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Honey, Grab the Board Games!



Are you ready to face your family?

Summer has sailed and Halloween is a blur.  What stretches before us is the trifecta of festive family gatherings: Thanksgiving, Christmas (or Hanukkah or Kwanza) and New Year’s celebrations.

It’s time to put away those phones and mingle.

Some of our gatherings are upbeat, sparkly and decadent, like my sister-in-law’s annual Christmas gathering.  (Not that I’m begging for an invite or anything but…so, how’s it going, Ro?)

Others are cozy and familiar, like a luncheon with my in-laws, followed by a dinner with my parents.

Two sets of feasts, two sets of desserts.  All in one day.

There’s a considerable amount of sitting around.  I dread my Fitbit reading.

Winter’s coming. Don’t put it off any longer. 

Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy these quiet get-togethers.  It’s a welcomed break from the everyday hustle and you’re chilling with your family.

But you know what would make it exhilarating?

The thought has lingered in the back of my mind for months, maybe even years.

A full-on battle with said family.

That’s right.

An unpredictable and fiery collision of all the good stuff:  tension rising,  juicy drama filling the room as old grudges are brought to the surface, words being slung, and blood pressures rising.

I can see the fists pumping in raucous victory while the loser is forced to concede in a matter of seconds, followed by the victor’s malicious laughter.

Did you know board games could cause that?


You’ve got what you need, just do it!

The words flurry around my head as I gaze with yearing at the dusty boxes.  Once crisp and colorful, the now faded stacks of board games sit in silence on the basement shelves.  Their days of glory have passed.

No, they haven’t! You can bring them back to life!

This is where my childhood now rests, abandoned but not forgotten.  I remember the afternoons of endless Monopoly sessions and Connect Four show-downs…..the simple board games filled with so much tension you’d think we were in the Texas Hold’em poker tournament finals with our parents.

I am a better person because of those fun afternoons.

Of course, they were frustrating, too.  But that’s part of the process.  Every game taught me persistence, playing fair, making calculated decisions, logical thinking, problem solving, impulse control, good sportsmanship and I had real face time with family and friends.

We weren’t athletes or outdoorsy folk.  It came more naturally to my parents to occupy us with Mastermind code-breaking marathons and racing through the Game of Life with our peg people.  We had about 20 games packed away in every book shelf, closet and hidey hole and they all had their day in the spotlight.

Even as a young adult, married without kids, my husband and I played games with my in-laws and my parents on the weekends and holidays.

After the kids arrived, our hectic lives left no room for board games.

My kids are missing out.

Would I have the commitment to bring these activities back into our lives?

Are these old boxes going to stand up to our screen-driven world and holiday chaos?


I picture myself hefting all these odd-shaped boxes upstairs in a moment of determination.  I imagine them cluttering my dining room while my kids explore each game and ask a dozen questions.  Eventually, one by one, the boxes would retreat to the basement, never to be asked about again.  Can you see that happening to you too?

Unfortunately, there is no space for them in our main living space and we can’t drag them all to our family gatherings.


Lucky for me, my obsession with tiny house living solved my space dilemma.

I came across an article on Merissa’s Little House Living blog about downsizing your possessions.

I wanted more board games in my children’s lives.  She was already doing that.  However,  she had found a way to make them more accessible, portable and take up less space.  She threw convention to the wind and developed a system that was best for her family.

And I was blown away!

Suddenly, it all seemed possible.  She took her board games apart, placed the game pieces in bags and put everything in a chest.  She tossed the boxes out and her new game board stash was ready.

I liked this idea.

A lot.

Yes, folks, winter is coming and the games will begin!

Board Games Fit in One Box

  1. Iris 12″x12″ plastic scrapbook case
  2. Board games with folding boards
  3. Various zippered bags (sandwich, quart and gallon sizes)
  4. A FREE printable label for your new Board Game case (for personal use only).  

Click the button below to print your label:

  • Open up each game and lovingly place the pieces in appropriately-sized bags.
  • Toss the board game boxes or hold them in a separate area until you’re ready to discard them.
  • Arrange the game boards and bags of game pieces in the scrapbook case.
  • It might take some shuffling around but choose the games that fit well together.
  • Once you’re done, paste the label on the cover.

I wouldn’t suggest getting rid of similar pieces that two games share – some game pieces are designed a certain way for a reason and it’s more fun to keep the unique identity of each game.

Check out my quick tutorial on making your very own checker board out of left-over scrapbook paper.  It’s just like the blue one in the photo above.


The board games now reside upstairs in our main living space and we pull them out every now and then for a rousing hour of fun and yelling and teachable moments.

Of course, there are other games that I love and could not fit in the box.  Our Game of Life and Chutes and Ladders remain in their original boxes but the rest are all set for travel.  They are perfect for road trips and vacations too.

Soon, the turkey will be carved (twice) and we will be ready to shake things up with our portable board game station!

What kinds of games did you play when you were younger?  I would love to hear about them!

31 thoughts on “Honey, Grab the Board Games!

  1. Eureka!
    Our game closet has become a hard hat area, and as I was pulling the Scrabble game down the other night, I was wondering what in the world to do about our organizational mess . . .
    Thanks for this inspiration!

  2. Terrific idea! We love board games and have collected so many over the years. What a great way to organize them.
    Thanks for sharing this week at Encouraging Hearts & Home Blog Hop!

  3. We love board games and can’t wait to start playing with the more complex ones. At the moment its just Orchard Toys ones as I’m a bit little x Popping over from #Sharingthebloglove

  4. This is such a great idea! I love a good boardgame (although I refuse to play with the hubby now as it tends to get vicious haha). The boxes really do take up so much room though don’t they? I hate when they are bashed and look tatty too. This looks great for travelling and is such an effective way to save space. Thanks for linking to #DreamTeam x

    1. Thanks, Dawn! Things get vicious with my young son, he is a sore loser! And as much as we love the original game containers, it’s best if they’re all consolidated and right in front of you – you can move from one to the other in a flash. And we take it on road trips with my parents – it’s a hit!

  5. This is actually a good idea, and a great space saver! And it teaches your kids to get out of their phones, which is always good. In our family and among friends, we loved games. We played Monopoly, Life, Scrabble and Candyland. My brother liked cards, but he always beat everybody, so nobody liked playing with him after a while.

    1. We’ve run out of space, Florence, it’s brought board games back into our lives! Haha, the cards are popular with my husband’s family – they’re all mathematicians! Any time away from screens is worth it.

  6. This is smart. I have a closet full of games that we rarely touch and they take up so much space! Great ideas! Thanks so much for linking at To Grandma’s House We Go link party! Your project has been pinned. We hope to see you again this Wednesday!

  7. Hello I love love this idea! and your post made me laugh out loud today so thanks for that too!
    great to see you joining the link up
    bestest wishes to you and yours
    Ps I am choosing you as one of my featured bloggers for the link up on thursday 16th!

  8. I love that my kids are getting old enough now that we can play board and card games together! We always played games together as a family when I was a kid, and my favorites were Clue and Trivial Pursuit! #MM

    1. Oh! I cannot wait until they’re old enough to play Clue – one of my all-time favorites! Colonel Mustard in the Dining Room with the Candlestick! Thanks for that reminder.

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