Fall brings to mind thoughts of being cozy inside, playing games with the family. Having a nice assortment of games to choose from is a great resource for entertainment. If that collection is a disaster of crowded, hard to pullout broken boxes and missing pieces it defeats the purpose of having easy access to the fun.
Here are some tips for keeping your collection inviting and accessible:
Fresh start. Make a fresh start by pulling out ALL the games & puzzles you own. Cull out any that are no longer age appropriate or no longer played. It can be nice to keep a few around for younger visitors.
Repair boxes. Those well-loved games often end up with torn corners and worn boxes; pieces can get lost. Clear packing tape works best to repair ragged boards and box corners.
Bag up loose parts. If you have a game that routinely loses pieces or ends up not fitting back in the box properly you can use ziploc bags to contain game parts. If you need to store games on their sides instead of flat, bagging the parts inside prevents chaos when you open it.
Younger kids’ board puzzles that aren’t boxed often take up a lot of space and have to be stored flat. Quart and gallon size ziplocs work well to hold those pieces separate from the boards. You can also use rigid clear plastic storage envelopes found at office supplies stores. Label the bags with the puzzles’ names and store them and the boards vertically instead of flat for easier access.
Sort and store by size. Stack games that are similarly shaped. Square boxes separate from rectangular boxes. Try not to stack more than 3-4 games for easier access.
Card games, dice games and small games do best stored all together in a shoebox sized box which then can be stored with other games. Be sure to label the box!
If you have enough room, it’s also nice to separate young children’s games from the rest of the family’s so they can always access them easily.
Weed regularly. Ages and interests will keep changing over time so every year or so go back through the list above and keep your game area refreshed and relevant.
Investing a little time in organizing your game area pays back big rewards for family time. Kids can see what their choices are, get games out for themselves and start playing right away. It’s also easier for them to put them away themselves!