When it comes to organizational challenges, most parents will agree that toys are probably the most difficult. Toys are oddly-shaped, come in a huge variety of sizes, and spend most of their time “out” in the house rather than safely stored away. Figuring out where and how to store everything can be just as hard as getting kids to put things away in the first place.
As with any storage or organizational issue, you have two basic choices: buy pre-made solutions or make your own. Most manufactured storage options can be turned into do-it-yourself projects, if that’s your preference — and if you have the time and basic skills. It works in reverse as well: if you see a DIY project that you like but you don’t consider yourself handy, there’s a good probability that you can find a version to buy somewhere. Just look around.
Be sure to consider storage that will be appealing and fun to your kids, that way they will be more likely to want to use it. Personalized bins with each child’s name, jars decorated with their favorite animals or superheroes, or simply color-code according to each kid’s favorite color. Even if you purchase a pre-made solution, involve your kids in decorating the storage with stickers, decals, or their own drawings/writing.
Creative thinking is the other factor when it comes to storing toys in a neat, organized, and attractive manner. Here are some simple ideas to keep toys organized.
Hidden Storage: Keeps Toys Out of Sight
Consider bins and drawers that slide under beds, chairs, benches, and sofas. You can also invest in toy cupboards that hide the toys behind doors or install a curtain to cover shelves or cubbies.
Shelves, Shelves, and More Shelves
In addition to buying traditional shelves, consider installing a shelf on the side of existing furniture, such as a dresser or crib, for the books and small toys that are your child’s favorites. Shelves come in so many materials, sizes, shapes, etc., that the possibilities are virtually endless.
Convert Other Storage to Toy Storage
Hang a shoe organizer over the door and action figures and other small toys will each have their own slot. Use a laundry organizer to sort stuffed animals, balls, or other medium-to large sized toys. In the bathroom, take an organizer designed for shower supplies and use it to dry and store bath toys.
Make Sure You Have Portable Storage
Transporting your child’s toys from room to room is easier if you have some sort of tote. Consider a rolling cart, bin or even wagon that will make it a game for your child to move all their toys back to their room at the end of a play session. Other options include buckets, baskets, or totes, just be sure the kids know it is their job to pack and unpack the toys and you’re just there to carry it.
Remember that any storage ideas you have will need to be adaptable, expandable, or even replaceable as your children get new toys, outgrow old ones, and age into different interests and activities.