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.
Here is a list of gift items to help the gamer in your life organize those games better, leading to less space and quicker startup time.
Disclosure: Some links in this post are Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Plano is the industry standard for plastic containers with dividers in them. They are durable, cheap and come in a crazy number of sizes. 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. These fit great in most board game style 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
Full Box Inserts
We talked about box inserts both on the blog and on the podcast. If you have the money these are the ultimate in board game organization. You can get wood, plastic or foam core in a huge range of prices. Two of the most well-known wood insert makers are Broken Token and Meeple Reality. For plastic, I love my Zen Bins insert for Star Wars Rebellion. If you want cheaper you can go the Folded Space route and get their foam core inserts. A newcomer I discovered on Amazon the other day is E-Raptor. They appear to be using different wood.
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 each individual component 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 Dollerama 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.
Capturing those Cards
I don’t want to leave out the card game players. The Quiver is a very cool high-end way to organize and transport your LCGs. On the other end of the scale are the very affordable Deck Boxes from Ultra-PRO. Then there’s this cool Spell Box that holds either cards or card cases like Ultra-PRO deck boxes.
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 baggies in their games and that’s awesome. 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. Or 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 producing very specific storage solutions, solutions for a specific game. Like these Petri dish containers for Pandemic. Or these very cool drawstring bags specifically made for Castles of Burgundy. Another trend I’ve been seeing is alternative storage for games where the box is way too big. Like this 3-D printed condensed box for Codenames.