Toy Chest Vs. Toy Storage Organzer

Updated on April 28, 2008
T.T. asks from Keller, TX
14 answers

I am planning on buy two toy boxs for our home one for the living room (toy box)

and another for the play room. She has a large and I do mean large shelf unit in the living room but it doesnt hold all the small stuff.

Should I buy another toy box/chest or should I buy a toy Storage Organizer.

My only fear about the Organizer is that she will dump all the bins which makes more work for me!

What are your suggestions?

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all of your suggestions!

I purchased the Step 2 Lifestyle Toy Chest for the Dining room that matches her Step 2 Delux Kitchen that is in the dining room as well. I figured it looked nice and can keep the big stuff out of site.

As for the play room i did purchase the bins just like everyone suggested.

I also found some cute pink clear Large storage bins to put the big toys in and put one in the playroom and one in the dining room.

Thanks for all the suggestions and i hope this keeps my home more organized. Doesnt help when she has toys in every room! She has taken over the house! Maybe I should cut back on buying so many toys!

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answers from Wichita Falls on

I have 2 sons and have fought this battle myself. the toy boxes were great for the big toys but my oldest son always wanted to dump it out to get to all of the cars and little toys that had fallen to the bottom. With the organizer containers it is much easier for everything to have a place that is easy to get to. I also have a two year old and while it has gotten messy it has also presented me with the opportunity to teach him to clean up toys when it is time to help big brother clean their room. Hope this helps!!!

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answers from Abilene on

We had shelves for our girls with boxes/cans covered with cute contact paper to hold the little stuff. We labeled the boxes/cans so they knew what belonged in them. We also had the shelves organized so that they knew where to put each toy or book back in place.
Don't make putting the toys away "your" job -- teach your daughter to help you put things away until she is old enough to do it by herself. You can make a game of it and it will also help her learn to identify shapes, colors, items and follow directions -- all things she needs to learn anyway.


answers from Dallas on

They make the toy organizers that don't have removable bins. My daughter had one. It was great. I agree with the other moms, definately choose the organizer. I used this until my baby was 6. I made picture index cards so that when it came time to clean up, she could visualize what went where. It was a great teaching tool.



answers from Shreveport on

I am all for the toy organizer so that she can see what she is wanting to get and doesn't pull 18 things out to get to one. As for dumping all the bins, she is not too young to teach her to pick up after herself. I started teaching my DD to put away what she wasn't playing with before she got another toy out at about 18 months. She still has to be reminded, but I don't have to pick up after her nearly as much.



answers from Dallas on

I would buy the toy organizer. I found with my children that they played more independently with the organizer, because they could see their options. At a young age, if it was in to box it was "out of sight, out of mind".

Hope that helps,



answers from Dallas on


My experience with my inhome daycare, is that when I had a toy box, the kids never dug to the bottom of the box to play with any of the toys. I finally bought some of the stands and bins and they play with the toys now that they can see them. I had them all organized, cars together, figures, animals, ect...that didn't last long! LOL. I would suggest the bins.




answers from Tyler on

I have three ages 4 and under so I know that the toy situation can literally take over your home! What has worked best for us it to use a toy rotation so that only a few toys are out at a time. Put all the other in a bin or closet out of her sight and reach. You can then choose a nice variety (at her age I would choose no more than 6 toys) and put each in its own basket or bin for her to reach. It is more manageable for both of you and easier to start teaching her about clean-up time! Also, when you rotate the toys (every week or two) she will act like it is Christmas all over again when you bring out the "NEW" toys.
Personally, I think the only thing toyboxes are good for are stuffed animals. They are just a big mess and make it hard for the child to find a toy much less any parts that go with it!



answers from Lubbock on

Ue small bins on shelves. Take a picture or cut one out of a magazine or draw one to show what goes in each bin. If she dumps them all out, sit with her and make her hlep put everything back in the appropriate bin. I did this with my son and as long as I helped him pick up it worked. His dad was less patient so the legos and building blocks, etc were mixed up. In a toy chest you will always be losing the smaller pieces.



answers from Dallas on

I use a toy chest for the exact reason you are worried about...dumping everywhere. I did organize "sets" into clear storage bags,like the ones your blankets and sheets come in. You can also buy these in storage area that are sold as sweater bags. The bags make it so much easier to find something. I did nto have these at first and they would have to pull everything out to find one little thing that was always on the bottom. Since i added the bags the chaos is so much more controlled. Yes, they still need to pull things out but the bags are so much easier to pick up than a dozen little pieces. I have a bag for doctor stuff, music items, race cars, blocks, etc... The big items like stick horses and swords can easily lay inside. One thing to check out... Make sure the hinges are child safe. I bought a wood toy box instead of plastic so it was strong enough for them to sit on and jump off of. And they do. Another plus with the toy chest and bags, it is easy to grab a bag to take with you to a friends house, play date, trip, etc. And the toy chest can be used later on (if it survives) in another room for blankets or shoes etc. Good luck! Ps i've had mine 9 years and it is still standing!



answers from Phoenix on

I bought a few plastic bins from IKEA and keep toys of different types (cars, animals, play food, etc.) in different bins. I keep them up on my kids' closet shelf where they can't reach them, and only get out one or two bins at a time. That way there is less to clean up. Plus, then I can start teaching the kids to help clean up and it isn't too overwhelming for them. (They are 2 years old)



answers from Amarillo on

At our house we have a toy closet. Everything is neatly organized (usually lol) and my kids can get up to 2 things out at a time. When they were younger I would help them pick something out to play with and they learned very quickly to help me pick that thing up and put it back if they wanted something else. I think you could do the same idea with a toy storage bin if it was put in a room she didn't have access to.



answers from Wichita Falls on

Toy bins can be a fun tool to teach them how to clean up. make it a game for them. I have one for my 1 year old and she loves to put her toys back when she is finished.



answers from Dallas on

I personally would go with the toy chest, especially if it is going in your living room. I had both at one point or another in my daughters room. The storage bins are cute until you fill them with all the clutter and all that clutter is out in the open for all to see. The storage chest will help the area look cleaner. I regretted the bins because of this... Just an opinion!



answers from Dallas on

I would suggest the bins too. I have several clear shoe box size boxes for our small figures and such. I like the ones with the lids as I can stack them on top of each other. I went on and "copied" the picture of the DVD case and printed them out and taped them to the front of the box so the kids could see what movie characters were in each one. This kept them from dumping them all to look for one specific character they were looking for.

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