You may remember that last year, I shared my decluttering project in the linen closet. It mostly stayed decluttered, although apparently I have slightly different standards for what stacked towels should look like than the rest of the family. Ehem.
I’ve continued to declutter over the last year, creating storage solutions as I go – some that work (like this linen closet) and others that fail.
Even when my decluttering efforts “stick”, however, I sometimes feel the need to revisit an area. That’s what happened with my linen-turned-game-closet.
You see, our board games and puzzles had really become a thorn in my side.
We had some upstairs, some downstairs. Some on the bookshelves, some in the storage tubs. Pieces were everywhere, but where they were supposed to be.
It was reaching that “I’m just going to throw them all in the garbage and be done with it” stage. (Do you get that way, too?)
So, after thinking on the best way to store these games… and keep them corralled so when we want to play a game we can actually find that game – and it’s pieces… I decided to repurpose my linen closet.
But first I had to clear out some space.
The truth is that while our linen closet is pretty narrow, I wasn’t even using the small space that we have to maximum capacity. Fortunately, we have a decent amount of storage in our main bathroom – including two deep drawers, which were actually empty. So, even though the towels don’t look quite as pretty in drawers as they do in closets, I moved them to the drawers.
That freed up one shelf. Then I took a second look at our sheets. Since moving our master bedroom sheets into the master bedroom, I’ve come to appreciate having sheets in the room where they are to be used.
So, I decided to move the boys’ sheets into a basket in their closet, and my daughter’s sheets into an empty drawer in her dresser. The fact that I only have two sets of sheets for each bed – one on it and one waiting to go on it – helps.
All this sheet moving around cleared up another shelf. With two shelves to work with, I was in business.
I went around the house, collecting games and their assorted pieces and dumped them all into a huge cardboard box. I should’ve taken a picture – it was quite a mess!
I spent a good 20 minutes, putting pieces back where they belong (using plastic baggies for a lot of them), taping up the ripped corners of boxes, and counting puzzle pieces. If we had a 100-piece puzzle with only 87 pieces, I made the executive decision to throw it away.
Then I divided the games into two piles – games the kids can play alone… and games they can’t. The ones they can do on their own went on the lower shelf.
I used an idea I found on Pinterest to “shelve” the games horizontally - like you would with books on a shelf, with their “spines” facing out. This not only uses the space more efficiently, but it also gives you easier access to the game you want – which, with the stack ‘em up method, is inevitably is at the very bottom.
On the higher shelf, I had to stack them up vertically, since the boxes were much larger. (Note to game manufacturers: You know what would be totally awesome for us organized-impaired owners of your board games? Standardize the size of all game boxes! Think about it, k?)
I also hid our not-one-but-two Monopoly Games (we have the regular version AND the Spiderman version) on the very top shelf of this closet. To get it down, a grown-up needs to stand on a stool. This is a reflection of (a) my distaste for Monopoly in general and (b) my utter frustration with the pieces and cards and bills being all.over.the.house.all.the.time.
After I proudly showed off my organizing work to my husband, I reminded him that the way to keep our games organized and accessible is to enforce the “library” system. Only one game may be “checked out” at a time – and it must be returned in good working order before a new game can be played.
Next up: Decluttering and reorganizing my desk drawers. I’ve done a great job of keeping the top of the desk cleared off, but the drawers… eeeek!
Have you decluttered anything lately? Repurposed a closet for an untraditional role? Struggled with keeping your board games from taking over your house? Let’s talk in the comments!
(P.S. I’ve been pinning decluttering inspiration pictures on Pinterest, including a bunch of board game storage ideas – if you’re interested.)