than the mess of papers being stored. Remember all modern paper degrades. By scanning them your actually preserving them. The same can be said of maps, adventures, and game notes. If you already have them electronic format and you have not used them in a long time, you don't need to keep the dead tree versions. If you have important notes on them, scan them or update your digital sources with the notes.Even if you don't get rid of anything, now is a good time to get it more organized. Put things in folders and label them.
In the End, I think your be surprised about how good it feels to get rid of some of the clutter and get organized. So what about you? Do you plan on doing any spring cleaning? If so, what kind? If not, why not? I look forward to your comments.