I have restricted room to keep my games. They must fit on a narrow shelf five shelves high. I don't have as many games as some collectors here on BGG have, so the storage space is enough, however, I find myself questioning which games should go on top of which.
Any boxes I have that are already bowing or weak (like my copy of samurai swords) by default will go on top of the sturdier Axis and Allies and Fortress America.
As a rule, I try to put the heavier on the bottom and lighter on top, and try to keep boxes of the same size stacked with each other.
But with my restricted space, I can't always do this. For example, on one shelf I have Formula De, Blood Feud and Field Command. I listed them smallest to largest there. My main question is this: Is it better to put a larger (not nec. heavier) box on top of smaller dimension boxes, or smaller on top of larger?
I feel that if I put smaller on top of larger, it will make the larger box eventually bow in as larger boxes have less strength in the unsupported center. The strongest part is around the edges. But I also feel if I put larger on top of smaller, especially if its heavier, it might do some weird bowing from the bottom.
So which, in this situation, is the better route to go?
Last edited Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:06 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
I'm just stoked that someone else thinks enough about this to ask such a question. Kind of makes me feel less "different".
I have thought about this myself, and store my games much the same way. The only time I have put a larger box on top of a smaller one is when it feels light enough not to matter (and when the smaller box is sturdy), but my rule of thumb is smaller on top of larger. When doing so, I often use two smaller boxes that, together, are close to the size of the larger one they're resting on. In this way, they sit side by side and rest on the edges and specifically two of the corners of the box below (where it's sturdiest), and not in the middle. If the same height, I have even placed a larger box on top of two smaller ones, as two smaller boxes provide extra support in the middle where the two boxes meet.
I make use of plastic containers to organize bits, and these often have the benefit of sitting snugly in the box, just touching the lid. Rule books and game aids can be used as padding for this, and stacking containers on top of each other can help too. A box like this can take a lot of weight, as the plastic containers are pretty tough. My Samurai Swords is packed this way, and the box, despite being old and bowed, is able to support plenty (not that I put anything on top of it at the moment).
Some boxes are sturdier than others, such as the wooden ones, of course (Carcassonne - The City, Apples to Apples Crate Edition, Valley of the Pharaohs), and some GMT boxes are pretty tough (Commands & Colours). With these boxes, you can be safer with what you put on top of them. Some boxes never have anything on top of them out of respect - they're just too cool to risk a cover scuff.
Well, thank you for the chance to say so much about how my game boxes are arranged. For some reason, I very seldom get the chance to discuss this. Most times, peoples' eyes glaze over before they remember they have to do something or be somewhere.
I once read a lengthy analysis on the now defunct "Games Journal" website that it is actually better to store larger games on top of smaller sized games, and this is what I do and recommend as well. The basis of a game box is usually sturdier and more resistent to indentation, whereas if you store a small heavy box on a larger box it will leave a mark of it's size on the top lid after a while. The new sturdy smaller AH boxes (Axis&Allies) etc. are good examples of this - it's bad to store them ON bigger sized games if those don't have lids made of steel...But one can easily store games on them.
If you can manage it, it's best not to stack boxes in columns, but arrange them so that boxes are resting on multiple boxes (think how bricks are layed, the way they're offset is what we're going for). This way the edges of two boxes are supporting one box. This does make it a bit trickier when you want to pull a game out though. You could use some toy wooden blocks to support while you're playing the game though.
(I'm a trainer for UPS, training people how to stack boxes into a tractor trailer 5 nights a week, so I'm full of all sorts of tips on how to stack boxes.)
If you turn boxes about 45 degrees, or sometimes a little less, the weight of the boxes can be made to rest on the vertical sides of the boxes below, which are stronger than just the lid. it doesn't look pretty, but it's a sound strategy.
Inserts get tossed. They never work with bags anyway.
Sewing elastic is used to keep the box together. I tried just putting them on their side. The first time I pulled a box from the top shelf and was attacked by meeples convinced me the elastic was needed.
Now I don't have any problems with box bowing, and they transport like a dream to weekly board game night at the local shop.
And an opinion from this collector : sideways is the only way to go. Especially if you want to take advantage of any space available. At least : if you have a lot of plastic baggies (I think they are called ziplocks?) to store the components in such a way that they won't rattle and shake when their box is put aside. I do recommend though to stack games on each other if they are of the same sizes : eg : Shogun on Fortress America / Deathwing expansion on Genestealer expansion / Advanced HeroQuest on Advanced Space Crusade / etc... You catch my drift
Should you have a box that is just a tad too big (Clue Master Detective / Targui / etc... ) but thin and light enough : it's indeed the best approach to put these on top of smaller boxes (the edges can carry the most weight without dents and 'crushed' edges forming over time) or even better : put these on top of "series" of games of the same size (eg : the Master Series of QWG : Yspahan and so on ... )
Just my 2c, goodluck! /dimi
Last edited Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:36 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)