Getting Rid of Your Shelf of Shame

I’m trying something new with my boardgame shelves and I think the change and the benefits of doing so are worth sharing here.
Okay so like many of us on the forum I have a shelf of shame, a shelf where I put my new games that I haven’t yet played. Well I love games and I also occassionally engage in some retail therapy. And I don’t need to tell you all but the last couple years have been full of reasons to require retail therapy and less opportunities to get those new games played. The result is that my shelf of shame slowly became shelves of shame, and then several shelves of shame.
I usually organize my shelves by my ranking of my games, then shelves of shame, then shape up or ship out shelf.
And today I decided to reorganize my shelves and after talking with my partner she had an idea that seemed bizarre to me. She suggested I mix my shelves of shame in with the rest of my collection and to just alphabetize everything. And at first this seemed super bizarre to me, but it pipued my curiosity. Why did it seem bizarre to me? So I decided to give it a try.
And honestly it’s… really nice. With everything mixed in yeah I don’t immediately know what games or expansions I haven’t played yet at a glance but firstly it’s not very hard to find out becausey unplayed ones are almost all still in shrink. But secondly and more importantly I don’t have a big area of games that I feel pressure to play or get played. It’s been really freeing to just have everything together and not have that big visual reminder that was subconsciously making me feel guilty for not having played them yet. Weirdly I feel way less stressed and pressured about my games. I feel way more free to just play whatever I want and not worry about ranking and checking games off some self imposed list of things to do.
So yeah that’s it.
Maybe it’s not revelatory to you guys but if like me you feel a creeping pressure to get your new games played then maybe give it a try. It’s worked for me and I feel much better and I feel like it’s much more inviting to pick a game now for me and others.
So yeah I got rid of my shelf of shame.

TL:DR Try mixing your shelf of shame games in with the rest of your collection and you might be less stressed about having unplayed games.

Sorry about the novel haha.


Oooh. Alphabetical organization for my games… that alone is worthy of thought…

My “shelf of shame” (occasionally referred to as the “shelf of opportunity”) is metaphorical rather than physical. The games are already mixed in approximately where they fit, determined by size due to my shelving system.

But I could still alphabetize them… hmmm. Thanks for the suggestion!


Interestingly enough, my games are mostly (dis)organized this way already. This is because I attempted to put everything on a shelf when I was first organizing my games after getting shelves up once we moved into our home a few years ago. As such, everything was on the shelves, or on the upper shelf of a closet for what was to be the “most frequently played” but which ended up being just whatever.

Fast forward to today and I have acquired a 2x4 Kallax, which is stuffed full, the aforementioned bookshelf and closet shelf, and then games are just scattered around the shelves as my collection has outgrown my current shelving capacity. I am thinking of moving another shelf to where the Kallax is and turning it sideways to make an ‘L’ shape of shelving, if I can organize the garage enough, but that’s neither here nor there.

In any case, that leaves my newer games all jumbled up together, played or not, plus older unplayed games on the shelves with the played games. For me, at least, every view of the shelves or the stacks is a reminder of my unplayed games, or even underplayed games, and it makes me a bit sad every time. Yet, I continue to buy new games, sometimes for the previously mentioned retail therapy, other times because it is a game I have been looking forward to, and in either case I do get the little rush of getting a new game, opening it up, punching our the cardboard, reading the rules, etc. Then, later, comes the sadness as it languishes unplayed.


I guess the mix is more common than I thought. But yeah if there’s a way to arrange your games to be less stressing or makes you less sad it’s 100% worth it.


My shelf of opportunity is also metaphorical - my games are “organised” using the Tetris method :grin: I’m glad you’ve found a way of arranging them that helps you enjoy your games more :slight_smile: