Toy Organization Ideas To Keep Your Space Tidy: Our Top 30 Tips
Playtime is magical for both you and your little one. It’s an amazing opportunity to watch your child learn, grow, and explore, but, as any parent will tell you, it can also get a little messy. The best way to embrace playtime in all its untidy glory is to have a great toy organization plan in place. With a little preparation, smart toy storage ideas, and a few simple tricks, tidying up after playtime becomes a whole lot easier so you can drop into those special moments with your little one and enjoy them! Ready to get organized? We’ve put together a list of our top 30 toy organization tips to help you get started.
Our Top 30 Toy Organization Tips
Set yourself up for success with these smart toy storage ideas
- Know what you own. Before you get started with toy room organization, it’s helpful to take stock of what you already own. Sometimes we have things we don’t even remember buying because they’ve been buried under so much clutter that we’ve forgotten about them. So, take a little time out to do an audit of your child’s toys. Consider packing away toys they've grown out of–or haven't grown into yet.This will help lay the groundwork for our next tip.
- Try the three-box method. Now that you’ve taken stock of what you already have, it’s time to sort through it and decide what should stay, what should go, and what should be put away. This is called the three-box method. It involves sorting all of your toys into - you guessed it- three boxes: a ‘keep’ box, a ‘donation’ box, and a ‘storage’ box. You can tuck away your storage box in a closet, storage unit, or basement and donate the items you no longer need around the same time you organize baby clothes. Now you’re left with far fewer toys to organize which makes maintaining a tidy space much easier.
- Donate regularly. Speaking of maintenance, it’s important to do a purge of your child’s toys that they no longer play with every few months in order to stay on track with toy organization. Set a reminder for yourself to gather toys that your child has lost interest in or grown out of and pass them along to a friend or donate them to an organization that accepts gently used toys. Doing this a few times a year can make a world of difference.
- Less is more. We want to give our kids the world but, when it comes to toys, sometimes less is more. An excessive amount of toys not only make clean-up more difficult, but they can also overwhelm your little one. Try not to go overboard and encourage family and friends to do the same.
- Think before buying. When you do decide to purchase some new toys for your little one, think about the space you have available. If you have a large playroom that can accommodate bigger toys, that’s wonderful. But if you don’t, larger toys (think plastic slides or playhouses) aren’t as functional. Select toys that will work in the space you have available, and consider all-season toys you can keep in the backyard like a tree house or jungle gym.
- One in, one out. The one-in-one-out rule is a great practice to help you maintain toy organization in your play space. For every toy you bring into your space, get rid of an old one that your child isn’t playing with anymore. Depending on your child's age, you may want to discuss with them beforehand since your little one may have a sentimental attachment to a particular toy. It can also serve as a great lesson in letting go and sharing for them to decide which toys they're ready to part with, and when.
- Set up designated play areas. Cleaning up one or two rooms is much easier than tidying up an entire household. So, set some designated play areas within your home and work to teach your children to keep their toys within these areas. A large playpen, modular play couch or area rug can help visually designate a space as strictly their own.
- Set a timer. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, setting a timer for 15 minutes and tackling what you can within that window is a great way to make tidying feel less daunting.
Tackle toy organization with the right tools
- Invest in functional shelving. If you want to invest in one thing to help you tackle toy room organization, shelving is the way to go. This versatile storage option gives you lots of room to change things up as your little one grows and it doesn’t take up a ton of floor space. Keep the shelf height low so your little one can help you out when it’s time to tidy up (more on this later!).
- Switch it up. As your child grows, the objects they’re most interested in playing with will change too. So, modular shelving can be helpful. This way, you can adapt the height of your shelving to best suit your needs as your little one’s toy collection evolves.
- Good things come in small boxes. Playful storage like Pom Pom Minis, Pints and Cubes are charming additions that keep your shelving space organized, and super stylish too! We recommend opting for styles that are on the smaller side, because they’re a lot easier to keep organized.
- Skip the lid. When you’re looking for storage containers to help with toy organization, we prefer lidless options that make it easy for your little one to take out the toys they want to play with and put items away when they're done. For instance, books can be neatly shuffled through by little hands when filing then away in the Cube.
- Birds of a feather. When you’re deciding how to split toys up into various storage containers, it’s helpful to keep similar toys together. For example, keep all toy cars in one container, all stuffed animals on one shelf, all figurines in one box, and so on.
- Everything has a home. Decide where each kind of toy will live and make sure your littles are familiar with the system. If all board books go on the same shelf, or stuffed animals are always next to the dresser, it's easy to find what you're looking for.
- Think outside the box. Boxes are great when it comes to toy organization, but they might not work well for every toy or space. So, think outside the box! Coat hooks, over-the-door hanging organizers, and mesh hangers are great tools to help with toy closet organization.
Make good use of the space you’ve got
- Use hanging storage. One of our favorite toy organization ideas for small spaces is to make use of hanging storage. It’s a great way to avoid taking up too much floor space.
- Leverage under-the-bed storage. Between the changing station, crib, and nursing chair, your little one’s bedroom can quickly become cramped and crowded if it’s not designed with functionality in mind. Take advantage of areas that would otherwise go unused with slide-out under-the-crib storage for your child’s toys.
