Long-time readers may already be aware that the kids and I like board games. I start them young with Candyland, I taught QueenMarie Chess when she was five, you could say we’re a bit geeky. However, when Birdy moved her games in, they started to over run the place. The following is our solution to managing all the fun-makers…
First, unload ALL your games, and look at the mess. Look at all the space it takes up! Examine the packaging and materials on these things. I’d say 1/3 of them consisted of a large box to accommodate the folded game board, some tokens, and a deck or two of cards. Much of the volume for each game consisted of plastic and air.
Start by eliminated any games you haven’t played in years, games you hate, or games that kids have outgrown. (A classic or two can hang around.) If you’re divorced, like me, your child may spend most or some of their time at another home. Is there a game only they like to play? Send it to the other home, it’s okay to let go.
Next, start finding games of similar sizes, and combining their contents. For example, we had 2 editions of “Scene It” that could fit in a single box. Use rubber bands to separate decks of cards, and snack-sized zip-locks for the differing game pieces and dice. We even had enough room to throw in a third game.
Get creative with containers, you’d be surprised how many small games a good shoe box can hold. I had several games that were merely cards, so they could all be combined. We could also group some games by age level. Monopoly Jr, CandyLand, and Busytown all fit in a single box!
Lastly, it’s important to label things as you go. A primary reason for big, flashy boxes is that they stack nice, and make browsing your shelf/cupboard easier. We cut up the logos & titles off the eliminated boxes, and taped them to the sides and tops of their new home. This way, we can still quickly find the game we’re in the mood for.
In the end, we eliminated a huge pile of wasteful packaging, and greatly reduced the space that games consumed in our home. (Some were left as-is.) It was a liberating project that yielded lots of cubic feet of storage for us to enjoy. Even if you don’t have hordes of games, I hope this post inspires you to organize and de-clutter something in your life!