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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Where to put it all... » » Storage options (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

The Burgomaster
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As my collection of magic supplies continues to grow, I find I'm having difficulty keeping it stored and organized. Currently, everything is stored in several cardboard boxes with each item (if possible) still in its original packaging from when I purchased it. I've seen and read about a variety of cases and table/case combinations (Lefler, Malloy, Tabman) that appear to be great for hauling what you need to performances. But none of these cases are spacious enough to store all my stuff. My goal is to have a way to keep everything organized and be able to roll it into a corner or closet in my house until I need it. I suppose I could buy several of these large cases (which could get pretty costly). Are there any other storage devices that are designed specifically for magic supplies and props? Or is my best bet to buy a couple of large bookcases or some shelving and lay everything out on them to avoid the clutter of cardboard boxes? Any tips would be much appreciated!
gaddy
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I use a small (OK medium sized...) Ikea wall storage unit and a few compartmentalized tool boxes and art supply boxes for my magic supplies and books. I'm considering purchasing a glass storage/display case for my real gems -but that's pending the wife's approval...

As for hauling what I need to perform, I usually do a set show, and I am constantly parring down, so my transportation needs are always becoming more streamlined, not more cumbersome. I use a large camera bag to carry my props, and my table slings over my shoulder via a strong luggage strap.
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
Bill Palmer
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As long as you aren't doing illusions or tricks with really huge props, then you can probably get along with shelves and bins.

However, if you are performing, you will need a few things.

1) A separate carrying case for each set show you do. This way, you can grab the case you need, and you will know that EVERYTHING you need will be in that case. This may require that you purchase duplicates of some of your props. Alternatively, you can have a big show that has a separate small show that you also take with you. For example, if you regularly do a walkaround show, but offer a few standup items that you can perform along with it, have one case for the walkaround stuff, and a separate case for the add-ons.

Be sure that any tools, spares, glue, etc. that you need is in the case with the props. Don't trust yourself to carry those in a separate tool box that you also use around the house. Trust me on this. You will get to a show, need a wrench, and will remember that it is lying on the lavatory next to the faucet you were working on -- been there, done that, writing the post right now.

2) You need an emergency kit with superglue, PVA glue, pins, safety pins, elastic, rubber bands, scissors, an X-acto knife, black magic markers and other touch-up material, scotch tape, shirt buttons, and a needle and thread. NEVER EVER EVER let any other performer know you have this. If they find out, they will become fat and lazy and sponge off of you. It sounds hard, but you will thank me later.

For your non-working items, set up a system now. Use shelves and bins or shelves and boxes with lids. IKEA is a great source for these. It's probably a good idea to file these by type rather than alphabetically. You will figure out what is best for you.

If you want a database, go to http://www.openoffice.org and download open office. It's free!
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
motown
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Go to a store like Kmart or Target. In the tool section they have storage units meant for things like nuts & bolts. The ones I have are about 24" tall x 18" wide x 6" deep. They're made of plastic and have several small and large drawers with dividers. The large drawers can be divided in half and the small drawers divided in thirds.

The large drawers can hold up to 6 decks, assorted packet tricks, hip pocket size wallets, etc. The small drawers are perfect for your gimmicked coins and other small things.

For the items I put in the large drawer, I xerox the front of the tricks package/ booklet down to a size that fits in the drawer, so I know where everything goes.

These are great for organizing all your smaller magic items.
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The Burgomaster
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I ordered a large Malloy Multi-Gig case (should be arriving today or tomorrow) and I'll see how much stuff I can fit in it. I'm also considering buying a Lefler table. Even so, I'll probably try some of these ideas . . . maybe set up a multi-drawer storage unit for most of my stuff and keep the best stuff in the Malloy case and the Lefler table. Thanks to all for responding!
gbradburn
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Bill Palmer and motown make good suggestions.

I use some large Rubbermaid "tubs" from Wal-Mart. I organize similar effects in large zip-lock plastic bags (the kind with the sliding zipper).

The "trick" (pun intended) is to arrange things inside the bin so fragile props will not get damaged.

While this has worked for me I'm not really happy with this arrangement. Mainly because things aren't really organized in the "tub" for easy location of specific props. I find myself digging through it, essentially removing everything, to find the props I'm looking for. That is why I like Bill Palmer's ideas.
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The Burgomaster
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I received my Malloy Multi-Gig case and I'm really pleased with it. I got the large size, which is really two stacked cases: a small one on top and a larger one on the bottom. It comes with a good supply of removable dividers so you can customize the storage trays to fit various sized objects. The case holds a lot of stuff - - in fact, I e-mailed the company and suggested they post additional pictures on their website to show all the features and how deep the bottom compartment is. I can't fit everything I own in it, but I did make quite a dent in my much-needed organization of everything. The case isn't big enough to hold some of my larger items (such as my multiplying bottles and cylindars and incredible block penetration . . . although, the block penetration prop might fit if I lay it down rather than storing it upright). But I already have a few dozen decks of cards, various coins, ropes, packet tricks, chips, and similar items in the case and there is still plenty of room in the bottom compartment. I'll probably get a Lefler table next - - it looks like it's spacious enough to store some of the larger items. And I'll get the organizing drawers and dividers that were mentioned above.
The Burgomaster
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I received my large Lefler table/case today and it's great. Plenty of room inside to store larger items that don't fit in the Malloy Multi-Gig case (such as multiplying bottles and tubes, Zone Zero, and the ACAAN large-sized deck). It is well constructed and fairly compact when the cover is closed. Definitely worth the money. And very fast drop shipping directly from Joe Lefler.
TheAmbitiousCard
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I'll tell you what makes great storage containers are empty plastic shampoo, conditioner, medicine, etc. bottles. I use them to hold silk/tt, wands (i cut the top and bottom off a large shampoo bottle so it's like a long sleeve) and all the wands (for my kids shows) slip in there like a wand caddy, silks/dyetube, etc. I just use some velcro and attach these things to the lid of my case, the walls of my case, etc. Just rinse them out, dry them, cut them up and velcro them in your case. They are FREE and fantastic. They're also great at protecting things like eggs.

Experiment and see what you come up with.
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MagicMikeMartin
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Storage verses Display.....

I find that if I store something...out of sight out of mind....I don't use it.

I am toying with the idea of having a case for each type of show and eliminate the storage bins....
Bill Palmer
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Please re-read my post on having special cases for each basic show.

Just to give you an idea of how much stuff I have to manage, even in retirement, I have two storage units at one of the local warehouse rental places. These have the things I seldom use any more, such as PA equipment, lighting, large tables and illusions. I know where they are, so if I need them for a show, I can find them very quickly.

Upstairs, I have a room that has props and books that are marginally related to my mainstay shows. Some of my vintage props are up there, along with some books relating to historical items that are not part of the show.

All my magic books (3200 volumes +) and DVD's (100 +) are in my office, along with some small vintage props. The cups and balls museum is housed in bookcases and shelves in our "studio."

My actual show material is in a couple of cases, right where I can get to it. I bring it out when I need it.

So, case each show. The put the things you don't often use in your storage bins.

And here's an idea from Billy McComb. Take each item that you don't use and put it inside a Ziplock bag with the instructions. Put a label on the bag. Then drop it into a storage bin.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
marylandmagi
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I really like Billy McComb's idea. Gotta start trying to implement that Smile
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