If you’re a parent, you are almost guaranteed to know the overwhelm that comes with kid’s toys. There are always way too many pieces, there are broken toys everywhere, and without a great toy rotation system, it seems like nothing has an actual place. No playroom storage ideas have stood the test of time. You feel helpless to control the constant flow of toys that seem to only flow one way. INTO your home.
As a busy mom of four, I get it.
Life is so hectic and new toys light up our kids’ faces like almost nothing else can.
In my experience, all it takes is some fun, colorful organization to make a playroom feel organized.
Here are some of my favorite playroom storage ideas that you need to steal and use in your home!
Toy Storage Ideas for Small Spaces
DIY Wall Mounted Kid's Bookshelves
Make the most of vertical space!
If you have no room for a bookshelf, take advantage of any free wall space you have.
There are tons of great options online or even an Ikea spice rack will do the trick!
The most important way to make a small playroom work for your family is to minimize toys.
You don't have to go full-on minimalist here.
I think we definitely have more toys than would be considered acceptable to most minimalists. BUT...it works great for us!
If you’re interested in the toys we decided to keep along our minimalism journey, check out the post here.
The good news is, you don’t have to be a minimalist to make this work.
A good toy rotation system can give you the same benefits without the emotional workout of parting with toys.
This is honestly what saves us when new toys enter the picture.
With four kids, it seems like there is always a birthday or holiday coming up and the toys keep flooding in.
Instead of stressing about it and trying to control well-meaning family members, we just rotate toys.
You can read all about how we tackled this in this post.
A word of warning though - it's STRESSFUL when you see all of those toys in one place.
Push through, follow these steps, and you'll survive.
The absolute best way to "buy" your way out of your small space problem is to invest in furniture that doubles as storage.
This table set is absolutely to die for.
What kid doesn't need a flat surface for all of their arts and crafts?
This one comes with a bench that features TONS of storage.
This not only gives you the illusion of more space, but it makes it much more likely that your littles will actually put things away when they're finished.
After all, the storage spot is *right there*...No? Doesn't work for your kids either?
Make Broad Categories
This is the exact storage unit we have in our small play space.
We use this and a couple of other bins to make broad storage categories.
Especially if your kids are younger, broad categories just make more sense to their developing brains.
Dolls go in one bin, cars in another. Play food in yet another.
One of the biggest mistakes I made when I started organizing our playroom was breaking things down too small.
I tried to keep all of the play food in the little containers they came in.
I expected the dinosaurs that came with this truck to stay inside of it.
That’s just not realistic for kids.
They want to be able to clean up when we tell them to and get it done as fast as possible.
Honestly, as long as it looks clean and is relatively organized, my husband and I don’t care if there are meticulous categories.
I use chalk labels for all of our bins and use my atrocious drawing skills to make little mock ups of that category.
This is perfect for your littles before they’re able to read.
My kids understand that a stick figure with a dress is a doll and a stick figure with a sword is an action figure.
I’m not proud of my art skills but I AM proud of my kids for loving me anyway.
Stuffed Animal Storage Solutions
Almost all of us had the iconic stuffed animal net when we were kids.
There’s a reason those things have stood the test of time.
They’re durable, they hold a ton of stuffed animals, and they keep everything out of the way.
Plus there’s that slight satisfaction you get when you launch a teddy bear across the room and make it in the net.
Living Room Toy Storage
If you have a living room that doubles as your kids’ play space, these solutions are for you.
The secret to keep your space from looking cluttered is to use attractive storage.
A few rules to keep in mind when shopping for your living space:
1. Stick to your color scheme. Adding childish patterns will make your space appear more cluttered than it already is.
2. Stick with your broad categories in this space as well. Make it easy to corral all toys at the end of a long day.
Keep it simple and you'll have a combined livingroom and play space that both you and your kiddos can truly enjoy!
These large woven baskets are perfect for minimizing the appearance of toy clutter in your living room!
We have these in blue in our home.
