When board game publishers put together the contents of a box, they focus mainly on making sure that the game gets safely from their warehouse to the store shelf. Once you take the game home and punch the cardboard tokens, there's a good chance that you'll be left with a unwieldy mass of cardboard loosely crammed into a box.
Here are a handful of ways to help organise the insides of your board games to make setup and tear down of games much easier.
Setting up board games can be a fiddly mess when you're dealing with a disorganised box. The focus of many publishers is to get the game safely to you, once it's in your hands it is up to you to come up with a way to deal with things.
Thankfully we board gamers are a resourceful lot and there are many ways to organise the insides of your board games so that setting up (and putting away) your games is a relative breeze. Here are just a handful of the ways you can sort the pieces of your games.
Never underestimate the power of a simple sandwich bag. Available from any supermarket, these useful little bags let you readily separate pieces so that you can just toss each player their starting pieces, unload the rest of the bags near the board and be 90 per cent of the way to being set up.
The major downside of sandwich bags is that you have to remember to squeeze the excess air out of them before putting them back into the box or you'll be unable to fit everything into the box. Try mostly sealing them, squeezing the air out and then seal the bag the rest of the way.
Another favourite of board gamers, small plastic tackle boxes offer simple, compartmentalised storage options for your game pieces. You can pick them up at stores like Big W or KMart in the sports section or hidden in the aisle of any craft store.
The use of tackle boxes is so ubiquitous that there are geeklists on BoardGameGeek to help you buy the right size box for pretty much any game.
Sometimes there just isn't the right-sized tackle box for your game. That's when you need to get crafty and put together your own board game insert using foamcore that you can buy at any office supply or craft store.
Guides are available online for a number of games and the Esoteric Order of Gamers has a series of how to videos. Otherwise you can start measuring things up and do all the work yourself.
You can take a simpler approach for card based games by making tuck boxes using this BoardGameGeek guide.
These tend to cost a pretty penny and finding an Australian-based reseller may be a little difficult. Still, they are simple, effective and often quite pretty.
Buy Organised Games
Not all publishers forget that players need to organise their games after they buy them. A number of board game publishers include fantastic inserts into their games that make it a breeze to keep things organised.
As usual, BoardGameGeek has a list of many of the games out there with well-made inserts. With popular and critically acclaimed titles from publishers like Days of Wonder and Eagle-Gryphon Games, even if you limit yourself to games on this list you will still have an impressive board game collection.
How do you organise your board games? Tell us in the comments below.