Organized Game Cabinet: A 30-Minute Project

It’s been a few months since I tackled an organization project and while I haven’t made time to take on anything extensive or monumental, that’s ok – there are plenty of projects that can be completed before finishing your morning coffee. Have any cabinets or drawers that could use some attention? I’ll bet you do 😉 And that’s the perfect place to start when you don’t have much time to devote (you can see a full list of organization projects, based on the time you have HERE). The contents of our living room built-ins have been screaming at me beyond the closed doors. When we moved in, it was an easy place to unload boxes and haphazardly toss in yearbooks, scrapbooks, electronics, and games, close the doors, and call it “done”. And then, I never went back to actually see what we had and get it in order. Last week, I took some time (literally, half an hour) and as a result, now have an organized game cabinet. Today, I’m sharing the simple details and a few storage solutions for this 30-minute makeover.

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Organization ideas for games in the living room

We are in the process of going cable-free (this month!) and once we do, I’ll be tackling the other built-ins, and getting the other three cabinets in order. For those curious about what solution we’re moving to – we already have Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu. In our area, Hulu Live seems to be the best option because they now carry all the local channels in our area (Dave’s must-have for sports). We already use their regular streaming service so the fee will encompass the streaming service we have now, too; it even has a virtual DVR. (Are any of you using Hulu Live? We’ll be switching mid-month 😉 )

How to Organize a Game Cabinet in the Family Room

Ok, back to what’s behind this specific cabinet 😉 The cabinet was piled with everything from games to earbuds and old cameras, all the way from front to back. You guys- we found three old digital cameras, along with a few disposable cameras that had never been developed. I got a few messages that it’s actually hard to find places to develop them now! Who knew?! Haha. We have no idea to whom they belong but they have to be 12+ years old minimum. There were not just stacks of magazines that I never got around to reading, but catalogs from Winter 2014. Yes, like regular ‘ol Pottery Barn catalogs with four-year old product. Here’s what it looked like when I started…

Game Cabinet Organization Before

And this is where I ended up 30 minutes later.

How to organize and declutter board games and playing cards in a hidden cabinet

I’m totally going to break it down in three simple steps. Y’all, my “game cabinet” is actually a game cabinet now.

1. REMOVE, SORT, & DISCARD

Like we do with most projects, take everything out of your cabinet. Don’t try to organize and sort as you go. Take it ALL out. Start sorting your contents for “Keep”, “Trash”, “Donate”, and “Relocate”. If I hadn’t gotten to those magazines in four years, I knew no craft project or coffee table could save them. They were all trashed. All electronic parts and books were set aside to be distributed to a rightful home and puzzles that I had already completed (along with games we would never play) were put into a donation pile. I am all for getting rid of things you don’t need and won’t use but I did keep a few things around for guests that may visit with their kids, like Connect 4. I just don’t want to take on the responsibility of monitoring something more animated like Twister (donation pile) haha.

2. GROUP BY SIZE & TYPE

We like games but we are two adults with a modest collection. If you have a lot more than we do, you may want to first break down into child/adult categories and then break down by size. If you have small or odd-shaped (not typical board games) games, set those aside – we have another plan for those 😉 Set all your card games to the side, decks of cards, game pieces, etc.

3. CONTAIN & LABEL

One problem I had before was that my small cards and games were totally lost in the big, cluttered cabinet. (This totally resulted in duplicate games, by the way.) I decided to contain those in separate groups and based on the piles I had left after stacking my board games, created boxes for small games and card games. Especially if you have Cards Against Humanity, you need to do this 😉

How to organize card games in a game cabinet

My favorite solution in the entire cabinet was by accident. Because our card decks were never organized, we have quite a few… these don’t even include the sets in the poker case. Because we have so many, I was looking for something that would contain these decks all on their own. Enter, the recipe card box. They fit in there perfectly. If you have an old one you aren’t using , this is money 😉

