Wednesday, February 7, 2018


Last year I tweeted out this photo on Twitter of my desk,

Immediately I had a comment of "wow that's such a disaster someone please help this guy sort things out." 

I responded with, "that's not a mess, that's how I sort. It's a bit complex."

I made a promise to that individual that I would do a segment to explain my sorting and here I am.

It really isn't as complex as it looks, at least to me. But, it is a bit in-depth with as much as I collect and as many sports as I collect.

So I thought I would make this series breaking down everything I collect and how I sort it. I hope this will explain the picture I tweeted and maybe give you some ideas for your own collection on how to sort.

Today I am showing off how I sort basketball cards.

When I take a stack of basketball cards, I split them into many sections. This is something I have done every since I have been in the hobby. 24+ years of the same thing.

Unlike my last sorting post, I don't pull out a favorite team. Back in the 90's I was die hard Knicks fan all the way, but as I got older and the game of basketball changed in the 2000's, I became less and less interested in the sport. So I no longer watch it, but I still do collect it to a certain extent. My main basketball focus right now is trying to put together the late 90's Spx hologram sets. I really want to do those but it may be the hardest ones to chase.

So for basketball I kick it off with the hits, Anything I feel that has good "book value" for inserts, $25+, and any hits get set off to the side to be placed in penny sleeves, toploaders or 10ct plastic boxes for jersey cards or thick cards. These all get placed into 2-row shoe box houses by sport. There are boxes I mark for hits and another for inserts.

The next stack is a player binder stack. This is where I put Kobe, MJ and LeBron. They are the best of all time so I stick them all together. Of course MJ by far leads this group.

The next pile is of other by-players. These are stars as well but not as important as Kobe, MJ and LeBron but are guys like Magic Johnson, Dirk, Tim Duncan, Paul Pierce, etc. These get indexed in a huge 1,000 ct box. I don't have a ton of them so the box should last awhile to fill.

The next stack is rookies and rookie inserts. For basketball they all go in the same binder. I used to just stick them all in there where ever, but now with my recent Binder Reorganization project they will find themselves by team.

Basketball inserts, less-valuable ones and excluding star players, find themselves in a binder by themselves. In my binder reorganization project I will be pulling out 90's sets I enjoy. I had considered putting all of the card by the products they were, but that would take me forever. Maybe that will be a later on project.
Once I get everything bindered, they get stacked on shelves. Not standing up of course as that damages cards in the long run as the pages start to fold overtime. They are stacked alternating so one side doesn't get squished and so I can fit many on one shelf. You may notice numbers on the outside of the binders. At one point I used to number them and keep what's in them in a notebook but that got too complicated with the alternating as I can't see all of the numbers now.

And finally, the scraps. This is everything I don't collect or put into binders. The base of the base like this Jerry Stackhouse.

These are put into big ct boxes marked NBA by team and fit nicely under my desk. These cards I used to put by brand, year and number but I dismantled them last year in my box resorting project. I feel it's easier putting them by team as I don't ever plan on putting together most of those sets I had once started.
And that does it for basketball. Like I said, I am not a die hard fan like I once was. Everything I sort in the sport is pretty simple.  

As for basketball sets I used to collect or have bought, they stay in their original boxes or these 800 ct boxes if I hand collated them.
Another part I failed to mention above, is my giveaway/trade pile. I pull that stuff out and set it aside as I go along for people I normally trade with and which giveaways I run.

Well, that's it for Part 2 of this series. There is much, much more to go with multiple sports and non sports to discuss.

Thanks for reading and your thoughts on my sorting are welcomed in comments.


  1. I became a Knicks fan when my All time favorite Patrick Ewing was drafted. Followed religiously until he left. I have just about every game from 88-94 on vhs.( remember vhs lol) My fallout of watching the NBA started at the end of the finals , game 7 loss. That hurt.I can honestly say the most i have watched is maybe a quarter of a game since He left for Seattle.

    1. That was a tough one for sure. The team losing so many East Finals to the Bulls didn't help either

  2. Solid system. I still keep my binders upright on my bookshelf. One of these days I'll make the transition to laying the flat. That being said... I do keep my vintage set binders stored flat, but they're sitting in boxes.

    1. That's good . Just don't wait too long on laying those binders down

  3. I stick with having them flat when I can but it is hard to do without a proper shelving unit. In the 90's I had a buddy build one that allowed me to lay them all down flat, one per shelf. It held 40 and worked great. Great post. Thanks.

    1. I found that sturdy plastic shelving at Walmart a few years ago think it was like 35 a shelf. Well worth it and easy to put together