If you’ve got kids, you’ve got clutter. There’s no doubt that toys can take up a lot of space. If your child isn’t good at putting his toys away, they take up even more space. This isn’t just an eyesore – it’s dangerous as well. Just ask any parent who’s stepped on a LEGO in the middle of night.
Sound familiar? It’s time to take control of your kids’ toy clutter and reclaim the space in your home. The key to keeping things organized is to make sure that everything has its own place. Teach your child to put his games in one place, stuffed animals in another, and cars in yet another place. It’s fine to keep a box of “random toys” for all the smaller things collected over the years that don’t really fit in a single category.
We’ve collected some of the best toy storage ideas from around the web to help spark your imagination. Consider the space you have and how well your children will be able to follow your plan. Younger children may need a bit more help putting things away, but your goal should be guiding them to eventually do this independently. Best of all, most of the ideas you’ll find here aren’t expensive to implement. With just a few supplies, you’ll be able to rest easier.
44 Toy Storage Ideas to Contain the Clutter
1. The Leaning Tower of Toys
These simple shelves would look just as great in your living room as they would in the play room. While many people start with a basic shelf and place boxes on the shelf, this tower is unusual because the boxes are built right in. With large boxes on the bottom, middle-sized ones in the middle and a basic shelf on the top, you’ll have plenty of space for toy storage. Space for labels in the front can help children keep things organized. Paint this shelf any color to match your décor.
2. Functional and Inexpensive Mesh Hangers
These hanging containers are easy to use and will keep things off the ground. It’s the perfect toy organizer for lighter toys like stuffed animals or dolls, but could possibly hold something like balls as well. Keep in mind that young children will probably not be able to reach the upper “shelves” on the hanger, so it might be best as a place to store toys that your child will use occasionally rather than ones that get a lot of daily use. When not in use, thing hanger will fold down flat so it won’t take up a lot of space.
3. Classic Cube Shelves
It doesn’t get more basic than these classic cube-style shelves. They’re readily available at most big-box stores, and the prices are quite reasonable. Use the storage boxes – which come in a variety of colors and can be purchased separately – to easily stash toys, then store things like books and games in the open cubes. Place larger items on top. Cube shelves typically come in a variety of sizes, from a single row of four cubes to large units of six by six. Remember that the larger the unit, the more difficult it is for children to reach things on top.
4. Cheap Storage Off the Floor
When it comes to finding a good toy organizer, most parents simple want things off the ground. That’s what makes this idea so effective. The over-the-door hanger is the perfect home for smaller stuffed animals. Tell your child that she can only keep as many animals as there are pockets and you’ll help keep the numbers to a minimum. Additionally, note how they’ve used inexpensive laundry baskets for storage. You can keep them off the floor with the large hooks, but easily take them down when your child wants to play with the toys. This works well for things like dollhouse furniture, toy cars and trains, or dress-up clothes.
5. Easy Wall Garage for Cars
This cute “garage” is actually made from a shoe rack. Rather than assemble the shoe rack as you’re supposed to, simply mount the pieces on the wall for a convenient place to park the toy cars. It could be easily made with small planks of wood and wall brackets as well. If you’re going to do this, plan the height carefully so that your child can easily put his own toys away. You may also need to take care to design it so that they don’t roll off.
6. The Stuffed Animal Zoo
Stuffed animals seem to multiply like little stuffed bunnies. They come from carnivals and well-meaning relatives. If you’ve got an imaginative child who loves animals and gives each one a name, you’ll have a hard time getting rid of them. Enter the “animal zoo.” This is a simple open box with strong elastic cables forming the “bars.” Since it’s open, your child can easily see all of the animals inside. When putting an animal in or taking one out, the bars simply pull over to the side. Personalizing it and calling it a “zoo” might just make your child a little more enthusiastic about using it.
7. Slide-Out Under-the-Bed Storage
In a small room, space is at a premium, so you have to make use of every square inch. Drawers that go under the bed are an ideal way to access all of the space under the bed. Purchase a bed frame that already has drawers underneath or consider a trundle bed without the mattress. What makes the design in this picture so perfect is having the additional containers inside the drawer. This allows you to better sort the toys and easily take them out when your child wants to play.
8. The Peek-a-Boo Toy Sack
These little bags make toy organization easy because all your child has to do is throw her toys in a bag and put the bag away. The little “window” in the bag makes it easier to identify which toys are in which bags. The best thing about these little bags is that you can customize the size. You might need a large one for trains and train tracks, but a small one for a tea set. Want to take the idea a bit further? Create these as “swoop bags,” which open out to a large circle for play time. When it’s time to clean up, simply put all the toys on the circle, then pull the strings to swoop them up.
9. The Royal Toy Box
Your little princess won’t need a fairy godmother to help her put her toys away when she has this adorable toy chest. The top opens up for toy storage, but the cushion on top is the perfect place to sit with a good book or share secrets with good friends. Best of all, the colors and design will fit right in with any princess-themed bedroom.
10. Baskets of Toys
The wire baskets in this toy storage might typically hold blooming flowers, but they’re still a good way to contain toys. With their open design, it’s easy enough to hang them on the wall with a few nails, but you’ll be able to take them down for playtime. Small coverings at the bottom ensure that toys don’t fall out, and labels help with sorting, though many parents keep the mess at bay by only allowing the child to play with one basket at a time.
11. Wall of Cubes
We’ve already mentioned how convenient cube storage units are for those looking for toy storage ideas, but this picture illustrates just how nice it can be to have a full wall – or two – covered with storage cubes. This ensures plenty of space for neatly organizing toys, and you can see how easy it is to pile games in some cubes, put larger toys in others, and use separate toy boxes for toys that have smaller parts. The unique color pattern of this wall unit really helps it stand out.
12. Labeled Beach Bags
You’ve undoubtedly seen these types of personalized tote bags. Most people, though, wouldn’t think about using the personalization option to label the toys that go inside. If you’ve got a set of toys that would fit nicely in this size bag, have the company label it for you with their professional embroidery and use them as toy boxes. Younger kids who can’t read may have an easier time if you color-code the bags – blue for blocks, red for dolls, etc. Keep them out of the way by hanging them on the back of a door, but make sure that the hanger is sturdy enough to hold the bag full of toys up.
13. The Toy Hotel
This cute DIY toy organization idea is ideal for kids who have a lot of a particular type of toy. It’s made simple from several pieces of cut-up PVC pipes glued into a wooden storage box. A touch of paint on the ends livens it up a bit. The original design was for Tsum Tsum toys, but you could also use it for stuffed animals, toy cars or Barbie dolls. PVC pipes come in many different styles, so select a style that easily fits the toys you want to store.
14. Mine and Yours Toy Storage
This great toy organization idea works well for families with multiple kids who need something that will fit in nicely with the regular home décor. It makes use of the cube-style toy organizer idea, with larger bins located at the bottom. What makes this stand out among other toy storage ideas is the way that the back wall of it is painted in different colors. The primary white color makes the unit look uniform, but children will know which shelves are theirs by the colors on the inside. Assign each child a different color and personalize this for the number of kids you have.