Monday, May 21, 2012

THE CREATIVE GAMER - Game Bit Storage Obsession - Dominion re-organized, PLUS PNP game storage idea

So, you may have seen my other posts in the past about game bit storage and my obsession with finding the right storage for the right game.

Here's a recap if you're interested:
THE CREATIVE GAMER - Game Bit Storage Obsession (aka Are You OCD Like Me?) - Part 1/3
THE CREATIVE GAMER - Game Bit Storage Obsession (aka Are You OCD Like Me?) - Part 2/3
THE CREATIVE GAMER - Game Bit Storage Obsession (aka Are you OCD Like Me?) - Part 3/3

The Part 3 post has some details about how I had my Dominion cards stored. Note that I am NOT heavily obsessed with Dominion, BUT, because my family really enjoys playing it (and I certainly enjoy it, just not all the time), I want to be able to tote ALL the cards around when I want them without having to carry all SEVEN of the expansion boxes and have to open each one up to find what I want.

If you didn't/don't want to follow the post, here's a recap:
* I purchased old Trivial Pursuit games from thrift stores and used the card box bottoms to store the cards in.
* I wasn't completely happy with the existing dividers on BGG so I created my own (although I admit I borrowed a bit from some of the other I saw):
           Tasajara's Dominion Base dividers (vertical)
* I placed the cards in the boxes and put the boxes into a photo box I purchased on sale at Michael's craft store.

This was the result:

This was before Hinterlands came out. So, prior to that, EVERYTHING fit in there including all player boards and Intrigue set of money and VP cards, plus promos up to then.

When that last expansion came out I ran out of room so had to pull the extra cards, the Prosperity player boards and a few other things (even the randomizers I think)

I was thinking about it recently and it was kind of bugging me that I had to split things up - OCD was setting in. And, I know there are 2 more expansions planned (supposedly the last - plus a couple of Promos I'm guessing).  That cardboard photo box was running out of space fast, plus I'm always worried carrying the thing around that it's going to rip open or something due to the weight of all the cards.

So, I was at Michael's with a coupon that gave me $5 off a $25 purchase. And, most of their 'storage' merchandise was on sale for 40% off. That alone was beckoning me to check out what was available. I spent a lot of time wandering the store looking at the various storage options and my various needs:
* Small bead storage boxes that I like to use for bit storage.
* Scrap-booking boxes that I've been considering for storing Heroscape stuff.
* Photo box storage - looking for a larger version of a photo box like what I already had, but not finding what I wanted for Dominion (they have bigger, but not tall enough)

Then when wandering through another area of the photo storage section, I noticed the plastic storage cases. I'd seen them before but nothing ever really stood out to me as being useful for games (or they were too pricey to be worth it)

But then it struck me - the larger photo storage cases were about the same height and width (well, 1/2 the box) as the cardboard storage box I was using for Dominion already. Hmmmmm, could I make a plastic one work? Would it hold everything? Would it be too big? Would it be too bulky to lug around?

So, let me describe what I was looking at in a bit more detail: It's a larger case that holds 16 smaller plastic cases in slots inside it. The 16 cases were each about 1" thick and slightly larger than a 4x6 photograph (of course!). I got one of the cardboard boxes and compared volume - seemed to be about the same size - slightly larger due to the slots and the need to accommodate the size of the small storage boxes.

Even better, here's a pic of the case:

I hemmed and hawed about getting it. Partly because the darned thing was $40.00 normal price and even with the 40% off sale it made it $24.00. Then I realized that you can buy the small cases inside for $1.99 each which made those alone worth $32.00. I figured worse case I could return the whole thing if it didn't work out. So I got it, along with another small set of plastic bead boxes and got $5 off the entire total with the coupon.

Here's the label in case you're interested in finding it yourself:

(NOTE: I found the same case later on Amazon here)

When I got it home I started transferring the cards into the case. If you remember I put the cards into Trivial Pursuit card boxes inside the other photo box. When I put these boxes with the cards in, they fit perfectly! In fact, the fins that are in the case to separate the smaller cases from each other were just the right size to grip the card boxes and hold them in place. Nice!

After getting the 4 boxes in I started searching for all the cards that previously hadn't been able to fit including the Intrigue set of money and VP cards and the randomizer cards. I realized I needed at least 2 more boxes (which there was more than enough room for) - time for another trip to the local Goodwill!

I decided to use 4 of the small cases to hold some of the other bits and the various player boards from Prosperity and Seaside, plus the randomizer cards:

The next day I found a Trivial Pursuit Baby Boomer expansion (which contains 2 card boxes) for $0.99 from Goodwill. I decided to put both sets of VP and Money cards into one box by themselves to keep them separate from the rest of the Kingdom cards. They fit really tight, not leaving as much room as I would normally want to be able to pull cards out, but its not really a problem since I can grab them from the sides and searching for what I need isn't going to be an issue here.

