My family LOVES playing games. But I'm sorry to say that for many years, this is not the sight one would see when they opened the closet I kept our games in:
In fact, it was probably more like this:
I would try to keep everything contained in the correct game boxes. I would try to keep things orderly and stacked by size. But sooner or later, things would get messy, pieces would be lost, and we would all be frustrated on game nights when we couldn't play the game we wanted to.
The organizer in me knew there had to be a better way! So I experimented with my family's own games and lived with the system for a while before ever recommending it on Instagram or doing it in a client's home. And I have to tell you, we LOVE having our games organized like this! It might not be for everyone, but here are some tips for how to do this in your own home if you think it might be for you.
How to Organize Games
1. Behold the Zipper Pouch
I use zipper pouches to organize a lot of things- car items, first aid supplies, plastic cutlery, etc. But this might be my favorite way to use them. Simply empty the contents of your game box into a pouch, stick on a label, and voila!
If you have smaller pieces you would like to keep together, you can put them in a smaller zipper pouch to stick inside the larger one that's holding the game as a whole. You might be surprised to learn that most games will indeed fit in a large zipper pouch. If everything fits but the board, you can tuck that on the side of the basket.
2. Find a Bin that You Love
These zipper pouches will fit great in a number of large bins. I love the weaved look of Target's budget-friendly y-weave bin pictured above, or the softer look of their felt bins. Measure where you will be storing the bins, and then pick one that will work best for your space.
3. Show Your Cards (or don't!)
Card games fit great in the smallest size zipper pouch but I also love to put them in 4x6 photo storage boxes. These fit beautifully filed in a drawer.
But if you don't have a drawer to put them in, I also love to use these chancellor bins from The Container Store. They are sturdy and large and have a big handle which makes them easy to pull out.
4. Contain the [Seemingly] Uncontainable
There may be games in your collection that don't fit in a zipper pouch (I'm looking at you, Hungry Hungry Hippo). Multi-purpose bins from The Container Store are fantastic to use in these instances.
Ditch the box and just keep the board and all the pieces right in the bin. And if that doesn't work, these stackable, modular clear bins from Target might be the right fit. If it makes sense in your storage space, I've also used these hinge-lid bins from mDesign as well.
If you have game boxes that are sentimental to you or ones where the box is part of the game, simply stack those neatly somewhere in your game closet. Don't let that hold you back from doing this to the rest of your games!
5. Always, ALWAYS Label
Are we at the point in our relationship where this goes without saying? I cannot emphasize enough the importance of labeling when it comes to maintaining systems, especially one like games that will have multiple people getting in and out of it. I love these birch bin clips from The Container Store on the felt bins especially. I used my favorite cube labeler for the modular storage bins from Target.
Organizing games in this way not only looks better, but you'll be amazed at how much space it saves and at how easy it is to maintain. I also love that it makes games so easy to transport. Going to a friend's house for game night or up to the family cabin for the weekend? Just pull these bins from their spot in your home and put them in your car. You'll have your whole game collection with you for very little trunk space. Plus, no more lost pieces that have fallen out of broken game boxes. Now tell me, what is your family's favorite game? I'm always looking for new ones!
Jen is the founder of Reset Your Nest, a Professional Home Organizing Business in Utah (servicing Salt Lake City, Park City, Ogden, Alpine, Highland, Mapleton, and St. George). She loves creating order and systems out of chaos and is known for bringing a beautiful aesthetic as well as easy to maintain function to any space. She shares her tips and tricks on Instagram @reset_your_nest.