Game and Toy Closet – Part One

One of the things about older houses is that they often have strange spaces. One of ours is under the stairs, where there is a closet with a low ceiling and not much space. Rather than storing boxes and coats, this space would be better storing our board games and some of the larger toys.

To get started I measured and then cut a piece of plywood I was repurposing but was undamaged and cut to a specific size. I thought I would need the second smaller piece of plywood, but ended up changing some of my plans and just used the one large piece of scrap wood.

The closest had stuff in boxes. Not overflowing, but none of it really accessible. There was a wire shelf in the closet already, which I decided to leave in. Some of the boxes were toys that needed to find a home in the closet. The bins full of LEGO and Duplo needed to be reasonably accessible. There were two boxes of board games. I also have a small record collection that was taking up space in the closet and not being enjoyed. I replaced my long-discarded turntable with a cheap Audio-Technica from Amazon and connected that to my low-tech Kenwood amp in the basement.

I cut the large piece of plywood into three pieces, with the large piece for the board games and the long piece for the main shelf. The third piece was set aside and used later for additional shelving.

The shelf for the board games is pretty deep. I have an aggravation game that was made for me by my great-grandfather when I was born. It’s a little large and difficult to find space for on a typical shelf. I also have a few older board games that are longer than the newer ones, and need a bit of extra space.

I then added two small shelves for the smaller games and card decks. The decks of cards got a little shelf above the large board games, and the medium-sized boxes and games. I removed the wooden braces that were holding a closet rod, which was removed at an earlier point. On all three shelves, I attached a metal brace to the back of the stairs, creating an inverted shelf on the back of the staircase.

The games fit pretty well in this space, for the time being. I don’t expect that to last, but at least the games are accessible now and no longer hidden away in boxes.

The long shelf is used to store some of the larger toys that had been accumulating in the living room. The shelf sits on top of the milk crates for support.

Next Steps

Updating the shelving addressed many of the storage issues. The two boxes of board games now have an accessible place within the closet. The larger toys like the Tonka trucks, Maui and piano are up off the floor on the long shelf. The milk crates are used as cubby holes and help support the shelf. This makes the space considerably more usable. Next is to make it friendlier for a toddler.

  • Patch up walls
  • Paint closet interior in one or two bright colours
  • Replace the manual light switch with a motion sensor
  • Add posters and decals
  • Improve shelving stability
  • Increase the amount of shelving