Here's a shot with everything in there, including the small cases with the player boards and bits, etc. As you can see, there is one empty box that should be enough room for 2 more expansions - hopefully it's enough room:

I even like how the side of the box is shorter than the older box as it makes it easier to read the dividers and get to the cards:

I'm happy to have it all in one place now with enough room to grow. Worst, uh, case, is I can take 2 of the small cases out, put in one more card box and still probably fit it all in.

AND, the Dominion cover labels I created for the first photo box should fit nicely onto this box as well so that will probably be my next task.

Note that the manuals still don't really fit in, although I could probably fold them in half and put them across the 4 cards boxes, but because I have all the card details and rules clarifications on the card dividers, it's one thing I'm willing to leave out.

Here's how the case looks with everything in it ready for travel:

I'm a tad concerned that the box latch looks like half of the handle and, if someone didn't know what they were doing when picking it up, there might be a BIG messy problem as a result. I'll just make sure no one else EVER touches it :)

Here's a size comparison with the original photo box, the new box, and 4 of the 7 expansion boxes (I seem to have destroyed/mis-placed the other 3, but you get the idea):

Yes, the case is somewhat large, and it's heavy when you are trying to move it around, but I think ultimately it's going to work out well.

Finally, for those that have concerns about the cards spilling everywhere when carrying the case, notice that as long as the card boxes are full, the cards shouldn't ever fall out and wander around the box:

(upside down!)


Ok, that might be enough for one post, but I still have 12 of the small picture cases left over. What to do with them?

Well, I found a couple of interesting uses.

A set of 14 Crokinole disks fit in nicely:

I have several sets and they were previously stored in a mish-mash of various containers. Ah, much better now:

I started thinking about what else could go in the boxes. I remembered I had a Print-and-Play version of Inspector Moss 2: House Arrest stored in a box for another game that I hadn't had a chance to re-label yet. Perhaps one of these small cases would work well.

Ta-da! Perfect fit:



I still need a label though....

I don't do a lot of PnP stuff, but I imagine getting one of these cases and putting one game each into one of the small cases would make a really nice storage system for a bunch of games. I love the idea that the boxes all being clear would make it easy to find the game you're looking for.

Note that 2 decks of cards fit very nicely into the small cases and still have room for some dice and/or bits and even a rules sheet, so there's lots of possibilities here.

For instance, I can put my Decktet card deck ordered from Artscow along with some dice, cubes and some sets of rules all in a nice portable case (sorry, no pic but you get the idea)

Well, not sure if you like this idea or not, but I was pretty excited about it! Note that cost may be prohibitive depending on your needs, but seeing as how the small cases are usually $2 buying the larger set for less per isn't too bad of a deal. Also, buying them as one-off might be useful as well, especially if you can get some coupons.

Phew! That was a long post. Longer than usual (and I usually write long stuff, even when I try for something shorter).

I haven't written anything in a while...I've been thinking a lot about writing something, different things, but it hasn't been clicking for me lately. I guess this storage box gave me something I really wanted to write about :)

Thanks for stopping by - let me know what you think about this box and if it's something you might use for storing Dominion or Thunderstone or PnP stuff, or any other ideas you have.


  1. I've been meaning to test out THIS of which I have several (tho they are full of photos, at least I can empty oneand test if it works) for Dominion. Two columns ocards per division. The bottom side also has a lid, there's a shallow-ish 12/12 compartment for the manuals (meant for large photos,portraits, panoramic etc.). I'll let you know how it goes. I only have base+intrigue but that should be enough to see how much will fit in the volume. Multiply, etc.

    I've aso started using some Scraponizers (i have 12x12, there's 8.5 x 11 too (will fit that size, outer dimensions a bit larger) with some f the various divided inserts; I bought these at a scrapbook store while back, where you could buy just the outer cases and just the different insert trays you needed to customize perfectly. On their website it doesn't look like you can buy them separately, just a few kits; this MAY be to support the local SB stores, not steal their business. It' been a couple years since I bought them, so I don'tknow, but amazon has say the quartered divided insert tray for sale individually. I believe thy don't cost that much in person. They are sturdier than you may think. I have a bunch of dominoes plus rules in two wit quarter4ed compartebnts, set upon edge like a book, and doing fine. We'll see with time. Some card games in some others, no insert tray. I have some pics, I need to upload them to flickr. online I saw a tray that isn't all same size divisions of compartments (three rows, quartered, 8ths, 6ths) it is like a half division but the bottom half is divided in half again, like a quartered combined with a half.

    I have a PnP card game in a 6ths . . . sleeved cards fit decently. I have doctor who card game artscow in another, with some other cards, and tokens for the dr who game

    sorry my keyboard is goin. I'll try to get pics up this week, I'llleave another commen with link if interested. sorry so long! I 'm a bit ocd about storage too *(well, i actualyl HAve ocd).


