Table Tips - Storage Solutions

Hey folks, welcome back!  Today’s Table Tip focuses on storage solutions for board games. Let’s take a look at some of the ways I’ve dabbled with storing my games over the years and explore what options are out there.

 

Ziplock Baggies

Ziplock bags, a simple, cheap and versatile option

 

These are the simplest, least expensive and uncomplicated way to store stuff. Most games include them and some games include extras in the box. Otherwise, you can buy bags of them from dollar shops and have a ready supply on hand. Ideal for cheaper games with lots of tokens or for games with several players in order to separate out the players components for a faster set up. An ideal choice for the budget conscious or for those who simply aren’t too fussed about storage and just want to keep things tidy.

 

Plano/Tackle Boxes/Storage Trays

Storage trays are great for organising components

 

These are a great, cost effective way to organise your games.  A step up from the traditional baggies, but often still a cheaper option than the inserts I’ll discuss next, these storage solutions can be found at hardware stores, at dollar shops and online for a reasonable price.  While not the complete storage option that inserts can provide, these can often result in a faster set up/breakdown time as well as keeping things tidier and more organised on the game table. Between these and the aforementioned baggies, most gamers would find themselves content with this storage option.

 

Inserts - e.g: Folded Space, Game Trayz, Broken Token

A Folded Space insert for Lords of Waterdeep

 

Dedicated custom game inserts are an ideal way to store more deluxe or premium games which are component rich or include bits and pieces that are delicate and you don’t want sliding and banging around loose in the box. I reserve these for the more frequently played or specialised games in my collection.  Custom inserts are usually a bit pricier, often coming in at the price of an expansion pack or even a full game for some of the larger inserts, so be prepared to spend a little if you go with this option. 

Broken Token's Scythe insert, made from MDF

 

There are several companies out there who specialise in custom inserts, with Folded Space being my first choice as they are often cheaper, and available for a wider variety of games than the MDF Broken Token inserts. Game Trayz are making more of an appearance in games nowadays too, and normally these are already part of the base game, though they do have a few aftermarket options available. 

These Game Trayz inserts for Wasteland Express are included with the game

 

Foam Core/Foam Board

A custom Battle Foam tray for the X-Wing Minatures Game

 

Foam core is used for more customization and trickier storage such as unusually sized or shaped components or for large collections, typically wargames for example, Warhammer 40k. The benefit of foam core is that it can be fully customized to suit your needs, however this versatility comes with an appropriate price tag, companies such as Battle Foam provide a wealth of options including pre-cut trays for many popular board and war games.

Custom foam is highly adaptable for a range of games and components

 

Alternatively, you can buy sheets of foam board from craft shops and with a little careful design, and some trial and error, you could come away with an adequate storage solution to suit your needs. These can often be cut to measure so they’ll fit in the original game box too.

 

Whatever your choice, it’s a good idea to ask yourself how often you plan to play a game and determine if its worth investing in a more all encompassing, but more expensive insert, or if you’re happy to just have a quick and simple place to put all the bits and bobs after the game is over. My choices have been as varied as my collection, though I have noticed that many game publishers are starting to pay more attention to inserts and are beginning to incorporate these into the base product, albeit with mixed results. As always, I'm keen to hear about storage options you've found that work for you, so be sure to share them in the comments below.  Until next time, good luck and have fun!