Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Organized Puzzles & Games

I have quite a long list of spaces in and around my house that need to be organized or updated.  From something as big as nearly the entire garage to things as small as my glove compartment.  I tend to get to them in order of what is bothering me the most at the current moment.  Since I have been working on the storage half of our basement recently with our tool and paint organization and, practically all year, my craft corner, I felt the need to work on other things in that room as well.  When we moved into this house, the board games just landed in the basement on a bookshelf and that's where the majority of them have been ever since.  I have also been storing games and puzzles in our dining room buffet.  These particular ones are for younger players.  Since the kids play most of their games on the dining room or kitchen table (or kitchen floor, or bedroom floor, or living room floor... you get the idea), it makes sense to keep them upstairs.  Of course, pieces end up all over the place and then I just toss them in a drawer or a container whenever I come across them.  My container was getting full and therefore, it was time to take a better look at how organized, or disorganized, everything was.  

Here is the buffet in our dining room where I keep our most used games and puzzles.  This piece is from IKEA.  I didn't like the look of seeing the games through the cabinet doors, so I purchased some contact paper and covered the glass panels.  It's not my favorite contact paper print, but I purchased it on a whim through Amazon and just went with it.  A nice feature of this buffet is that the cabinets lock, so the kids can't pull out the games without us using the key.    

The left cabinet contains the games.  I was able to fit two of the memory games into small plastic containers from Michael's.  I enjoyed throwing the beat up boxes away.  

The cabinet on the right contains all of the puzzles.  Most of the puzzle boxes had seen better days, so I put them into plastic containers instead.  I simply cut out the picture of the puzzle from the box and put that into the containers as well.  The puzzles that didn't fit into my small containers, I put into zip lock bags.  I also labeled some of them with my Brother label maker.  

I am using the top two of the buffet drawers for game storage as well.  The top drawer has card games and some other random games and the second drawer has Trouble games which I took out of their boxes.  I just taped the instructions to the back of the board.  

Here is a picture of the basement bookshelf before my little overhaul.  It wasn't horrible, but it needed some work.  

I actually ended up swapping it out with a white bookshelf from the playroom that we were no longer using.  The white just went better with this particular space.  The games down here are mostly for players ages 8 and older.  As the kids get older, we will adjust what we keep upstairs.  This is a fine place for these games anyway, because this room is right off of our family/TV/bar room (don't mind the mess you see in there).  To "organize" them, I mainly just grouped them by ages (adult, 13+, 10+ and 8+) from top to bottom.  A few exceptions being some poker kits on the bottom shelf.  I keep our Checkers "blanket" game in a little basket.    

And finally our puzzles and games are looking good!  I don't think for a second that this will erase the problem of finding random pieces here and there, but I am a firm believer that when you find the right system for organizing something, it will work.  Whether I make it work because I spent a whole afternoon on it or the kids miraculously put their stuff back where it belongs from now on, it will make game and puzzle time more fun and easier to clean up and put away.  With that, one more space is checked off the list!  

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