Sometime around January, we are all looking for toy storage solutions. New toys come in after the holidays, and the clutter consumes our thinking. As a mom of three, I feel this every year. But over time, I have found promising toy storage solutions to help our house function.
So now, when I’m about to step on LEGO, I say, ‘Please put this in the Lego storage drawers.’ And since each toy has a designated place, my three-year-old can help clean up. A big win not to take it all on me!
RELATED: Looking to craft that perfect playspace? We don’t have a big home, but we claimed a room as an opportunity for a kid’s workspace to grow over the years.
How to Declutter Toys
- Remove – First, take everything out of your room. (This part takes me the longest to be in the mood for)
- Sort – As you remove a toy, sort them into categories.
- Donate – Next, add a box or bag for donations. I like to put toy donations directly into my car to eliminate them from the new organization. Donation ideas are children’s hospitals, schools, churches, daycare, schools, and new families in your neighborhood.
- Don’t Linger – Do not spend too much time on each toy. Ask yourself if it gets played with and if it encourages open-ended play. Here’s a great article explaining why fewer toys are better to help you to let go!
- Find the Right Container – Once everything is sorted, place it into its contained place. Container ideas are below!
- Create Play Zones– Create zones within your playroom or toy area. This will create a flow to smooth out playtime.
RELATED: I wrote about setting up a quiet time for kids to use as a guide to encourage more independent play at home and a midday break.
How to store a lot of toys
After decluttering the toys we want to pass on, it is time for them to have a home. Everything I use and love is found in one spot to make things simple. We use the same storage bins in different sizes depending on what we want to contain.
The clear containers all have tight lids that are tricky for most toddlers to get into.
Remember, children do not need many toys. Fewer toys allow more time to focus and play without distractions.
PRO TIP: If your child cannot reach a toy, they will not play with it. Keep toys at eye level and easy to get to.
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Puzzles and Game Boards Organization
Puzzles and games have found their home with this vinyl and mesh pouch. We keep the puzzles and games so the boys can take them out and put them away on their own.
I cut the picture off the box tops and placed the puzzle or game pieces into the storage bag. Each bag is stored standing upright for easy access. Find our favorite family games in this list of beginner board games for kids.
RELATED: Get the full instructions on organizing puzzles with this Genius Hack for Puzzle Storage.
Puzzles and Game Boards Organization
We use these bags for games, puzzles, and on the go everywhere. This 12-pack will get your organizing party started.
Lego storage bins
Do Legos need to be sorted by color? Not at all. Color sorting didn’t stand a chance during the pandemic. However, selecting a storage location that allows Legos and other supplies to be put away has been the answer we needed to keep everything in one place.
RELATED: Lego storage needed an entire post. Here is everything you need to know about Lego storage.
Lego storage bins
They’re perfect for color sorting all that LEGO, so you don’t end up stepping on them!
Small toy storage
Our accessory box for small toys is constructed from clear, unbreakable polypropylene. The box stacks with the other clear storage boxes listed in this post, making the most efficient use of your playspace.
Small Toy Organization
Use this toy storage bin for:
- Jumbo Tweezers
- Letter Cards
- Math Cubes and other Math Manipulatives
- Pom Poms
- Wooden Animals
Bulk small toy organization
This shoe box is a lot like the accessory box, only a rectangle with the dimensions 13″ x 7-1/2″ x 4-1/4″ h. You can securely stack the boxes for efficiency and still easily access toys. There is a discount on case-quantity purchases.
Magnetic tiles organization
Store your bulky toys while keeping them contained. We keep our magnetic tiles in this bin and travel with them on road trips with kids.
Large bulky toys
Do you have large bulky toys like Duplos? This deep bin is a great size to contain them and bring them into another room if you need a little distraction as you cook. This bin also comes with a lid.
In addition to trucks and Paw Patrol vehicles, we have a few planes and trains. I scoop them all up to store in a giant metal container from Home Depot. Once set up, I add a transportation label to the front of the bin. I found this large bin at Home Depot in the gardening section.
RELATED: Here are our favorite lists for open-ended toys.
Art storage ideas
Love to create? Here is how we store art supplies for kids. Having a place for the boys to design has been so important for us to include independent play into our day. We keep most of our art supplies in here except paint. (I mean, obviously, right?) Here are 50+ art activities for kids to spark ideas.
RELATED: Here are five ways to display kid’s artwork.
This image looks like there are three drawers, but the art cart has five. Two are under the third drawer shown in this picture.
3 Goals for Toy Storage
1. Try not to overthink how to store toys in your home.
Years ago, my toy storage solution was beautiful baskets. Beautiful baskets looked beautiful until they got crushed. – Real-life with kids. I now understand that a couple of baskets here and there add character, but the everyday storage needs to stay in a transparent container with a lid.
Toy storage should be:
- Findable – Easy to locate.
- Fitting – Properly fit what is being stored.
- Reachable – Have a designated spot your child can reach in the room.
If we keep these key tips in mind, we can properly store our toys and allow play to be more accessible to our children.
2. Think about what needs to be contained first.
Next, think about what is not working.
- Do the Legos need a new home?
- How about games and puzzles?
- Maybe it is the art supplies?
Start with what seems to be spilling out everywhere and taking up the most space instead of trying to do everything at once and getting overwhelmed.
3. Don’t purchase it all on day one.
That’s right! To think I could walk into a store and purchase everything I need for our playspace is an expensive thought!
Instead, I start small and look at online selling groups to see if someone has what I am searching for. Often, someone is ready to donate or sell what I desire for a fraction of the price.
Take a close look at our storage solutions and make a small purchase at a time. Once the first category is organized, continue to build on it.
RELATED: What toys last? Take a peek at our favorite forever toys!
What to Put in Baskets
I know – I said I used to have all my toys stored in baskets. But the truth is I love baskets! Sprinkling storage baskets around add comfort to your play space.
Do you know the BEST place to find great baskets? Goodwill. Every. Single. Time. Stop in, and you will be amazed at what they have.
Toys we store in baskets:
Start Slow When Organizing Your Toys
Think about what absolutely needs to be contained, then begin to find a few storage boxes within your budget and build on your collection over time. Which toys will you find a storage solution for first?
A BUNDLE OF OUR BEST RESOURCES
it’s like Mary Poppin’s bag – full of great ideas to inspire you and your kids with play!
You get an amazing bundle including:
- The Starter Guide to press restart on your days.
- 2 Sets of Activity Cards for activities when you need them.
- The WONDER Course: More Play, Less Stress for You and Your Child.
Looking for New Toys?
Frequently Asked Questions
Remove: Take everything out of your room.
Sort: As you remove a toy, sort them into categories.
Donate: Add a box or bag for donations. I like to put donations directly into my car to eliminate them from the new organization.
Don’t Linger: Do not spend too much time on each toy. Ask yourself if it gets played with and if it encourages open-ended play. If yes, place it into a category. If no, place it directly into the donation bin.
Find the Right Container: Once everything is sorted, place it into its contained place. Container ideas are below!
Zoning: Create zones within your playroom or toy area. This will create a flow to smooth out playtime.
Store toys in a transparent bin or open shelf that is easy for a child to reach. Store small toys in a transparent container with a lid to keep them enclosed.