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Organising, storing and accessing your collection
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 Posted: Thu Sep 13th, 2007 08:59 pm
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AdamMcLean
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Once you collect more than a few hundred tarots one runs up against the problem of how to store and access items. I am currently going through a disasterous phase where I have just let things build up in piles and now I have to try and find some way of organising things again.

One of the great problems is the variability of the packaging. I have no problem with the standard decks, or the book and deck boxes which can be easily stored, but there are so many irregular packages, strange tins, cardboard cylinders, flat portfolios, and so on. This variability means that things tend to get jumbled together and then I find it very difficult to lay my hands on a particular deck.

I would welcome any suggestions as to ways in which one can organise a collection of such variably packaged objects, and find things without having to look though almost all the collection till, by sheer luck, one lays a hand on the tarot one wants to look at. I find myself spending more and more time just looking for items.

I often wonder how others solve this problem.
 

 

Last edited on Sat Sep 15th, 2007 02:27 pm by AdamMcLean

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 Posted: Sun Nov 11th, 2007 07:49 pm
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gregory
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A rock solid database, each deck has a number, and the database says which drawer it's in etc. There rae pix of the drawers somewhere else; I can lift them for here if you want.... I keep a print out of the list in the room where they all are.

Except for the rare occasions I put one away wrong, I can find any deck within moments.

(I too have rather a lot....)

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 Posted: Sun Nov 11th, 2007 10:32 pm
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Quidlimit
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I notice on television that many people have walk-in closets stuffed with clothes and shoes, and yet you never hear anyone say "How do you find anything and know what you have."

It's an endless refrain to tarot collectors though by the usual limited thinkers.

Answer:

I have a brain that's been cataloguing and collating items for ____ years. It can remember your name and where you live, and likewise it can remember the name and location of a deck.

I have a numbered list, an unnumbered list, and an alphabetical list. Seems to do nicely for my 250 decks. I know where they are on the shelves because there aren't that many to remember. I tend to keep the ones in bags together, the boxed sets together, the I Ching together, The Knowledge Decks, and the playing cards together as much as possible, so use a loose form of positioning categorically on the shelf.

Plus I use them and go through them and match them up with friends and buy them boxes, take them out and look at them or compare decks and such. For that reason of taking them on and off shelves frequently, I remember where they are because I have to put them back, and they have to go back in the right place because that's the system my brain uses.

 

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 Posted: Sun Nov 11th, 2007 11:00 pm
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Trump Lloyd
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I use acid-free "shoeboxes" from big-box craft stores. They're around $4 a piece. I give each box a number label and then stack them  on bookshelves. As I get new things, I put them in new boxes. I keep a list and print it out twice sorted by title, then by box number.

One box can hold about 16 standard size decks. I break down the packaging for box sets and store that stuff in document boxes.

It's a flexible system that is easy to manage and keeps all this stuff fairly fresh and new but still accessable.

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 Posted: Mon Nov 12th, 2007 06:42 am
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debra
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Quidlimit wrote: I notice on television that many people have walk-in closets stuffed with clothes and shoes, and yet you never hear anyone say "How do you find anything and know what you have."
  
Huh.  I know many people who don't know and can't find their possessions.  I for one am haunted by a vague memory of a particular pair of shoes....

All my tarots fit on one shelf at eye level, with a few books and miscellaneous stuff like falling-apart boxes and Little White Books in a couple of baskets on another shelf.  I normally take the LWB out of the box because often the boxes are constructed in a way that makes it hard to get the deck in without scrunching something. 

At one point I had most of the decks in nice tarot bags.  So I forgot what I had. Then I put labels on the cords, but that was a failure, too. Now the bags are mostly gone. 

For decks with a box missing or in tatters, I purchased a number of plastic index card cases that just barely fit a normal 78-card deck. They are perforated so there's air gets in, and to prevent scratching I've insulated the cards from the case with a slip-sleeve of glassine paper.

Libraries usually put the "regular books" on regular shelves, and oversize or odd materials in separate storage. I wonder if that's not the trick--a special set of shelves or drawers for the "problem children" who don't come in nice, manageable rectangles!

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 Posted: Tue Nov 13th, 2007 01:45 am
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mythos
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I subscribe to The Mess Theory of Storage, developed by de Generis, N. P. ; Kaymann, Betty;  Noodalman, S. R. et al, (1994) Journal of Object-Organisation Behaviour,  Mess Storage: A Theory Debunking Storage Necessity Psychology, Vol: 17, PP. 326-341.

Essentially the theory goes something like this ... receive a package of decks; open package; leave wrapping on the floor or elsewhere until you can stand it no longer, then recycle; open and count cards in each deck one at a time, record on various forums and in your tarot decks file on your computer (which you have named in such a way that you will never-ever find it again in this life-time)... leave decks on computer desk until you can't move your elbows anymore and have to stand to reach over your decks to use the mouse.  Then, put them somewhere.  When you wish to find a deck ... Wander around the general area in which the deck just might reside muttering "It has to be here somewhere!  And it is, of course.  Because you will always know that you put the deck somewhere!  Foolproof.;)

Often referred to in journals of lesser note as the Somewhere theory.  It works with absolutely anything .... not just decks.  Highly generalisable in fact! It merely relies on you never, ever throwing out anything.  Now where did I put those tap shoes that I put gold sparkle on for a Fancy Dress party back in 1972?  Oh, yeah ... that's right ... They have to be here somewhere.  If you are lucky, you will forget what you were looking for and then you can sit down, have a cuppa and read a good book, have a snooze ... whatever takes your fancy.  Moreover, you have solved the problem of the Law of Diminishing Returns which goes with house-keeping.  They might notice the first time you clean up ... and say something positively reinforcing, but after that, they will never notice unless it is not done.  When they get used to the mess, they don't notice that either.  "They" refers to all Significant Others of every possible type.

Of course, if they have OCD - like my sister - they come into your house, clean everything in sight (and out of it), plan, alphabetise, topicise (new word brought to you by shirl) and so on and so forth.  Consequently, you can't find a damn thing.  Thus ... second rule of mess-storage is 'don't invite anybody with an obsessive-compulsive cleaning disorder to you home'.;)

Now for the serious answer ... I am actually considering building a new room with library-like shelves built to size.  Of course, I don't own a house ... so there is that little detail to take care of first.:D

Seriously ... and this is true ... I sneak around hard garbage collections at about midnight and drag home anything in which I can store my decks. e.g. student's deck dragged in one summer's night.  I double, triple, whatever, pack deck types ... eg. TdM ... Sets all go together.  Rare and OOP's go in drawers and large craft boxes, the rest are alphabetically organised.  They are all recorded on the Tarot Garden Tarot Organizer software which I got from Jeannette.  I print-out a new list with every ten or so additions.  Can I find anything easily? .... not really!  I need to forage for more deck and shelf sets.  With school ending up soon for the year ....there ought to be a few going.

mythos:?

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 Posted: Tue Nov 13th, 2007 02:32 am
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tantricknite
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I thought about weighing my decks;We could have a contest on who's collection weighs the most.But then that doesn't solve organizing them at all: That only determines if you need to hire a tractor to move them about.I imagine my after life to be a bit like Dickens Christmas Tale me chained to my collection dragging them through the astral in search of the perfect deck!!Meanwhile back on planet Earth distraught and perplexed relatives rumage through your collection and wonder why nobody suggested therapy for you earlier.This after having been found dead slouched over my computer screen after an E-bay auction that went terribly wrong.So my loved ones in an act of charity their sure I will approve of dump my collection off at the nearest Goodwill............ 