Idea for organizing playing cards in a recipe card holder

I could have kept the shelving at the level it was set but there was little room left for board game growth and far too much left on top of the small game boxes, I readjusted

Small bins holding organized games and playing cards


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30 minutes of removing, sorting, tossing, boxing, and labeling, and I was done. If you have stepped away from organizing for the past few months and are ready to take on a few new projects, start small. This will motivate you to jump right back in 😉

Family room game organization ideas


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Tap Pillow Links Below to Shop

1. Striped Pillows | 2. Indigo Print Pillow | 3. Indigo Velvet Pillow


FYI: I’ve mentioned this several times but my all time favorite game is Balderdash – if you don’t know its amazingness, it’s under $10. 😉 Spades is my favorite card game, played with a standard deck of cards.

Scroll & Tap to Shop a Few Fav Classics & A Few New Games


Looking for other spaces to organize with limited time? Check these out:

See the full organization project gallery with lots of home organization ideas HERE.

Organized Game Cabinet with Playing Cards and Game Organization Ideas

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19 Comments

  1. 6.6.18
    Tiffany Bush said:

    Looks great! I love how these little organizational projects can make such a big difference. I’m itching to start some, but will have to be next week after graduation weekend.

    • 6.7.18

      You are so right- have a great graduation weekend and best of luck getting started!

  2. 6.6.18

    Looks amazing. Isn’t it amazing what we can do when we out our minds to it. The only thing I noticed is that you are missing the game Taboo!!! Seriously…you look like a games gal!! You need to get it! Soooo fun!

    • 6.7.18

      Marion, I have that on my list!! I LOVE THAT GAME! haha- I am a total game girl 😉

  3. 6.7.18
    L.Ruth said:

    Looks great! Love your work and following you on instagram! Question: Since you’re going cable free, whom do you use for internet? Curious about the whole cable free thing.

    • 6.7.18

      Thank you! We have AT&T gigafiber. I think it’s starting to roll out in more places, too!

      • 6.8.18
        L.Ruth said:

        Good to know! Thank you. We are kind of out in a more rural area so our options aren’t as plentiful. Hopefully more will come our way! Have a great weekend!

  4. 6.7.18
    Joni King said:

    Another great organizational project – awesome Kelley Nan! You’ve given me some great ideas for my closet that also includes puzzles. Hugs!

  5. 6.8.18
    Tamisha said:

    Kelley – these were some GREAT tips! Thank you. I’m always one of those people who does it as I go, so I think I need to pivot that strategy. LOL I went cable-free 3 years ago, and have loved it! I JUST switched to Hulu Live last week! You will love it. It’s perfect for people who don’t watch a ton of TV, but like the occasional news, sports, or other live show. I loveeeee Hulu. I even got rid of Netflix. I might’ve missed it, but did you connect us to those new cute little monkeys?! I love those!

    • 6.8.18

      Tamisha, thank you! We are set for mid-month disconnection. Woo! Those monkeys were a vintage find from my mama- when I was at her house, I saw them and she let me “borrow” them; I think they are here to stay haha

  6. 6.10.18
    Tina Taylor said:

    Looks awesome! I just did one shelf of ours with the white Nordic baskets from the Container Store. Need to get more baskets and lids to do the games next. Wish I would have taken a before and after of ours…it was pretty pitiful!

    • 6.13.18

      Tina, that’s awesome! And yes- it will make you feel so good to look at that before pic while you’re looking at the updated space!

  7. 6.11.18
    Jackie said:

    Love! I so wish we had built-ins!
    For Nan time, THE game you need is Ticket To Ride with the expansion pack . It is our fave! XO

    • 6.12.18

      Ok, I love that you said “nan time” and I am totally getting it! Thank you!

  8. 10.27.18
    Heather said:

    I love going to Barnes&Noble to check out their card game sections, they always have fun stuff!
    I recently downsized our game stock but I think I’ll take a second look at our Twister, you are so right about not wanting to supervise it–especially during a party.

    • 11.1.18

      Haha I’m about ready to add some more 😉

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