At some point, our family had over 100 board games. One of the biggest challenges we had was trying to find ways to organize and store these games properly. At the end of each fun session, the games always end up stacked up in a closet somewhere haphazardly.
Well, this presented two problems. The first was clutter. Having a bunch of games in a closet was a bit unsightly, as you might imagine. Secondly, we always had trouble locating missing stray game pieces the next time we wanted to play.
To solve these issues, we all had to figure out the best board game storage options so our home could stay clutter-free. Here are some board game storage options that may be useful to you too.
Threats to Your Game Collection
Aside from keeping your home organized, one of the reasons why you need proper game storage is to protect your games. Here are some things that you will need to protect your board game collection from.
Just like the old posters that you collected as a child, leaving your games exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods can cause them to fade over time. UV radiation from the sun can bleach colors on game boxes and fade your fabric wraps. This is why you need storage that keeps your games out of director light. That way, their boxes will stay bright and new.
Moisture is another threat to your game collection. This is why you need to be careful when it comes to just throwing your games in the basement. You might want them out of sight when you are not playing, but that basement is a dangerous source of humidity.
Moisture can damage your board games significantly. The boards and boxes can warp, and you can even end up noticing some mold. To avoid this, try out some shelf storage options for your board games. By keeping them elevated off the floor, you can protect them from moisture transfer. You should also keep drinks away from the games.
Shelf and Storage Damage
One of the oldest arguments is about whether you should store your games horizontally or vertically. The horizontal faction will tell you that storing your games vertically spills your board game pieces out of their inserts. They also claim that the vertical boards will end up warping.
On the other hand, team Vertical will vigorously claim that horizontal storage causes box damage due to stacking. Some will also mumble about needing their collection to appear classy.
Let’s cut to the chase. If you are planning to store your games horizontally, it’s important to ensure that you stack them wisely. You must keep in mind that not every one of your boxes is sturdy. Your older game boxes are also quite susceptible to corner ripping. This is because, with time, the adhesives holding the corners together will degrade.
If you are storing your games vertically, keep the punch boards! Remember that board games are packaged to ship, not store. Storing your punch boards underneath the plastic insert will push the content against the lids of your game boxes. This will enable you to pack those mischievous little tokens in their perfect insert slots.
Where to Start?
If you are having serious storage problems, you should start by dealing with whatever you think is the biggest issue. For instance, if you have a lot of shelf space but the lids won’t close, you can make the switch to in-the-box storage. On the other hand, if there are no shelves, then check out some of the following storage options.
When it comes to switching the way you store your board games, start small in thought as well. A lot of people end up spending years with poor storage because they imagine the whole thing to be an all-or-nothing task. However, that’s not the case at all. You don’t have to figure out everything all at once. The best move is to just start.
1. Try Board Game Storage Plastic Containers
Using plastic storage containers is a great way to store your board games. These are great for when you want to store your board games without keeping boxes. You can also use them effectively if your game boxes are damaged by excessive wear and tear. You will find that plastic storage containers work quite well when it comes to board game storage.
The size of the box you get depends on the size of the board game pieces. For instance, you can get pencil boxes and small box containers for storing card games. On the other hand, if you want to store games with a lot of small components, it would be better to use plastic craft supply boxes with several compartments.
If you want to retain the game boxes, you can go for the bigger plastic storage containers that can accommodate several games. There are some boxes that will fit 20 games or more. You will find that to be a clever option that takes up less than half of the space that your games take if you just leave them lying around.
Another great idea when using bigger plastic storage containers would be to place games with several pieces in plastic containers and ditch the original boxes. That way, you can fit twice as many games as you can if you store them in boxes. You can then store the original boxes in your basement so you can repackage them later if needed.
If you have a lot of games, one challenge you will have with plastic storage containers is you will end up not knowing which game is in which container. Well, there’s a perfect solution for that as well. All you need to do is make a visual printout that you can tape to the side of the plastic storage box. That way, you can easily identify the games inside each box when it’s time to play. You can also use a label marker if you don’t have a printer.
You can get plastic containers at your local dollar store. These also work quite well for card games. These are several different sizes of clear plastic storage boxes, and they usually come with hinged lids.
2. Rolling Cart Storage for Board Games
This is another great idea to store your board games. Getting a rolling cart for game storage is like hitting two birds with one stone. It’s a great way to store your board games, and at the same time, you can also use it as a place to play. Rolling carts usually come with sets of drawers.
