Saturday, April 14, 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 football cards which is one of my more complicated and in-depth sortings.
When I take a stack of football 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.
So for football 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.

Second, I pull out all of the rookies. Rookies with team logos get sorted by team and placed into binders

Rookies without any team logos and just college uni's, get placed into a college binder. Some players I could probably figure out which teams they go on while others don't ever have one. So to make it easier on myself, they all go in here.

Rookie inserts and parallels are pulled out as well and placed in a binder by themselves.

Star Players like Russell Wilson find themselves in by-player boxes. But, not their rookies as they are in the rookie binder. See how confusing this can be? Other players in here range from the 90's with Dan Marino, John Elway, Mark Brunell to players of today like Cam Newton, Julio Jones and Antonio Brown

However, there are three players I don't put in the boxes including Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Brett Favre. I think their value is higher than the rest so they stay out of boxes and go into binders.

Football inserts, less-valuable ones and excluding who I consider 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.

And of course I have a team for football. The Giants are pulled out and put into a few piles. Hits in one that go into a special place. Rookies and rookie inserts go into a binder and the Giants players all get sorted by player into a binder.

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

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.

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.

The sets I have collected already find themselves remaining in the boxed set boxes or in 800 ct boxes. That's it.

So football is a bit more in-depth for me since it's my favorite sport to collect. Baseball is close behind.

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.

Only one more sorting part to go in this series and it involves my new love of non sports cards along with other oddball sports I have. Stay tuned!

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


  1. I'm truly blessed that I only have five or six sorting stacks. If my office looked like that (first picture), I'd probably just toss all the cards into a box and give up. Don't get me wrong... sorting can be fun and even therapeutic. But it can also have the opposite effect on me if I feel overwhelmed. Have fun with your sort.

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