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Building a New Game Room

Moving comes with a mixed bag of emotions. It is very hard to leave a home of almost 25 years, and I am sure even harder to leave one of 63 years. However, that is exactly what I have done. My ageing mother suffered a stroke and I, as her closest son, was being pulled in many directions trying to tend to the needs of my home and also cater to the needs of my mother and a second home. So I imagined it would be much simpler if we sold both houses and bought a new one together that would reduce my need to be in two places all the time. Well it did reduce my need to be in two places… sort of. I am very grateful for the support of my wife who has endured a lot in this transition of adding a third person to our care. You may be asking yourself what does any of this have to do with board games.. Well, with a move comes a new boardgame room.

We left a game room that was detached from the home, a space behind the garage, which allowed us to be as loud as we wanted and not disturb anyone in the house. We left a game room and a game storage room with cold drinks and a fridge.

Challenge number 1

Now we have a bigger room, still have a fridge within walking distance and plenty of off the street parking. Sounds perfect. Sadly there are some new exceptions to this new gaming area. We are using a bonus room above the garage, which means a couple of things. First, it is a long narrow room, which sounds great until you set up shelves. After five feet the walls take a sharp angle following the pitch of the roof. Aesthetically that is appealing and allows for the space. However, once you start setting up shelves and start stacking games you quickly run out of space. What used to stack eight feet now only stacks five feet. Which does not mean too much unless you are trying to organize, sort, and place over 1000 games and put them in a place where they are going to be easily accessible.

First, I prefer to organize my games by box size, in order to have my shelves look and feel clean and uniform. With so many different companies using different box shapes that becomes very difficult. Many games do use that standard square shape, but there are SO many odd box sizes too. Second, I try to sort my games into like categories and families. For example, all the Azul games are placed on the same shelf, all of my Upper Deck Legendary games are all stacked together. I also like to get expansions together, and that is only if I cannot fit the expansion into the original base game box. The problem is even the Upper Deck Legendary games are not all the same size and sometimes those expansions overflow the base box. All of these frustrations go into building a new game room.

Luckily for me, my bonus room has two dormer windows, which in my opinion might look good from the outside, but serve little use on the inside of the room. But these dormer windows go up eight feet high inside which was perfect for one rolling shelf in each window. We can stack games on the shelf and wheel the shelf out, pull off the wanted game and return the shelf freeing back up the space in the game room.

Challenge number 2

Bonus rooms are nice, they are rooms that utilise space that would otherwise become attic space and would have been lost or possibly become a place for abandoned outgrown kid clothes and Christmas decorations. These rooms are not really meant for everyday living, since the garage is almost always underneath the bonus room, heating and cooling these rooms can be a challenge. A challenge I am now fully aware of. As summer temperatures keep rising and it stays hotter longer, my game room is less enjoyable in the evening. There are ceiling fans in the room that help, but investing in a mini-split A/C unit is at the top of the list. Then we will see what winter brings and how hard it will be to keep it warm.

Needless to say, organizing the room has been a process of moving, stacking, removing and restacking, and removing again and restacking again. It is a long process and one I both love and dread. It is fun to see the games and to see the room come together, but the game room is not a primary focus room, so it takes a lot longer to free up time for sorting this room. The game room is a room of constant change and manipulation as new games are added to the game room and as other games become on permanent loan to the game room as this is where they are played, but having a dedicated gaming space is big. Having a space that games can be left and returned to. Having a space where legacy games or games that will be played over and over again can be left set up is amazing. Gaming has been a big part of my life for over 25 years. If you can, having a gaming space is so worth it.

What kind of gaming space do you have and what tricks have you found for storage, and organization?

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