Last week, I shared with you a little about family game night. You can read about it here if you missed it or are new to my blog: Benefits of Family Game Night
I had such a great response to it, that I wanted to share with you how we organize our games. Let me give you a hint…we don’t keep any of the boxes!
I was so tired of the kids grabbing a game box from the stacked boxes causing an avalanche. This always lead to all of the pieces (of several games) in a big pile on the floor. And, who always got stuck cleaning it up??? Mommy! Not to mention, the tears when a box hit them on the head!
I’ve tried several different techniques over the years. But, this has been the one that I’ve been happiest with and seems to be working the best for us.
I want to share it with you today so that you can enjoy your family game nights as much as we do-without the dreaded pile of games on the floor (tell me I’m not the only one who has dealt with this!)
First off, I found some plastic storage containers similar to these: plastic storage containers.
Really, all you need is something thin with drawers of different thicknesses (since we have some games that are bulkier than others)
Next, I stopped by the Dollar Tree and picked up a bunch of these mesh garment bags (with a zipper.) I started this project when we lived on the mainland. Unfortunately, now that we live in Hawaii and don’t have a Dollar Tree (go ahead and feel sorry for me—it’s a total bummer!) I have found some different ones at Wal-Mart. They are a little bigger and stiffer and I don’t like them nearly as well as the Dollar Tree ones but they still work. Make sure they are the smaller size, you don’t need them too large or they just make it harder to fit in the drawers.
Now for the fun part!!!
Grab your first game and dump it out on the floor. Throw away the box (unless it has the game instructions on it. If it does, cut the instructions out or print them off online. You can find instructions online for almost everything!)
I like to use ziplock baggies (preferably the ones with the “zip” top because the kids can close them easily themselves) to put the individual pieces in.
Everything should fit nicely inside the mesh bag. Zip it up and set it aside until you go through all of your games.
The next thing you will want to do is start putting them into the drawers. Some drawers are thicker than others so put the bulkier games in the bigger drawers. If you have a bulky game that takes up the whole drawer, it’s probably not necessary for it to be in a bag of its own. I just let the kids remove the whole drawer and bring it to the game table when they play it.
You can have more than one game in each drawer. The bags are much more flexible than the hard cardboard boxes the games come in. This allows you to actually fit more games in a smaller space.
The nice thing about this, is that you can save so much more space this way!
I then used some mail labels and just hand-wrote with a sharpie the name of each game and stuck it on the drawer that it was in. You could totally use a printer to do this. But, I was content with just hand writing them because it was faster.
Can you tell already the difference this will make in your game closet?
Now, the kids can grab a game out by themselves without having to worry about the rest of them falling down on their heads! When it’s time to clean up, they can just throw everything back into the bag and plop it back in the drawer.
You may have a few game boards that are too big to fit. I still use the baggies for the contents of the game. But, I just stack those on top of the shelf. To be honest, it bothers me so I try to talk the kids into not getting those games! lol But, a few stacked games is much better than the mountain that was there before!
We’ve been doing this for a few years now and it works just as well today as it did the first day we started!
We have been so impressed with it, we even started doing this with puzzles. We will cut the picture of the puzzle out of the box and put it, alon gwith the puzzle pieces, into a mesh bag. BAM! No more bulky boxes!