Ask LH: How Can I Store My Game And Console Collection?

Hi Lifehacker, I've been a gamer for most of my life, and as a consequence I have amassed a somewhat sizable collection of 'vintage' video games and consoles. I currently have an Atari, Sega Mega Drive, PS1, PS2, PS3, Xbox 360, and am looking to add a few more into this collection (Super Nintendo, Commodore 64...). All the consoles and games are different, and there are varieties of both discs and cartridges. So my question is, what's the best and safest way to store them all? I want to be enjoying these classics for years to come!Thanks, Spaced Out

Dear SO,

As a game collector since the 8-bit era, I long ago realised that holding onto all my game boxes wasn't feasible. Instead, I keep my collection in a variety of space-efficient storage solutions — my Amiga games reside in plastic disc containers, my PS2 games are in CD folders, my Xbox 360 games are in a DVD filing cabinet and so on. In addition to freeing up a lot of room, this translates to quicker access and arguably keeps them better protected. As an added bonus, this also gives you a perfect excuse to fob mates off when they ask to borrow your games ("sorry, but I don't have the box".)

Admittedly, getting rid of your game boxes can be a traumatic experience — it's akin to tearing the beautiful covers off all your books and only keeping the text. For this reason, I still have most of my collector's editions and retro boxes, but these are kept empty and out of the way. If you're incapable of tossing your game boxes out you could always wrap the boxes in plastic and keep them stored in your shed or garage. If you plan to sell your games at a later date, this is obviously the route to go down.

The next step is to keep your games properly categorised: at a glance, one disc or CD looks much like another. I keep my collections alphabeticalised but you could also group them according to publisher, developer or genre. Database applications such as Sisimizi can also help you to keep tabs on all the games you own.

Organising your console collection is a slightly trickier proposition. We'd advise finding a permanent residence for them beneath your TV, as opposed to pulling them out when you need them. Basically, the less time you spend lugging them about, the longer they are likely to last. Your best bet is to buy or build a home entertainment stand with lots of spacious compartments. IKEA is usually a pretty good bet, especially when combined with some DIY shelf hacks. Just me sure that the shelves or compartments aren't dust magnets.

If you're feeling ambitious, you could also try combining some of your console into a single "Frankensystem". This video from the guys at Revision3 will talk you through the steps. Another intriguing solution we've seen involves fastening your consoles to wall racks — although I'd be paranoid about them falling off in the night.

Finally, if any readers have a storage solution of their own, share your tips in the comments section below.

Cheers Lifehacker

Got your own question you want to put to Lifehacker? Send it using our contact form.


Comments

    If you're looking for some good entertainment units with storage space for consoles there's also the Reject Shop, etc... it doesn't have to be overly pricey to be a sturdy and good looking unit. I recently purchased a unit with plenty of console space within' it from the Reject Shop.

    You can't be serious?!!?? Throwing away all the boxes and cases for your games collection?? You're basically throwing away half the value in them there (if you want to eventually sell them). I'm a collector and never intend on selling my collection, but there's no way I could even DREAM of throwing away the boxes. Crazy!

      If you never intend on selling them, what do you need the boxes for?

        Holy shit. I nearly had a heart attack when I read that. If you throwing away the manuals/boxes etc., they're not really collectables any more. You might as well go all digital!

        For me - the entire point of a collection is being able to display them in all their glory. I just can't imagine having them displayed in a cd wallet...

    Admittedly, getting rid of your game boxes can be a traumatic experience — it’s akin to tearing the beautiful covers off all your books and only keeping the text. For this reason, I still have most of my collector’s editions and retro boxes, but these are kept empty and out of the way. If you’re incapable of tossing your game boxes out you could always wrap the boxes in plastic and keep them stored in your shed or garage.

    I hear you, Chris. My wife finally got me to throw out some of my old PS2 and Xbox game boxes 2 months ago during a clean-out of our store room. On the upside, it was a lot of fun to go through some of my collection, and revisit my first three collector's edition game boxes - Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy VIII and Baldur's Gate II.

    My preference for storing game discs and associated parapehnalia is DVD wallets - the kind that are roughly A5-sized so you can put the cards, manuals, DLC brochures, etc. with the disc (the disc on one side, and the bumpf on the other). But they're very, very difficult to get, now. I've been trying to import them from the US, but to no avail.

      I'd keep Final Fantasy VIII in good nick if I were you -- even the vanilla PS1 version typically goes for a few hundred on eBay,

        They used to go for more before they got re-released on the playstation on-line store and people now prefer to play them emulated,
        These days you can see them on ebay for less than $50.

        Really? I never thought about what it would actually be worth - I don't think I could ever part with it, despite remembering how rubbish and slightly annoying the memory card stickers were. The t-shirt is still in mint condition - it was a very unforgiving size M when I got it, and there's no chance I'd fit in it now.

    I too am a collector, although mainly the hardware side of vintage machines (mainly 8 bit like Atari VCS/2600 and c64 etc), with a select few choice game cartridges etc.

    Originally I had them all set up and working using a old tv (with a dial channel switch) but then realised it was better to spend my collection funds on the consoles / computers than the games/software, and built an arcade cabinet (mame/mess etc) for playing.

    With that done, I got some a heap of cheap shelving from bunnings, painted them in a retro pac-man theme, and some rope led lighting, for display in my bungalow next to the arcade cabinet.

    All the cables and power cords etc in boxes in the garage.

    For me, there is nothing fancy. I just use a simple bookcase that has several levels of racks on it and I arrange the games neatly. If you want something more organized, then perhaps you can colour code them or label them or even stack them alphabetically. Just do something that you are comfortable with and you will be doing it voluntarily and not consider it as a chore.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now