Organizing our Board Games with Bags
The day after Christmas I looked around and got completely overwhelmed. This happens just about every year, but our actual Christmas day is so wonderful that I usually forget. I spent some time the day after Christmas trying to put everything away and I kept getting hung up on the board games, I couldn’t fathom putting the SIX new games we received for Christmas in the “game closet”. Which was really just the closet in Lincoln’s room where we had shoved all the things that didn’t fit…including the games.
I remembered seeing Brittany from Homegrown Traditions tackle organizing her board games last year and being in complete awe of the before and after photos. I logged it away into the back of my brain thinking...hmm...maybe we'll do that at some point. Cut to me putting away all of those games and I knew it was time to tackle this project.
I reached out to you guys on instagram to see if anyone had done this project- I was genuinely curious if there were any downsides that I wasn't thinking of. The only thing I could think of was that it seemed like it might be kind of annoying to not have the little plastic money organizer for all of the Monopoly money.
I decided late Saturday night (it's wild over here) to grab my measuring tape and pull all the board games out of the closet.
I made a little spreadsheet of all of the games, what size bag I thought they would need, and how many bags I would need to organize each game. Then I put everything into my Amazon cart to see what the cost was. Here's everything I determined I needed:
- This bundle of ten bags in five different sizes was the bulk of what I ordered. I ordered seven sets of these.
- I also grabbed two sets of these bags in a larger size for the handful of games that had larger boards.
- Then I grabbed two sets of these smaller bags (the same size as the smallest in the bundled set) since I wanted to have one bag for each denomination of Monopoly money as well as a few other smaller bags to corral things within the larger bags of some games.
- I also grabbed some rubber bands to help group cards together within the bags.
After loading everything into my cart my total was $118. It was a bit more than I would have liked to spend, but at this point I was too far down the rabbit hole, so I went ahead and ordered everything. In retrospect, I could have spent a bit more time ordering only the exact size and quantity I needed since I ended up having a ton of the miscellaneous sized bags leftover (from the bundle of ten bags each). But I did end up putting several of the games in different sized bags that I had originally measured for since some were too wide to fit, or some were smaller than I thought, so it was really nice to have that variety of sizes and flexibility.
- I also used my label maker that I already had to label the bags.
On Monday my Amazon delivery arrived and I immediately got to work loading everything into the new bags. As I unboxed the board games most of them seemed like they were better suited to be put into bags...large cardboard filler pieces took up most of the boxes and were taking up so much unnecessary space! Our 5 second rule game was just a box of cards and a timer!
Even games like Sorry! looked so small when you took all of the pieces out of their box.
And Pictionary is basically just a bunch of cards and a tiny board (does anyone play with the board anyway?)
And the moment you realize Yahtzee is just five dice and some scorecards...this whole thing seemed like such a no brainer. I used the very smallest bag for this one.
Some games, like Quick Cups, had been super annoying to stack all of the cups and put back into the little molded plastic organizer properly... I got a lot of satisfaction from throwing that away and popping the cups into a bag.
Here's the pile of boxes that accumulated up behind me while I was working.
Once I had all the games into their bags, I loaded them up into bins.
There were a few games that I didn't put into bags and you can see them here in the far right bin.
They were games like Cards Against Humanity (Friends and The Office version too!), Kids Against Maturity, travel Hangman, etc. Games that were all cards and fit really nicely already into their box with no wasted space.
I also used these gold tags to label the outside of the bins. They come with paper slips that fit into them, but my three year old loves pulling them off, so after a year and a half of picking up the paper slips and sliding them back in I trashed them and just stuck the labels directly onto the gold tag.
So far, we've only had one game night to test out a few of the games and I can report that it was all very fun and no big deal that everything was coming out of a bag (even Monopoly), so it was a huge win! And I now have all that space in the "game closet" back, which is really going to be Lincoln's closet in his new room. I have had a lot of questions from you guys that want to hear me report back in a few months to see if I have any regrets or things I would do differently. So I will be sure to report back and let you know! In the meantime let me know if you have done this, what did you think? Or if you are thinking about it...or if you organize your games differently, I'm curious to hear the method that works for you!