- Go low. This is one of our favorite toy storage ideas if you’re short on space. Just as you leverage under-the-bed storage, you can use a similar slide-out storage option underneath other items of furniture as well, like your nursing station, bookshelves, dressers, and so on. This is also one of our favorite toy storage ideas for the living room if you want to keep your child’s toys out of sight when they’re not being used.
- Select versatile storage items. One of our favorite toy storage ideas for small spaces? Selecting versatile storage items that double as decor. Think: seating that doubles as storage, or tables with drawers
- Safety first. Remember that no matter how you choose to tackle toy organization, safety should always be top of mind. Make sure that large and tall furniture items are secured to the wall and that your little one has a soft surface to play on.
- Rotate toys. If you’re looking for toy organization ideas, this one is a game-changer: rotate your child’s toys. Maybe this month your little one is really into toy cars but next month they lose interest. Stow the toy cars away for a little while and bring them out later. This will help reduce clutter and keep your child excited about the toys they already have.
- Closet Organization. When it comes to toy closet organization it’s important to think about accessibility. Make sure that items you or your little one use often are easy to grab when needed. If you’re storing toys that your child doesn’t use as often, make use of the spaces that might be a little trickier to get to, like the top shelf.
Involve your little one with toy room organization
- Create a space for each child. One of the most overlooked toy organization ideas? Getting your little one involved! If there's enough space to do so, creating a play area for each of your children is a great way to give them some ownership of their space. Over time you can slowly teach them how to become responsible for their area of the playroom.
- Count it down. Ending the fun that happens during playtime can be difficult so ease your child into it. There are so many fun ways to signal to your little one that it’s time to wrap up playtime, like using music. Pick a song that’s about 3 - 5 minutes long and teach your children that when the song starts it’s time to tidy up and move onto the next activity. Once the song is over, encourage your children to begin to put their toys away.
- Make it fun. Tidying isn’t the most exciting activity in the world, but a little imagination and creativity can turn a simple task into something fun. (Ok, fine, fun-ish.) Try making it a clean-up race or singing a clean-up song while you tidy.
- Be prepared for pushback. Your little one is probably not going to be as excited about your brilliant toy storage ideas as you are. No matter how hard you work to make clean-up time fun, it’s never going to be as enticing as playtime. So, be prepared for push back. Have a game plan in place for when your child isn’t participating in the clean-up routine.
- Use colors. Color coding your storage is a great way to split up the toy clean-up work. Ask your child to help put away all of the toys that belong in the Deep Sea Pints and share with them that you’ll put away all the toys that belong in the Marigold Bins. With 8 different sizes of Pom Pom Storage available in 12 colors, and even some specialty prints, you can mix and match your favorites.
- Clean-up throughout the day. Don’t let the mess pile up too much or it can become overwhelming for both you and your child. Make sure you are tidying up throughout the day. Your child will be more likely to focus until the job is done if you work together in short bursts.
- Model the behavior. When you’re tidying the kitchen or the living room, call attention to it. Make your little one feel like cleaning up is a grown-up responsibility they can feel proud for taking on. Children as young as one strive to contribute to the family in useful ways like playing copy-cat when it’s time to clean.
- Pick clean-up times strategically. Don’t try to make clean-up time happen during witching hour. If your child is already prone to being fussy at a specific time of day, adding a mundane chore into the mix probably won’t get you the best results. Scheduling clean-up time before your child moves onto an activity they enjoy, like playing outside or meal time, can be a great strategy to help motivate your little one to help out with tidying up their toys.
Frequently Asked Questions
Parents who are looking for clever playroom storage ideas often want to know the best way to organize a toy bin. The answer will be a little bit different for everyone, but the most important thing to keep in mind when organizing a toy bin is to divide the contents into smaller storage containers so that everything is easily accessible. Small containers with lockable lids work well for toys with small pieces like LEGOs. Tote bags are a great option for larger, softer toys. With these separate sections, it’s much easier for your child to find what they’re looking for.
If you’re looking for toy organization ideas but you don’t have a playroom, here are a few great tips to help you make the most of multi-use areas in your home:
Find versatile furniture pieces that can serve as storage
Leverage closet space to keep toys tucked away when not in use
Declutter toys regularly
Find beautiful storage baskets that complement your space
These are a few of our favorite toy storage ideas for small spaces:
Find furniture pieces that can double as storage
If you’re short on space, choose beautiful storage that will help organize your child’s toys and look great in your space
Find storage boxes that you can stack so that they take up minimal floor space
Leverage hanging storage on your closet doors
There are lots of clever toy storage ideas that can help you hide clutter, but it’s important to remember that there are certain larger toys like baby bouncers and swings that will be in use often in living areas within your home. Try not to be too hard on yourself and make peace with the fact that your home might look a little different than it used to. For smaller items, here are a few of our favorite tips:
Leverage roll-out storage underneath your large furniture pieces
Invest in beautiful storage baskets that look great and hide smaller toys when they’re not in use
Find trunks and dressers that work well in your living space and can serve as additional storage