You don’t have to stand on a pointy building block in the middle of the night to be inspired to get your child’s toys better organized, though it certainly is a strong motivator! Unfortunately, young children often struggle to remember to put their toys back in their proper place. Even if you give them a cavernous toy chest, chances are they will spill the entire thing out ad hoc if they can’t find what they are looking for.
It’s clear that toy storage needs to go beyond giving your child a single large bin to dump toys and out of at a moment’s whim. The following are some convenient toy storage tips that can help keep your child’s toys safely tucked away, without posing a threat to the arch of your foot, while also making it easier for your child to find exactly what they want when they want it.
Toy Chest Organizers
Let’s say you’ve already invested in a cavernous toy chest, but you are sick and tired of the giant mess that spills into and out of it. You might want to try employing some simple bins or even repurposed ice cream buckets. You can then use a permanent marker to note what is in them on the top or sides of the bin. If your child can’t read, you might want to draw some simple pictures on the top to help them quickly find what they need without emptying out every bucket on your floor.
Under The Bed Storage
If you don’t happen to have a big toy chest, or you’ve managed to convince your child to take a different route, you might want to try making use of the space under their bed or daybed/crib. These might be simple flat, low tote bins with the lid left off or pull-out drawers that glide easy enough for them to open on their own.
Drawer Organization Dividers
If your child’s room has pull-out drawers or you want to repurpose one of the lower drawers on their dresser for toys, you might want to install some simple dividers. This lets you separate out action figures from building blocks and doll clothes, without letting them intermingle. This level of organization also encourages your child to keep their own things in visual order, which is a good life skill to cultivate early.
Open Fabric Toy Tote Bins
Fabric tote bins with semi-rigid sides and bottoms can be set up on low shelves or racks where your child can see what they want at a glance. They also tend to be light enough for them to pick up and carry with them. This is nice if your child is a builder and they like to take all their building blocks to the coffee table or wherever else they happen to be building their next creation.
Another nice thing about fabric tote bins is that they are available in a wide range of colors. It makes the easy to match your child’s bedroom or playroom color scheme. If possible, you might want to give priority to bins that have some sort of label window in the front.
Wire Basket Systems
Another take on the functionality of tote bins is to install wire baskets on sliders. The slider hardware can be affixed to the bottom of lower shelves to maximize vertical space. Kids can easily see what’s inside the baskets, to pull out the one they want. The sliders let them pull out just as if they were lightweight drawers.
If your child has a toy collection or two with a lot of small parts, you might want to line the bottom of the wire basket with shallow cardboard or plastic tray. This will keep things like action figure laser blasters and doll shoes from tumbling out of the basket mesh.
Shelf Dividers For Bookcases & Other Shelves
No child’s bedroom is complete without at least a few of their favorite books. They are great for keeping on hand for bedtime or letting your child develop their ability to read to themselves. Though most families find that unless they are a part of a subscription service, or have multiple children, that they can rarely fill up a bookcase before the child ages out of the books being kept there.
This makes them a child’s bookcase prime real estate for storing toys and stuffed animals. Though to keep the books from pushing the toys off the shelves, you might want to try installing some simple and adjustable shelf dividers.
There are a lot of worthy options to consider. Some are actual shelf divider systems with their own hardware brackets. Though you could just as easily repurpose good old-fashioned book stops. Though it might help to put some small rubber feet on the bottoms for a little added traction on the shelf. That way an accidental bump or the weight of shifting heavy books won’t easily change the bookshelf divider’s position.
Corner Mesh Baskets For Stuffed Animals
Children love stuffed animals, and if you love giving your child new stuffed animals, then chances are good you’ve had them overwhelm their bedroom, your living room, and other parts of the house. One way to reduce the chances of a stuffed animal tidal wave is to put mesh bags in your child’s room.
They can serve as a sort of stuffed animal hammock that easily installs in the corner of the room. You can set them up down low for easy access, or you can position it at eye level above things like bookshelves and toy bins. Then a simple step stool lets your little one choose a stuffed animal or two at a time. It also gives them a dedicated place to put their stuffed animals away, which encourages good cleanup habits for the future.
Easy Access LED Lighting
If you are going to use a closet or some other space without a lot of natural or ambient light, then you might want to also install some simple LED touch lights. The best ones are easy to install and weigh very little. They can be battery operated and have low wattage, and LED bulbs generate almost zero heat. This lets your child quickly turn on the light when they want to find something in a closet, without impulsively dumping it out into the rest of the room like a messy treasure hunt.