Daily Illuminator

January 29, 2024: Keeping Track Of Chits And Bits Redux

White plastic cups with dice and tokens

I previously pontificated a bit about one of our go-to solutions for keeping track of tiny pieces at the gaming table. (For those who don't want to click the link, it's 300 words about silicone cupcake-baking cups). But, like Yoda, I also hinted at another possibility. And it is both incredibly specific yet remarkably general.

The Costco stores in the area frequently offer three-tube packages of Annie's Organic Cinnamon Rolls. The sweets are in the sort of cardboard tube where – when I pop the seam – I feel the same pressure as someone trying to cut the red wire in a movie "nuclear countdown" scene. Inside the tube are five yummy unbaked cinnamon rolls, a squeeze packet of icing . . . and, protecting the packet, a rigid white plastic cup.

That cup is pretty much perfect for us for a variety of chits and pieces – especially dice, small cubes, and larger cardboard bits. If you buy a three-pack of rolls, you get three cups. Buy a pack every few months, and you have enough cups to outfit pretty much any game you'd want in no time.

It is at this point where I offer a disclaimer that I can only vouch specifically for the Costco three-pack because I haven't bought them in any other sizes or or at other venues. However, I'd be surprised if other places did not offer something similar.

The specifics of this advice are obvious: Buy this one brand. But the general advice – keep an eye out for containers you can repurpose – is quite general.

So, as you use up items, think about the possibilities before recycling the packaging, especially if it's something you buy regularly. (Bonus points, for me, at least, if the container is marking-free or has easy-to-remove stickers or the like.) Maybe that plastic box can be cleaned and turned into a "free" card holder. Maybe you have a surplus of pill bottles that can be washed and used as token storage to keep in your game boxes.

If you have any great ideas of your own, I'd love to hear about 'em on the forums!

-- Steven Marsh

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