DIY Board Game Storage Unit

Some of you know I’m crazy about European board games. It is the one hobby my husband and I have in common, and we just got back from the Origins Game Fair! WAHOO!! And now you know why I have been AWOL the last week and a half, between family visiting (and gaming), and the game fair (and gaming), and gaming…well, it was a great vacation! But now I’m baaaack!
Ok, so I may love a good board game, and I am all about my hubby trading games to build a fantastic collection for our family, but let’s face it, I’m still a decor happy woman. That means I don’t want to see our game collection piled up on shelves in my living room. There has to be a better more attractive solution, especially now that he has come home from Origins with a dozen new games. 


Devising the Ultimate Game Storage System

This game storage system has to accommodate my husbands game storage OCD particulars as well as mine, and boy are we one particular couple!
We started out by storing our games in a drawer, but our collection soon outgrew the drawer, and I was not happy with open book shelf storage. The solution? I built two simple cabinet bases designed to store our board games, and stacked my bookshelves on top! It fulfills both our need for game storage, as well as attention to game preservation details. There are two nearly identical bookcase units, but the bases contain a couple small differences I will show you. 

Tour My New Game Storage Unit: I’m eager to show you both units, how well they work, and what organization method I use to sort my games!


Storage Particulars
The great thing about this manner of storing our games is that it is customized to meet all our storage needs and satisfy our varying points of OCD. That means no twitching for either of us! *grin*

Store Games Upright: In our opinion games should never ever be stored on their sides. Game pieces are jostled about when flipped on their side and you open to a chaotic mess. Um, no, not ok. 
Avoid Direct Sunlight: Games must be stored out of the sunlight to avoid fading boxes.
Avoid Stacking: When you stack games one atop the other, over time the roof of the box below begins to sag. The only games I stack are lightweight  
Line Shelves: Over time boxes tend to “stick” to painted shelves and can risk peeling your game box. Shelf liner works wonders to keep your boxes protected.
Use Flat Pull-Out Shelves: Don’t use drawers or pull-out shelves that have any lip to it, it makes it difficult to reach in and grab a game. Straight flat shelves enable you to slide a game out without having to “claw” at it to get a grip. Also be sure that your drawer slides are the correct length to pull shelves out far enough to allow the game behind to be easily lifted without having to move other games out of the way.
Personalize Organization: We opted to organize our games by categories then from top to bottom by frequency of play. Our categories are “Family Games”, “Friend Favorites”, “Rosenburg Games”, and “Everything Else”. Whether you go by alphabetical order or categories, customize it to how you and your family thinks. And definitely label!!
Add the Bells & Whistles: Add door pulls to the pull-out shelves if it makes it easier for you to grab…my husband preferred it without, but find ways to customize your storage to be most effective. 

Whether you build your own DIY storage unit, or add pull-out shelves to an existing one it is definitely worth the extra effort! I promise to share the building details in the  future. *wink*

18 Comments on DIY Board Game Storage Unit

  1. Ivan
    August 8, 2021 at 1:16 am (2 months ago)

    Hi Ursula,
    Do you by any chance still have the plans for this game storage unit? I’m in the plans of building something similar and I really liked a lot of the ideas you are presenting.
    Thanks in advance

  2. Kristen
    May 22, 2019 at 4:30 pm (2 years ago)

    Wow! This is so awesome! I love the roll-out portion of it, and it’s great that you can stack a shelf on top of it. The cabinets are great, too. I play most of my board games in the dining room, but I don’t like them sitting out all the time. This offers an elegant solution. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Sammy
    September 25, 2018 at 5:56 am (3 years ago)

    Wow, this looks like a convinient way to store my board game collection. Any tips on building it?
    Will it be possible to build something similar for 170+ games? Not all boxes have the same size or thickness. I would love some tips!

  4. Sadie
    September 26, 2016 at 3:34 pm (5 years ago)

    Beautiful! Where can I find the building instructions?

  5. Shannon
    December 30, 2014 at 5:13 am (7 years ago)

    My husband has recently starting buying board games at an alarming rate. 😉 This looks like a wonderful solution to storage as we are somewhat particular about keeping them in good shape. Did you ever get around to making a post or video detailing how you made it? I can’t seem to find it here on your blog.

    • Ursula Carmona
      December 30, 2014 at 9:50 am (7 years ago)

      Haha! I could definitely identify!! 😉 We own more board games than we can play!
      I actually taped the process while building it, and just about died when I discovered the video had somehow gotten corrupted… so sadly, there is no how-to. However, a simpler solution would be to purchase a couple small/short cabinet bases, bolt bookcases to the top, and add sliders to the inside of the base. So sorry I don’t have that tutorial for you.

      • Shannon
        December 31, 2014 at 2:58 am (7 years ago)

        Thank you for your quick reply. I’m sorry you lost the video (not just because I don’t know the tutorial now 🙂 ) as that would be frustrating to put that work into recording it only to lose it.

  6. Unknown
    June 6, 2014 at 12:53 am (7 years ago)

    Hi Carmona, I am thinking to build this unit for my husband as a father’s day gift ( i guess it will be a late one. LOL ). I did some house improvement before but never build furniture. I am so excited about it. I am searching more details on this project. could you give me some suggestion? I guess I need a saw, a nailgun and some lumber? anything else?

  7. Rachel Poulos
    March 23, 2014 at 10:19 pm (8 years ago)

    This is really great! I spend many a night fantasizing about board game storage. I love your Rosenberg shelf. I bet Caverna filled the empty slot!

    • Ursula Carmona
      March 24, 2014 at 8:31 am (8 years ago)

      Woot a real gamer! lol!
      Ok I confess, I’m hoping that the hubby will get me Caverna for a birthday, anniversary, valentines…I don’t care, any holiday will do. 😀
      Thanks, this is where my game obsession and decorating obsession meet and reconcile.

  8. Chris Brinkley
    September 11, 2013 at 10:24 am (8 years ago)

    Can’t wait for the construction details! We’ve been in our new house for a few months now and have determined where our overly-complicated-board-game room is going to be. 🙂 Now we need to figure out how to store our 30+ large and sometimes heavy board games. :/

    • Ursula Carmona
      September 12, 2013 at 6:34 am (8 years ago)

      Yep, it is the large heavy ones that first threw me for a loop too! LOL! They can take up an entire shelf on their own… thus the customized storage by game type & size. Wow, good luck with your game room! Let me know if you need someone to come break it in with a great gaming session. 😀

  9. anne marie
    August 15, 2013 at 2:22 pm (8 years ago)

    SO GLAD i am not the only European (mostly German) board game freak haha.. every time i visit there i bring back a TON of games and now i have too many it takes up too much space in the playroom. great idea.

  10. Jordan Arnold-Tolley
    July 6, 2013 at 10:14 am (8 years ago)

    My husband and Brother-in-law-the-board-game-designer/addict will love this! Thanks!

  11. Abbie Stratton
    July 2, 2013 at 11:31 am (8 years ago)

    Wow! Extremely cool projects! I had never heard of euro games before, but seeing as my husband and I both love to play games and enjoy strategy type games, I think I need to investigate. Your storage solution is just wonderful! We currently have all our games piled in spare dresser drawers, but it isn’t great. Thanks for sharing!

    • Ursula Carmona
      July 3, 2013 at 11:17 am (8 years ago)

      Thank you Abbie! Oh well if you and your husband like strategy games, you will definitely love some of these! 😉


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