If you’re anything like me, toy organization and storage seems to be a never-ending struggle. I definitely don’t have it all figured out, but I wanted to share a few things that have made it more manageable and fun for us!
Choosing a Toy Storage Area
When we bought our house, there was a wall of built-ins in both the downstairs living room and the upstairs game room. Coming from a home with almost no built-ins, I was a bit overwhelmed with what to display on all of the shelves and store in the cabinets, but it quickly filled up. After having kids, I realized that cleaning out one of the cabinets to make room for toys would be genius! Each cabinet has a lot of space inside, and the doors can be closed to hide the clutter after bedtime!
If you have any size built-ins in your home where it would make sense to store toys, I highly recommend it! Other options include large toy boxes with hinged lids, large floor baskets, baskets that fit on bookshelves or storage cubby units, and bins that easily slide under the coffee table and/or chairs. I think anything that largely conceals the toys is good for our adult sanity!
Toy Organization for Smaller Toys
So.many.small.toys. On a bit of whim, I bought this used bin set on a Facebook trading site. Best whim ever! It has been a game changer for our toy organization.
I made labels using scrapbook paper to fit into the label holders on the front of each bin. Our bin labels are:
- Coloring books and colors (only some of our colors actually fit here, but we try!)
- Puzzles and cards (flash cards, story cards, etc.)
- Cars and trucks
- Tiny toys (those random small individual toys that you don’t know what to do with!)
- Magna-Tiles (these are pricey, but my son has played with them nearly every day for 3 years now)
My children are still in preschool and can’t read labels, but they know what goes into each color bin. They like being able to pull out the bin they want to play with, and walking around with the bins makes clean-up much easier as well.
The bin set I bought came with a metal rack that can be screwed into the wall, and it was a great fit for the smaller shelf in our built-in cabinet.
The rack keeps the bins in place and really maximizes the storage area by keeping them snug against each other. The bins are also interlocking.
Adding Fun Details
The inside of the cabinet wasn’t much to look at. It was just a fake wood finish from the builder that’s used inside all of our cabinets.
Contact paper to the rescue! I wanted something fun and patterned to make the inside of the cabinet more fun for the kids, but I didn’t want anything so crazy that it clashed with our living room colors. After all, the cabinet doors are open the majority of the day! This gray chevron pattern fit the bill! Note: This exact contact paper isn’t available on Amazon anymore, but there are lots of other cute prints by the same company!
I can be a perfectionist with some things, but contact paper really forced me to say, “Good enough!” Because I was dealing with large cuts of the paper, it didn’t always line up just right, and I couldn’t always get all of the small bubbles out. I’m just preparing you if you’re a perfectionist like me. The small imperfections haven’t bothered me since, and people visiting my home never notice! It actually just gets lots of compliments.
Doesn’t this look so enticing to kids? And it makes me happy looking at it!
What are your favorite toy organization tips? How do you like to store toys? I’d love to hear your ideas!
P.S. For another great way to tackle toy organization and storage, check out toy rotation bins. They’re another game changer that’s well worth the time to set it up!