Friday, March 26, 2010

Boxing in the Long House

Is that title confusing? Don't worry, all will made clear!

Last weekend Elise and I were discussing way to improve our "studio" room. This is the room that holds our computers and art and craft supplies and comics. Plus junk. Lot of random junk. One of the many eye sores in the room is my big collection of 18 long boxes and 2 short boxes of comics. Elise has 2 long boxes (only one remains full).

As we talked I told her about some new boxes that are actually drawers. So instead of having to move box after box after box to put away comics you just pull out the drawer and you're done! Brilliant! Wonderful! Expensive!

Yeah, the really good drawer boxes are about $20 a pop, where as a regular long box runs about $7. I wasn't ready to drop that kind of cash but I was sorely tempted! Tempted enough to look for some alternatives online. I found some really nice custom made wood cabinets...with no price listed. This of course translates to "if you have to ask, you can't afford it". So I kept looking, I found a few solutions, but not many. Some people use filing cabinets which are slightly less ugly than a bunch of dirty long boxes, but they are also expensive and heavy and not really ideally suited to holding comics.
Surprisingly there aren't many clever solutions to comic book storage to be found online! But I did manage to run across BCW Supplies. They had a version of the comic book drawers that were cheaper and just as sturdy than the original creators of the Drawer Boxes. The bonus is that BCW gives you the option of just buying the housing, so you can use the long boxes you currently have (minus the lids)! I decided to give it a go and Elise was taken in by the black plastic short boxes, which I also considered but their cost each was considerably more expensive than what I had planned and they didn't really solve the problem of easy box access.
Shipping was pretty expensive, but I did order 20 boxes (taking advantage of their volume discount) and it was a combined weight of nearly 50lbs!

The pile looked more impressive in person...

Putting the boxes together was actually pretty easy and I'd say the whole process took no more than 15-20 minutes which was far less than I had anticipated.

Once everything was switched out (with a healthy dose of swearing and knocking stuff over) we both felt there was a big improvement, it was much less messy looking and more organized, if a bit imposing too.

Upon some testing I found the drawers were not quite what I expected. Although to be honest, looking back, what I was expecting was somewhat silly, given the materials.

I assumed it would be a piece of cake to pull the drawers out and generally it is, it's not more difficult to move the bottom box than the top, but the drawer housing doesn't change the weight of the long box, so you are still tugging on a 30lb box! It can be a bit of a challenge but it's much better than moving 3 whole boxes to get to the one on the bottom.
The houses are very sturdy, even with all the weight of 3 boxes above them they do their jobs wonderfully.
One other thing, or two, that I noticed last night is that you have to support the heavier boxes, they don't hang out of the housing very well and when you do pull them out the comics inside tend to fall forward, making it a bit hard to get new books into anything other than the very front.
I think I just need to fine tune my technique, even if I have to pull the whole drawer out to put some comics away it'll still be FAR easier than it used to be.

So after a bit of rearranging and ample use of the label maker, we now have this:

Better, not perfect but much better.  As of now, I'm pretty happy and am looking forward to putting away new comics!


  1. They look nice and organized. I have to look into something like that for my books. It's getting out of control. Do you have additional space for more boxes in the future? Start planning now :-)

  2. I do, I have been unloading unwanted books on eBay and now that two of my short boxes became long boxes, I have tons of space. I'm trying to keep my collection to no more than what you see here. That shouldn't be too difficult.

  3. Looks nice! I really love the 2 black comic boxes of evil.
    I decided on the "hidden" approach. I took Bob & Dave's advice & I got lifters for my bed to raise it up enough to fit comic boxes underneath. I'm able to fit 9 long boxes & 8 short boxes under it. Unfortunately, that's only a quarter of my collection. I've still got boxes piled up in my living room & Bob's basement that I'll have to sort & sell off.

  4. You know what you need now? Stickers!

  5. Looks very good The Goog. Now we all need a comic intervention on Gary.