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 Posted: Tue Nov 13th, 2007 02:44 am
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debra
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tantricknite wrote: I thought about weighing my decks;We could have a contest on who's collection weighs the most.But then that doesn't solve organizing them at all: That only determines if you need to hire a tractor to move them about.I imagine my after life to be a bit like Dickens Christmas Tale me chained to my collection dragging them through the astral in search of the perfect deck!!Meanwhile back on planet Earth distraught and perplexed relatives rumage through your collection and wonder why nobody suggested therapy for you earlier.This after having been found dead slouched over my computer screen after an E-bay auction that went terribly wrong.So my loved ones in an act of charity their sure I will approve of dump my collection off at the nearest Goodwill............  
*snort*  WHAT A HOOT!

I like this site but it doesn't have the proper smileys!  Where's the "you slay me" smiley, for example?

Last edited on Tue Nov 13th, 2007 02:44 am by debra

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 Posted: Tue Nov 13th, 2007 08:25 pm
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ilweran
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I have a very full shelf of the tarot kits & decks in larger boxes, with oracles on the floor under the shelf. Near the shelf is a comics box full of comics, with more decks on top. In front of the shelf are four cardboard boxes - mainly the larger Amazon boxes, one for US Games decks (overflowing), one for LS (full, overflowing into 3rd box), 3rd & 4th boxes are 'other' (except for a few LS).

It's not in anyway convenient, but until we move out next year it's the best I can do. They're all catalogued on a database as well.

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 Posted: Tue Nov 13th, 2007 08:56 pm
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gregory
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tantricknite wrote: I thought about weighing my decks;We could have a contest on who's collection weighs the most. I think that would end up between me and Adam...............:shock: until Jeannette shows up here....

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 Posted: Fri Nov 16th, 2007 06:10 pm
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skad1
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debra wrote:
I like this site but it doesn't have the proper smileys!  Where's the "you slay me" smiley, for example?


What would a "you slay me" smiley look like?  A smiley with a sword over it?  A smiley with a sword thru it?  An upside down smiley?

We need a 'puzzled' or 'confused' smiley! But I am not sure what that one would look like either.  A smiley with a question mark for it's mouth?

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 Posted: Fri Nov 16th, 2007 06:40 pm
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skad1
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Adam, I have a pretty good method for odd or small decks.  I mount the cards on paper with corner mounting tabs and put them the sheet cover protectors in a binder.  I use archival quality materials so there is no damage from any acid in regular paper or materials.  This works really well for small decks, all three of my 'worlds smallest decks are mounted like this, and quite a few of the other small ones.  It's also great for ones that are already having age problems, like the El Teddy's where he glue isn't keeping all the drawings and the backings together anymore.  (see pix 1 and 2) I also have a few of the older decks sets up like this, just because I know they'll be protected.

You can also keep any documentation about the deck with them in another page protector, like info where they're from, or copies of emails, or whatever.  It's also good when you have any original artwork and a deck, like the Theban deck (last picture).

You can get materials at any crafts store that sells materials for scrapbooking, or Ebay.  (Everything seems to be available on Ebay.)  Just be sure they're archival quality. 

Sherry

Attachment: storage2.pdf (Downloaded 16 times)

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 Posted: Fri Nov 16th, 2007 07:05 pm
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debra
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skad1 wrote: debra wrote:
I like this site but it doesn't have the proper smileys!  Where's the "you slay me" smiley, for example?


What would a "you slay me" smiley look like?  A smiley with a sword over it?  A smiley with a sword thru it?  An upside down smiley?

We need a 'puzzled' or 'confused' smiley! But I am not sure what that one would look like either.  A smiley with a question mark for it's mouth?
Uh...dunno. Thus neither you nor I make our livings designing emoticons, skad1.  :P

I believe this one  :?  is "confused".

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 Posted: Fri Nov 16th, 2007 10:53 pm
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mythos
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Oh, I thought :? was quirky smile at one's own silliness. :shock:

mythos:?

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 Posted: Fri Nov 16th, 2007 11:56 pm
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skad1
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mythos wrote: Oh, I thought :? was quirky smile at one's own silliness. :shock:



I thought it was "Oops!"

