I am a Type A kinda lady, but also a bit of a collector…so organization is kinda a big deal for me. Our toy storage for our out or rotation toys is one area of my life that has had to evolve over time, but I definitely have a few items that are my tried and true tools for keeping our toy storage organized!
Toy Storage and Life Update
If you have been here for a while then you will remember my previous post about our out-of-rotation toy storage closet. Honestly, that system worked really well for us for quite a while but with baby number 3 on the way and that room due to transition into a nursery soon I knew we needed to move the toys.
We have been in the midst of a basement renovation for a few months now and I commandeered a wall in the laundry room for our toy storage!
Check out our previous toy storage closet
I was able to expand our space a little and add more shelves to our system. Moving obviously meant this was a good chance to reorganize our toy storage and some things did obviously change, but a lot of what was working for us in the closet continues to work for us here!
Favorite Toy Storage Solutions
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Sort Your Toys by Category
I SWEAR by these bins for toy storage. They are the perfect size to hold a lot without getting too heavy or overwhelming!
This is what our bins currently have in them
- Musical instrument box (holds everything other than the ukulele)
- 2 fine motor boxes (that honestly need to be purged a bit)
- A transportation box
- Character figures – think Little People dolls, small princess dress-up dolls,
- Magnetic toys – magnetic dress-up, magnetic cubes, smartmag toys
- Polly pocket
- Domestic Animal figures box
- 2 Wild Animal figures boxes
- Magical creatures figures box
- Dollhouse furniture (slowly replacing with calico critter style pieces)
- Magnetic Ball run pieces
In addition to the big bins I also have a few shoebox-sized bins where we keep smaller categories or categories that see less action
- Dance scarves
- Felt board pieces
- 18in doll accessories
- My Little Pony dolls
- Dinosaur figures
What you keep in your bins and what categories you have in your toy storage is going to be highly personal and individual to your kids so I am using what we currently have as an example for you!
Try and Keep Sets Together
Within most of our larger toy storage bins, I like to keep sets together within their own bags. These zipper pouches are my favorite. Sturdy but slightly see-through so I can see what is in each. Don’t be fooled though we also make use of zip locks, pencil cases, canvas bags, crown royal bags, and really anything I can find that will help keep the toy storage organized!
Filing Cabinets are Good for More than Just Papers
I really love using filing cabinets for toy storage. The drawers are big, deep, and pull all the way out so you can access the toys at the back easily.
We have a 4 drawer unit that I have each drawer dedicated to different kinds of toys. The top drawer is mostly older toddler/preschooler fine motor.
The second drawer is where I keep dramatic play toys (the doctors kit the cash register etc)
The next drawer is baby toys and little toddler toys.
The bottom drawer is where I keep quiet time toys and travel toys
Sometimes the Original Packaging is as Good as it Gets
There are some of our toys that are still in their original box, some companies just have it right the first time and it doesn’t make any sense to try and reinvent the wheel!
Drawers are Your Friend When it Comes to Loose Parts
I have been growing our loose parts collection for 3+ years now and I have also been slowly been growing my drawer unit collection as well! All of the drawers on our toy storage shelves have been thrifted but these are the ones I swear by! Sturdy and easy to get at when I suddenly need a loose part for a school activity or play dough tray.
You can see that in most of the drawers, I keep things sorted by kind and/or by color to make it that much easier to find what I am looking for.
We also have something similar to this drawer unit and honestly, I would like to replace it eventually but it definitely is serving its purpose and makes getting at our fidget collection easier in the meantime!
Big and Bulky Things Kinda Suck to Store
There are always going to be big and bulky things that just don’t box up well in your toy storage. This is especially true when you have toddlers and preschoolers. My best advice is to find a shelf and just line them up. That’s the only thing I have been able to figure out at least!
Our really big stuff goes on top of the storage cabinet around the corner or on the top shelf of our toy storage then below that I have a shelf where things that will stack a little nicer get to live.
Gross Motor Toy Storage
Ball pit balls, stepping stones, fort kits, that kind of stuff… I keep these in large tubs that sit on the floor. I like that the bins keep things contained and looking a little neater. It also helps to keep little hands out of things.
Then there are the Legos…
This is the one section of our toy storage that I know is already doomed.
Until my kids get older and really and truly get into legos and creating their own builds I like to keep our sets separate. This prevents lost pieces and helps keep things organized when we want to build them again.
Currently, I have 6 shoebox bins dedicated to this toy storage; two are lego friends sets, one is a Disney castle, one is Frozen sets, and one is miscellaneous and that leaves us one bin to grow into.
Legos are tricky here, Bitty(5) loves them. Bean(nearly3) is still too little to build with them but enjoys playing with the built kits, then there is Bug(coming in March) who will need to be isolated from them for quite some time. So I really need a good lego situation both for toy storage and for active play. If you have a lego kid in your house what systems have worked well for your family?
Labels make toy storage so much easier for everyone!
I would be remiss to leave out my handy-dandy label maker from my favorite toy storage supplies. I have LOVED being able to make a label for the broader categories. It makes it easier for other people to find things when I need some help grabbing or putting things away. Also, the labels are easy enough to remove and reuse a couple of times when I need to change whats in a bin.
Toy Storage Will Never be Fully Solved and I Know it.
I know that our toy storage will need to be ever-evolving, just like my kids are ever-growing and developing new interests. I don’t mind honestly. Like I said I love organizing and toy storage will probably always hold a special place in my heart!