Organizing games can make them easy to access for kids and families who enjoy using them, but not always putting them away. We’ll talk about how to organize card, board and vertical organizing to make your storage super efficient & handy.
Games are a pillar of our summer plans around here. It’s too hot to play oustide, for the most part — so games are a great way to still get some activity, enjoy together time and often use our brains to our benefit.
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I have included a FULL bonus video on how we store games in The Organized Home— you can see a preview here:
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Difficulties in Storing Games
Storing games can be hard. Often the boxes are of different shapes and sizes. It makes it hard to stack them. Even when they are stacked efficiently, you might want to play the game at the bottom, and as a kid — it’s often hard to pull that one out — so you end up turning the TV on instead.
I created a system that allows us to access any game in the cabinet while leaving the other ones where they are and making it easy to put the game back.
How to organize board games
I tend to use the box the game came in to store games. Yes, it is often SUPER inefficient because those boxes tend to have a lot of empty space in them.
Keeping them in their original box…
- Makes it easy to get out and put away
- Those boxes are usually pretty sturdy, and are easy to tape the edges if need be
- Makes it easier to not lose pieces as they each have their own spot as you put it away (and somehow if I put games into other containers, my kids don’t treat them with as much respect — maybe that’s just us)
Yes, if storage is tight, or if you have a lot of similar board games, you might think of combining them (we combined a bunch of our “scene it”games — as they all had the same board and DVD’s — so it was easy to combine).
But, otherwise, I would leave them in the box.
And, I store games like I do books.
That way, when kids pull out one game, the others stay where they are, and it’s super easy to put away. You could also do this type of system in an ottoman or something — just so that each game is stored vertically (like file folders in a filing cabinet). That way no other games are bothered when each one is removed.
The one issue with this system is that boxes need to be decent in order for it to work. I repair them with duct or masking tape, if I need to sturdy them a bit.
Kids also need to be careful that the box does open as they pull it out. I showed my kids how to pull the games out with 2 hands and to grip it tightly.
This may not work as well if you have super small children, but as your kids reach preschool/elementary age — it’s perfect.
Organizing Card Games
I have a little bin where I have all our card games, it is see-through so kids can see what games are an option.
We are actually working on learning to shuffle this summer, so I want to pull more of those out…
Card game boxes can be sketchy (as card games are often pretty cheap to buy). If the box is falling apart, you could either tape it together, or use a small container from the dollar store to put them in. Those can often be bought pretty cheaply in card deck sizes.
Some of our family’s favorite games
Making our games more accessible was probably one of the best things we did. Playing games is SO good for families, and teetering game piles always made me nervous as a kid.
Of course, I can’t let this post go, without naming a few of our most favorite games (for kids & adults) — in no particular order:
BanannaGrams – This is SORT of like scrabble, but more doable for those of us who don’t know that QI is a word. Great for spelling and vocab.
Authors (also can be played as composers, scientists, etc) — it’s like go fish but with famous authors. My daughter recently was asked to name 5 famous authors in another game we were playing and rattled off a ton — thanks to Authors. 🙂
Sorry — got a little pent-up sibling aggression? Kill each other. Sorry!
Racko — Great for number sense!
Labyrinth — This one is REALLY fun, and I love most of the Ravesnburger games (as you’ll see)
Apples to Apples — One player has a “word” you have to chose between the words in your pile to chose something that matches that word. Great for vocab.
Make N’Break It You’ll get a card with a specific structure, and you have to re-create it with colored blocks. GREAT one for spatial reasoning and fine motor skills for kids.
So, as you can see we certainly walk the walk with our games, and having easy ways to take care of them makes everything better.
Don’t forget to check out that course all about creating awesome systems to help your family enjoy your home more.
If that seems like too much — sign up for my 5 word organization challenge to tackle the problem zones in your area (and check out my other organization posts below that)