One thing that my daughter has is an awful lot of is toys. A lot is actually an understatement, it feels more like an endless supply of toys and games, which are amazing and provide endless hours of fun and stimulation but the quantity presents me with a daily dilemma as well as a difficult job trying to find somewhere to store everything. I keep hopefully pulling out boxes of old long forgotten toys in the hope of a bit of a clearout only to be greeted with squeals of joy at finding her old favourites and of course, nothing gets moved on or cleared out.
We have it all, from baby dolls, prams, pushchairs, smaller dolls and their endless accessories and in some cases, even houses and so much LEGO. She just loves LEGO and I have no shelves left, as every shelf in the house has one of my daughter’s precious LEGO creations sitting on it gathering dust. Short of putting half of the toys in storage and rotating them around every few months, I am always on the lookout for clever storage ideas.
So here are my solutions for the never-ending toy storage problem.
Bring in the baskets
Baskets can provide the perfect answer to your toy storage problems. You can buy baskets of all shapes, sizes and colours and these can be a nice way to store toys away in a way that will fit naturally into any living space. Baskets can slot into shelf units or on top of cupboards or just tuck away in a corner and can also be used for general storage once the toys have all gone.
You can never have too many shelves
Shelving units can be multi-purpose and a set of floor to ceiling shelves can be a great place to hide away toys. Cube shelving units are a perfect option, we have two sets which are almost floor to ceiling and you can have them against the wall or use as a room divider. It is easy to find a good selection of fabric or plastic boxes that fit neatly into the shelves, disguising the contents when everything is put away but also make it easy for children to access their toys too as the boxes aren’t too big and heavy.
Get creative with your LEGO storage
If LEGO is your nemesis when it comes to storage, and trust me when I tell you that I know all about that, there are lots of brilliant and fun ways to organise your sets. If you are someone who prefers to keep everything is size or colour order or even keeping individual sets together; try using a toolbox with separate sections, a set of plastic drawers or even a set of sturdy see-through bags with each set inside, all then kept in a larger box. Why not take a toy box with a lid or an old ottoman and glue some bases to the top and then store the LEGO inside to create a play area and storage in one. You could even stick LEGO bases to walls, which again can be a place to store, and play and most little LEGO addicts would love this idea.
That space under the bed
That space under the bed can be a valuable space for toys. You can invest in wooden drawers that roll easily in and out and these can be perfect for anything from train sets to dolls and it is a space that is often not used for anything else. Old suitcases will often fit there too or you can buy plastic boxes or storage bags which are the perfect under-bed fit.
Good old tubs
Flexible plastic tubs that you can pick up in a lot of shops are great for squeezing into small spaces and are perfect for little hands to carry and pull out. If they have handles, even better as you could even hang them on the walls and use them for those endless soft toys that are difficult to find a home for. Fabric or jute tubs can also be used in the same way. Personally, I love the brightly coloured flexitubs that you can buy in garden centres and DIY stores, they are really cheap and just perfect for throwing toys into.
Storage that is multi-functional can be a blessing. Play mats that fold up into storage cases, boxes or even drawstring bags can save hours packing away. A tall narrow shelving unit turned on its side can be made into a seat and storage area, which looks great and is so useful at the same time.
Stack it up
Simple stackable boxes are often by far the simplest and most cost-effective way of storing toys. If they have a lid, this makes things much easier and toys can be packed away and stacked at the end of the day. Organise them with chalkboard stickers with the type of toy written on or a picture of the toys inside to make it easy for everyone to know what’s inside.
The key to good toy organisation is keeping everything together and making sure that your children can easily get to them and put them away again. Some parents genuinely do choose to rotate toys, which is a great idea. Putting some toys away for a few weeks and then getting them out again can be the perfect way to ensure that your children never get bored and always have something different and ‘new’ to play with.
Whatever space you have, children do have an uncanny knack of filling it, but with a bit of thought and organisation, it is possible to find toy storage solutions to suit every space and every budget.