These can work really well for different sizes of board games. You can even repurpose a utility cart for bathroom storage into a board game storage option. This will work well for card games as well.
There are several types of rolling carts that you can get online. Most are not meant for game storage, but you can check the measurements of the drawers to see if your games will fit. If they fit nicely, then why not? There are several four-tier office carts that can be great storage for board games.
These usually have a long width, making them a perfect option for board games. The good thing with rolling carts is you can easily tuck them away into a corner or closet when you are not playing the games.
3. Plastic Shoe Boxes
If you are storing your games in a closet, it would be a great idea to organize them using some shoe boxes. Shoe boxes are a great way to organize your games and toys too. The good thing about plastic shoe boxes is that you can stack them, and this can help you save a lot of space. Plastic shoe boxes are also large enough to keep all the different games, boards, pieces, and parts together.
Apart from being great when it comes to saving space, plastic shoe boxes are also quite inexpensive. You can get transparent ones, which will easily enable you to see what’s inside. You can also use frosted shoe boxes if they are at your disposal. However, since you can’t clearly make what’s inside, you’d have to label them. Just like with plastic storage containers, you can print out visual labels, or you can also use a label marker.
4. Build a DIY Board Game Storage Unit
This is one of the best ways to store your board games. The good thing about a custom game storage unit is you can make it to your specifications. The first thing you will want to do is customize the dimensions and structure so that it meets all your storage needs.
A great way to store games with a custom-built storage unit is to design it so that the games are placed upright. When you store games on their side, the pieces are usually jostled about. This won’t be a problem during storage, but when you open them the next time you want to play, they will be a chaotic mess, and that’s not ok. You will also need to avoid direct sunlight.
This will protect your boxes so they don’t fade. Apart from that, you must also avoid staking the games. When you place games on top of each other, the roof of the box at the bottom will start to sag. The only games that should be stacked are lightweight selections that won’t put a lot of weight on the games below.
When designing your unit, it’s advisable to use flat pull-out shelves. It’s not a great idea to use drawers as this makes it difficult to reach in and take your games. A straight flat shelf enables you to slide games in and out without having to claw for more grip.
You must, however, ensure that your drawer slides are the correct length. This will enable you to locate and take the games behind without having to move other games out of the way.
After you are done designing and building the DIY storage unit, you should line the shelves. This is because games can easily stick to painted shelves. If that happens, the next time you want to play, you will end up peeling your game box. A great way to prevent this would be to use a shelf liner. It works wonders when it comes to protecting your boxes.
5. Hanging Closet Game Organizer
Another great way to store your board games is to use a hanging closet organizer. This is an ideal move if you don’t have a lot of space. You can use the coat or hall closest to store your games. Once you have figured out where to place them, the next step is finding a hanging closet organizer that works for you. In some instances, you may not be able to devote the entire closet to games storage.
There are several closet organizers that you can get online. Some come with adjustable shelving units. This would work perfectly if you have smaller board games. You can also use them for card games. For games with a lot of pieces, it would be a great idea to throw the pieces in bins, so they don’t get misplaced.
Some closet organizers feature several flexible pockets that can easily accommodate different-sized game items. You can also get one with pockets and boxes so you can throw the smaller games and pieces. This is a great way to keep stray pieces in check.
When dealing with closet organizers, you can also be inventive. If you find a shirt organizer with dimensions that fit your games, you can use it as well. These are more structured for a stack of games and are perfect for storing games in their boxes.
6. Storage Bench
Looking for a way to pile up all your board games and pieces without sacrificing usable furniture space? Look no further. A storage bench might just be the solution you need. When choosing a storage bench, get one that has a lot of space inside. You should also choose a rigid, strong construction that won’t succumb to the weight of your games.
One of the problems you will have with the storage bench is the issue of access. It won’t always be easy to locate each game, and depending on where it will be, you might have to go through the entire pile before you can file what you are looking for.
However, if you don’t have problems lumping your games up in one place, you can test out a storage bench. It’s a great way to preserve the utility of your floor space. It will work especially well for those games that you rarely play but can’t dispose of.
All you need to do is go online and check out bench storage options to find one that has enough space inside to store several games. You must also keep in mind that the color of the bench matters since you will probably place it in a themed space, like your sitting room or bedroom. A great idea would be to choose something with a neutral color that can match any paint scheme.