Board Game Storage & Organization Ideas

This post shows ideas for board game storage & organization. It includes using filing bags to file games on cabinet shelves & the best solutions for saving space without game boxes.

This post shows how to organize board games in bags for a simplified and streamlined storage solution. Creative ways of labeling games make this method even easier to maintain! Includes tips for organizing puzzles too.

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Introduction

A major achilles heel of organization in our home has always been our board game cabinet. It was a mess. Take a look at the disaster…

unorganized board games in a small cabinet

It was beyond control.

board game storage cabinet before organizing, full of cardboard boxes

Our board game storage strategy was tragic. There was no rhyme, no reason, and definitely no organization. The goal was to stack to boxes, but we always just shoved board game boxes back in the cabinet puzzle-style. If it fit, it went.

broken cardboard board game box

We were barely holding many of the flimsy, cardboard boxes together each time we played. That meant the organization of the materials inside suffered even more.

stack of old board game cardboard boxes

I've been meaning to find the best board game storage ideas for awhile. A couple of years ago, I searched for a streamlined way to store board games. That turned out to be tricky.

Boxes weren't an option when there are so many different sizes needed for different games. You have no idea how different each game is until you start comparing them!

This post shows how to organize board games in bags for a simplified and streamlined storage solution. Creative ways of labeling games make this method even easier to maintain! Includes tips for organizing puzzles too.

Finally, I nailed down an effective (and easy to maintain) storage solution. It immediately organized our board game collection. It's easy; you only need a few hours and a few supplies.

My Board Game Storage Process

Supplies Needed

  • Rubber Bands (I like these because they're super cheap and perfect for most board game cards!)
  • File Bags in Assorted Sizes (I ended up needing two packs of these and one pack of these for this project. It's best to get a rough count of your games and their sizes before you order.)
  • Printer/Laminator
  • Zip Ties

Step 1: Start with a clean slate.

As with any organization project I do around my home, I took everything out of the space I'm organizing to start with a clean slate. It's easier to fill up an empty space in an organized way than to try to shift around what's there.

empty board game storage cabinet

Let's all have a moment of cleared-out zen. We don't have a full game room, so I chose a cabinet shelf in our living room built-ins for our game storage. You'll need to find somewhere that has enough space for the games you need. A coffee table, shelving unit, or even closet organizers are all great options.

Step 2: Organize board games by size and storage type.

With your favorite board games out in the middle of the floor, group the boxes by size. This is important if you ordered various sizes of file bags. Grouping is a chance to see where to use what sized bags.

pile of board game boxes and containers

I also had a small group of games that needed to stay in their original packaging. The game might be too big to go into a bag (looking at you, Hungry Hungry Hippos). If the packaging is part of the game or the box is small and in good shape, you might keep the game in its packaging.

card game boxes
missing board game pieces

There was also a collection of random game parts in the cabinet. We'll deal with those later.

Step 3: Pair file bags with games.

measuring board game filing bags with their boxes

The best part of this whole process is throwing out those broken cardboard game boxes! Start matching your games with bag sizes.

stack of play board game money in a rubber band

Cards and sticks were held together with rubber bands. If there was still an original plastic bag that held cards or game pieces, I kept it. There's no need in throwing away something that is still effective.

Kerplunk pieces in a filing bag

Each game's bag has the instructions and smaller game parts. With this set of file bags, you'll get several smaller bags. They're great for sets of parts that don't have an original bag, like dice or coins. Of course, plastic Ziploc bags would be ok for this; they just won't be as durable.

game pieces in a plastic filing bag

In this game, you can see the original plastic baggies that group together cards and game pieces. I didn't see any need to group bigger parts (like spinners and the actual board) in the bag.

empty cardboard boxes

It felt so good to throw these busted old boxes away.

Step 4: File in the cabinet and sort by size.

board game storage filing method

Once your games are tucked away in the mesh pouches, it's time to fill your storage space back up in an organized way. I went from biggest bag to smallest, but if you want to, you can sort either alphabetically or by game category.

These are the games that I took out of those original boxes. These games used to take up almost the entire cabinet! Now they fit into one shelf, leaving plenty of space at the bottom. I use that for the more awkward games, card games, and some puzzles and toys we had been storing in another cabinet.

