Gaming Accessories: Organizing Boxes

 

blue white orange and brown container vanHey folks! I’m back again with a gaming accessories article. This is for people that have a board game library already, and are getting into heavier, component loaded games. Today, I want to talk about bits, chits, tokens, and component storage. It can speed up game set up time and make things easier to find inside the box.

I’m going to use Rattle, Battle, and Grab the Loot in my examples for where a game could be better organized. Just to give you an idea of what’s in Rattle, Battle, Grab the Loot here are the components. 6 Port Boards, 1 Market Token, 11 Ocean Tiles, 38 Custom Dice, 5 Player ships (Each made of 3 separate pieces), 35 coins, 56 loot tokens in a black bag, 27 sailor cards, 44 adventure cards, 8 victory point cards, 20 upgrade cards, 20 upgrade tokens, 1 ruler, 1 wanted token, 5 captain tokens, 8 introductory adventures, and 45 ship upgrade pieces. To top it off, this game uses the box bottom as part of the game. I believe it’s the perfect game to talk about storage.

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There are a couple options out there for custom box inserts to sort and store your game. These are often costly and take time to put together. I can see the benefit for some games to have the inserts. I want to get one for my Codenames box. When I open that game to set up, it always looks like a mess. I have even seen an insert where you can have both Codenames and Codename Pictures in the same box. I’m always one for options. Meeple Reality, Broken Token Insert, and Insert Here are a couple of the companies out there producing these inserts. I’d recommend these if you play a certain game a lot and want better organization inside the box and faster set up times.

Here’s the insert from Broken Token and Insert Here. Both run around $40. I’ve seen Rattle Battle on clearance and one sale recently for around $15. So these inserts cost more than the game, but I believe it will make set up and storage a vast improvement. It’s nice just to take out a tray and have the bits ready. Clean up, just put them back into the tray and into the box. Before the insert, the original option would have been plastic baggies. While this is fine too, it looks a little unorganized when inside the box. Then when you take out all of the bits, you have just piles of them laying around. Not to mention these baggies, that after a couple of uses start looking dingy and dirty.

brown leather wallet using blue steel clapSo, are box inserts still too expensive for you? Or not in your gaming budget? Well, that’s where I’m at. I’d love to have them for all my bit heavy games, but it’s almost like paying twice for a single game. I’d rather buy a different game than pay for a box insert. Now, I don’t want to make it seem like I’m not supporting the box inserts. Like I said before, some games just need them. However, there are some other options available than these custom inserts.

I was in the local dollar store recently, and I saw something that peaked my interest. It was in the Tupperware aisle. And it was, in fact, Tupperware. I saw some really small containers, probably used to single portion salad dressings or something similar. I thought to myself, that would make things store so much better than baggies. Best part. It was in a pack of 10 for $1. Now, for Rattle, Battle, Grab the Loot, I had already purchased a different container. It was $6 if I remember correctly, and it was down the craft aisle at Meijers. It’s a storage container for crafty things. I has adjustable walls inside to accommodate different sizes. I just look for the smallest craft container that still gives me options for storage.

I opted for a combination of baggies and those craft containers. It does speed up the set up, but it’s still not baggie free. I’m still playing around with the set up, but it has improved it from just baggies. For cards, I’ll usually just use hair ties. Their soft and I don’t need to worry about the rubber bands deteriorating over time.

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The last option I’ve seen for box organization is foam core. You get a couple sheets of these, a razor blade, ruler, and glue. Lay out how you want your components to fit in the box. If you have paper, you can draw a blueprint of where the walls will separate the bits. You measure thrice, twice and I still make mistakes, cut once, and glue the areas down. Let it all dry before adding it to the box, and you’ve got a custom insert. I haven’t done this with any of my games yet. It’s time consuming, and I have little kids at the house. I don’t want to work with glue and razor blades while they’re awake and in the area. So, for the lazy DIYer and crafter, there’s etsy. When looking for instructions on how to make these, I found a ton for sale on etsy.

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So, have a game you can’t stand opening the box and digging through the bits? If you have the money, then look for a box insert. If not, head to the dollar store and find some Tupperware to put in your box. Or even make one yourself if you’re a DIYer. Either way, clean up your box, make game set up faster, and get to the game quicker.

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