  2. the divisions on the scraponzier, down to 6x6 (not sure ab out the 8 by x compartment one) slip/sort of lock into grooves in the front of the scraponizer; they lock when the thing is closed, unless you h ave something a bit too thick in there; I got around this by putting the slightly too thick Star Fluxx a ways away from the edge, so the outer edge closes completely (don't need an insert tray for having card games in their boxes in it) if you do need divided inserts however, down to the 6 cvompartment one for 12x12, they WILL keep small parts from traveling to other compartments.

  3. Sarebear: Those cases look interesting too. They're a bit cheaper on Amazon but still a bit pricey. I'd like to see them in person before purchasing so will look around town to see what is available.

    The fact that they are adjustable is nice so you could just stick the cards in there directly I think. Only big question for me is how two rows of cards fit into the sections.

    One thing I like about the Iris cases I got is the separate small cases that I can stick stuff into. I'm considering getting another one now for putting some of my smaller games/card games all into one nice travel case.

  4. I liked that about what you posted too. With all the crafts I do, I have so many types of containers it's not funny. I may not have ones quite thin enough to put under the cardboxes in the dominion storage, but I'm sure they exist at the craft store, or fishing section of other stores, I'vebrowsed those sections aplenty!

    Here's the dominion storage (it's a cropper hopper photo case) $25 before coupon when I bought, it's probably higher cost now.
    The photos I made sure the cards were standing up straight in their boxes; The photos of the cards in the right halfof the box show them without anything beneath them raising t hem up. The ones on the left have casette tapes beneath (the cases were a smidge too thick) Of course I realized after uploading the photos that I need to figure extra height for the dividers, but even wth tapes beneath them theres s'more room. I'd use all Tpursit bx bottoms, but for testing purposes bottoms and tops worked. There's about half an inch or so of play between the sides of the boxes, a touch more if they were both bottoms. Can insert something to fix. Also there's dividers to divide each side of the box up fo photos; too high to put between boxes, down the midde of the column, due to the ridges they slide down into that go across th bottom as well.

    Any questions just ask. It's base + intrigue. There's rom at the back of each side of the box for almost a 1" deep container, of which a variety can be found at theh above-mentioned types of places.

    The bottom side of the box is about 1" deep, good for manuals, as you ca see in the photos. This box is designed to carry a heavy load of photos, and I've never had a full or partially full box of photos open accidentally.

    Scraponizer; these standnicely on a bookshe4lf, or stack (my dominoes ones will be better in book orientation, I'm also short one outer case for half the dominoes, this is ahue double 15's set). Playing cards in one, a PnP that is sleeved in one with an 8 compartment insert, each spot just right for cards, with the rules behind the insert. Dr. who cards and penny tokens in anoter with misc sleeves/cards as well. Card games Star Fluxx, Guillotine, and Archeology in anothe with room for another of the right size.

    It's hard to see, but there's the channels in the front side for the divisions on the inserts to get cupped into/sealed when you close the outside. There's vertical channels to either side of the middle but being clear theyddn't show up as wellas the oter clear ones. Dumbkeybord lol.

    There's a space down the spine inside which you can put a label/title/contents headline. Also it's called a living hinge, whatever that means, but supposed to be durable. so far it is.

    there's other div inserts besides he 8 I show, there's quartered, halved, three even rows, sixths (i think), and 8's. Not sure if the Higher @ divisions are available in 8.5 x 11; these I know are in 12x12.

    Sorry so long! I don't have titles in mine ither, and the dominoes are on a trial run (previously tho I had a bunch of wood mounted stamps in these, those were heavy as well and worked out/stood up to it.)

    Sara (I may have to checkout that Iris case!

  5. woops it's not more vertical lines down the front, it's a variety of horizontal ones. oops.

  6. Thanks for the pics! Nice to see them in action - gives me a better idea on how they function. Looks like plenty of room in there. With the Iris case the TP box tops won't fit at all - I haven't tried them with card sleeves but I think the box tops might work better for those using card sleeves, so those with the Scraponizer might be a better solution.

  7. I'm considering putting the box tops over the cards in the box bottoms; just like they were "designed" to be used, although with dividers it won't settle down quite as much as it standardly does. Sees like the simplest solution, here, for the big photo case.

    I don't quite understand what you re saying in your last sentence from those onward . . . but that's ok, it's late. Lol.

    My current focus on increasing our minimal games library is on shorter games that have a decent depth(archeology is a tad light for me but hubby likes it so . . .); a higher percentage of these should fit in the scraponizer, than of course meatier games. Alot won't though; still it's nice to not have a teetering pile of various-sized card game boxes; they are neat on the bookshelf with spines ready to title so we can easily pull out what we want. I'll have to take a pic of them on the bookshelf with titles once I've titled thm.

  8. Oh, I think you were trying to say those with the cropper hopper photo case, would be better for sleeved Dom cards in TP box tops. It's late, yes. lol.


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