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Subject: A question about storing games on a shelf. rss

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Aaron Gelb
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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?

Thanks!
 
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Bernhard von Gunten
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I never put heavy boxes on top of smaller or lighter boxes.

At the other hand, i can stand hours in front of my book and game shelfes and reorganize the collections.

From my point of view, organizing the own collections is one hobby of it's own ;-)

Greetings from Switzerland,

Bernhard von Gunten
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Mark Farr
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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.

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Aaron Gelb
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Haha no problem..and thank you for your input!
 
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Moritz Eggert
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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.
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Mark Farr
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Eggo wrote:

...
The basis of a game box is usually sturdier and more resistent to dentures...


I don't let anyone chew or even nibble on my game boxes!

Sorry, I'm an ass, but I couldn't resist.

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Aaron Gelb
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ahh yes, exactly what i was thinking. I now do this as well, unless the bigger box is made of those great, hardcore sturdy material.
 
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Jonathan Davis
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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.)
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Aaron Gelb
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that makes sense..unfortunately my shelf isn't wide enough for this kind of stacking. But good to know.
 
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Lexingtonian
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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.
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Ivo van der Horst
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Reminds me of a scene from The Simpsons:
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Scott Mellon
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I'm a fan of the sideways storage.

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.

 
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Martin
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The solution is, as mentioned, to store them sideways.
 
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Dimitri Gia
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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
 
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Jon
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Talloaf wrote:

(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.)


Ahh, yes. Making natural T's, avoid breaking down a row, etc.

That said, I stack identically sized boxes.
 
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Scott Mellon
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I forgot to mention the great advantage of the sideways storage.

You dont' need to shuffle the stack to get to the game you want. This is why libraries use the sideways method. They figured it out a couple years ago.
 
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Wally Jones
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I never put game boxes on top of other game boxes. Cardboard is not strong enough to take constant abuse like that. I alway stack them side by side.
 
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