By: Jason Jarusinsky, staff writer

It is easy to start playing a collectible card game (CCG) and get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of cards that come into your house. This, unfortunately, prevents a lot of parents from working with their children to properly care for their cards, or worse, discourage them from playing at all. The good news is that organizing and caring for cards is a simple process, and once you teach these methods to your children it will be easy for them to continue it. This means less mess for you and more fun for them! We call that a victory!

The decision to take an interest in storing and displaying your child’s cards is an important one. You see, playing a collectible card game (CCG) involves playing with other people’s cards. By teaching your children how to respect their own cards you will help them learn to respect everyone else’s.

It may seem overwhelming when you think about it. But, overseeing a growing collection can be a fun collaborative process that the whole family can participate in.

It may start with storing everything in something as simple as a shoebox. But, you will eventually outgrow it. The following are a few items that you can purchase that will help take the next step.

3-Ring Binders – Make sure to get hard sided binders. The floppy ones won’t protect the cards as well.

9 Card Pages – These are clear pages that you can slip more valuable cards into so they are protected, but still visible.

Trading Card Boxes – These are cheap, functional boxes that can be used to store bulk cards. It keeps them safe and allows them to be stacked neatly on shelves. (Many of them are plain white so your kids can decorate them with stickers or other drawings!)

Having these tools on hand makes organizing (and protecting) your child’s collection a snap.

There are a number of different philosophies regarding sorting cards, but one of the easiest is to divide the cards into piles by rarity to start with. Some games make this easy by having a colored symbol on the card to represent rarity; others use letters such as “C”(common), “UC” (uncommon), and “R” (rare) right on the card face.

Start by going through all of the cards with your children and piling them up by rarity. This is a great chance to talk about the cards with them. What are their favorites? Why? What do they think of the art? Etc.

Once the cards are sorted into piles you can then put them away. What I will typically do with the rare/and valuable cards is separate them by color or category that makes sense for the game, and insert them into the 9 pocket pages inside my binders. I will then put the less valuable cards in bulk into my boxes. This way I can still access them when I need them, but they aren’t sitting in piles that are just asking to be knocked over. One thing I find useful is to write a description on the card boxes so I know what cards are inside. This helps later when you need to search for particular cards.

Of course these are basic tips and ideas on how to make this process easy and fun for everyone involved. If you are interested in more ideas let me know via email ( and I will be happy to help.

Stay Frosty Friends,

Jason Jarusinsky


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