The Busy Girl’s Guide to What’s in the Box

So you’ve unpunched all the cardboard bits, unwrapped the cards, and assembled all the standees. Now – how on earth does everything fit back into the box you just opened? Do you chuck everything in willy nilly and bang the lid back on? Spend hours tetris-ing everything back in just so? And what do you do with expansions? This month in the Busy Girls Guide we talk INSIDE the box.

1 – Inserts – Post-retail inserts are a major solution for some, and there area a myriad solutions available. From laser cut wood to vacuum formed plastic, companies like Game Trayz and Broken Token make organizers that will keep all your bits in place. DIYers are getting into the game as well with 3d printer models and foam board solutions made from patterns available online. There are even folded paper ones coming to market, a fantastic, lightweight and space saving option.

2 – Baggies/tins/boxes – Keeping all the meeples, tokens, and cubes in order is essential to faster set up. Baggies are the go to solution, and many new games include a handful to use. Small tins and plastic cubes from the dollar store are also becoming popular (and make great containers for holding bits while gaming as well. My lastest favorite option is tiny cotton drawstring bags, and using them to sort pieces by player for quick set up.

3 – Box bands – If you’re a sideways shelver or an expansion combiner, box bands are your new best friends. These bright, four sided rubber bands will keep your box lid on, WITHOUT damaging the edges or marring the art. Also, they’re thick enough that you won’t be afraid of a painful snap.

4 – Packing by Set up – Instead of sorting by sizes, consider sorting by setup. Why not put the resource pile in one bag, draw deck in another, and the tiles with the markers that go on them? Or how about individual bags for each player with all their starting materials? Its certainly faster to hand someone a baggie with all their bits than pass out player aids, tokens, chits, meeples, and cards one by one.

5 – Toss that insert – I know several of you gasped. But hear me out – if you’ve got a couple expansions taking up additional space on your shelves, why not toss the original box insert and combine them all into one? If you’re using additional organization (baggies, etc.) anyhow,why bother fussing with the thing at all? And certainly there seem to be very few that maximize storage space. Throw the sub-optimal original insert into the recycle bin and get creative with the space.

6 – Changing boxes – This is probably the most extreme solution, but certainly will give the most bang for your buck. Think outside the box. Would that minis game you love be better suited to a Plano? Can several of your card games fit neatly into a card box? There are numerous options, from boxes ready made for the industry (like the Quiver) to more creative solutions (craft storage, recipes boxes, etc.)

Whatever your method, a little organization will go a long way, especially when you pull it out next time to play. Do you have a clever solution? @ us on Twitter!

Every second is of infinite value. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe