Marie Kondo your Magic Collection

Katie Moranha Blog, Magic: the Gathering

We have all gotten to that point where you look at your Magic collection and think, “Why? I will never be able to use all of these cards…” So, we have written this guide to help prioritize and organize your collection. Whether you are a tournament player or a casual kitchen-table type, we hope that you can find some help using Marie Kondo’s style of organization hacked specifically toward your MtG collection. Marie Kondo your Magic collection in 6 simple steps.

1 – Commit yourself to tidying up
2 – Imagine your ideal lifestyle
3 – Finish discarding first
4 – Ask yourself if it sparks joy
5 – Follow the right order
6 – Tidy by category

Commit yourself to tidying up

This is the most important first step. Set aside a day or a weekend where you will commit yourself to going through your entire collection. That’s right, everything. Bring it all out, which includes your trade binder, all of your current decks, cards, loose lands, and go ahead and pull any sealed product you have too. At this stage, you won’t have to physically pull it together, but it’s a good idea to see how long you will need to set aside for this project.

Marie Kondo suggests organizing your magic collection in one sitting, even if it feels overwhelming. This way, it forces you to complete the project, and you won’t be doing double duty when going through cards.

Imagine your ideal lifestyle

Here’s what your magic collection can look like using the Marie Kondo method

This is the time to ask yourself some important questions. Which Magic formats do you enjoy most, and which ones are you going to make time to play? In an ideal world, what kind of decks do you want to run? Take a long think about what decks you can commit to playing. So many players hold onto cards “just in case” they can try out a new format or style of play, but there is never enough time to play every format and deck style.

Another great question to ask yourself is what aspect of Magic: the Gathering do you enjoy the most? Do you prefer playing in tournaments, building new decks, or spending time with your friends? Understanding your values and what fuels you to play MtG in the first place will help you prioritize what cards and supplies you need to keep playing. To clarify, you would have a better idea of your entire budget if you take into consideration tournament entry fees, the cost of the card that brings the whole deck together, or trips to visit friends that you enjoy playing Magic with.

We all have dream decklists that we wish we could have but seem too expensive. Think about what cards you want for your collection, and which decks you would play all the time if you had them. Write it down, imagine it, and hold onto that thought of what it would be like if you can achieve it.

Finish discarding first

Time to let go of all the trash. Look for things you NEVER use or hate getting whenever you open a pack, including basic lands and tokens. Set them all aside, and clear your mind of them.  A great way to get the most value out of this is by selling your cards to Card Kingdom, but it may be best to set aside those cards for now and wait until the end when you have all your cards that you want to get rid of together.

Ask yourself if it ‘sparks joy’

Does this spark joy?

This theme will be talked about a lot, but what does it really mean? It’s a feeling you get by holding an object and receiving that warm happy sensation. It’s a great tool to use, even though it is mostly a gut reaction. For example, Force of Will is a great card, but don’t hold onto it if you feel bad using it. It’s okay to build decks that may not play great if you enjoy and have fun playing it. The Marie Kondo method focuses on joy, so make sure to think about this as you choose what to keep in your magic the gathering collection.

Follow the right order

It’s important to go in the right order when you are trying to figure out what to let go of, and what to keep. By starting with loose cards, the process of finding what sparks joy for you will become easier. One player may find that they do not use a particular color or mechanic, and decide to let go of all those cards, no matter how powerful the card can be for others.

Once you understand your playstyle, and what you look for in individual cards, you can look through your trade binder and constructed decks to make those harder decisions. Do these cards spark joy for me, or am I holding onto them just to have them? This is a great time to figure out what formats you enjoy, and what your playgroups end up playing. What makes sense to keep based on what you actually play vs what you would play in an ideal world.  Either find groups that you can play those decks with or don’t be afraid to let decks go if they just take up space in your home.

Tidy by category

Time to collect it all. If your collection is shared with another individual (like your spouse, sibling, or friend), make sure to grab them too! This activity will be a great way to bond, and help figure out if they need certain cards you don’t want. Each decision should be made together, or at least make sure they are completely on board with the decisions you make.

Showing entire Magic the Gathering collection separated into piles to begin the Marie Kondo process
Separate it into categories

Grab your cards, put them in one space, and separate them into piles. While Marie Kondo organizes by type (clothes, books, paperwork, everything else, sentimental items), we are doing something a bit different. Separate your collection by Loose Cards, Trade Binder, Built Decks, Playmats/Accessories, and Collector Editions. Feel free to move cards around as you see fit, but go ahead and organize by each type listed here.