Step 5: Label your board games.

Originally, I was going to use my Cricut to print vinyl lettering for each bag. Once I started stacking the bags vertically in the cabinet, I realized I wouldn't be able to see those letters when trying to find a game. I wanted my organization to be pretty, but more importantly, I wanted it to be easily used and maintained by my kids.

laminated board game filing bag label

So, I pivoted a little. I decided to make 3×3″ print-outs of each game box and laminate to tie on the bag zippers with zip ties.

To do this, I used my friend google image search. You should be able to find most games this way. Taking pictures of your boxes as you throw them out is another easy option.

laminating a board game label

Copy your images into a site like canva and print! The laminator makes them super durable.

Before and After

Before:

After:

This post shows how to organize board games in bags for a simplified and streamlined storage solution. Creative ways of labeling games make this method even easier to maintain! Includes tips for organizing puzzles too.

Now, we can actually see what games we have!

This post shows how to organize board games in bags for a simplified and streamlined storage solution. Creative ways of labeling games make this method even easier to maintain! Includes tips for organizing puzzles too.

With the added space, we were also able to store some of our puzzles and toys from another cabinet. The bagged games go on the top shelf and the more awkward/original packaging games are on bottom.

This post shows how to organize board games in bags for a simplified and streamlined storage solution. Creative ways of labeling games make this method even easier to maintain! Includes tips for organizing puzzles too.

Let's go back to the random pieces and smaller game accessories I found when cleaning out the cabinet. As I went along, I matched the lost pieces to their games.

I have a bin that the whole family knows as the place for lost pieces. If there's an “orphan piece,” it goes in the basket. Once a month (on my Journey to Clean “organize TV areas” day) I reunite the lost pieces with their games.

This post shows how to organize board games in bags for a simplified and streamlined storage solution. Creative ways of labeling games make this method even easier to maintain! Includes tips for organizing puzzles too.

Knowing where everything is in this cabinet makes it so much easier to keep our games organized. We've started having more family game nights!

This post shows how to organize board games in bags for a simplified and streamlined storage solution. Creative ways of labeling games make this method even easier to maintain! Includes tips for organizing puzzles too.

Board Game Storage & Organization FAQs

Ditch the board game boxes! Storing the pieces of a board game in a paper filing bag is much easier and more streamlined. This saves space and lets you store the file bags vertically for an organized board game storage method.

Storing games in paper filing bags lets you ditch bulky board game boxes with varying sizes. Put pieces and instructions in a bag, label, and file bags for minimal board game storage space.

Plastic filing bags are the way to go! By using these bags, every game looks the same. This makes for a more visually appealing, uniform organization method. This also requires much less storage space than cardboard boxes.

Video: Board Game Storage with Bags

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7 Comments

  1. I have one piece if advice that works well in our family. Those little game box tags you attached to each bag? Print a duplicate and attach them all to the inside of the game cupboard like a game box gallery wall. When you want to play but haven’t decided which game, open the door and you’ll see pics of your entire selection.

    1. That’s a fantastic idea!

  2. Our card games are the boxes most destroyed. There’s a little box called “Really Useful Box® Plastic Storage Container With Built-In Handles And Snap Lid,” that I’ve found at craft stores, bug box stores, or office stores for fifty cents to $1. The cards fit perfectly in it, and they stack! Label and done!

  3. I just started this project. Overall, I like the concept. I’m a bit frustrated to discover, though, that SEVERAL games simply don’t fit in even the largest bags. Othello, Sorry, Aggravation, This game is Bonkers, Monopoly, Life, Upwords, Twister (the spinning piece is so big! 12 3/4″ square).
    So disappointing! Any chance you came up with great ideas for those odd sized games? Life, Upwords, Othello and Operation I don’t necessarily mind leaving as is, since they fill their boxes well, but the others I hoped to condense.

    1. Leslie Lambert says:

      That’s unfortunate – sorry about that! I don’t have any of those games in our collection. I do have a couple of odd-sized games (Hungry Hungry Hippos, Crocodile Dentist) that I just leave out on another shelf since they’re kind of awkward.

  4. It looks wonderful all organized like that!

  5. Natasha Mairs says:

    I love that you have put the games in mesh bags and gotten rid of the boxes, saves loads of room.