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Best Board Game Storage

You’ve seen it out of the corner of your eye. It’s always lurking in the background, or hidden in plain sight.

It may be in your home right now…

No, I’m not talking about the bogeyman. I’m talking about Ikea furniture.

It seems that board gamers have an odd obsession with the Swedish furniture company. Every single vlogger or blogger seems to have at least one massive shelf with an unpronounceable name in the background that’s filled to the brim with board games. Typically, it’s the Kallax shelf that makes its eventual way into our homes. 

Best Board Game Storage Featured Image

So today, we’re going to take a quick look at board game storage and how Ikea has become the unofficial go-to solution for board game storage and display. 

Ikea Kallax 1x4 Shelf
  • Choose whether you want to place it vertically or horizontally to...
  • material_type: Wood

Why Ikea?

So why is there Swedish furniture in the background of every board game review or unboxing video? The answer is pretty simple. 

It is cheap. 

Ikea has spent quite a lot of money marketing and spreading their furniture globally. And for all intents and purposes, it’s cheap, useful furniture with a nice design that fits anywhere. 

Ikea Kallax 3x4 Shelf
  • Standing or lying – KALLAX series is eager to please and will...
  • Choose whether you want to place it vertically or horizontally to...
  • This furniture must be secured to the wall with the enclosed wall...

Before I got serious about board gaming, I actually had 3 different Kallax shelves in my house. They were cheap, looked nice, and they actually did hold a lot of stuff. I may sound like Ikea is paying me to say this, but I assure you, it’s not. I just happen to be frugal and have a lot of stuff that needed to go on shelves. 


Finally, we come to the Kallax. I personally think it’s probably the best fit out of all the Ikea shelves. The design itself is nice, whether you’re using it for board games or not. It also fits most modern board games well.

The reason it’s so popular is that the modular square design perfectly fits the height of most board games. Manufacturers tend to have big square boxes, regardless of the components inside. This is a marketing tactic to get more eyes on their game while it’s sitting on a shelf waiting to be sold. 

For the board game hobbyist though, this means that if they have a surplus of big square boxes and the Kallax shelves have big square holes, they can fit an entire collection in one bookcase. 

Ikea Kallax 1x4 Shelf
  • Choose whether you want to place it vertically or horizontally to...
  • Size: 16 1/2x57 7/8 "
  • Wipe clean using a damp cloth and a mild cleaner. Wipe dry with a...

Another perk the Kallax has over other shelves is the backing… or lack thereof. Big box board games tend to have a similar size, but the depth of the box can vary. Not having a backing allows gamers to adjust the games and store them flush together. Any of you who used to stock grocery store shelves know the concept, and it looks rather impressive when everything is organized. 

What about those big box games like Gloomhaven or Twilight Imperium? Well, that’s just another level of versatility the Kallax shelf has over its competitors. It’s Ikea furniture, so annoyingly, you do have to build it yourself. However, that does mean you have a level of control over how it looks.

By removing a divider on one of the upper shelves you now have the space to prominently display your “BIG” box games in a rectangular cubby instead of a square one. By simply removing a shelf divider, you have room for those games that typically don’t fit anywhere else, and the structural integrity of the Kallax shelf is fine. 

Ikea Kallax Shelf Insert
  • KALLAX Insert with 1 shelf Usable as Extra Shelf for Bookcases or...
  • Fiberboard, Acrylic paint
  • Length: 14 inches Width: 13 inches Height: 13 inches

So, when we look at all of the benefits above, the popularity of Kallax among board gamers starts to make sense. 

  • Commercially Available
  • Relatively Cheap
  • Can accommodate small-large box games
  • Looks nice

It’s no wonder Kallax has become so popular and the funny thing is, I don’t think a bunch of board gamers got together and planned it either. The shelf just seemed to work with board games, and it’s honestly the easiest way to store your games. 

If you have any other creative storage solutions we’d love to hear them. Leave a comment below.


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