Or quirky, that works too.  Silliness is good.  :? :D

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 Posted: Sat Nov 17th, 2007 01:19 pm
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AdamMcLean
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skad1 wrote: Adam, I have a pretty good method for odd or small decks.  I mount the cards on paper with corner mounting tabs and put them the sheet cover protectors in a binder.  . 



 

Dear Sherry,

That is a good idea. I will think about it, though it would be an enormous amount of work  to implement for a large number of decks. It is great once one has the system up and running as you only have to do the occasional deck as it arrives in the post.

I must say I like to see all my decks, so I have as many as I can on open display. For some decks that come without boxes, I make boxes to fit with clear acetate lids.

It is just the way my mind works, that I like to see the cards, then I can find them relatively easily. Once they are in a cupboard or piled on a  shelf, I can forget they exist.

 

Attachment: my_custom_boxes.jpg (Downloaded 104 times)

Last edited on Sat Nov 17th, 2007 01:21 pm by AdamMcLean

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 Posted: Sat Nov 17th, 2007 10:18 pm
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mythos
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Jealousy, they name is mythos.:(  Wonderful decks, stored or otherwise.:)

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 Posted: Mon Nov 19th, 2007 09:40 pm
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skad1
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mythos wrote: Jealousy, they name is mythos.:(  Wonderful decks, stored or otherwise.:)

Yeah, now ain't that the truth!  I'd like to look at them too!

Adam, It really doesn't take all that much time to set up, just round up the supplies and go for it.  One trip to an office supplies store and you're ready to go.  I seem to look at the ones that I have in binders more often than others.  It just seems easy to leaf thru the pages of the binder.  I do think it's a method better used with smaller cards, or cards without boxes.  And it does protect those that are in alittle worse condition.

 

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 Posted: Mon Nov 19th, 2007 10:08 pm
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AdamMcLean
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Another idea I came up with recently was CD boxes.  I found a box in my storeroom of double CD boxes that I had left over from a project from a few years ago. These have an internal tray which is removeable, so the box is actually quite a bit thicker than the usual single CD box and ideal for storing a 22 card deck (on relatively thin stock). These can be quite densely stacked on a shelf and yet easy to browse through to find what I want. I suppose I have a number of solutions rather than a single solution to the storage problem. Anyway I have a couple of hundred of these boxes and will gradually start using them and see if this works.

 

Attachment: tarot_storage.jpg (Downloaded 92 times)

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 Posted: Mon Nov 19th, 2007 10:17 pm
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mythos
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I 'stole' another desk and bookshelf set off hard garbage yesterday.  It was 37C (99F) ... nearly killed myself.  Trying to fit it into a fully fitted out camper-van was an exercise in ingenuity (and quite possibly stupidity) ... thank the lord (or whoever) for octopus straps.  Dragging it into the house resulted in me lying for half an hour on my studio floor, greying out, gasping for breath, chest pains, in a muck sweat and wondering whether it was too late to make that Will.  Still ... she is all set up ... and already partially filled.

Nonetheless, I think that it is time to follow the advice of many here ... one can only steal just so many hard garbage items before death steals away their purpose.:(

mythos:)

 

PS:  Unless my purpose in life is to die stealing hard garbage ... wanders away pondering that thought:?;)

Last edited on Mon Nov 19th, 2007 10:18 pm by mythos

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 Posted: Mon Nov 19th, 2007 10:28 pm
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skad1
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mythos wrote:

PS:  Unless my purpose in life is to die stealing hard garbage ... wanders away pondering that thought:?;)


Now don't be so hard on yourself.  The current term for these actions is "recycling".  ;)

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 Posted: Mon Nov 19th, 2007 11:54 pm
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debra
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Indeed.  However, the future term for someone who is laying on the floor, grey, gasping for breath, with chest pains, is:  "hospital patient."  DO TAKE CARE, MYTHOS!


