DIY – Game Shelves

You may have noticed that we like to play board games in our house.  We had a lot before we moved, but ever since getting a larger space, the number of board games in our possession seems to have skyrocketed.  Theoretically that’s ok, because we’ve got this enormous cabinet in our living room.  In practice, it’s not so great because not all of the cabinets had shelves in them.

The cabinet on the left is after I removed all the games.  But the one on the right…it’s not very useful.  How are you supposed to get Quelf out if that’s the game you want?  Removing every single game to get to the one that’s on the bottom of the stack is not a good use of space.  And this has bugged me for a very long time.  It was one of the very first things I thought I would do.  “Maggie,” I said to myself, “It would be so easy to get some measurements done and go to the hardware store and buy some planks and have them cut you some boards to use as shelves!”  So last May (!!!) I took measurements, and promptly sat on my butt for 9 months.

I even purchased enough of the clear shelf support pegs (as seen in the middle picture above, so cheap!) so that we could hang the shelves in the existing holes that had been drilled into the walls of the cabinets.

Unfortunately for everyone involved, I am a procrastinator.  Since this task sat firmly in the box of important but not urgent, I failed and let it just sit there.  Until I did my beginning of the month assessment for the January Cure – I went around to each room and looked at the things that needed to be done, and this project sat there staring at me.  We had acquired more games over the holidays, and the stacks in the cabinets continued to taunt me, so I said, “NO.  This stops now” and made an action plan to actually get it done.

First step was a trip to Lowes.  It was not the most fun, mostly because I stood in the board cutting area for 30 minutes before anyone came to help me.  And then I got a lecture on ripping vs cutting plywood, but I sweet talked the manager (the only one who knew how to operate the cutting machine) into at least trying to “rip” my boards since I didn’t have a saw at home.  I think it helped that I was on the verge of angry tears when he first met me, and would have done anything to avoid a proper meltdown.  And this way I got my 10 shelf boards (plus 5 extra pieces) for about $62.50 total.

The sides are rough.  If I were a more meticulous person who had lots of sandpaper lying around, I probably would have sanded the boards on all the exposed sides.  Instead, I just started putting them in the cabinets.  It was a little more difficult than expected – it turns out that the holes in the cabinet walls weren’t a standard size for the support pegs, so I had to go in with my drill and make some of them slightly larger.

But in the end it worked.  Strong and sturdy enough to support a fat cat and some Wii games.  Not only that, but the games are more accessible now!  No more digging through to the bottom of the pile to find the one we’ve been waiting to play.

It’s not perfect, but the point is that we can actually get to things, and when you’re not worried about toppling over the pile, it turns out there’s more vertical space as well!  But the project isn’t quite done yet – I’ve got two final cabinets to install shelves in (I was lazy again – sorry!) but already it’s a so much better.  And it’s easy to see how much better it will be when the new shelves are installed in the other cabinets (see below).

Slow and steady friends.  I’m making progress, and our house is starting to feel more personalized and “ours” than it was before.  Now if only I could figure out how to get the girls to put their games away without prompting…

Is anyone else out there getting seemingly “small” projects done after too much time procrastinating?  Do you have any quirky things in your home that you’re trying to fix?  Did anyone else know that there’s a difference between ripping and cutting, and that your everyday big box hardware store is not as likely to “rip” lumber for you?

3 Comment

  1. Nicole Holstein says: Reply

    Since buying my awesome stand-up desk for our home office, at least my computer is up and running, and I have a place to work that doesn’t give me a lot of back pain. However, one downside to standing desks is that they have zero storage space. No drawers, no cabinets; I’m lucky mine even as one shelf that the monitor sits on.
    I have been intending to buy some sort of shelving system that will fit underneath the standing desk, some baskets and/or boxes to go on it for organizing things, and maybe even a proper filing cabinet to go beside it (my little accordion folder from my college days cannot handle all the Important Paperwork of adulthood anymore). None of this has actually gotten done. Our office still has multiple moving boxes filled with our crap sitting in the floor.
    It’s a goal for this year to get it properly set up and organized, though. We’ll see….

    1. maggie says: Reply

      Organizing is a good goal. Desks are hard. Mine sits in our dressing room area, and I am ashamed of it.

  2. […] will put it off.  There are half-finished crafts and schemes literally littering my home.  Those shelves I mentioned the other day?  Mostly done, but incomplete.  The elbow patches I’m sewing on the […]

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