19 genius kids toy storage ideas
Kids’ toys are a bit like fruit flies. You’re not exactly sure where they come from, how they’re multiplying or how to get rid of them — and eventually they seem to be everywhere you look. Even if you err on the side of caution when it comes to buying toys for your child, trinkets, stuffed animals and (ugh) slime always have a sneaky way of making their way into your home. (Spoiler alert: Their origin often can be traced to goody bags or grandparents.)
While getting the kid clutter under control in your house can feel like a daunting undertaking, a few tricks and the right products can make this — let’s face it — totally unfun task easy to tackle and even easier to maintain.
“One of the best ways to prevent toy overtake in your home is to cull through them once or twice a year at a minimum,” says Amelia Meena, of Appleshine Organization and Design in New York City. “The best times to edit are before the holidays (and the influx of new presents) and at the end of summer before school starts.”
Meena advises going through your kids’ toys when they’re not around so you can be efficient and decisive.
In addition to editing the toys a few times a year, Meena suggests the following:
Organize for kids, not for you. Keep the most frequently played with toys, which aren’t necessarily the prettiest, at an accessible level.
Store things in general categories. “Instead of having tons of tiny bins for small figures, such as ponies, dolls, etc., have a larger, catchall one,” says Meena. “This makes cleanup and storage much easier.”
Use photos as labels instead of written words.
Remove as much packaging as possible. “Keep all markers, crayons and pencils in buckets or open bins instead of trying to store everything in individual packets,” Meena says.
Another key aspect in combating toy clutter? The right toy storage, of course. Here, we rounded up 19 of the sneakiest and smartest kids toy storage ideas around. Before you know it, guests will be asking if you even have kids.
1. Zippered pouches for board games
No doubt about it: Board games are a great way for the family to spend a rainy afternoon together. But storing them — and their bulky boxes and millions of pieces — can be a huge pain. Instead of jamming them into the toy cabinet — and eliminating valuable real estate — incorporate this tip from Flourish Organizing Co. and place all board game pieces into individual, labeled pouches.
2. The ultimate toy closet
How do we love this super organized toy closet from Sort and Sweet? Let us count the ways. Not only do we heart the labeled bins for games, cards and puzzles, the over-the-door shoe organizers for Barbies and little trinkets is genius!
3. Cute shelves
Listen, when you have kids, shelves are inevitable. Try turning functional shelves into something you actually want to have on display a la Sweet HOME from Wood on Etsy. How adorable is this shelving that looks like a little house? Perfect decor for a kids’ room!
Where to buy: House-Shaped Shelves ($145+, SweetHOMEfromwood/Etsy)
4. Never-ending drawing paper
No matter how many times you try to arrange your kids’ drawing paper and pads into a neat pile, one thing is sure to happen: Said paper winds up crushed and all over the floor (which, in turn, makes it less desirable to kids). A smart solution? Attaching a large roll of butcher paper to the wall, along with an empty frame in which to do the drawing and creating.
5. Organization within organization
Every parent knows that ottomans and benches with storage are a god-send for hiding toys and crafts. But let’s be real here: When you open the lid, it’s often a mess inside. A great tip from Operation Organization is to organize within your sneaky storage by using canvas bins inside. So much easier to find what you’re looking for!
6. Stuffed animal hammock
It’s funny how all those stuffed animals kids need wind up doing little more than taking up space — a lot of space — after a few weeks. A better solution than trying to jam them in an already-overflowing toy box? A stuffed animal hammock. Not only will it keep all the stuffies together, it will keep them off the floor, which makes room for — you guessed it — more toys!
Where to buy: Baby Buddy Up and Away Hammock ($10, Buy Buy Baby)
7. Organize by rainbow
Not only is this rainbow-organized shelving system from Spiff Organizing aesthetically pleasing (no small feat for kids’ stuff), it’s a great way for kids to easily find their toys (the red ball goes in the red bin), and perhaps more importantly, clean up!
8. A neater art closet
Ah, the art closet. So full of possibilities … if it weren’t so messy. We love this streamlined art closet from Simplify in Style not only because everything is clearly marked in see-through bins, but those tall, skinny containers (from the Container Store, naturally) are perfect for notebooks, coloring books and activity pads. Bye-bye, messy pile!
Where to buy: Clear Open-Top File Storage ($6, Container Store)
9. Hanging storage
While closets may prevent you from seeing the mess that’s in your kiddo’s room, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a mess. Open any pre- or elementary-schooler’s closet and there’s almost sure to be a pile of toys, making it impossible to find anything. A solution? Hanging storage bins that can hold anything from games to stuffed animals to clothes. And the best part? They’ll still leave you with a lot of extra space.
Where to buy: 5-Tier Storage Organizer ($10, Amazon)
10. The double-duty table
A compact kids’ table that’s just as stylish as it is functional? Sign us up. As far as multi-functional kids’ storage goes, it’s hard to top the nesting play table and chairs from Crate & Barrel.
Where to buy: Nesting White and Natural Play Table and Chairs Set ($400, Crate & Barrel)
11. Smart Lego storage
Once kids get into Legos, it’s basically impossible to keep all the sets together. That’s why we love the genius idea from Clutter Nanny OC of grouping Legos together by color. It may be a task initially, but in the end, it will be a serious headache-reducer!
12. Pretty baskets
All parents have the toys they like to display. (Looking at you, pretty, wooden blocks.) So, why not display them in style a la Hout & Plezier Duurzaam Spelen with sweet round baskets that subtly color-coordinate with the toys inside?
13. Multifunctional toy storage bag and mat
Looking for serious Lego storage (and don’t have the patience for color-coordinating)? This toy storage bag/play mat combo from Sparrow Finds makes both storing and cleaning up a cinch. Simply pull all the Legos up into the bag! And it holds a lot.
Where to buy: Multifunctional Toy Storage Bag ($36, Sparrow Finds )
14. The all-in-one
Talk about an all-in-one. The option from Donco Kids offers a space to sleep, a space for homework and lots of space for storage.
Where to buy: Donco Kids Low Study Loft Bed ($500, Amazon)
15. Under-bed train table
Got a kiddo who loves trains? The Maxim wooden train set and table is perfect for budding conductors, as it comes with a 62-piece wooden train set and space to play. And the best part? The compact set is on wheels, which makes it ideal for for rolling in and out from under beds and dressers, if they’re high enough.
Where to buy: Maxim Wooden Train Set With Play Table ($52, Woven Kits)
16. Rainbow shelves
We can’t deny it. We love rainbows. And this cute rainbow shelves idea is super cute. Also, it’s a stylish and clever way to store and display toys and trinkets when you don’t have much room for storage units.
Where to buy: Pop Color Photo Ledge ($59 each, Pottery Barn Kids)
17. The stylish craft table
What’s better than a stylish craft table for kids? A stylish craft table for kids that has sneaky storage for pencils, markers and glue sticks. We love the Forest Table because it’s cute and has hidden compartments but doesn’t contain too much space for the kids’ art supplies to get out of control. Winning all around.
Where to buy: Tender Leaf Toys Forest Table ($130, Maisonette)
18. The perfect toy closet
There are so many things to love about this super organized playroom storage from Sunny Side Up, but we’re extra smitten with the chalk labels on the containers and the canvas toy bins. Cute and functional!
19. Kids’ creative center
If you’ve got kids, you know that teeny bits and bobs can make for hours of creative play. And you also know that keeping things like this organized and under control is no small feat. Enter the kids’ creative center from Love Grows Wild. Not only are the mini drawers a great way to sort everything from pom pomos to Legos, the fact that they’re mounted allows for more space (and less of a chance of spilling!).
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