skad1 wrote:
Now don't be so hard on yourself.  The current term for these actions is "recycling".  ;)

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 Posted: Tue Nov 20th, 2007 12:16 am
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mythos
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skad1 wrote:
Now don't be so hard on yourself.  The current term for these actions is "recycling".  ;)


Unfortunately, once and item is on the nature-strip, it legally belongs to the collectors, and thus it is stealing.  Dumb, huh!:X

debra wrote: Indeed.  However, the future term for someone who is laying on the floor, grey, gasping for breath, with chest pains, is:  "hospital patient."  DO TAKE CARE, MYTHOS!




This is why I am chewing nicotine gum while rolling cigarettes.  The cigarettes are NOT for smoking ... they just keep my hands busy.  The gum is helping heaps, and heaps.  I was smoking 50-60 a day a week ago ... now none.

Now, If I can only get my knees and back fixed (on the surgery waiting list for one knee), then I can walk everyday again and keep my weight down.  I am genetically programmed for fat (and oesteoarthritis) .... it takes a monstrous amount of exercise to keep me at a reasonable weight.  Mind you, I imagine that those hour and a half sessions, four times a week of aerobics, probably contributed to my worn-out knees and back.

Meanwhile ... I eat little, but well-balanced and just get fatter and fatter.:X

So, no more stealing heavy furniture on days of extreme temperatures.  I have so many books that could go, and thus give me storage space for decks ... but I am  hoarding clown:dude:!  Time for change:shock:!

mythos:)

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 Posted: Wed Jan 23rd, 2008 09:57 am
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AdamMcLean
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I have recently found a possible solution to my tarot storage, which will also help a similar problem I have storing artwork and large prints. This is a product of the IKEA furnature store and is an A2 sizes chest with low drawers. It has the rather silly name of  ALEX.
The drawer size is A2 and the drawers move on a system of metal rails which makes
them pull out smoothly and they stop at the end so that you cannot pull
them away from the case and risk tipping all the decks on the floor.


The lower three drawers are a bit deeper than the top three.
These cost 70 UK pounds which is a great deal cheaper than plan chests. I found these quite easy to assemble. I have bought six, and will
stack them two or possible three high and I expect that once I get it all sorted out I will be able to locate items a bit more quickly than the present solution of looking through piled up decks in bookshelves.

Attachment: Ikea_alex.jpg (Downloaded 62 times)

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 Posted: Wed Jan 23rd, 2008 10:23 am
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gregory
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I use drawers but these are better - thanks. As soon as I get rid of that SOFA which is in the WAY, I shall get to IKEA. asap.

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 Posted: Wed Jan 23rd, 2008 05:49 pm
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BlueToy
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gregory wrote: I use drawers but these are better - thanks. As soon as I get rid of that SOFA which is in the WAY, I shall get to IKEA. asap.

for some reason, i get the impression that every article of furniture in your house is in the WAY of your tarot collection. lol

those are nice drawer things, i've seen something similar in local bookstores here, and cheaper too. though perhaps not as durable as they're made from (paper?) chipboards.

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 Posted: Wed Jan 23rd, 2008 06:12 pm
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gregory
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No way paper-board. I already found mouse turds in my drawers ONCE. That was enough.....

I only object to things in my tarot eyrie..... ;)
There will be enough room there for anything I could afford before I kick the bucket, if that sofa would just go away :D

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 Posted: Wed Jan 23rd, 2008 06:29 pm
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ahclem
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I bought an ALEX last year when my rather modest collection started to outgrow my rather modest storage space and have been very happy with it. It's quite sturdy and, although the pic Adam posted doesn't show them, it includes wheels, so it can easily be moved around if necessary.

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 Posted: Thu Jan 24th, 2008 12:29 am
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debra
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ahclem, roughly how many decks can you get in an Alex?  I'm a couple of hours from a couple of Ikeas ... and it looks like it would be good for art supplies as well?

