How to Store Board Games

Jon Fesmire |

If you have a family that likes to play games, or you have guests over often, you probably have a terrific board game collection. Though video games have become increasingly popular, board games provide a great way to spend a fun time with the people you care about.

The only real problem is that board games can take up a lot of space, especially in their original boxes. And since the boxes aren’t all one standard size, stacking them is tricky.

Here are some ideas to get around these issues, allowing you to easily store your board games.

Travel and Library Editions

One great way to save space but still get full games is to purchase the travel or library editions.

Travel editions are smaller than standard editions of games, and often have smaller pieces. As the name implies, they’re designed so that you can bring your favorite board games with you while on vacation. Library editions are also smaller, but the boxes are designed to fit among your books on a bookshelf. The former sometimes come in odd-shaped packaging, making them more difficult to store with other games, while the latter are meant to line up nicely beside each other in your library.

Under the Bed

The great thing about underbed storage is that it contains a lot of frequently untapped space, plus it’s out of sight.

To store your board games under your bed, get a large box you can slide out easily. Rather than stacking your games on top of each other, store them on their sides. You’ll be able to read the names easily and take out the game you want without having to first remove the boxes on top of it. This also avoids the awkwardness of stacking boxes of different sizes. Sure, you’ll need to fit all your games in there Tetris-style, but you won’t have gravity working against you.

Side by Side

Though library editions work better for this, you can still arrange your games side-by-side on a shelf, rather than stacked. Don’t want them tipping over? Consider using a pot lid rack, storing one game per section. This will keep the boxes arranged and prevent them from falling open. Slide out the game you want, and slide it back in when done playing.

Rolling Carts

For a moderate game collection, consider getting a rolling cart that you can keep in the corner of a closet. All you would need to do is stack your games in the cart and roll it out to the kitchen or living room when ready for a game night.

Of course, you would have to remove game after game to get to ones lower in the stack, but such a cart would keep your games together in a small space, and make retrieving them easy.

Hanging Closet Organizer

Want to keep your games stacked vertically, but also want to make it easier to retrieve them? Consider using a hanging closet organizer.These hanging shelves are typically meant for storing things like shirts or towels, but with their sectional design, are ideal for standard-sized board games as well. Hang one up in your closet or game room, and store your games in it for easy viewing and retrieval.

Dump the Packaging

Some people like to keep their games in the original boxes, and others just don’t care. The box isn’t the game, after all, it’s just the packaging.

You can reduce the space needed for each game by using alternative packaging. One option that will work for many games is by purchasing game savers. Admittedly, these compartmentalized boxes can be expensive, costing about the price of a board game each, but they’re worth looking at. They’re made for games like Sorry and Scrabble, and protect your boards and pieces.

Another possibility is to store your playing pieces, dice, and boards separately. You can stack the game boards on one shelf, and keep the pieces in labeled tins on another, or beside the boards on the same shelf.

Get Games that Use Generic Pieces

In the 1990s and 2000s, a company called Cheapass Games created a series of unique dice, card, and board games that came with only the rules and items necessary for that game. A board game would include the board. A card game would include the cards. They knew that players already had plenty of game pieces and dice from other games, so their customers were able to purchase some great games for much cheaper than if they had included all parts.

Unfortunately, they eventually had to move to a different model, that of selling full games with all the pieces. Fortunately, you can download some of their older games for free. Print the rules and boards, and use your own game pieces. Essentially, you can add to your game night fun for free, while adding little physically to your board game collection.

Using Self Storage

So far, these ideas are for how to store your board games at home, as we assume you want to keep them close so that you can play them from time to time. However, what if you need to put them in self storage?

Organize your games in storage boxes. You can even use some of the space-saving ideas presented in this article. If you live in an area prone to cold, dry weather, or hot, humid weather, get a unit with climate control. Humidity especially can damage cardboard by adding moisture and encouraging the growth of mold and mildew.

Feel free to use or combine any of the above suggestions. With a little ingenuity, it’s easy to reduce the space your board games take up and still have a wonderful time playing them with family and friends.