I have done a few posts on how I keep organized and they are always a huge hit. I know that so many of us are working on getting more organized for the start of the year and I thought I would talk about how we keep organized in a few areas of life in the next few days! First up is Toy Storage in today’s post!
Toy Storage Guide
FIRST OFF, MY NUMBER ONE RULE
USE SEVERAL SMALL BINS, NOT ONE LARGE ONE!
I know its tempting to use big catch-all bins for toys or other items, because it will take up less space and probably cost less, but resist the temptation. Those large bins serve a few purposes, but for the most part if they are storing a variety of toys or items you will dig to the bottom (or if you’re a child you will THROW OUT EVERYTHING) to get to the one item you need. It causes way more mess than its worth. So now I will talk about the toy storage I use throughout my home.
I have posted before about some stylish toy storage if you’re looking for some of the baskets and bins I use, But I will break down what I use bins for and my big tips when it comes to toy storage!
Main Living Area
Baskets – Okay so I think this is one of the number one issue for most parents. How do you organize toys in those main areas of your home. I personally use a series of small baskets. I have 3 “catch-all” type baskets on my built ins ( I love these, they are not super big but hold a good amount), then 3 smaller bins (this size) but I find them in the dollar spot from time to time and buy them all – sorry if you live near me HA. Those hold more specific items: blocks, play jewelry, balls.
Functional TV stand – If you must have a TV stand anyway, if space permits, use a dresser or something with drawers and storage so you can hide some of those kiddo items. Our TV stand drawers are as follows: Cars, Lego’s, Items for the morning (i.e. Avé’s hair stuff, nail clippers, and so on), animal figurines, and 2 drawers for puzzle type items.
Specific place for books – We have built ins so that’s easy for us, as we have a shelf that houses them, but if that’s not your home, do bookshelves, a basket, a drawer. Books are such a great item to switch out from time to time so you don’t need to have access to 500 at once if space doesn’t permit!
Coloring Basket – Kids love to color, so I always have a small basket out on their table with coloring books and crayons. You could buy something with sections, or do like I did and use a shallow basket and add acrylic containers inside for crayons.
If you’re lucky enough to have a playroom then that’s where the majority of your toys should stay. You can always rotate out toys in the living areas. We personally use and LOVE these cube bins from Target. The fact that you can add feet and wheels is my favorite, yet not yet utilized part ha! We also have a closet in the playroom (which was a must for me when we were house shopping), and that’s where we store tons and tons of toys. I love that some are out of reach, and its a perfect spot to park the big items. The playroom is just that – a playroom, so at the very least just go for function! the cube bins will keep things sorted and off the floor and allow more space for fun.
We also use these Ikea shelves for books in the basement and I LOVE THEM. You can see an overview of our basement and its storage here, however I will be updating it soon with the changes that have been made!
So for us those are the two main areas for toys. I do however use these bins in the laundry room and store all arts and crafts type items. They are easy to access but at an adult height so I can dictate when they are used.
We don’t keep any toys in the kids rooms aside from stuffed animals. GO WITH THE BIG BIN on this one. It’s the one place my rule doesn’t count. Each kid has a big basket for stuffed animals. If they don’t fit in there they have too many in their room (or that’s our family rule). They each also have a basket for books. Whether it’s a basket or shelves, have a little spot for them to keep some books in there for quiet time.
So honestly, to me toy storage is all about giving everything specific place. When you do that you and your kids are more likely to put an item back where it belongs, but I also find that it’s a good way to know when you have too much. Toys accumulate fast in our house, and instead of living with the clutter when we have too many cars for the drawer we donate them. I want my kids to learn they can have fun and new items but they should then share their old toys with those less fortunate.
I would love to hear how you are all organizing all those toys you got over the holidays. Do you purge some to make room? I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season, and are excited to make 2018 a wonderful year!
JessieDecember 29, 2017 at 1:43 pm
We keep a lot in the garage and cycle them in and out every couple weeks!
ArinDecember 29, 2017 at 2:53 pm
I love that Idea. Thats what we do with books and it’s the best!
Big Brave NomadJanuary 4, 2018 at 3:04 pm
Wow! Your house is gorgeous. We have a giant IKEA runner table that has wicker cubes for storage and then we put toys on top. I am constantly throwing out, selling to donating toys!
ArinJanuary 4, 2018 at 5:59 pm
You are so sweet!! Yes!! It’s like you have to constantly do it!!
KelsiJanuary 4, 2018 at 5:53 pm
Over the weekend I made my daughter help me with her toy organization. I agree that big containers do not work as it becomes a catchall for all toys, so we bought a bunch of small plastic containers and had her separate her toys by genre (My Little Pony, Lol Dolls, etc.) so that they can stick together. We now have a system that she just gets out the container that she wants to play with and then everything goes back before she moves on to the next.
LiviJanuary 4, 2018 at 8:22 pm
Oh my gosh! We do this already for the kids toys and books. Great ideas
Jasmine HewittJanuary 5, 2018 at 11:38 am
we cycle toys a lot, and after so long, they get donated. keeps the pile down
The Frugal Family (@thefrugalfamily)January 6, 2018 at 9:06 am
Great, clear post – I think if you have kids you have to accept a certain amount of their ‘stuff’ about the place, we are outnumbered by our kids so the battle with space is pretty constant! We had a pre-Christmas clear out, but I feel another one could be soon as they have outgrown some toys..
ClaireMarch 2, 2019 at 2:39 pm
Maybe I missed it, but where did you get the chairs for the little reading nook? Love this idea!
ArinMarch 4, 2019 at 10:49 am
Hi Claire, They are from Hobby lobby, however if you search “kids Eames chairs” on amazon there are some options on there that are identical!
alisonApril 17, 2019 at 3:40 pm
Where did you get the wall mounted desk? I haven’t found anything so simple.
ArinApril 17, 2019 at 4:51 pm
I talk about it here. It is a super simple Ikea hack – so basically just a shelf and brackets. If you don’t live near an Ikea you could find similar at Home Depot!!