Extra Tips: Tonia Tomlin

Get storage solutions for board games.

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Professional organizer and Mission: Organization guest Tonia Tomlin offers tips on how to store board games.

Have you ever opened a closet or reached up to the top shelf to get out a game, only to have all the games tumble out on top of you? Do you get frustrated when you start to play a game, then realize that some of the key pieces have vanished? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you are not alone.

Most families I have worked with find it a challenge to get to their games. Part of the reason is that some of the game boxes have awkward box shapes and sizes, making them difficult to stack and often resulting in torn or squished boxes. Once that happens, the pieces are likely to become lost, rendering the games useless.

The first step to organizing and storing games in a useable and easily identifiable way is to sort through all the games, throwing out the ones with missing pieces. Chances are you'll encounter games that haven't been played for a while because they have been hidden and forgotten.

The next step is to decide on a storage solution that works for everyone in the family. Creating a game box is one such solution that I used recently in a family organization project. It is functional but also fun and creative.

I chose an extra-large (16" x 12" x 7") rectangular box with a lid that would hold up to two games. This particular one had four storage compartments on the inside. I used the cut-your-own drawer dividers from a container store to separate those four areas.

Next, I clearly labeled both the games and related pieces for quick identification. Plastic zippered bags work well for keeping game accessories together. A laser label maker is ideal for this step. Place the bags with pieces inside in a designated quadrant. I don't recommend the game box for larger games with big 3-D pieces like Monopoly.

If you don't regularly play your games, then don't spend the money and time invested in putting together a game-storage box. I suggest donating the games to a charity, where they can be played and bring happiness to those less fortunate.

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