We’re always on the lookout for new board game shelf ideas or even just the best shelves for board games. Any avid gamer knows the value of having not only a fantastic game collection, but the ability to store and display them in a meaningful way.
In chatting about how small our 900 square foot house is with 6 people and a dog living in it, my husband suggested that maybe we get rid of a few things. I could hear “ditch some games” in the subtext of his comment so I simply replied, “Maybe some better board game storage could help!”
And let me tell you… working to find better game closet organization made all the difference in keeping our home clean but also in knowing what titles we had for homeschooling…gameschooling… purposes!
Overflowing Board Game Storage Shelves? How to pick one that won’t collapse.
STanding up to the weight of games is one of the most important qualities of a game shelf.
While I was looking for board game storage on amazon, I kept finding different shelving units that were maybe too flimsy for our vast collection. And I think this is a very real concern. However, the Kallax shelves that many people love from IKEA were too big for our game closet, too heavy, and not a good fit for us.
After scouring reviews, we actually wound up with two different wire cube organizers as our board game storage shelves.
I love them because they’re much lighter weight than having to haul wooden shelves into the house and they also don’t take up as much space since the wire is thin versus a large chunk of wood. They didn’t require any tools to assemble them. And we simply reinforced several of the shelves with zip ties, just to be sure.
Another reason I chose them over wood was because I could change their shape and orientation versus having one set game shelf design. This allows for so much flexibility and maneuverability.These are the shelves and supplies we purchased.
What to look for in a board game storage shelf
Will your board game storage shelves hold the weight of your game collection?
As mentioned, all shelving units you consider must be robust enough to not cave to the number of games you’re trying to store.
Is it adjustable as your game collection evolves?
We chose cube organizer style shelves that were wire because we could do a stair-step configuration make it tall vs. wide and more. The reasons we also did cube organizer style was because long open shelves didn’t help keep boxes closed and tidy. Also, most metal shelving units have a small lip, making it hard to remove a game box as needed.
Does it meet your overall game storage needs?
Some shelves have doors on them which would be nice if you’re trying to keep hands and eyes out, but some are wide open which is lovely to see the artwork on each box.
Skinny boxes could slip through certain holes and slats. This is why we chose a wire unit that was mesh-like instead of only having bars in one direction.
Is it difficult to put together or configure?
Maybe no one in your house is handy. Maybe you live in a small space like we do. This is just something to consider, especially if you’re assembling it by yourself or with kids around.
Will the game shelf be big enough to store your biggest game boxes?
Especially when considering the popular cube organizer styles, make sure you pay attention to the size options on the shelves. Regular wooden shelves many times allow for adjustable heights, which is what we used for many years and grouped all games of similar size. However, our desire to group board games by topic made this a little messy. Some units have much smaller holes, so we opted for the bigger ones and the very biggest boxes we have nicely fit on top of the whole unit.
How safe is the shelf?
Please anchor your game shelves. Even if you do not have young kids, it’s important that if you’re stacking a significant amount of boxes, no matter what the weight, that you don’t make the whole unit a falling hazard.
How to organize your game shelves
In our organizing games post, we mention that one of the best and easiest ways to fit a lot of games in a smaller space is to put them on their sides. We honestly cannot recommend this enough.
By color – This is a visually pleasing way to make sure you can quickly and easily find a game. If you’re placing shelves in a family room or big game room, it almost makes your games a piece of art.
By Box Size – This is really logical when you need to make shelves you already own work most efficiently. We adjusted the heights of all of our wooden shelves to make sure we could group games by height and get them to all fit.
By Game Subject – In our new shelving system, we wanted to make sure that we would quickly and easily find a title to fit a subject we were working on in homeschooling. So one row in our shelves spells “STEM” so science games, tech projects, etc. all had their own cubes. The exception to this was card games. To save as much space as possible, they stay in their photo organizers.
By Game Type – Is it dice, tile placement, board, cards, etc.? As mentioned above, we use photo storage bins to make sure all of our card games fit nicely together. So for us we do a blended system of size and subject… grouping the box size inside each cube.
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