Loose parts storage is going to be different for everyone because everyone’s loose parts collection is going to be different. Learn all my tips and tricks so you can apply them to your loose parts storage!
The Reality of a Big Loose Parts Collection
If you’ve got a lot of thematic or seasonal loose parts, odds are you’ll rotate those around. You won’t have snowflakes out in June. So you’re going to need something/ somewhere to store those when they’re out of season.
If you’ve got a baby or a toddler you sadly won’t be able to have everything out and available all the time because of choking hazards.
I personally look forward to the day that I can leave the loose parts out readily available to the children all the time. That is, after all, sort of the point of loose parts that they are readily available for them to use however they see fit. But until we exit the choking hazard stage I have to have a loose parts storage solution for when we are not doing an activity.
Need More Info on Loose Parts?!
If you want to know more about the what why and how of loose parts check out these posts where I continue to rant and rave about my love of loose parts
Dream Loose Parts Storage Solutions
In an ideal world, I would keep all of my loose parts storage in the same room or at least the same area of the home.
But for now, my aesthetic loose parts storage is out in the Living room/Playroom for visual beauty and quick easy access. My seasonal and thematic loose parts storage is in a dresser in the spare bedroom that I use for sensory supplies (playdough slimes, sensory bin tools, loose parts etc. and my more generic loose parts storage is in drawer organizers in the basement in our toy storage
I like having everything together, and eventually, the dresser will be moving into the basement where the rest of our storage is so pulling parts gets that much easier!
I have found for my personal use that I store different kinds of loose parts differently
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Seasonal or Themeatic Loose Parts Storage
Seasonal and thematic loose parts are kept in zipper pouches sorted by theme and stored in a dresser drawer. I tend to only pull these out for specific activities, usually school, or sensory play related.
The zipper pouch is an amazing loose parts storage solution, but if you wanted to do it for cheap you could totally use ziplock-type bags. Though I do find they tend to rip and can be a bit finicky to seal. The zipper pouches are more of an upfront investment but less finicky over time. So use what serves you best!
I do recommend see-through so you don’t have to label or open everything when you are looking!
On-Hand Loose Parts Storage
I have my DIY Grapat loose parts collection on display in Maple and Lark acrylic jars. By having them on display I get to enjoy them and I put a lot of time into them, so I like being able to look at them.
Any kind of clear jar with a lid would work you could go with classic glass mason jars or find a plastic option you like. This is a useful option if you want loose parts on hand and visible. Also good for storage down where littles can reach but can’t open the jar!
General Loose Parts Storage
Most of our general loose parts storage is in drawer organizers in our toy storage space for easy access, if not quite as pretty to look at. You can see more details on how that looks in my tour of our toy storage.
The drawer organizers are life-saving for storing our gems, pompoms, wooden marbles, and all the little manipulatives that can be used any time of the year for any number of themes. I did have Zak 3D print some drawer organizer bins for inside the drawers so I could keep things color coded but open and easy to get into!
Find What Works for You
As I said, everybody’s going to have their own ideas and their own preferences when it comes to loose parts storage. But generally speaking, you want things sorted so that you can quickly pull what you need when you need it.
I know some people will like using the photo organizers that you can get at craft stores, and some people use Ziploc bags, You could use pencil cases or those trendy Target cases. You could use canvas bags. You could use glass jars. You could use any number of things. It really boils down to what will work for you and your kids and your collection!