Best way to organize a Vintage collection

  • TMD Supporter


    Boxes are more compact and portable.

    Binders, easier to flip through and read the cards if you're searching for deck tech or just refreshing your memory. I use the BCW binders which have a zipper.

  • My collection is pretty diffuse - tend to keep the live decks in deck boxes, and use ultra pro divided boxes for taking small pool of cards for last minute adjustments (plus anything people have asked me to bring to trade/pick up from sale) Bulk of collection is kept between booster boxes (either by rarity and colour, but more commonly the popular cards from a set/block get their own slot. Go to cards for legacy and vintage are kept in (felt lined) drawers or long boxes such as the multiverse boxes (the one that contained Visions preview cards along with misc foreign language boosters.) I tend to keep deck elements together, with lesser used (mainly older) cards simply by colour.

    Overall, most people would be horrified at the lack of organisation, but I can usually put my hand to cards quite easily, as I just know where they are. Did have a worry the other day, set of beta bolts had fallen flat on the bottom of the ultra pro divided box and because it was a smoked one, they evaded me for about half an hour. They were exactly whre I though they were, just horizontal instead of vertical.

    I find it quite interesting doing it this way, as leafing through for cards can remind you of options you've not played for years that may get a new lease of life.

    Edit - oh yes, forgot to mention, I use old commons or basics to act as dividers and protectors for ends of boxes.

  • My cards are stored in 3200-count boxes, sorted by color (2 rows for each color, 1 row each for colorless, multicolored and land), then alphabetically, with dividers A-Z. Playables (ie, everything I’ve ever sleeved up) are kept in tight-fit sleeves, and all copies of a card go in one penny sleeve (usually max 4, more for stuff like Lightning Bolt and Brainstorm).

    The reason I’ve gone for boxes instead of binders is ease of organization — I want to know immediately where I can find a card, and I don’t want to re-organize everything every time a new set come out.

  • My collection is tiny, I only keep what I use. I have a "memories" binder in my gun safe that holds cards that bring me good memories over the years. Past that I own a "playbook" that houses cards for Legacy Death and Taxes, Vintage Eldrazi, some playables for each deck and my 93/94 deck. I have a binder of 95/96 staples for that casual format and a few decks built. That is all.

  • I have cards in binders sorted by format and color (Dual Lands, Fetchlands, Shocklands, Manlands, W, U, R, B, G, Artifacts, Legends, Multicolored cards, Other Lands).

    Then I have cards in boxes where I have cards that I use more often or there are parts of decks that are sleeved so I wouldn't need to unsleeve/sleeve them each time I would decide to play with them. Those cards in binders I don't usually touch much. but it is easier to find single card there than in a box full of cards let's say blue. I do not organize cards I play by name/type or whatever so it means I always have to go through all the cards of given color/deck whatever. This is due to the fact that I rather go through 700 cards than putting a card at its correct place each time (and then finding it fast).

    The boxes I use were especially done for Magic cards. So you can easily go through them without damaging the cards.

    Lately I have also sleeved basics in those boxes. I used to take basics from my Vintage Cube but then sometimes ran into problems of not having enough Islands while drafting. Having few basics around helps.

    I envy all you guys that are capable to keep things in order and sorted by type/name etc.

    (+I have a binder with all expensive cards that were laying around, mostly vintage and legacy staples. and these are in total disarray)

  • Following this thread I have another question for people here. I don't have any children, but one of my fears if I ever have any will be how to keep cards safe from a little kid to preserve their integrity.

    Do you put them in a high place? Under key? Do you teach them that cards are not toys? Have you ever experienced card destruction by them?

  • @xouman

    I would give them a lecture similar to the one I would give about what to do if you found a gun, then I'd place them somewhere high up, perhaps under direct lock and key, but more likely just somewhere that has enough barriers that it is less likely to be an issue.

  • @xouman I have a 22 month old son. My cards are in drawers that are currently too heavy for him to open. At some point this will change, hence I will adapt too. Not leaving cards out minimises risk.

    One of my friends had a JTMS mauled by his son. Outside of that, I have not first hand heard of any incidents.

  • @rbartlet I have a three-year-old and luckily he’s pretty careful with my stuff, but he’s had a lecture about daddy’s stuff not being toys—after he managed to pry open a deck box and was playing with a Lotus and some duals. Now I keep my Lego next to my cards. That stuff is technically also off limits, but I’d much rather he’d play with Lego than with my cards…

  • TMD Supporter

    "Lotus, Sea, Jace, go."

    "I maul your Jace."