Cleaning your Warhammer Pile of Shame

One problem that every hobbyist goes through is the dreaded Warhammer pile of shame.  And today, we look at the best ways to get rid of yours!

The first step of most programs is knowing the problem.  So, what constitutes your Warhammer pile of shame exactly?

Pile of shame, backlog, shelved, call it however you like.  These are all these kits you bought at some point that are either still brand new or started but lay unfinished for weeks, if not months, with no end in sight.

Everyone has one, so don’t feel bad.

But before long, the pile of shame becomes too much.  Slowly but surely, it will drain you motivation to paint.  And that’s why it’s important to know that this can happen.  More importantly, know that you can get rid of the pile with a few simple tricks.

Cleaning your Warhammer Pile of Shame

Back when I was commission painting full time, my pile of shame situation got out of hand more than once.  Like many of us, I tend to take on a lot of projects that will be future-me’s projects.

And this got to a point where my entire operation was jammed  because of all these plates spinning, yet going nowhere fast.

So, here’s the three point  plan I made to get rid of my Warhammer pile of shame.  Unless your solution is putting it all in the trash and lighting it on fire, this is not something that will happen in a day.  Also, don’t set your stuff on fire.

Step 1 – The Marie Kondo

Maybe we are not going to burn all this stuff, but we are probably not going to keep all of it.  So our first step is breaking down the pile if shame and deciding what we want to keep and what we can give up on.

Even if you are adamant on keeping everything, this step is important for a few reasons.

First, you get a clear view of exactly what you have in the pile of shame.  Which is a usually more than we think.

Second, having some sort of organisation will help speed up the process of the other steps.

Step 2 – Out of Sight, out of mind

This is the step that allowed me to turn the tide of my Warhammer pile of shame and get through the seamlessly endless number of boxes I had lying around.

It will require some work, but it’s worth every penny.  Depending on the size and scale of your miniature hoarding, it might take the better part of a day to do.

Sort out through all kits and models you’ve decided to keep from step one.

Categorize these by unique projects, and put each project in its own box.  You can label them, and write down somewhere your projects.

Here’s my current list of projects, broken down.  The entire left side is stuff that still requires to be built, while the right is things that are ready to be painted, or already started.

I also wrote down the size of each project when it’s more than single models – upgrade being a few units, army being a 2000 point force, collection being almost a full range.

Next, as the tittle suggests, we want to put away all these projects as far away from our hobby area as possible.

Mine take a full shelf in the back area of my hobby space, pictured up top.  You get bonus points if they actually are out if sight, as the constant reminder is really what drives motivation to the ground.

Sterlite Bins

Maybe you will discover you have to much stuff to go through all at once, like I did.  If that’s the case, work on step two for an hour every day.  This also help on the motivation front, as you don’t feel overwhelmed.

Step 3 – Manageable Timeline

Our third and last step is actually working on thinning down the pile.  All this planning and organizing can only get us so far.

The keyword here is manageable.  Chose a project from the list you made in step two that you want to work on right now, and go to town on it.

Focus on having only one box out at a time, and leave everything else store out of your way until it’s their turn on the desk.

As to which project you chose, there are a few ways to look at it.

The first is obviously projects tied to a deadline.  If you have an event coming up, or commissions are piling on, this will dictate which box should come out of the pile first.

Then, it’s a matter of preference between quantity and quality.

Quantity means taking out boxes from the quickest ones to complet first.  Nothing like a few quick wins to kickstart your motivation and feel proud about thinning down the pile.

Quality means picking the largest one first, and working your way down until you clear all the big projects, and it progressively gets easier.

Armed with these tricks, you are sure to make a dent in your Warhammer pile of shame in no time.  All that remains is to make sure once its gone, it stays gone.

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