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As board games become more popular and hobbyists expand their collection, they often find themselves looking for the best places to store their games.
The nice thing about board games is they are generally packaged in boxes, so storing them is relatively easy.
The negative to this, though, is that boxes will often take up far more room than they need to.
If you are trying to store your games, there are a few things you want to be sure to consider.
First, how organized do you want the game to be when you get it out. Second, how easy it will be to retrieve games from their storage space. Finally, does it make sense to store it differently than in the box?
Some of the games coming out today are very complex and have a lot of small tokens and cards. If these games are not stored properly, you could have a very large mess the next time you open the game.
Games like Pandemic, Gloomhaven, and Caverna all are very token heavy games. If you store these improperly, it could take more time to sort the mess than to play the game.
When your collection starts to grow, having a dedicated area to store your board games could be difficult.
Even when your space forces you to get creative, you still want to have relatively easy access to the games in order to play them. This means that stacking boxes up could prevent you from getting to the games you want in a timely manner.
If you are really strapped for space, it might even make sense to get rid of the boxes altogether. Some board game boxes have a large amount of wasted space, and using bags could help you save space.
When considering all these options, storing games in their box horizontally is the best option.
For most people storing board games vertically is the best option. This method allows you to easily see which game is where as well as makes it easy to take them out and put them away.
Some situations don’t allow for this; however, storing your games horizontally does allow the game to remain in the box and stay organized. Though committing to storing your games horizontally can be a challenge at times, buying the proper shelves will go a long way to allowing you to do this.
In addition, if you plan ahead, you can even maintain easy access to games as well.
Not everyone’s space is the same, and you might not be able to store all your games horizontally. If this is the case for you, consider using bags for the game components in order to keep them separated.
This will allow you to store the boxes vertically without concern of the tokens and cards getting mixed up too much.
Storing in bags alone is not the worst thing either.
If the boxes start falling apart you could keep the games stored in zip-lock style bags and use the rulebook as a way to identify the games when you go to pull one out.
To see some different storage options for your game collection that are currently available you can click here.
How Can I Organize My Board Games Without A Box?
Board games have been around a very long time and some of the most popular games today date back to the early 1900’s.
Due to how long some of the games have been around, there are a lot of board game enthusiasts that prefer to collect and play with older versions of the games.
With the boxes of these games being handled again and again, they often break down and become unusable.
When this happens, it doesn’t mean the game is broken and you need to replace it; rather, you just need to find a different storage solution.
In order to store these games properly, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to find a box that will work.
Whether it be the physical dimensions of the box or that most boxes aren’t easy to open and close like the box your game came in. For this reason, we have to look for other options.
The easiest way to store board games without a box is in clear plastic pouches. You can find these pouches in a variety of sizes, and since they are clear you can use the game contents to show what game is stored in each pouch.
Some things to consider when buying a plastic pouch for your board game are size, the closing method, and the thickness of the material.
Not all plastic bags/pouches are created equal either.
I’m not suggesting you raid the kitchen for your freezer bags as these bags are normally too thin, or the locking mechanism might be too unreliable to store games with small components.
Be sure you find something that can hold the weight of your game and that will stay zipped when it is stored.
The clear bags that my family uses to store our board (and card) games can be found by clicking here.
How Do You Store Your Games Long Term?
Board game storage isn’t always where you will put them when they aren’t being played. Sometimes you have to look at how to store them in a long term manner.
Most board games consist of paper and cardboard and both of those are susceptible to breaking down over time if not stored properly.
When storing games in a long-term storage situation, you have to plan for the things that are going to be the most damaging. These are moisture/humidity, pests, temperature, and dust. All of these can really affect the quality of your games when you retrieve them from storage.
To keep your games safe when storing them for long periods of time you will want to do it in a climate controlled environment (so not the attic or garage) and store them in airtight plastic containers.
Doing this will prevent the games from being exposed to moisture, humidity, pests, temperature extremes, and will minimize the amount of dust they are exposed to as well.
No one wants to put their games away for an extended period of time, but there are times that we just can’t avoid this. If you store them properly, it will ensure the games are in usable condition when you retrieve them from storage.
As much fun as board games are, storing them can sometimes be a big problem so remember to always have a plan for game storage.
When you need to store your games at home or in a long term storage facility you will want to make sure to put them in the proper containers.
For your home storage, try to keep the games horizontally. If you can’t, just be sure to take time and separate components and store them in individual bags.
When boxes fail, don’t be afraid to use plastic bags to store your games. Be sure to use the right type of bags, or you might end up in a big mess next time you go to play.
For your long term storage, be sure to plan a way to avoid moisture, humidity, temperature extremes, and pests. Using plastic bins, ensuring the space is climate controlled, and using air-tight containers will help us be confident our games come back from storage in a condition that allows us to play them for years to come.