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Subject: Game Storage: Vertical or Horizontial? rss

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sean johnson
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I am needing to rearrange the closet our games are in, to eek out a little more space, and I was hoping you guys with really good spatial reasoning skills could help me out.

I know the size of the boxes and the closet space are big factors, but in general what is the most effective way to store game boxes? Is it better to have them horizontal and stack them on top of each other or is it better to have them on their sides and stacked next to each other?

Thanks!
 
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Klaus Brune
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Just out of pure personal preference, I like horizontal. However...

Vertical is definitely friendlier to the boxes themselves. They're not really designed to put up with a lot of additional weight from the boxes on top of them. Of course, if you go the vertical route, all your bits need to go into baggies.

Some games stack better horizontally than others. I stack horizontally, but only those boxes that have the same shape. For instance, my square stack is Snow Tails, Fury of Dracula (second edition), Shadows over Camelot, Memoir '44.

I also put all these horizontal stacks into large see-through plastic tubs which then also get stacked, keeping the weight on each box to a minimum - and the tubs also come in handy for game day transportation.

Scott Nicholson discusses some game storage options in part 18 of his Gaming in Libraries series, on building a game collection...

http://www.gamesinlibraries.org/course/?p=189
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Joe Salamone
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I vote for vertical. HOWEVER, most of my games are stacked horizontally on top of each other. I do try to avoid making the stacks too heavy (in order to save stress on the boxes at the bottom of the pile). The main reason for not storing many vertically is I have a lot of games where the pieces are loose inside the box rather than being in ziplock bags or plastic containers. If I store these games vertically, the pieces may end up in a huge mess inside the box . . . or even fall out if I slide the box off the shelf without being careful.
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Daniel Schulz
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I like the look of vertical better, but I store almost exclusively horizontal due to fear of warpage.
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Eric Johnson
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I store mostly horizontal... even though vertical looks better on the shelf (more like books). However, the one casualty of horizontal stacking can be pulling a game near the bottom and having it catch on the game below it. I've accidentally damage lids this way, and I am much more careful to not stack games too high anymore. 4 games to a stack is optimal... even if it might be inefficient for the space. I'd eventually like to have additional shelves for my cases so I can alleviate the weight issue.
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Runs with scissors
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there will be some arguing that boards stored vertically will warp over time, but I've never seen this. I tend to store vertically when on bookshelves, and horizontally when in storage totes. The down side of vertical is that unless the games are packed tightly against each other the game contents will shift.
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Tyler S
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An alternative I haven't seen mentioned is to make custom shelving with many narrow shelves. Or, if stacking the games, place a thin piece of a hard material, wood or plastic, between boxes to help distribute the weight and avoid strain on the lower boxes.
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Sicaria Occaeco
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I would prefer vertical but it gets too hard to maintain and bits move around too much for a lot of games.

Now I do it all horizontal but never more than 3 in a stack.
 
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amurobo
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horrido wrote:
I like the look of vertical better, but I store almost exclusively horizontal due to fear of warpage.


What is warpage?
 
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EuroPeon
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Warp-age, not War-page

The result of warping.
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Horizontal's fine. I have a stack of twelve medium-sized FFG boxes on top of each other. The heavier boxes tend to be well-packed, and are on the bottom.

I'd say storing them on open bookshelves is *much* better than cramming them together in a closet, because *removing and putting away* boxes is the time you might damage them, at least superficially.

As for vertical, I've had boxes spill open or inside contents slide, causing cards to bend, etc. I think if you store vertically, you'd better make sure you've *packed* the bits better!
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JJ Belyeu
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horrido wrote:
I store almost exclusively horizontal due to fear of warpage.


+1

The idea of my boards getting bent or something scares the bejebus outta me.

If you are going to stack horizontally, just make sure your heaviest games are on the bottom, and try to stack like sized boxes.

Also, some inexpensive shelves help a ton. Here is what I use

http://www.target.com/Room-Essentials-5-Shelf-Bookcase-Black...

I have 2 of the larger 5 shelf units, and 1 of the small 3 shelf units. Best $100 I ever spent at Target
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Meredith Martini
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Horizontal is easier to read the game titles and see what is where; vertical allows you to pull out a game without fear of things above it falling or catching. (And speaking as someone with hand and shoulder issues, vertical is much better - you only hold/pull one game instead of several at once.)

 
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Cole Wehrle
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Vertical. They fit perfectly into most bookshelves. I've done it that way for years and have yet to have a problem with any board warping.
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I prefer vertical, but I mix and match both. Vertical is less likely to damage the boxes, but if there are loose components they're going to get mixed up/damaged. Horizontal keeps the components stored the way they were intended, but it makes it harder to get your games out.

So the real question is do you buy plastic baggies for your games? If yes, then storing vertical is a better option. If you don't storing vertical is an awful choice.
 
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Aleksander Zav
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Neither

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Joe Salamone
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siberianhusky wrote:
Neither



Nice! Art-deco game storage!
 
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Monica Elida Forssell
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I guess almost both. Some of my games are set vertically, others horizontial. It all depends on where you store them. I have put them in bookshelves, trying to find ways to fill the shelves as much as possible.
 
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amurobo
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EuroPeon wrote:
Warp-age, not War-page

The result of warping.


Thanks guys, for the knowledge.
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Chad Rathsack
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Large, square boxes get bagged neatly and stored vertical, long boxes and small, light boxes (ie, card games, Kronos 2 player boxes and Gryphon bookshelf boxes) get horizontal treatment with care to avoid weight issues, especially with the large long boxes. I always stack same sizes and never more then one or two high with the long ones. Luckily I don't have many of the large "coffin" boxes to worry about.
 
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Dave B.
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For games where the contents won't spill out of trays and all over the inside of the box, vertical. So Roll Through the Ages, Space Hulk: Death Angel, Don Quixote, etc. are lined up vertically like books, and Arkham Horror and Runebound are laid flat (with the massive Arkham Horror on the bottom so it doesn't crush all that's beneath it).

And for games like D&D Castle Ravenloft/Wrath of Ashardalon, where the box insert is so worthless for sorting that I've taken it out completely and resorted to a few plastic bags for each game's pieces, they stand upright as well.
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Jay Lacson
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As you've stated, it really depends on the space in which you're planning to store the games and the size of the boxes being stored.

If the storage can accommodate the boxes both horizontally and vertical, it usually ends up equal. I've not really seen one way better than the other.
 
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Tim Koppang
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I used to store vertically for many of the reasons cited above (e.g., convenience); however, I have recently converted back to horizontal storage. Why? Board warping. I pulled out a game that I hadn't played in a while and noticed that the board was beginning to ever so slightly bow. That was enough to scare me horizontal.
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Eigen
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Horizontally, but I make sure the heavy games (mass not complexity) are at the bottom (ie. Small World and Cosmic Encounter) and the lighter ones at the top (ie. LOTR: The Confrontation and Carcassonne).
All stacks are a maximum of 4 games.
 
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Tim Koppang
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Eigen wrote:
Horizontally, but I make sure the heavy games (mass not complexity) are at the bottom (ie. Small World and Cosmic Encounter) and the lighter ones at the top (ie. LOTR: The Confrontation and Carcassonne).
All stacks are a maximum of 4 games.

Good advice. Also make sure to keep older games from, say the 80s, up top. Box construction has improved dramatically since the 90s. Older game boxes can be quite thin and flimsy.
 
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