What’s the Best Strategy for Organizing a Collection of Vintage Board Games?

March 22, 2024

Keeping a collection of vintage board games is a delightful hobby that merges nostalgia with fun family activities. But, as with any collection, one of the biggest challenges is how to organize and store them. Games come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and the pieces within them can be equally diverse. If not properly organized, they can easily become lost or damaged, putting a damper on the intended fun. So, what is the best strategy for organizing a collection of vintage board games? Let’s delve into some great ideas to keep your games in tip-top shape and ready for play at any moment.

1. Utilizing the Right Storage Boxes

Selecting the appropriate storage boxes is critical when organizing your beloved vintage board games. The right boxes will protect your games from dust, sunlight, pests, and accidental damage, while also making it easier to keep track of individual pieces.

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First, you should aim to store games of similar sizes together. This will maximize space and keep smaller games from being crushed under the weight of larger ones. For games with numerous small pieces, consider using plastic containers with compartments or small zip-top bags. Keep the pieces for each game together, and label the container clearly.

Secondly, games with delicate components or those that have significant sentimental or monetary value should be stored in acid-free archival boxes. These boxes are specifically designed to preserve materials for extended periods. When choosing a box size, remember to allow for some extra space. You don’t want to cram games in tight as this could lead to damage.

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2. Implementing a Logical Organization System

Once you’ve got the right storage boxes, it’s time to decide how to organize your games within those boxes. A good organization system should make it easy to find the game you want, while also ensuring that each game is stored safely.

One common method is to organize by game type or theme. This could mean keeping all your strategy games together, or all your word games, or all games based on television shows. This system is easy to maintain and makes it simple to find the right game for any occasion.

Alternatively, you may prefer to organize games alphabetically or chronologically. This can be a great system for larger collections, as it allows for quick access to any game. Just be sure to keep a list of your games and their locations to aid in finding them.

3. Creating an Effective Storage Space

Now that your games are in their appropriate boxes and are organized into a logical system, the next step is to find the best storage space for them. This will largely depend on the size of your collection, the space available in your home, and how often you play the games.

Closets can provide excellent storage for vintage board games. They offer a contained, out-of-sight spot where games can be stacked neatly. However, ensure the closet is dry and away from direct sunlight, as moisture and UV rays can damage your games.

Shelves are another excellent option, especially for displaying your collection. Adjustable shelves are ideal as they allow for different game box sizes. Just ensure the shelves are sturdy enough to hold the weight of the games.

4. Caring for the Game Pieces

Vintage board games often come with a range of game pieces, some of which can be quite small or delicate. Properly caring for these pieces is crucial to maintaining the longevity of the games and ensuring they remain playable.

Store pieces in separate bags or containers to prevent them from becoming mixed up or lost. If any pieces are damaged or broken, repair them promptly to prevent further damage. In the case of missing pieces, look for replacements online or think about making your own.

When cleaning game pieces, avoid using harsh chemicals that could potentially damage them. Instead, opt for gentle cleaning methods, such as a soft, dry cloth or a mild soap solution.

5. Regularly Updating Your Organization Method

Finally, remember to regularly update your organization system as your collection grows. This will help keep your collection manageable and ensure that every game has a place. Regular updates will also allow you to check on the condition of your games, assess whether your storage solutions are still suitable, and ascertain if any games need repairs.

To help with this, create a catalog of your games, including information like the game’s name, the condition of the game, any notable features or pieces, and where it’s stored. This not only serves as a record of your collection but also aids in maintaining the organization system.

Keeping a vintage board game collection organized and in good condition requires some planning and regular upkeep. However, with the right storage solutions, a logical organization system, and appropriate care for game pieces, you can ensure that your collection remains in top shape for many years of fun and enjoyment.

6. Displaying Your Games for Aesthetic Appeal

As much as vintage board games are meant for play, they can also contribute significantly to a game room’s aesthetic. These games often have beautiful, intricate designs that deserve to be seen and appreciated.

If you have a dedicated game room or a shelf space, consider displaying some of your most prized board games. To do this, you can use book stands or plate display stands to show off the game boards or box fronts, much like you would display artwork. Alternatively, a coffee table with a glass top can be a fantastic way to showcase a favorite game while keeping it safe from damage.

However, do remember that exposure to sunlight can fade the colors of your games. So, always place them away from direct sunlight. Also, ensure that the games are not in high-traffic areas where they could be knocked over or damaged.

Another way to add some aesthetic appeal to your game room is by hanging framed images related to your favorite games. This could be artwork from the game, pictures of memorable game nights, or even the game instructions if they have a particularly vintage feel. It’s a great way to add a personal touch that reflects your love for board games.

7. Utilizing Vertical Storage and Hanging Closet Organizers

For those who may be space-challenged, vertical storage and hanging closet organizers can be life-savers. These storage solutions make use of the often-underutilized vertical space and can keep your games organized without taking up too much room.

For vertical storage, consider sturdy, free-standing shelving units. They can hold numerous games and can be placed in corners or against walls to maximize space. Ensure that the shelves are adjustable to accommodate games of different sizes.

Hanging closet organizers are another great space-saving option. These can be hung in closets or behind doors and typically have multiple compartments that can hold different games. Smaller games and game pieces can be stored in the smaller compartments, while larger ones can be stored in the larger compartments.

In the end, be creative with your storage solutions. Look at the space you have and think about how you can best utilize it to store your games. Every game room is different, so what works for one might not work for another.


In conclusion, organizing a collection of vintage board games doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. By using the right storage containers, implementing a logical organization system, regularly updating your organization method, and utilizing space-saving storage ideas, you can keep your games in excellent condition and ready for play at any moment.

Also, remember that your game collection is not just about the games themselves; it’s about the memories and enjoyment they bring. So, don’t be afraid to display them and integrate them into your game room decor.

As your collection grows and evolves, so too will your organization strategy. So, be flexible, be creative, and most importantly, have fun. After all, that’s what board games are all about!