32 Smart Toy Storage Ideas

Constantly stepping on your kids’ toys? Keep their playthings tidy yet easily accessible with our best toy storage tips and ideas for the entire house.

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August 10, 2020
By: Jeannie Matteucci and Chelsey Bowen

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Raquel Langworthy; Design By: Abaca Interiors

Photo By: KidKraft

Photo By: Room & Board

Photo By: Regan Baker Design Inc.

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Christine Baumann

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

©Jodi McKee

Photo By: Nick Glimenakis for Homepolish

Photo By: Jean Bai

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography; LLC

Photo By: Stokke

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Photo By: EasyClosets

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Photo By: ORG Home

Photo By: Courtesy of Jamielyn Nye and HomeGoods

Photo By: Julie Mikos; Design by IDF Studio

Baskets FTW

Baskets and bins are really the workhorses of toy storage. They make cleanups quick and painless and create organized shelves. Look for a set of coordinating containers in various sizes to corral all types of toys.

Label Know-How

If you already know the power of a great bin, make sure your labels are working for you, too. Opting for pictures of the toys rather than words makes it clear for even your youngest to help with pick-up time. Tip: Cut pictures from the toy’s packaging for an instant visual label.

Totes for Toys

A great way to store toys of different sizes and types, this nursery designed by Abaca Interiors features three hanging canvas tote bags — out of the way, on the back of the bedroom door — for stuffed animals, building blocks and Legos. Each bag is labeled, so both kids and parents know where the toys belong when playtime is over.

Portable Storage

Consider using a portable caddy to gather and store balls, building blocks or action figures, so you can bring the items right to a playroom table or your backyard. As your kids grow out of their toys, the caddy can be used for holding utensils, garden tools or for a gift basket.

Boxed In

Boxes are painted with chalkboard paint for easy labeling and are helpful for corralling smaller items, like blocks and figurines. Plus, the contrasting schoolhouse-inspired design looks super cute stacked on open shelving.

Double-Duty Furniture

Stackable or modular bins are great storage tools for toys. Open bins are ideal for stuffed animals, games and even books, and allow you and your child to store and spot favorite toys in an easy way. This bin does double duty as a nightstand, a nice extra bonus.

It's All in the Cubes

Preschools have been using them forever for a reason, and that's because cubbies provide definition and make organizing easier, especially when paired with totes that disguise the clutter.

Hooray for Hampers

If there’s more drama in your house about toys than there is on your favorite reality show, it may be time for a toy sorter. Repurpose a laundry hamper with dividers into a two-kid rolling storage unit. Then wheel it on out of the room when guests come over!

Crates on Wheels

Wooden crates are the perfect size for toys, sports gear, games and books, and you can often get them for next to nothing from wine shops, boutiques, flea markets and farmers' markets. Add casters and a stenciled message, and you have a personalized, easy-to-push toy box on a budget.

Get the How-To: Mobile Wooden Crate Toy Storage

Grab-and-Go Bins

Look for shelves or bins that your kids can reach. They'll be able to grab what they want to play with and help put everything back up when they're done. These open, angled bins are designed to keep toys and books from spilling onto the floor.

Jumbo Wooden Blocks

These oversized versions of the classic kids’ toy would look adorable in a nursery or playroom, and they open up to reveal hidden storage. When your child is ready for more grown-up decor, you can paint over the letters and repurpose the blocks as nightstands or footstools.

Get the How-To: How to Build Storage Blocks For a Kid's Room

Think Modular

A modular system that includes both open and closed storage solutions can bring order to a messy play space or child’s bedroom. Open shelves are great for showcasing books, trophies and a few favorite toys, while drawers or cabinets can conceal less display-worthy items.

Multipurpose Piece

In the family room, a stylish piece of furniture that doubles as storage is a must-have for staying tidy. This rustic-meets-modern ottoman serves as extra seating, a place to prop up your feet and most importantly, a hurry-and-stash-all-the-toys spot when last-minute guests arrive.

Get the How-To: Make a Herringbone Wood Toy Box Storage Ottoman

Style Meets Function

Big baskets are great for corraling large toys in the living room. Choose baskets that will last long after your kids don't need them for toys, like these durable, stylish woven ones. Toss stuffed animals and books in them now; use them for throw blankets and pillows when the kids get older.

Kid-Centered Media Room

Piles of toys often create clutter in family and media rooms, so control the chaos by using a storage system that addresses both toy and media storage. Go for a unit that combines drawers with open shelves, so you can use baskets for smaller toys and still have room for media equipment.

From: Pippa Lee

Books on Display

Encourage reading by always having books within reach and in sight. Use picture ledges to turn one of your walls into a kids' library. The front-facing display makes it simple for kids to see what they want without pulling every book off the shelf.

Maximize Space

Leave no nook unturned. That cozy little window seat might be the ideal place to curl up with a good book, but it's also the perfect spot to add extra shelving underneath. Rather than just tossing stuffed animals, toys and books on the shelves, use coordinating bins for a streamlined look (even when the contents inside are a little chaotic).

Rethink and Redo

See an old piece of furniture or recent thrift-store score in a new light. This former dresser gets an updated look with coral paint and bunny-head hardware. Cabinets provide hidden storage spots, while the drawers are removed for open shelves to house easy-to-grab picture books and board games.

Get the How-To: Turn an Old Dresser Into Playful Toy Storage

Stuffed Animal Zoo

Upcycle a bookshelf or console table to keep your little one’s plush pals contained in one place.

Watch the Video: DIY Stuffed Animal Zoo

The Clear Choice

Clear acrylic containers are great for storing art supplies, blocks and other small items. Little ones can easily see what’s inside them and find what they’re looking for. Plus, they serve as colorful accent pieces when not in use.

Lego Station

Legos and other small blocks are notorious for ending up scattered throughout the house (and for getting stepped on – ouch). Turn a large galvanized tub into a centralized spot for building blocks, complete with a built-in play surface and wheels so it can easily be transported from room to room.

Get the How-To: Turn a Galvanized Tub Into Playful Mobile Toy Storage

Toy Car Garage

Small toy cars are another one of those items that your kiddos are likely to lose. Encourage them to park each car in its own space with this "garage" made from upcycled cardboard and toilet paper rolls.

Watch the Video: DIY Toy Car Garage

Mobile Toy Basket

If you need to do a quick cleanup before company comes over, this DIY mobile toy box makes it a breeze. Just wheel it around, toss in toys and park it in an out-of-the-way spot before guests arrive. You can even get the kiddos involved and turn it into a game: how many toys can you pick up in 5 minutes?

Get the How-To: How to Make a Mobile Toy Box

Flexible Furniture

Versatile solutions like this dresser from Stokke with an optional attachment for changing diapers gives you storage that can grow with your child. When your child is past the diaper stage, the soft-closing drawers can be used for storing different-sized toys. Look for dressers with low-height drawers, so little ones can help put away toys.

Up the Wall

Piles of small toys and picture books can overtake a child’s bedroom quickly, so it helps to create a home for these items. Free up floor space by using hanging wall organizers with pockets to sort and store thin and small-sized toys. Group the pieces according to type, so finding a favorite toy becomes an easier process.

Well-Planned Closet

Sometimes divide and conquer is the way to go. For this child's bedroom closet, a combination of hanging rods, cubbies, drawers and slide-out baskets helps store both clothes and toys. Use dead space under drawers for pull-out baskets that can provide a home for odd-shaped toys.

Rack ‘Em Up

Plastic bins and tubs are one solution for storing a collection of fashion dolls, but there are other options. In this closet, a women's slide-out shoe rack cleverly holds a group of fashion dolls. The "arms" secure each figure to the rack, which keeps all the dolls in plain sight and within easy reach.

Gather Sports Gear

The round shape of balls can make them a challenge to store. For larger-sized balls, a slide-out bin is a smart way to group and hold the balls together. A hanging mesh bag or standing wire bins also work for medium or large balls, while portable baskets and bins are a good choice for smaller baseballs, softballs or tennis balls.

Repurposed Garden Stool

Look to your deck or patio decor for another clever option to store oddly shaped toys. Flip over a garden stool or wire table with an open bottom and fill it up with balls and other sports gear.

Bonus Bedroom Storage

If the closet and dresser in your child's room have reached capacity, consider adding a storage bench at the end of the bed. This adaptable piece of furniture gives you a way to hide away medium and larger-sized toys and stuffed animals, while also providing a place to change shoes or lay out clothes for the next school day.

Chic Built-Ins

For this city nursery designed by Interior Design Fair, a large armoire with sliding pine doors and open shelves on each side provides flexible toy storage. Wire baskets hold smaller stuffed animals, fabric bins provide a home for larger toys, and woven baskets currently storing cloth diapers and receiving blankets can transition to hold collections of small toys as the child grows.

Pool Toy Pegboard

With a pegboard panel and a few accessories, you can easily round up pool toys and other summer gear in one spot. Use hooks to hang larger items like pool noodles, life jackets and floaties, and attach baskets and mesh produce bags to contain small toys.

Watch the Video: 3 Ways to Store Summer Toys

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