Toy Storage Ideas That Are So Cute, Kids May Even Enjoy Cleaning Up
While raising a kid who hates cleaning his room (almost as much as I do) in an apartment that is far too small for all of our stuff, I'm always on the search for the holy grail of toy storage. What I want is basically a magical box into which my child would happily throw all his toys. It would keep them off the floor (maybe invisible?) but also make every toy he owns accessible and never forgotten when he claims to be bored.
In the absence of such magic, I set out to find the right organization products to keep an endlessly growing toy collection contained. But you don't need to rely on my messy person's advice to select the right toy storage solutions for you and your kids. To compile this list, I returned to the valuable advice previously given to Parents by professional organizers, adding a few more options—based on their best-selling status and customer reviews—from sites like Amazon, the Container Store, Target, and Wayfair.
The best part is that when I hit on the right combination of toy bins, boxes, and shelving units, my kid actually starts putting those toys away on his own. (OK, there's a lot of coercion that still precedes the cleanup, but it happens.) And while none of these toy organization ideas will solve all of your problems, they will go a long way toward making your child's bedroom and playroom a more enjoyable place for them (and you) to be.
Best Toy Storage for Younger Kids
For the youngest kids, experts suggest placing toys in large containers that they can reach and move around on their own. This way, they can take toys out and put them away without too much help from your end. You don't need to get too fussy about categories at this point.
"At [a young] age, there's no rhyme or reason to what kids will play with—it all ends up on the floor anyway—and you'll be the one maintaining the organization system," Ría Safford, founder of RíOrganize in Orange County, California, previously told Parents. "You could divide them up by 'plush,' 'wooden toys,' and 'blocks.' "
Best Toy Storage for Lego, Cars, and Blocks
If you, too, live in fear of stepping on a Lego while barefoot, it's important to find storage bins for those many small pieces that your kid will want to use without hesitation. After all, your well-being depends on it!
Best Toy Storage for Siblings
When your kids share a bedroom or play space, there are two problems you can avoid by having proper storage containers. First, older kids often have toys that might be dangerous choking hazards for their younger siblings. "Peppa Pig figurines, Barbie and her tiny shoes, mini-wheel cars with small tracks—all those should be stored up high," Jessica Litman, founder of The Organized Mama in Chicago, previously told Parents.
Second, you can prevent squabbles about which toy belongs to whom, and where they need to go. "You can also assign certain colors for each kid," Naeemah Ford Goldson, founder of Atlanta's Restore Order Professional Organizing, explained in a past interview. "Ethan can have the blue bins; Gavin can have the green. That way they'll know what's theirs."
Best Toy Storage for Older Kids
By around kindergarten, your child will likely get better at organizing and understanding categories. So it may be time to come up with a better system for their toys, according to Azure MacCannell, owner of Composed in Deerfield, New Hampshire.
"Don't use oversize storage pieces—they become pits of doom," MacCannell told Parents, suggesting that smaller containers for different types of toys will even facilitate play. "With tighter categories, your child can remove a toy, play with it, and put it back."
Those toy containers should still be easy to access and look into to identify what's inside. "We never stack more than two deep," MacCannell added.