Whether your kids are young or older, if they live at home chances are there are toys in your house.
Our kids are not little anymore, so we don't keep toys out in the open in the living room these days. Mostly they're actually stored away in totes and drawers for visitors and future grandkids. But that certainly doesn't mean we don't well remember the days of all those toys!
Organizing and storing toys – with style – was always a priority, whether we've lived in a small apartment or a flat-out bungalow.
Organizing and Storing Toys
1. Use Baskets and Baskets
When our three children were babies and toddlers, we used baskets and buckets mainly from Ikea because those were the cheapest at the time. These held diapers and wipes, board books and blocks. And they were right in our living room, either nestled beside the couch or tucked into low shelves for easy access. It was sometimes obvious and sometimes not.
2. Store Toys in Their Bedrooms
As our own kids grew and likely as yours do too, some toy storage moved out of the main living spaces into their rooms. And storing them in stylish receptacles there became very colourful!
Some ideas of what we used to use:
- Ikea magazine holders for papers and colouring books
- Ikea towel bar with hanging (kitchen) bins for pencils and markers
- Dollar store buckets for art supplies like scissors, tape and glue sticks
- Home Depot/Martha Stewart cube shelving and canvas bins for toys and books
3. Hide Toys in Plain Sight
Even though we moved many toys to the kids' bedrooms, some toys and games had to stay in the living room and dining room. Board games, toy animals, recorders, etc. all needed homes. Some traditional furniture pieces can provide excellent hidden storage if you're creative.
Some ideas of this in our past homes:
- Our coffee table at one time held all of our family's board games and kept them safe from younger visitors.
- An old (already damaged) crock can hold remotes, and baskets under open end tables work well to hold blankets for curling up with.
- Books are much loved and stored simply in stacks or rows on bookshelves. If you have littler ones toddling around, strap bookshelves to the wall for stability. You can also store paper books up higher out of reach of little hands that may cause them damage. Use lower shelves for baskets of toys or board books.
- A simple dresser (choose one with smooth running drawers for ease of use) can house a number of toys: blocks, cars, dolls clothes.
Hidden storage that works double duty is a perfect solution too.
More ideas from when our kids were little:
- Looks like an ordinary hutch right? You know to store linens and the good silver?
- Surprise! This hutch holds books, art supplies and lots of little toys!
So obviously bins, baskets, shelves, dressers and hutches can all do double duty as toy storage!
How about you – do you have any tips for storing toys with style? Do you use kid-specific containers and toy boxes? Or are you a rebel like us and stash toys wherever you want?
Way back when, these were a few places we hid/stored toys for our kids:
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