Toy Storage Tips to Minimize Messes

What are the best toy storage techniques to manage kids' clutter? Here are some of the best ways to tackle this perennial parent problem.

By Dawn Miller


Adults accumulate a lot of stuff, but kids really have an enormous amount of stuff. If you’re not careful, children’s toys can take over the entire house. The trick is to find toy organizer ideas that work, so you don’t wake up one morning feeling as if you’ve moved into a toy store. Keep these few simple tips in mind to prevent your home from becoming toy central.


Pick Coordinating Containers

Toy organizer bins are a top choice for keeping toys in their place. When you’re shopping for them, keep two points in mind: (1) The bins or toy storage baskets should be kid-friendly and (2) they should match. When you use all different sized and style containers, the room looks busy and unorganized. Color-coordinated bins that are the same size and style have a uniform appeal, making for a more attractive space. If kids can’t manage their own storage bins, they can’t clean up on their own or get to their own toys. Teaching organization early makes for more orderly teens and adults. Even the youngest tots can be taught to put their things away in the correct place. So, make it simple for them.




Skip the Kid’s Department

Kid’s furniture looks adorable, but it really isn’t practical in the long run. Children grow quicker than you anticipate. Choose adult-sized furniture instead. It grows with your youngster and gives you more storage space than child-sized pieces. Little shelves serve up minimal space, and “cute” isn’t functional down the road.





If you’ve got limited space, toy storage can certainly become an issue. Choosing furniture that multitasks is a simple way to organize toys in a small space. They’re the perfect pick for folks with larger rooms as well. Invest in furniture with built-in storage. Ottomans that open are an awesome spot to store toys in bins and hide toys in a pinch. Instead of a coffee table, use a trunk. Keep toy organizer bins inside that stack, and when company comes, you’ll have a stylish coffee table. Avoid the impulse to toss and run to stay away from the so-called organized mess. Even beds can serve double duty. A loft bed is an excellent space saver, letting you use the space underneath for storage shelves or crates. The area under the loft bed can even be utilized as a closet extension to help maximize your closet space.




Skip the Toy Box

Toy boxes are endearing and can fit a lot of stuff. The problem is the stuff inside gets tossed in like a salad. What happens is a big mess that doesn’t let your child easily access his or her things. It also doesn’t teach kids to organize. If you do utilize a toy box, use toy storage bins that can stack and avoid the open and toss routine.




Aim High

Quick and easy DIY toy storage ideas involve making good use of wall space. Shelving is an excellent way to provide instant toy storage, but be sure to use adjustable shelves. As your child grows, you can rethink the shelf arrangement to suit changing needs. Shelving should adapt to you. You shouldn’t have to change to fit the shelves.




Remember to put favorite play items on low shelves, allowing kids to take and put away with ease. Hang a shoe organizer behind the door to tame Barbie and her pals. It’s the perfect spot for the dolls to chill when they’re not being played with. They’re also the perfect pick for cars and even Legos. Take wooden crates and hang them on the wall. They make for funky chic storage shelves for toys, books, and stuffed animals. Paint them in fun colors, and you’ll have functional storage that looks amazing too. Crates can be an inexpensive and attractive storage fix.


Let It Go

Don’t hold onto toys that your kids have outgrown or don’t play with anymore. Donate them. Your child may not want the toy, but another might. Toss the junk toys that accumulate from parties and giveaways after a day or two. Before major holidays and birthday, have a clear out of unwanted toys to make space for new ones.




Contrary to popular belief, more isn’t necessarily better. Savvy parents will tell you that kids only play with a select number of toys. It’s not a good idea to go overboard with whatever toy happens to be the ‘it’ one at the moment. Homes belong to the entire family. Just because you have kids, doesn’t mean the house has to become a toy store.


Images used with permission, courtesy of

Next: Every Question to Ask Potential Contractors Before You Hire