A History of Board Game Organization: Part I

Chaos here!

Like many others, board games first entered my life in the form of the “classics:” Monopoly, The Game of Life, Chess, Checkers, Trouble, and similar fare.  Occasionally these games helped fuel family nights before going back to the bottom of my bedroom closet, where they sat stacked, patiently awaiting their next call to duty.  My childhood storage system consisted mostly of: keep the games and their parts together, and then put them out of the way.  When my game library was made up of less than ten games, the idea of properly organized storage didn’t exactly cross my mind.

In college, I got introduced to new breeds of games: Settlers of Catan, Munchkin, Pandemic, Dominion, and others.  These games reignited my interest in board games.  Game nights were a popular pastime throughout my years in college.  Little by little, new games entered my life.  At first, it was easy to let my friends collect games and to simply play them when we all got together.  Then, a small shift occurred.

I bought a copy of something that caught my eye that none of my friends owned already (Probably something like Legendary Marvel).  Then it was a slippery slope into buying games that my friends already owned, but I didn’t mind having around more (games like Stone Age, King of Tokyo and Love Letters).   I took up the duty of also owning my fair share of games and their expansions to contribute to hangouts (Anomia, Sentinels of the Multiverse).  Something new would catch my eye here and there, and I would decide, why not (Surburbia)?  Soon enough, friends and family gifted me games that seemed up my alley.  As gaming still remained a common focal point of group gatherings, I amassed a respectable collection of my own.

As the years passed, more games came into my possession.  A couple games in the corner turned into a collection on a single shelf, then two shelves.  When Confetti and I moved in together, we had a board game trunk.  Before too long the trunk started to become pretty full and the idea of having to dig through games to find what we wanted, started to see a bit ridiculous (almost as silly as piling them at the bottom of a closet again).

Being the problem solver that she is, Confetti decided we needed a real storage solution, and so we invested in a Box Throne.  We liked the idea of shelving purposefully intended for board games and not just us sticking a few where they might fit on our already existing bookshelves.  More importantly, we enjoyed the idea of having our games displayed in a way that made them easily seen and accessible.

When the Box Throne arrived, we appreciated its modular capabilities.  We set up two towers with suspended shelving between them because that seemed like more than enough.  Our smaller games had to be placed on the middle, bottom, and top of the towers, so they wouldn’t fall through grating, but otherwise, the towers seemed great.  I quickly mentally assigned different sections of the towers to different types of games: party, deep strategy, entry level, etc.  All felt right within the world of our collection.

Times passes though and soon The Box Throne began to fill.  Games started to be stacked high on top and we had to wrestle with the idea of what to do next.  Should we expand our Box Throne?  Do we cull games?  Thankfully, moving to a new house gave us more space and the idea of having a handful of games stacked next to the Box Throne didn’t seem like a big deal.  Besides these were our larger and heavier items, such as a very much in use Smash Up: The Bigger Geekier Box and so much Legendary Marvel.

More space sometimes leads to a feeling that it ought to be filled.  Along with our game table we decided to treat ourselves to games we wanted and to backing Kickstarters (Here to Slay, Marvel United, Rival Restaurants, and more).  Our growing love of puzzle games and Legacy games meant we also had a lot more single use purchases, which we sometimes had trouble letting go of even when we’re done.  Turns out decisions had to be made after all.

A nearby shelf that used to house all DVDs soon converted into a second gaming shelf/loanable puzzle library.  We decided this would be a good home for our games with more extensive shelf presence: Wingspan, Villainous, Marvel United, Legendary Marvel, Marvel Champions, and T.I.M.E. Stories.  All these games sit across multiple boxes. This shelf expansion along with condensing some of those games and others into fewer boxes went a long way into giving us more space. *I am a huge fan of large box storage solutions, especially if they’re officially released.

We can’t help adding fresh games to our collections though because there are so many great games out there, and we still are gifted games (that is not a complaint), so it’s only a matter of time until space becomes an issue again.  We are also currently ignoring the fact  that while some games and game types are grouped together, our collection is dictated by where games fit well together in the space we have.

So, I write this post as a brief history of our game organization and storage, but also as an intermediary step.  I hope to figure out what comes next in our storage journey.  What will be condensed? What will go where?  Will we finally get rid of games and components we actually have no use for?  What questions should I be asking myself that I haven’t even considered yet?  I don’t think we’ll find the ultimate storage solution any time soon, but it’s a quest we’ll pick up one day and maybe even an answer we’ll one day come close to finding (Fingers crossed we one day find a reason to write the follow up to this post).  

With all that said, we’d love to hear about how you store your games and what your vision of great game storage looks like! Need help coming up with a board game storage solution and live in the Richmond area? One of our friends owns an organizing company, Organize Your Way RVA, and she can help you take your organization to the next level! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: