Smart Storage for Kids' Rooms

Kids are natural collectors of toys, books and stuff. Learn storage and design tricks to cut the clutter.
Colorful Children's Toy Storage Boxes

Colorful Children's Toy Storage Boxes

Design by Susie Fougerousse

Design by Susie Fougerousse

By: Amanda Lecky

As long as you're taking the time to plan adequate storage for your child's room, it's wise to think about how that storage will adapt as his or her needs change. For example, a cubby system with soft bins on the lower shelves is ideal early on because it allows a crawling baby or toddler to access toys with ease and just as appropriate later when the same slots can hold sturdier boxes of action figures or cars.

Fun Ways to Display Kids' Stuff

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The Giving Tree

Celebrate your child's imagination with unexpected design elements, such as this whimsical bookshelf. A few good books and your child's favorite animal friends make reading time the best part of any day. Photo courtesy of Susie Fougerousse

Pop of Pizzazz

"Kids are natural collectors of things," says Susanna Salk, designer and author of Room for Children. "Collections can look like clutter unless you plan a way to display them attractively." An earthy palette of white and brown allows colorful toys and accessories to pop with energy and attitude. Photo courtesy of Susie Fougerousse

Carry the Hue All the Way Through

A gender-neutral palette of gray and warm yellow extends to the wall art, and an understated animal theme pulls the decor together in a way that's approachable and fun. Photo courtesy of Project Nursery

Artful Exhibit

Graphic artwork is a great choice for children's rooms. The bold colors and shapes are eye-catching but simple, and coordinate well with the equally bold colors and shapes of kids' toys and books. Photo courtesy of Lisa Wong Jackson

Floating Focal Point

When arranging items on floating shelves, remember the motto "less is more." A few toys and books, artfully combined, look more elegant and modern than a crowd of treasures. Photo courtesy of Niche Interiors

Girly Motifs

Coordinating wall art with crib bedding gives this nursery a pulled-together designer look. Unless you want to redo all the artwork in a couple of years, it's a good idea to choose colors and motifs that will work just as well for a 5-year-old as for a 5-month-old. Aqua and hot pink make a great combo that’s both baby and little-girl appropriate. Photo courtesy of Project Nursery

Space It Right

Built-in wood shelves span an arched recess, creating plenty of space for favorite books, pictures and toys. If you're installing fixed shelves, pay attention to the spacing. In this room, books will likely replace toys over time, and the shelves are spaced to accommodate this gradual change. Project Nursery

Transitional Closet Systems

Look for a system with adjustable shelves that can move up and down or out as the size of your child's clothing changes. When your baby is small, you may want to use the lower portion of the closet to hold a dresser, bookshelf or extra toy storage — but plan ahead so it can accommodate a second rod for additional clothing storage in the future.

Even the best-executed closet can't force kids to keep their things neat. But the easier you make it to put things away, the more likely they are to do so. Think shelves and bins, not drawers and cabinets; hooks, not hangers; and curtains, not doors.

Kids' Closets: Clothing and Toy Storage for Boys and Girls

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Baby Boy Closet

Affordable, durable wire racks are easy to rearrange as your children grow. Many systems are designed with expanding shelves and telescoping rods to fit practically any space.

Closet Maid Pink Nursery

Wire or coated wood shelving systems can add beauty and functionality to a girl's room or nursery. Shelves and drawers can provide much-needed storage space for diapers, toys, blankets and more.

Colorful Boy's Nursery

Laminate systems tend to be more expensive than wire racks, but they can be more aesthetically pleasing and are available in greater variety.


Many wire closet kits offer the advantage of being easily adjustable to accommodate larger clothes as kids grow and storage needs change.

Closet Maid Bedroom Boy

For kids' rooms with shallow closet space, try a two-tiered approach paired with drawers and shelves.


New organizer systems go beyond the basic closet rod with a single shelf. Now you can customize based on your storage needs.


Keep in mind that kids' closets are used for more than just clothes. Designate spaces for toys and sporting equipment, school supplies, etc.


Consider color-coded canvas containers as a fun, creative way to help keep things organized.

Boy's Wire Closet System

Wire drawers are useful for storing socks, folded garments, toys and more.


Adjustable shelving allows you to keep a child's most important belongings within easy reach.

Versatile Wire Closet System

Extra hooks and rods can be added as needed to help store hats, ties and other accessories.


Pull-out wire baskets make it easy to access clothes and allow you to see what's on the bottom of a stack.

Wellborn Cabinets Boy's Closet

The right materials can provide a look that's just as mature as an adult's closet. Consider wood or laminate systems for a more polished appearance.


Use organization systems to designate different areas for shirts, pants, shoes and toys.

Mino's Closet

Baskets in bright primary colors are great for helping younger kids keep their things organized.


Pull-out shoe storage helps keep footwear out of sight but easily accessible.

Closet Maid Curtain Girl

Folding closet doors can pinch small fingers. Consider using curtains to conceal your child's storage space.

Teen Girl's Closet

For narrow storage, keep frequently used items where they can be reached easily. Put out-of-season clothes on the upper shelves.

Photo By: ClosetMaid

Closet Maid Teen Close Up

Try replacing a bottom drawer with a wire basket to make contents easier to see.

Neutral Kids' Bedroom With Blue Ottoman and Whimsical Wallpaper

Neutral Kids' Bedroom With Blue Ottoman and Whimsical Wallpaper

Photo courtesy of Niche Interiors

Photo by: Niche Interiors

Niche Interiors

Shelving Placement

Wall-mounted shelving makes the most of vertical space and helps keep essentials easy to access. Instead of crowding the surface of your changing table with wipes, cotton swabs and more, arrange them in low-sided bins on shelves hung nearby. The space above a dresser or desk is another great spot for shelving. Use these for displaying artwork now or favorite collections as your child ages. "Kids are natural collectors," says Susanna Salk, designer and author of Room for Children. "But all those collections can look like clutter unless you plan a way to display them attractively."

What type of shelves should you choose?

Floating shelves, which have no visible supports, are one popular option. They're easy to install and have a clean, modern look that doesn't compete with the objects displayed on them.

Choose a more traditional shelf-and-bracket system. You can buy basic L-brackets at any hardware store, or look for something a bit more decorative for a personalized look. "Sometimes I buy a bracket system but not the shelves," says Houston-based decorator Christie Chase. "I'll get wood shelves cut to fit, then paint them a bright color for a more custom effect."


Ready-made bookcases are a great storage option. Look for sturdy construction and adjustable shelves. Shelves deep enough to store oversized picture books, and boxes or bins for toys are best for younger children. Older children may prefer shallower shelves that paperbacks won't get lost on.

Whichever type you choose, take the time to secure the bookcases to the wall with a furniture anchoring system to prevent dangerous toppling.

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