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 Posted: Thu Jan 24th, 2008 03:32 am
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ahclem
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debra wrote:
ahclem, roughly how many decks can you get in an Alex?  I'm a couple of hours from a couple of Ikeas ... and it looks like it would be good for art supplies as well?

I've got about 130 (of all shapes and sizes, including quite a few of the Japanese shelfbox types) in mine and it's pretty much full.

I'm sure it would be great for art supplies, keeping in mind that the inside dimensions of the drawers are sized for A2 documents (a bit over 16.5" deep by a bit over 23.5" wide).

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 Posted: Thu Jan 24th, 2008 07:12 am
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BlueToy
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gregory wrote: There will be enough room there for anything I could afford before I kick the bucket, if that sofa would just go away :D

i read somewhere there's a long waiting list for those who want to be included in your will. lol

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 Posted: Thu Jan 24th, 2008 10:12 am
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gregory
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BlueToy wrote: gregory wrote: There will be enough room there for anything I could afford before I kick the bucket, if that sofa would just go away :D

i read somewhere there's a long waiting list for those who want to be included in your will. lol


There is indeed...... I don't think you're on it yet....:dude:

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 Posted: Thu Jan 24th, 2008 06:22 pm
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BlueToy
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gregory wrote: BlueToy wrote: gregory wrote: There will be enough room there for anything I could afford before I kick the bucket, if that sofa would just go away :D

i read somewhere there's a long waiting list for those who want to be included in your will. lol


There is indeed...... I don't think you're on it yet....:dude:

nooooooo! :f [yay i get to use it!] should i offer my first-born to get a slot? lol

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 Posted: Thu Jan 24th, 2008 08:10 pm
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gregory
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BlueToy wrote: gregory wrote: BlueToy wrote: gregory wrote: There will be enough room there for anything I could afford before I kick the bucket, if that sofa would just go away :D

i read somewhere there's a long waiting list for those who want to be included in your will. lol


There is indeed...... I don't think you're on it yet....:dude:

nooooooo! :f [yay i get to use it!] should i offer my first-born to get a slot? lol


A signed copy of the Whispers deck will do it..... ;)

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 Posted: Thu Jan 24th, 2008 08:52 pm
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Papageno357
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LMAO!!!!!

(and it is a beauty thhat Whispers deck, truly)

what? have they sold out!?

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 Posted: Fri Jan 25th, 2008 07:30 am
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BlueToy
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gregory wrote: A signed copy of the Whispers deck will do it..... ;)

tempting! perhaps we can come to certain arrangements for a trade? though maybe not so soon as postal service here still sucks. again, for the pleasure of using it: :f

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 Posted: Tue Feb 12th, 2008 05:25 pm
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nicole
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mythos wrote:
Essentially the theory goes something like this ... receive a package of decks; open package; leave wrapping on the floor or elsewhere until you can stand it no longer, then recycle; open and count cards in each deck one at a time, record on various forums and in your tarot decks file on your computer (which you have named in such a way that you will never-ever find it again in this life-time)... leave decks on computer desk until you can't move your elbows anymore and have to stand to reach over your decks to use the mouse.  Then, put them somewhere.  When you wish to find a deck ... Wander around the general area in which the deck just might reside muttering "It has to be here somewhere!  And it is, of course.  Because you will always know that you put the deck somewhere!  Foolproof.;)




LOLOL.. Avoiding an awful project at work has me surfing around the threads here... I laughed out loud at this which of course alerted the coworkers I must be goofing off!

Thanks that is hysterical and so familiar!

Nicole   

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 Posted: Thu Feb 14th, 2008 08:22 am
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Morwenna
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I love the Mess Theory and will quote it for m now on whenever I have the opportunity.

Apart from that, I store my decks in various closets and cabinets. I keep a list, but even with 1100+ and 200 additional oracles, I know what I have and where it is. I just have that kind of memory.

Accessing it... now that's a completely different story :f

 

 

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