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Subject: Collection Storage that's not a bookcase? rss

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Josiah Miller
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Does anyone have any ideas about other ways to store your collection that is not a bookcase? I am pretty close to moving my collection to the garage and would like some ideas about how to keep them relatively safe from dust and humidity.

I was thinking about a metal storage cabinet with some extra weather stripping on the door, but I don't know where I can get one of these on the cheap.

So, does anyone else store their games outside of a closet but not in a bookcase? I'd like to see a few examples before I started hunting down cabinets.
 
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Andrew Brannan
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The bulk of my collection (200+ games) is in plastic Sterilite "tubs" in our crawlspace. It's kept them dry in floods, free of dust (which there's a ton of), and easy to access.
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temazur
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abrannan wrote:
The bulk of my collection (200+ games) is in plastic Sterilite "tubs" in our crawlspace. It's kept them dry in floods, free of dust (which there's a ton of), and easy to access.


What he said. Sterilite or Rubbermaid tubs are awesome for keeping out regular moisture, dust, and garage denizens. It'll protect from flooding, but if you live in a really moist area, they still *might* let some humidity in. At least, the Sterilite ones might, I think Rubbermaid might have a tighter seal.



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The Tak
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If it's covering the games more than an open bookcase does, you could go the route of a barrister's case, but you're probably looking at a good bit of dosh. Excellent and classy looking storage solution that you can have anywhere in the house, though, so you do get what you pay for.

For cost efficiency, it's hard to beat tubs though.
 
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Josiah Miller
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Not a bad idea. You just stack the tubs, then? Not much in the way of presentation, but they get the job done, I'd imagine.
 
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norman rule
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Regardless of what you choose, get silica gel. It won't help with actual flooding, but it will certainly reduce the humidity.

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Caleb
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brotherjo wrote:
Not much in the way of presentation,


You DID say "garage", right?
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Josiah Miller
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cannoneer wrote:
brotherjo wrote:
Not much in the way of presentation,


You DID say "garage", right?


HA!. Yeah, I did, but I was thinking more along the lines of keeping things outside the house but not necessarily packed away. I would like to keep my collection small, about 50 games, and I think I'd prefer to have something I could somewhat peruse when considering what to bring to gamenight. I value the visual appeal but it's not paramount.

The tubs are a good idea, but may require a little digging to get to what I want. If have a stack of games I'm not getting to very often, I'd just as soon sell them or trade them. Access is key.
 
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brotherjo wrote:
cannoneer wrote:
brotherjo wrote:
Not much in the way of presentation,


You DID say "garage", right?


HA!. Yeah, I did, but I was thinking more along the lines of keeping things outside the house but not necessarily packed away. I would like to keep my collection small, about 50 games, and I think I'd prefer to have something I could somewhat peruse when considering what to bring to gamenight. I value the visual appeal but it's not paramount.

The tubs are a good idea, but may require a little digging to get to what I want. If have a stack of games I'm not getting to very often, I'd just as soon sell them or trade them. Access is key.


The nice thing about the tubs is you can get clear ones so that you can leave everything sealed inside while you browse.
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Caleb
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If you're going to keep them in the garage, I agree that rubbermaid type containers are the only real way to go. We kept a bunch of them with baby clothes in our garage rafters for a couple years, and they emerged no worse for wear. If you're in a super-humid environment (like Florida) I would NOT recommend it as they may become mildewed even if in those containers. For anything north of the Mason-Dixon or West of the Mississippi, it's probably fine

 
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Josiah Miller
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Probably overwhelmingly cheaper than any kind of cabinet, too. ALRIGHT, you guys are convincing me.
 
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Brad Johnson
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I would never trust anything valuable and made of paper to the vagaries of Chicago's weather, but that's just me. If it's not the humidity, it's the summer heat which can definitely melt plastic at its worst (and Chicago's got nothing compared to Arizona in that regard). If you trust your weather extremes sufficiently, it would seem sealed plastic tubs are definitely the way to go.

