6 Tips for Organizing Your Game Closet

My family loves to play board games: Monopoly, Uno, Scrabble, Candy Land, Pictionary… you name it, we play it. The problem is, all of the games seem to love playing with each other, too.

Open up the Monopoly set and you’re guaranteed to find a short bank. That’s because half of the money is probably stuffed into the Candy Land box – or in a tub full of legos.

If you, too, are finding that disorganization is derailing game night at your house, it might be time for a game closet makeover.

Here are six tips for putting some order back into your game playing fun, thanks to Alison Deyette, a lifestyle expert and author of the blog Ali on the Go.

#1. Store Games in an Easily Accessible Location

Keep all your games in one place, such as a closet or storage ottoman. If you don’t have the closet space for a designated area for family games, consider storing your games near the TV in an ottoman with a lift-off top, or in a large trunk or storage bin. That way, it’s easy to get to a game when the family is looking for something to do together, or when your favorite show is over.

#2. Assign Shelves in the Game Closet

Designate each shelf in the family game closet for a particular game category. With separate shelves for word games, party games and active games without a box, everyone knows where each game goes and clean up is quick and easy! Consider keeping games for the little ones on lower shelves so they can grab them on their own for spontaneous play at any time. (Note from Mara: I think this “grab them on their own” thing has caused our problems, unfortunately.)

#3. Store Games Side by Side

To ensure games are easy to see and grab from the shelf, store board game boxes side by side vertically, similarly to books on a bookshelf. This way, every game is easily accessible and you don’t have to worry about trying to pry one game from the middle or bottom of a stack.

#4. Find a Place for Small Game Pieces

Want to ensure you never lose those Scrabble tiles or Monopoly houses again? Use plastic tote boxes to store smaller playing items like these, as well as dice, timers and pawns. You can also use a fishing tackle box to keep all the tiny pieces separated and safe between Family Game Nights.

#5. Create a Binder to Store Game Directions

Place the directions from each game in a clear sheet protector. Alphabetize the sheets by the name of the game so directions are easy to find when you need a reminder about who goes first in The Game of Life or how much money each player starts with in Monopoly.

#6. Find Time in Your Busy Schedule for Family Game Night

Plan ahead to make sure you’re completely organized before everyone sits down at the table for Family Game Night. Determine which games you’re going to play ahead of time and set everything out in advance to increase excitement for the big night.

And don’t forget – if your lack of organization has already rendered your Monopoly set useless, you can recycle it for free right now, thanks to Hasbro’s Game Recycling Event.

Do you find your games like to play with each other, too. Or have you managed to keep them in tip-top shape? What are your best tips for keeping game-time fun and organized at your house?


  1. On my way to bed (Israel time) and haven’t even read the post, but wanted to say that your photo here is GORGEOUS. What kind of camera do you use?

  2. Chavelamomela says

    I actually disagree with a lot of her suggestions. The best way to keep small pieces for games is not somewhere else…just stick them in a ziplock bag in the game box. If I’d have to fish through other boxes for the pieces, and then a binder for the directions before I can play, I’d get very discouraged and choose a dif’t activity.

    The best advice I can give is that when you find a lone piece that belongs to another game, put it back immediately in the box where it belongs.

  3. Plastic shoes boxes work well for small games.

  4. Miriam in savannah says

    I’m with Chavelamomela. I use the 2 gallon ziplocs for games. In general, I keep almost all games and toys in one closet (with a lock). I keep 2 or three toys out at a time and the kids know they need to clean up those toys (each in a shoebox) before I take out anything else. This keeps the interest high and the stress over the mess for me low. We often play board games on long shabboses and the rule is the same. Every last piece must be put away before taking out the next one. The only time chaos reigns is when we have other kids over that are unfamiliar with the rules, but even that has been dealt with. When everything is out in a playroom, nothing gets played with because no game has the parts it needs.

  5. Miriam in savannah says

    A helpful tip I didn’t see mentioned is to sort games by age. We have a 10 and up shelf, an 8 and up shelf, a 5 and up shelf, and baby toys on the bottom. I’ll try to send a picture one of these days. Not exactly this post’s topic, but in the same vein, it’s worthwhile to grab a few extra school supplies during the last of the sales to keep as a “creativity stash” when the mood strikes (markers, glue, colored paper, etc); I also have a box for “travel toys and games” because we take a lot of long car trips. Just a few ideas . . .

    • You have some great ideas for sorting the game closet. Thank you and I would love to here any other suggestions you have.

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