Baggies, Inserts and Expansions – Organising your Board Games

Eldritch Tack Box

With FFG’s abundance of tokens, cards and markers, storing components for easy setup is similar to taking on an Ancient One.

Admin is not something many of us consider fun. Simply put, if I invited you to come around and help me pack away my Blu rays alphabetically¬†or to arrange the tools in my garage you’d probably tell me you’re washing your hair this afternoon. While arrangement of shelf space, meeples, dice and tokens are not something that bring the same joy as orchestrating a left flank attack in X-Wing or deceiving the Resistance to fail the final mission, they could directly influence the amount of fun that you and your friends have when you have those precious hours available to construct miniature armies across tables or to set out construction plans for suburban development. Simply put, messy game storage hampers game time.

Boxes come in all shapes and sizes and shelves are pretty standard. what this often means is when you’re arranging your games into standard book cases, you need to make some concessions. If you’re stacking them horizontally everything may not appear uniform due to various box sizes, but should you stack them vertically then you run the risk of internal components going a bit haywire, making opening your boxes a unique experience each and every time.

Well it’s what’ss inside that counts right? I think most gamers would agree that on the whole, publishers do not do a great job of internally organising the components in most games. These range from the empty box baggy solutions of Suburbia, through to the elegant design of the Days of Wonder boxes, namely Small World. I’ve toyed with the idea of creating my own custom inserts as a side project and while the thought of constructing these has always been enticing, pieces will still find themselves rearranged after moving the boxes or storing them vertically. While the OCD in me screams for order, baggies seem to be the only sure way to store games internal organs in their place.

Suburbia Tuck Boxes

Suburbia Stock Storage for Tiles doesn’t exist.. So printing and gluing together some tuck boxes keeps me sane.

Then there are tuck boxes that can be made for storing decks of cards, or the tiles in Suburbia, and toolboxes that can be bought to store all your games pieces like different size nails, but all of this will end up adding to the cost of an already expensive hobby. All of these add to the aesthetics of the game, but can end up as mammoth projects on their own, much like painting miniatures. Hell I’m a guy that made a custom wooden box for his Dominion base set and two expansions!

You smelt the segue did you? Expansions and how to you organise them in your collections? Do you throw out the small boxes and simply toss them into the main box, further complicating the original storage issue? Do you keep them in their boxes and have a lot of loose smaller boxer filling up crevices on your gaming shelf? WHAT DO YOU DO TO STOP THE MADNESS!

*breathe Stuart*

While you can see I don’t have the answers I’d like to know from you, fellow board gamers, what your solution to this incessant packaging and organising crisis we face is. My current solution to this first world problem is based upon frequency of play of a particular game, and the effort levels required by the setup. Baggies win the battles most of the time, bolstered by the reinforcements of lethargy.

Codenames Baggies

And in some cases, you just resort to baggies… Well to be honest, in MOST cases you resort to baggies.

How do you store your games? Comment below and even share pics of solutions, we all need a little helping hand with this. Now excuse me while I plan a custom insert for Imperial Assault and any future FFG expansions for it…

  • Rich Mulholland

    Nice post. I’d be pretty keen on a post regarding storage systems available in SA stores. There are heaps of IKEA recommendations online, but that’s about as useful as a meeple on a chess board.

    • Stuart McGarrick

      Cheers Rich, thanks for stopping in. I’ll take a look around and see what the local market has to offer and possibly put together something in the next month as a follow up piece. I’ve heard of a place called eco-furniture.co.za that apparently has some quality solutions but some investigation is needed!

  • Gabriel

    My storage solution for TI3. https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1330635/my-storage-solution-ti3 Great website. If you’re ever looking for contributions I would dig to write a review or article or something.

    • grim

      Thanks Gabriel for stopping by, and for the kind words! We’ll be in touch! Seen the Bitcrates Kickstarter? Oh, and awesome TI3 storage solution.