My complaint with plastic tubs for game storage, however, has always been that I can't find any with straight sides. I hate using the tubs with the sloped sides - it seems you either have to stack as well as you can and fill in all the gaps with small stuff, or settle or inefficient space usage. Can anyone recommend a large-size tub with straight sides that is scaled well to fit standard sizes of game boxes?
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Gris Gris
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I live with a professional archivist and get to hear constantly about people ruining priceless documents because they stored them improperly. All this talk of rubbermaid bins scares me. Especially since you are going to be putting these games in your garage. Like other posters have said, these bins are waterproof. Logic will tell you that means they keep water in as well. In your garage there is going to be significant temperature fluctuation. When the temperature changes there will be condensation. This condensation will now be trapped inside your waterproof boxes where it will pool. I hope you like your Primordial Soup extra soupy.

I know a lot of people here have had good luck with their industrial grade tupperware, but that is the worst thing you could possibly do short of storing them beneath your bathroom sink. These people have gotten lucky, and I hope that they continue to do so, but you shouldn't rely on luck. Here are some tips on storage that I really encourage you to consider.

thumbsup Keep your games in the house, or at lease somewhere that is climate controlled. If your garage is climate controlled that would be okay.

thumbsup Keep the games away from sources of heat, for obvious reasons.

thumbsup Keep the games somewhere clean. This is not usually ones' garage. An unclean environment will encourage dust, bugs and mildew to destroy your games. And really, bugs can be the worst offender there.

thumbsup Use Cardboard boxes. What? Yeah, I said it. They breath. They allow the moisture to travel freely. Most importantly, this means they let the moisture _out_ of your game boxes instead of forcing it to condense and pool in them. If you are super serious you will want to get archival grade boxes, they are acid free and treated to repel the worst of the paper destroyers I mentioned above. You can even get archival boxes lined with polyethylene if external moisture is a super big concern for you. If you use boxes from your local U-Haul though just make sure to line them with acid free paper to keep your games from getting discolored. It would also be a good idea to put a sheet of acid free paper between each of your games as you put them in your boxes.

thumbsup Put the games on shelves to allow air circulation and keep them off the ground in case of flood. If the air is not circulating they will mold. ESPECIALLY if you keep them in a place you can't control temperature. Keeping air circulating is the most important of these tips, please think seriously about it.

A weather sealed metal cabinet and a non climate controlled garage is a horrifying place to put your games.

If you do decide on the tupperware tubs (lots of folks here seem to love those for some reason) do something to keep the moisture under control. Large amounts of desiccant will help. Large amounts of desiccant can be quite pricey though. A few cups of rice in a breathable mesh bag will do wonders (rice is incredibly sensitive to changes in moisture). Also, keep them at as constant a temperature and humidity as possible. I would bet that abrannan's crawl space is kept at conditions similar to the inside of his house. Before you decide on tupperware though you may want to look at some of the information of what happened to the rare collections that were at the New Orleans libraries. The archivists that worked at these libraries requested a bunch of acid-free cardboard boxes to temporarily home the books and documents as they found their way to safe places. Instead of putting an archivist in charge, however, the government decided give the reins to a businessman. Why have a qualified professional make decisions, after all, when you can have an image conscious businessman do it? He decided on Rubbermaid tubs. Why not? they were water tight, and water damage was a big concern there for obvious reasons. Also, they looked so damned good in their neat little stacks. The archivists from these libraries all protested, several in formal written letters to anybody that would listen, but the businessman in charge ignored them. Stupid professionals who have dedicated their lives to that craft, what would they know? Plastic is _waterproof_. You can guess the end of this story by now, I assume. Every last item in the tubs was destroyed by mold and mildew. The pictures are enough to make you weep.


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Josiah Miller
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Aaaaand I've been scared back to square 1.
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Caleb
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Well, bear in mind you want to be able to use this storage as a convenient way to get at your games each week for game night. So it's not like you're going to seal them off in containers and not look at them again for 5 years. If you're in there every week or so, you will notice if things start going bad and you can bring them back into the house.

