14 answers

Organizing Toys

I am looking for ideas on storing toys, stuffed animals etc. but still have them easily accessible. I tried those toys bins that come in primary and pastel colors but do not care for those, tried toy chests and bins are just as messy with everything getting lost at the bottom. I was thinking more of a cabinet or some type of closed storage. They will be placed in our back room which is open to guest as we do not have a basement. Please, if anyone has a method for storing toys I'd like to know what works for you. I have already donated alot of toys but they are driving me crazy with the mess. Thanks for any suggestions.

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Thank you all for your help. I received so many great replies and great ideas. I think I'm going to try the shelf with plastic containers, seems alot of you like the idea. I also liked the idea of taking pictures of what's in the containers and placing the picture on the outside so my daughter and I know what's in them. Thanks again for all your great help and well wishes for organizing...I need them!

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Target has a nine cube wooden bookshelf that you can by linen baskets to put in the individual cubes.

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We use the canvas toy hampers and square shaped canvas bins from Land of Nod. They come in a range of colors (we have the cream color for stuff that stays in the living room... so it looks nice) and dark blue for our son's room and pink for our daughter's room. They are relatively inexpensive and very durable compared to similar products we've bought from target, which fall apart. We also have canvas hampers from pottery barn kids with our kids' names embroidered on them. Those are nice, too.
The thing we like about this type of storage is that you can pick them up and take them into another room and then easily put everything back into the bedrooms, closets, whatever... They are portable... And they look nice.

1 mom found this helpful

We didn't do the kids bins but have moved to the furniture with the 24" cubes and then the foldable soft drawers that you can get at retailers sometimes on sale for $5 each. The drawers are nice because when my daughter is playing with her kitchen accessories she can take the whole drawer out - play with the things and then put the items away and the whole drawer/bin away.

The 24" cube furniture is everywhere - Ikea, Kmart. At Ikea I know that you can purchase doors for a unit a drawer for another and then some of the larger units you can expand later on by adding a desktop to the unit.

It gets to be costly but - we bought a 2 X 3 cubed unit to put at the end of my daughters bed for under $30 on sale at kmart and then the bins were just $5 each. You can also join kmarts emails and they will send out coupons toward your purchases occassionally.

And then if they have a friends and family event sometimes you can save upwards of 20% on your purchase.

1 mom found this helpful

Target has a nine cube wooden bookshelf that you can by linen baskets to put in the individual cubes.

1 mom found this helpful

I use the cheap plastic storage shelves from Target. They're white plastic and Target carries all different sizes. They've worked well for us. :)

I use the plastic Sterlite plastic clear organizing drawers for toys. They come in different sizes heights with different size drawers. I have 3 different ones and this works well for us!

Ikea has some great storage solutions at a pretty decent price. We use their cube storage and they have nice baskets that fit each cube perfectly. We left some open for books and frequently used toys. Good luck!

We use a combination of the Trofast system from Ikea:

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/categories/range/10389/...

We had seen it at our pediatricians office and a this one from Target which mixes up open and closed storage:

http://www.target.com/Closetmaid-9-Cube-Organizer-Cherry/...

When we didn't have a playroom and the toys were in our living room I used baskets on a book shelf so at the end of the day it didn't look like a play room.

As for the stuffed animals, our rule is they stay in the bedroom (that's the only toy in there) and we use the crush can/hampers to hold them. Boon makes this cool stuffed animal holder, but I have not seen it in person or know who well it would hold up, or allow the children to get the animals out.
http://www.booninc.com/products/TrioAnimalBag

I would say get a short book shelf that has a closed back and store them on the shelves. Get as many shelves as you have toys (maybe 2 to start). Depending on your budget you can get something as cheap as $10. I know that Crate & Barrel and those stores have shelves that are more art deco than standard. See this example: http://www.crateandbarrel.com/family.aspx?c=1141&f=29076

I have a daycare and store LOTS of toys. I use shelving and lots of clear plastic rubbermaid type bins. For little kids I leave the lids off of some of them, not all at once, or have toys that are bigger just on the shelf. You can see lots of pictures on my website http://www.freewebs.com/tarastoyland to get ideas. The kids know that before they get another toy out they have to put away the first bin. It really teaches good skills as well as keeping the mess under control.

We did this in our LR for toys, books, etc. I bought baskets for the open shelves. It looks nice and I have been really happy with it.

It is very similar to this:

http://www.target.com/6-Cube-Organizer-Hilton-Cherry/dp/B...

But it has 9 cubbies like this one:

http://www.target.com/9-Cube-Storage-Cubby-Espresso/dp/B0...

Hope that helps!
Happy Organizing!!

The container store sells these stackable frame and cloth containers. they are like shelves only they have a little depth to them. I put the big cuddlies on the top and then the other items are sort of arranged by type ie balls in one, dora paraphenalia in another, small cuddlies in another. We also have a book display unit from one step ahead that has two pull out drawers. I like these units a lot. It is a challenge regarding accessible versus tidy. I err on the accessible side so that sweetie can see stuff and then get it.

My daughter has lots of toys with small pieces. I could not stand them all laying around or pieces falling to the bottom of the toy box. What I did was buy a 3 shelf bookshelf unit and RubberMaid containers. I am able to organize and seperate all her toys and nicely put them on the shelves. She is allowed only one container at a time- except for her doll city which has 3 if she brings out all the houses. I have taken pictures of what the toys are in each one and printed them out then glued them to the front of the box so she can easily find what is in it. I also keep her fav books and DVDs on here so it does not look just like toy storage but a collection of her favs.

Right now I actually just stored them under her bed since one of her "energy filled" friends is coming tomorrow and will dump one container while grabbing 2 more. So the size of the containers has an added plus for us! lol

As for the stuffed animals.... OMG- my daughter has a ton of them! She actually has a seperate toy box for them and plays with each and every one of them daily! I do plan on buying one of those nets soon though to make more floor space in her bedroom. I think that is the easiest and cleanest way to do it!

Good luck getting organized!

I have the Land of Nod wooden double toy bins. I have 2 of them so 4 compartments. One of them is animals/dolls, one is odds and ends, one is little people bus, stable, etc and one is bristle blocks, legos, etc. I also bought brown baskets at World Market for smaller stuff. One for little people, dinosaurs, tools, trains, cars, fake food, balls etc. Most of them fit on top of the toy bins but some are on the floor next to them. Not a perfect solution but there is a place for everything and it stays organized. My 3 year old knows that she needs to clean up one basket before taking out another and even my 16 month old can clean up a little bit. I find that if it's a mess, they don't actually PLAY with anything, it just gets moved around. This way, they actually play with one type of toy and then move on.

Hi L.. You got a lot of good ideas. I to was a daycare provider and ran my business out of my home. Everything was in my livingroom so I to wanted to keep it looking as nnice as possible. I did not like toy boxes as they had to take everything out to get a particular toy. I tried the rummbermaid cabinet with different size drawers also. It did work and I liked it but the drawers were not that easy to get in and out for the little ones plus it did not look grert. I LOVE the wood cube cabinet with wicker baskets. It may be costly at first but woudl last along time and look nice. I also like the idea of the different colored canvas bins for certain things. They to look nice. Good luck.

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