Since I have two young boys who have an affinity for everything related to Disney Cars, I can pretend that their Mattel Diecast Collection is… well… theirs.
Truth is, I am a 35-year old woman who collects small cars with faces on them.
In fact, the only thing that keeps me from signing up for one of those online trading boards is the realization that I am in fact a 35-year old woman and perhaps I don’t need the Doc Hudson diecast car (even though every fibre of my being is telling me that yes, I really do).
Anyhoo, we have reached the point in “our” Disney Cars collection that we sorely need some organization. At just shy of 100 cars, I’ve been relying on the boys to keep the collection together in a neat and (somewhat) orderly manner. However, I’m constantly finding errant cars under the couch, in the clothes hamper, and my personal favourite: “Mom, can you pull out the fridge? Holley Shiftwell is under there.” Uh, never again.
Alas, finding a carrying case for a large collection was proving to be much more difficult than expected. Most Cars-branded cases available in Canada only hold about 10-12 cars, and regular diecast cases just won’t cut it for the many oversized cars we have. So, I decided to get creative.
First, I found this HDX 39 Drawer Storage Bin at Home Depot Canada. Sensing that our collection would grow over the coming months, and that it was marked “Special Buy” (translation: get ‘em before they’re gone), I decided to pick up three. We’ve opened two for the time being, pictured below.
I love that the Disney Cars diecast cars are a great fit in the storage drawers; lots of room to move back and forth and just the right amount of space on the sides. Plus, since they’re clear, I can peek through to see what’s inside.
The HDX Storage Bin comes with drawer separators which are perfect as they allow me to double up on the smaller cars like Gremlins and Lemons. And since the larger bins below also come with separators, I can conceivably hold 78 cars per storage bin. However, since I only have a handful of cars that can be doubled up, on average, I can store about 55 cars per bin.
Now the storage bin would be great as is, but it didn’t keep the boys accountable for missing cars. So I decided to take it one step further and personalize the “garages” for easy identification. It was simple, if not *slightly* tedious:
I grabbed Avery Labels #6504 and set up a template on MS Word. Then, I copied/pasted pictures of the diecasts online. www.cars.mattel.com is a great resource as it has pictures of the 2013 Cars collection. For Cars I couldn’t find, I Googled. Finally, I simply printed the labels and affixed to the storage units. You can see my progress below.
I love that we now have visual accountability for cars that are currently misplaced. Where-oh-where is Chick Hicks?
The larger cars sit nicely in the bottom storage bins, and our oversized cars also have a garage to call their own.
Overall, the entire project cost about $65 and I now have storage space for over 150 cars. And, the boys adore their new organizational bin – or as I like to call it, the “Parking Garage!”