Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Let's Talk Binders

I'm not sure if it's my un-organization that has me so worked up or just the fact that I'm excited about the new baseball season just around the corner and the new cards it brings, but I've been trying to get more and more cards sorted and placed in binders.

Just today I sat down to sleeve 2013 Gypsy Queen as I worked on my Want List and it hit me...maybe I'm using the wrong binder? I'm not talking O-ring versus D-ring. I'm using a 5 inch binder to hold on average two years worth of sets that I build...mainly Allen & Ginter and Gypsy Queen.


These big binders work well, but let's face it - they aren't cheap and they get heavy once fully loaded. It's also hard to turn a lot of pages at one time if I want to go to the set in the back of the binder. 

My question is for those of you that put sets or PCs in pages and binders, what do you do? Large massive binders for multiple years, like above? Or do you use smaller binders for each year of a set? If Topps made those nice padded binders for A&G and GQ each year, I'd consider buying those (even though those can be expensive). 

If you do use binders, do you stand them up or lay them down. If you lay them down, do you stack?

Currently I have about 6 of these 5 inch binders, laying flat on a bookshelf. I alternate the binders when stacking so they can kind of remain flat on the shelf, but it's starting to take it's toll on the bookshelf. Some of the shelves are sagging in the middle due to the weight...and the fact that it's a cheap particle board shelving unit.

I'm always curious to see how other collectors keep their collections organized so 1) they can enjoy the cards and 2) make it easy to find what they are looking for.

I would appreciate it if you'd share your thoughts, comments and collection/storage tips in the comment section below!

16 comments:

  1. I haven't used them, but here a lot of collectors talking about the Unikeep enclosed binders due to their ability to stand or stack easily without having the pages sag.

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    1. I saw those talked about on Crackin' Wax some years ago and ordered a few to try. I like the idea of them, but they don't make them very big and the clips on the side don't always want to grab to keep them closed.

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  2. I do a combination of everything you mentioned there -- some binders have just one set, some have multiple sets, some are the larger binders, some are the smaller, some I stack up and some I stand up.

    If I had a giant bookcase for my binders, I'd be a lot more consistent, but that's on the "someday" list.

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    1. I'm toying with the idea of using one color for GQ and one color for A&G and just going one year per binder. Keep all the other smaller sets I collect in one larger binder. The small ones should be able to stand up, but I still worry about the pages sagging and potentially damaging the cards.

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  3. Until I had to mothball my mancave to make room for my son I was putting my Brewers team sets in Binders. I tend to put my card sets in boxes and my PC are mostly housed in 3 row monster boxes, but team sets they get the binder treatment. For me I was dividing my team sets up by brand and then years. I found I could put 20 years of team sets in 3' D ring binders. I buy the 4 packs from Costco. So I have 1971-1989 Topps in one, 1990-2010 in another etc. So in my opinion if I was binding full sets I would either do a binder per set or at least like sets, like 2 to 3 years of Gypsy Queen in one binder, then Topps flagship, and so on. Plus I like making the binder labels but that's just me.

    And after typing all that I don't think I added much help at all.

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    1. Thanks for sharing! Do you have a photo of any of your binders w/ the labels you mentioned?

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    2. http://collectorscrack.blogspot.com/2013/11/ode-to-man-cave.html

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  4. A politically correct way to describe my card collection's organization is 'goat circus.' For the most part my cards are in 5000-count boxes, but I have a few things in binders and other things in precarious piles on my desks. When my desk gets too full I order another 5000-count box and fill it up, and then I start filling up the desk again. This ensures that I can never find any of my cards again, and makes opening any given box of cards feel a little like Christmas morning.

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    1. That's me. I've been on a months long mission to correct years of this and it is like Christmas all over again.

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  5. I don't use binders, I prefer penny sleeves and boxes, organized by year and set. I've recently been considering binders for completed sets, or even sets I intend to complete, so I'm hoping for some useful suggestions here too.

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    1. I only use binders for complete sets and then smaller insert sets I collect. So far I've been using the larger binders to house several years worth, but I'm considering using smaller binders and just going year by year since I really only actively chase 2 sets a year.

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  6. I use a combination of binders and shoeboxes.
    I'm not a set collector, so my binders are separated by Dodgers and everyone else.
    Favorite cards go in binders. Odd sizes and everything else goes in the shoeboxes.
    My favorite part is your furniture is starting to sag because of - CARDS! I love it!

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  7. I primarily use 1.5 to 2" binders... with a handful of 2.5" binders scattered here and there. And although I've been told to lay them flat... I always stand them up. Guess I'm a rebel.

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  8. I got dozens of 3 and 4 inch + binders when my work organization digitized a ton of paperwork. I use them for sets (except for vintage) and player collections. Some are just one set, and some are combos (Greats type sets, several years of smaller sets, etc.)

    My vintage are in the UltraPro type binders, and are color coded by decade. Grey for 50's and 60's (only have '59, 60, & 69 so far), blue for 70's, and black for '80 (and beyond when I decide they're old enough to sheet up). I make labels for them too - the nicest looking card in the set that isn't from the same team as any of the others. That's going to have to evolve when I get heavy into the other years... I also make full spine labels for other stuff using product logos or custom graphics (McDonalds hockey etc.)

    My 50+ player collections go in seven binders, the first four fit about 15-20 guys from the 60's and 70's. The last three only fit two guys apiece because they span into the 90's and the guys have dozens of cards each year.

    My shelves are also sagging, and I'd love to find slightly deeper shelves, since the binder spines hang over the edges. They're all standing up. I put smaller binders facing the other way behind some of them so they sit straighter. It fills in the wedge space in the back if the big ones aren't full (and square).

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    1. The vintage labels are scans and printouts, not actual cards. My buddy uses an extra copy of the World Series MVP's actual card for that year for his spines.

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