Loose Cards:

Shows a stack of Magic collection of loose cards that need to be organized by marie kondo 's method
Turn in your extra cards!

The first step is to go ahead and look through each card. This process may take a while, but it will be worth it in the end. Holding the card, does this spark joy for you? Do you get excited about the possibilities of using this card in a deck you have, or a deck that you want to build? If not, don’t keep it! Separating the cards you don’t want from what you actually want is a great way to see how much you can cut down, and it adds up quickly. You could either sell your whole collection of cards you don’t want or sell specific cards that have more value. As a result, that $50 card on your wish list doesn’t look so expensive.

Start Organizing your Magic Cards

Once you are happy with the loose cards you have, we suggest organizing what is left over before moving on to the next category. At Mox, we separate cards by set, then by alphabetical order. It may seem like a lot to do, but once you have it set up, it will be easier for you to find cards quickly. Similarly, you can organize your collection by color, then alphabetize your collection. This works especially well for those who play commander or other casual players. Find a system that works best for you, and your collection. You will have a ton of cards, so work to alphabetize by having small piles by the beginning letter, and have your organization device close by so that you can work by each group. It’s much easier to keep it up once you have a system in place.

The ultimate goal is to be able to find what you need quickly and keep tabs on what you have, and what you want. Make Marie Kondo proud by organizing your magic collection in a beautiful way.

Trade Binder:

Start by asking yourself “Why are these cards here?”. If you have a local store, like Mox Boarding House, where you go every Friday night, and keep it updated with the most popular cards, then a trade binder makes sense. If they are sitting in a binder just to keep them separate, think if there is a deck they could benefit, or if you can sell it for store credit. Make sure to really evaluate if these cards serve a specific purpose, or if it would be better to sell the cards straight out to get ones you know you want.

Built Decks:

Alrighty, so you have your collection of constructed decks in front of you. Do you have decks that don’t really fit into what you are playing right now? Or are you pretty happy with what you have, but it could be better? Take some time now to open those bad boys up, one by one, and evaluate each deck. Ask yourself, “what would improve this deck, and what is holding it back?”. Write specific cards or themes that you are looking for in each deck and keep it with that deck box. Whether you play competitively or casually, it’s great to see what cards can make your deck run smoother.

Shows 5 deck boxes of constructed Magic the Gathering decks that will be used to Marie Kondo your magic collection
Grab all of your built decks!

After that, you should separate the cards you don’t want in some way in the box you have. On the other hand, you could write down the Magic cards you want to get rid of so that you can continue to play the deck the way it is until you are able to upgrade your cards in the deck. It can be hard to separate from cards you originally had in a deck. Thank those cards for the hard work they’ve done, and accept a new card with open arms. 

Playmats and Accessories

Find the playmats that spark joy for you, and that you use all the time. Are there mats, dice, or tokens you never use? Or did you get a gift that really does not fit your style? If it does not spark joy for you when you see it, and it doesn’t get used, there is no reason to hold onto it. See if you can give it away at your local library, school club looking for supplies, or other places that could use the accessories. For deck boxes, they make great organizers for other board games, or even your current collection if you want to separate certain utility cards. It’s healthy to let go of what you don’t use, but don’t be afraid to re-purpose something if it sparks joy for you. Playmats make great giant mouse-pads!

Collector Items

Your Magic Collection can be an investment

Are you holding onto sealed or autographed items? Make sure to set these aside for last. Your emotional connection is the hardest to let go of, so its great to re-evaluate after you have made the easier decisions in your collection. Magic cards can certainly be used as an investment, and we are not asking you to sell your entire collection. Ask yourself if these items spark joy for you, or if you are holding onto them for the wrong reason. It’s great to take time, and really reflect what you want rather than what you have been told by others to do. If you are looking to sell your higher value cards/sealed product, contact our collections department at Card Kingdom.

All done!

Be excited and celebrate what you have accomplished. You now have a lighter, and more organized collection. It’s great to try and thin out the collection every once and a while, but by doing a big overhaul like you just did, the next time will be much easier. Using the Marie Kondo method to organize your magic collection gives a place for all of your cards. Even if you got rid of very little, at least you know what you do have is very important to you. Let yourself feel proud of organizing your collection, and having a better understanding of what you have, and why you have it.

Take your sell pile, and either decide to go through each card individually at Card Kingdom, or sell the whole collection. Make sure to reward yourself by going through your dream decklists and see what you can improve.

Share your before and after pics of your Magic Collection with us on twitter!