Organize Your Board Games {28 Days to De-Clutter}

We’re working through the house, cleaning out the entertainment areas one by one. Yesterday’s task was the kids’ toys, and today it’s the board games! If you’re keeping up with these challenges, join our 28 Days to De-Clutter Facebook Event page and share your excitement with the rest of us as you accomplish each task! If you’re just joining us now, you can keep up with all the tasks here.

Today’s post is brought to us by my wonderfully creative friend Karla, who really needs to start a blog of her own! Seriously, she always has the greatest ideas, and I would totally read her blog daily if she ever wrote one. (Hint, hint!) But even though she doesn’t blog on a regular basis, she kindly volunteered to help me out with this series since I am in the middle of packing to move in another week (AGHGHGH!!). Instead of organizing my games, I just packed them up! She, however, went through and de-cluttered her entire board game collection with beautiful results. Thank you SO much, Karla, for sharing your creativity with us!

De-Clutter Your Board Games in 10 (or so) Minutes 

I am a game lovin’ gal.  In fact, I must admit my competitiveness has been known to get a bit out of hand at times when a good game gets started in my house.  I also must admit that the mess which comes along with all our different games gets a bit out of hand at times too!  Cards, pawns, dice, boards, pieces, Pieces, PIECES!  We typically find all the missing pieces by stepping on them…Oh Joy!  or vacuuming them up…Oops!

And when we find a good game we love, we love it well!  Sometimes a little too well, if you know what I mean.  There is NO telling how much money I have spent on tape trying to keep those well loved boxes in tact so they can keep all their stuffing in.

Then, recently it hit me.  Why am I trying to keep the “oversized”, “crowding my shelf”, “won’t last much longer anyways”, “cost me a (small) fortune in tape” boxes?  And the answer to that question and a not very good one at that – “…because it’s the box the game came in!?!?” – sent me searching for another option.  So here is the solution that has, thus far, worked

very well for us.

Here is what I used:

  • clear containers- I found mine at Wal-Mart.  I like that they do not taper and the handles do not indent into the box taking up precious inner space.
  • scissors
  • wide clear tape- like packaging tape
  • sandwich baggies
  • marker
  • rubber bands (optional)

First, you need to decide which games will fit best into which size containers as well as which ones you can combine best together into one container.  I  found that most board games fold into a square making them fit remarkably well in the larger containers and in fact I could fit two to three board games into each one.

Cut the name of the game from the side of the original box and tape it to the inside of the container making sure the name shows on the side you want facing out from your shelf.  (My larger ones I have labeled on one of their long sides, but the smaller ones are labeled on a side with a handle.)  Then label a sandwich sized baggie with the name of the game and place all the playing pieces into the baggie (pawns, cards, play money, everything!!!).  It helps to put a rubber band around the cards or money, but this is not necessary.  Here is an example of three games (Sorry, Clue, and Mad Math) in one container.

Things that don’t work well for these containers and system…Puzzles!  You really need the picture on the box!  Also, boards that only fold into a rectangle.  The containers just aren’t quite long enough.

All our playing cards received a shared container all their own as well as our

One plus to this new system (and one I was not expecting) was how well now my boys clean up the games once they are done playing.  Before, they would shovel (literally) all the loose game pieces back into the box.  Some pieces were forgotten and left behind, others fell through the cracks of the broken box without care and the boys didn’t really bother to get them back in again, so alas, we had an abundance of pieces missing in action waiting for a foot or vacuum to “rescue” them.  Now, there is just something about having a baggie that in itself takes a little more thought to scoop and place the pieces into and then zip it up, but believe it or not all of the pieces  (((knock on wood))) having been ending back safe and sound into that baggie.  It doesn’t really take much more effort and the zipped bag keeps things from falling out.  YAY!  No more pieces missing in action!

Another plus…  I went from three and a half shelves stuffed to overflowing with games, down to two.  You can see from the picture how I was able to stack 4 containers with 6 board games and 3 usually bulky and somewhat awkward to store games into less than half a shelf space.  Now…hmmmm… what to do with our new found shelf space??  Perhaps I should reward my efforts with a new game. Any suggestions? ;)

Thanks again, Karla! I’m going to be trying that when I get settled into our new place because some of the cardboard boxes on our games have already fallen to pieces at the hands of The Boys. If you’re looking for more game organization ideas, check out my 28 Days to De-Clutter Pinterest Board.

Let’s De-Clutter Together

If you completed today’s 10-minute task, I’d love to hear about it! Tell me all about it – and show me a picture – on the 28 Days to De-Clutter Facebook Event page. Bloggers can grab the badge below and write a post – I’ll link to it in my next post and pin it to my 28 Days to De-Clutter Pinterest Board, and share on Facebook and Twitter.  And everyone can join in on the Twitter conversation by using the hashtag #28daystodeclutter.