Friday, September 13, 2019

The ups and downs of binder storage

If you walked into my room today and asked: Nick, can I see your cards of Keith Hernandez as an Indian? -- I might stare blankly for a few seconds wondering how you got in my house, but then I'd have the binder out and ready for you in two seconds.

Aside from the fact that my cards just simply look a lot better in binders, I choose to store them that way because it keeps me organized. A collection as large and scattered as mine needs a steady sorting system as its backbone. Take this '90 Score Traded Keith Hernandez as an example: an example of this legendary Short Term Stop I somehow didn't already own, and a former Dime Box Dozen need bestowed on me by the almighty Greg of "Night Owl Cards."

You'll find it in three steps: 1) take out the second of my three Indians binders, 2) flip to first basemen, 3) find my nine cards of Hernandez as an Indian sandwiched between Richie Sexson (13 cards) and Mark Reynolds (8 cards), and there it is.

Easy enough, yes?

But having stored cards in binders for virtually my entire collecting life, I will admit that there are some downsides to it all. The first that comes to mind involves minis. All things equal, I love, love, love minis -- but wow do they look weird in standard nine-pocket pages. I know mini pages exist, but they wouldn't really mesh with my organizing system since I don't own enough Kris Bryant minis to fill a whole sheet.

I don't often put disc-shaped cards in pages -- they roll around and are almost impossible to fish out when moved from slot to slot -- but I made an exception for that Snell candy lid insert from this year's Heritage since a) it's not truly a disc, and b) I didn't know what else to do with it.

Between the disc and the Heritage SP here, it's apparent that Greg is trying to turn my new Blake Snell collection into a super-collection.

I've already added almost two new pages to my Rays binder for the Snells I've accumulated, which reminds me of another slight downside to my storage methods: the need to buy binders and pages for an ever-growing collection. Pro tip: don't buy them new. I find binders at the thrift store for a buck or two a piece all the time, and pages can usually be bought in bulk online fairly cheap (I found a lot of over 200 on Ebay not long ago for less than $20).

Because being thrifty with supplies means more money for cards, of course.

Another reason I'm glad I started my frankensets is that I'll never need new supplies for them: the slots may change, but the sets themselves will remain at 666 cards, now and forever.

As I write this post, I am almost literally surrounded by cards: my binders line shelves on either wall of my room, and every new card I receive pushes those walls in just a little further.

It's true that binders take up a whole lot more real estate than throwing cards in boxes, but if you can spare the space, it's worth it -- collections are meant to be displayed, not merely stored.

Greg bulked my binders up a bit more with these 2019 inserts, including the final nail in the coffin I needed to complete that "Wall Climbers" insert series from Big League.

I also received a fun package from my buddy Adam of "Cardboard Clubhouse" fame that kinda reiterated a lot of these thoughts about binder storage.

Because in addition to a healthy serving of nice, normal-sized cards...

...came a big ol' stack of unwanted GQ minis Adam was nice enough to pass on to me.

Some of these come in colors I didn't even know GQ used (green? red?) -- and sure, they might look weird in binders, but come on, I'm not gonna turn down minis of Johnny Bench or Larry Doby I don't already have.

Also: another candy lid!

It's still a bit strange seeing these in standard nine-pocket pages, but with my system, that's where they're destined to live. Any kind of storage is gonna have its ups and downs. I prefer binders because they make my collection feel like a collection rather than a bunch of cards thrown into toploaders and boxes.

Now, if you want to stick around and see my Trouts after I've shown you the Keith Hernandez Indians cards, I'll oblige, but please: don't break into my house again.


Mike said...

I glad you use binders...readers,sometimes when i'm hanging out at Nick's place,he'll walk away,come back with a binder,and place it my lap to peruse!'s great!

Aaaand...that Lonborg looks like he ate off the wrong dish of brownies,haha!!

night owl said...

Binders work so much better than boxes. I just wish I had space to put all of my cards in binders. Also, I can't remember the last time I bought a nine-pocket page. I just let other people give me them as gifts and they have really stacked up.

Fuji said...

"I might stare blankly for a few seconds wondering how you got in my house, but then I'd have the binder out and ready for you in two seconds." This totally made me chuckle.

Anyways... I totally use binders too, but I've had to cut back due to lack of space.

Sooz said...

I had my Jeter collection in binders, but the problem is that I wanted them sorted a certain way, so when I would get new cards I found myself moving them around in the sleeves. That's much chance for damage for me. Binders are great for completed collections or ones that you don't plan on moving around too much.

gregory said...

I'm in agreement with you (as evidenced by the name of my blog). I think I'd have more of my complete sets in binders if I had more space.

AdamE said...

Try putting those disks in a penny sleeve before you put them in the binder page. They won't roll around in the anymore and they are easier to take in and out of the pages if you have to move them around.

Jon said...

"collections are meant to be displayed, not merely stored."... exactly!

Tim said...

I don't know if you've done something like this before. But a blog post or series of blog posts about your methods of organizing and storing your cards would be interesting. I know I'm currently trying to sort through my collection and figuring out how I want to actually store my cards is quite the challenge.