Organizing Ora et Labora

For those of you who aren’t gamers… we interrupt this blog-cast for a test of of the emergency game organization system. This is a test, this is only a test. If this were a real emergency, game pieces would be scattered across the floor. We’ll get back to your regularly scheduled blog in a moment.
OR read on and get some ideas on how to organize whatever type of games you and your family enjoy! After all, I’m on a quest to organize every nook and cranny of my house and my life, so why not the fun and games? It can only make it better!

A Gaming Favorite
My husband and I are huge Rosenberg fans! He is the creator of Agricola, the game that took me from an “I hate all games equally” status to being a Eurogame geek. So when we heard he had created Ora et Labora, it was number one on our must have list! 
I love this game, and I can’t quite put my finger on why. I think I like the feeling of accomplishment it gives me before I realize how badly I’ve been whupped. The process of collecting resources and using them to build has always been a very satisfying game play component for me. I also like the flexibility it allows me in strategy…if there is only one real way to win a game, I’m doomed, my husband is just too good! 
For more information on the Ora et Labora, including a game overview, where to purchase, links, forums and so much more, click here: Board Game Geek

This is the second game I set out to organize, the first was LeHavre (read about it here). I organized both of these games because of how often we play, and because nothing makes my organized soul twitch more than having to pick through a pile of resource tiles to find what you’re looking for! Egh, might as well store as many pieces in a manner that doesn’t require you to unpack just to have to put it away at the end of the game. Eurogames take a bit of time for set up anyway, if you can shave lots of time and effort off, why not?

Storage for Ora et Labora
The secret to organizing Ora et Labora is using two 6-section plastic organizers.
 The organizers are Plano Model #3450, dimensions 8.25″ x 4.25 x 1.38″.  I found mine at Walmart on sale for $4 each in the bead department, the brand is called Creative Options. Or click on my Amazon Store finds to purchase. 

The first organizer houses all 6 starting & basic resource tiles. The second organizer houses 5 (advanced or game variation) resources that tend to come later (grapes/wine, flour/bread, etc.), and one additional section to house your wooden resource representation pieces. The resource tiles fit perfectly in these dividers, the clay/pottery resource requires that a few sit front-to-side rather than all facing forward, but the intent is good storage, not just looking “pretty”. Speaking of pretty, the resource tiles won’t stay upright and tidy like it is in my photos, they will get messy…we toss resources back into the dividers as we play so no clean-up is required, and it works like a charm! 
The dividers stack easily in the box, with plenty of room to house the instruction booklet underneath, and all other pieces to the side. It is always important to find organizers that fit perfectly in the box, having even the slightest rise to the box lid just isn’t an option…eh, call it OCD. The cards are kept separated by type in small individual craft bags since they are too small to bother with tuckboxes or other types of card storage. 


We like to keep set-ups as painless as possible… nothing is worst than introducing a newbie to a game that takes forever to set up when the explanation of how to play has already produced the blank look of game remorse on their faces. *Chuckle* We joke that people avoid coming to our house because they’ll be forced into play-labor. I often woosh a pretend whip over my friends heads and cry “slaaaave, get back to playing slaaaave!”…no, no I don’t do that, I just think it with great glee. 

Here is an overhead view a game set up for two players:

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