Here is a list of gift items to help the gamer in your life organize their games better, leading to less space required and quicker startup time.
I have to credit my wife for the inspiration for this #GamerGiftGuide. A couple of years ago she gave up on buying me new games. Anything I wanted I bought and no one but me was able to keep track of what I owned and what I didn’t. She came up with a brilliant idea, instead of buying me games she would buy me something for the games I already owned.
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Plano is the industry standard for plastic containers with dividers in them. They are durable, cheap, and come in a crazy variety of sizes and shapes. There is even a geeklist over at boardgamegeek.com that can tell you what box is best for what games. Check that out here: O Plano boxes, how do I love thee?
The most popular Plano box seems to be the Plano 23600 Stowaway with Adjustable Dividers. The 3600 fits great in most board game boxes and are perfect for games like Agricola and Caverna. The Plano 3448 and 3449 are perfect for smaller games. I also know at least one local gamer who goes for the full-on Plano 1374 Tackle Box for transporting their X-Wing collection.
Non-Plano Plastic Storage
Wooden Box Inserts
We talked about box inserts both on the blog and on the podcast. Wooden box inserts can be fantastic. Good ones will not only provide you with a place to put everything, including materials from expansion, but will actually increase set up time, decrease put away time, and potentially even speed up gameplay. There are drawbacks though. Wooden inserts aren’t cheap and they are surprisingly heavy. Many of the inserts I own come from Meeple Reality, and I have been very happy with their product. I have also found a number of great box inserts on Etsy. The advantage I’ve found with Etsy is that prices are often much lower than the big name insert makers. Smonex is a newcomer to the market that offer a number of different game upgrades including wooden box inserts.
Plastic Box Inserts
Foamcore Box Inserts
Individual Component Storage
Sometimes you don’t need a huge storage container that holds ALL THE THINGS. Often you are better off with something smaller that can hold individual components or each player’s set of pieces separately. There are a bunch of options for small plastic containers and I usually pick mine up at the dollar store but Amazon has some nice large sets. Like this set of 30 round mini containers or this set of 12 rectangular ones. I also stumbled across these metal Altoid style containers that I thought would be great for game components. I have a friend that loves the Bitty Box which locks shut and can stack. There are also these Connect-A-Box sets that come in three sizes and attach to each other, basically turning your individual component storage into a full box insert.
Card and Card Game Storage
The (not so) Humble Baggie
You can’t discredit the humble baggie. In many cases, a set of baggies is all you need to sort and store your latest game. It’s great to see that many manufacturers are now including plastic baggies in their games. You can get 1000 and 2000 packs of bags ranging from 1″x1″ to 4″x6″ on Amazon for under $20, or just go to your local dollar store. How about kicking it up to the next level and getting colour coded bags designed for holding game components? Board Game Storage offers just that. I backed their Kickstarter and was very happy with what I got. Now the yellow player’s components go in the yellow bag and the forest tiles go in the green bag, etc.
Game Specific Storage Upgrades
There are a growing number of people out there producing very specific storage solutions for specific games. Like these Petri dish containers for Pandemic, or these very cool drawstring bags specifically made for Castles of Burgundy. Also take a look at these Vintage Suitcase Storage Containers for Ticket To Ride and these Shadows of Brimstone Token Holders. If a game is popular enough someone has probably made some form of custom storage solution for it.
For a bunch of other non-storage based board game upgrade suggestions be sure to check our other Gamer Gift Guides like Adding Bling to your Tabletop Games and Improving Your Tabletop Games with Etsy.