We aren't picky about what goes in here.
When our kids are done playing, every toy gets pushed from the coffee table into the bin.
It looks great, our kids can handle the cleanup without our help, and everyone is happy!
This sturdy Reading Nook combined with cube storage is a great option if you have a dedicated corner for your kids.
Add some books, a couple of solid colored bins, and your area will look and feel like an adult space.
Be sure to steer clear of chintzy furniture here.
This is one area where it's really worth investing in something that will look nice for the long haul and hold up to your kids.
Don't buy something that already makes the space feel tacky.
The best toy storage for a living space is absolutely the storage ottoman.
Nowadays, they come in every size, color, and pattern you could possibly dream of.
They act as a toy box of sorts, only they double as an ottoman and extra seating.
In our last house, our living room was set up in such a way that we could slide our couch out a few inches of the wall without it looking odd.
That 8 inches of space gave us the perfect spot to hide our boys’ Hot Wheels ramp.
All of their Imaginex stuff was hidden back there too.
Have a couch that is a few inches from the ground?
This can be the perfect spot to store favorite puzzles, board games, and even some basic craft supplies.
How to Store Craft Supplies
This one is going to depend in a big way on the age of your kids and how into arts and crafts you are.
If you have a reasonable amount of craft supplies, you can corral them all in a large bin and call it a day.
My measuring stick for successful organization is whether I can find it later.
If I know where things are and know where to put them back without much thought, it’s a successful organization system.
The large bin worked for us for a few years.
Now, we have four kids and our youngest is two.
We have more arts and crafts supplies than Michaels does.
I simply keep all of our items in rubbermaid drawers like these. I have 3 of them.
At this age, arts and crafts also doubles as sensory work for my kids.
I also consider most of it to be homeschool supplies.
In the top two drawers of this one are all of our pens, pencils, my white out tape, and some random small items. I keep my binder clips, a small bag of bells, and highlighters in here too.
I used to keep my things separate, but I now just keep it all together.
The first large bin from the top has all of our construction paper and decorative paper.
The next drawer down is mostly for my things to organize our homeschool items.
This includes a couple of extra binders, my laminator, laminating sheets, and some file envelopes.
The bottom drawer is our hole punch and a bunch of extra Crayola Color Wonder.
When I find it on sale, I stock up!
Finally, I have two storage towers like this.
Let’s go through the drawers one by one.
- Extra Notebooks
- Coloring books
- Paint with Water Books
This is my Dollar Tree drawer. It’s stuffed to the brim with fun stuff I’ve found there like:
- Spanish moss
- Colorful string and twine
- All the glitter
- tons of craft glue
- slime supplies like activator
- fabric glue
- almost all of our paint. This includes watercolor, acrylic, chalk paint, etc.
- Extra packs of markers and crayons (like a huge stockpile of them – buy them after back to school season CHEAP)
- Overflow of all the other drawers. Some paint is in here, some extra notebooks, and some finished projects.
The dump and go bin works best for us at this point in our lives because our kids are still so young.
We also have a few extra bins that are kept near our dining room table because they’re used almost every day.
One has playdoh and accessories, one has kinetic sand, another has a gallon of glue, glitter, and contact solution for slime-making.
How to Handle New Toys After Getting Organized
You FINALLY feel like you have a handle on the playroom and then it hits you.
Christmas or a birthday is just around the corner.
Let’s defend the hard work you’ve done and make sure Santa doesn’t sabotage it in one fell swoop!
When it’s time to add new toys to your collection, be selective.
We try to only get open-ended toys that keep their attention longer.
Our doll house has been a doll house, action figure haven, and zoo for our animal figurines.
Our Legos and Duplo blocks get constant daily use and then go right back in their bin.
Same with the magnet tiles.
Try to not get noisy, light up toys that do the playing for them.
This way, you get by with far less toys, way less clutter, and need less space!
What toy solutions work best for your family? What is the biggest issue in your current play space? Let me know in the comments!