For 50 games, I don't think you'd need more than 5 containers. That's not a lot to check in on from time to time.

One question - why not store them in the house? Is space at that much of a premium? For years I had my small collection (40-50 titles) in my clothes closet on 2 shelves. They didn't take up that much space.
 
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Josiah Miller
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In the house isn't completely out of the realm of possibility. There just isnt enough room any 1 closet so they are spread out around the house now.
 
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Caleb
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brotherjo wrote:
In the house isn't completely out of the realm of possibility. There just isnt enough room any 1 closet so they are spread out around the house now.


Then you need to throw away more clothes
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Paul Amala
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Most of my collection is also in the garage. I find that those big boxes used ship/store ten reams of printer paper are perfect. The size is just right to hold about a ten bookshelf sized games or about eight or so of the old AH flat box games. And I can sort them by topic or game maker and use a Sharpie to write on the side of the paper box. The lids fit pretty nice too, and keep the dust out. If you work in a big office setting you can even get them for free in the trash/recycling bin.

Of course the specific game that you want is always in the bottom box of a stack seven high....
 
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brotherjo wrote:
Aaaaand I've been scared back to square 1.


No need to be scared...

I used large plastic containers (similar to Rubbermate ones) and added some silica de-moisturizers to control the moisture level inside - After 2 years of garage storage, my games came out of the rubbermate containers perfectly healthy with no signs of moisture or mildew.

Preferably, the containers should be packed on a cold, dry day to prevent that moisture is trapped inside.
Make sure, you seal them well to protect them from moisture or water ingress.
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Chad R Morin
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While the seriousness may depend on where you live, I would be worried about using a non-climate controlled storage space (I say this having lost dozens of old games to a damp cellar). IIRC, all mold needs to grow is temperatures over 70 degrees and a humidity over 70 percent, so even a garage could let this happen.

If you're not sure about how well controlled it is, one thing that helped me was noticing that, on a really oppressive summer day, the garage was not only hotter and more humid than the house, but the outside as well... definitely not a good place for storage (the attic was even worse).

I had many similar questions about storage and asked in a thread, Is it Safe to Store Games in Basements? I was given some great advice, and while not all of it may be applicable to a garage, I'm sure some will.

To pick one point, you also have to consider protecting against pests, particularly insects and rodents; shelves that are several inches off the floor are a good start.

Hope this helps, and best of luck!
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Caleb
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HauRuck wrote:
brotherjo wrote:
In the house isn't completely out of the realm of possibility. There just isnt enough room any 1 closet so they are spread out around the house now.


What exactly is wrong with a bookshelf storing games NOT in a closet? Just put it out in the open on a wall for all to see. Or is it that your trying to hide what a geek you are to those who may come by for a visit?


Well, I have to say my wife doesn't like the look of games on the bookshelf. Something about "the decor" or whatnot. So since I don't have a "hobby room", my games are on a nice shelf in a closet off the family room, under the stairs leading to the main floor. I share the closet with several plastic drawers of the kids' toys.
 
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Josiah Miller
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Yeah, I wouldn't describe my wife's taste as necessarily "geek chic". If it were up to me, the Formula D tracks would be framed under glass so I could just pull them off the wall and put them on the table.

There's a gap of taste there, but I'm not about to cross the woman whose most responsible for making me look like a respectible adult.
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temazur
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What about huge ziploc bags?

http://www99.epinions.com/content_225744752260
(I wanted to post the actual link to the sit, but ziploc has a funky format that would only take you to the home page).

You could do that in combination with some garage shelfing. It'd be organized, safe from the elements (esp if you toss in some silica gel packets like someone above recommended), but you'd still be able to see in the bags.
 
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jeremy bolton
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As a former community college anthropology museum curator, I have to second what the archivist said above. Guard against temperature fluctuations, and let the games "breathe".
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