Toy Storage

We have this problem in our house. It’s a problem I’m grateful to have, but I am also desperate to solve.

You see, Little MPB has more toys then 1 child probably needs in their entire lifetime. This problem has been more evident since Christmas, when a tonne of new toys were brought into our house in the form of gifts. Even though Mr. MPB and I try not to buy too many random toys, I am sometimes guilty of picking up things he doesn’t really need and family and friends also tend to buy him gifts. and we are always trying to give away toys Little MPB has outgrown to make more room – but it never feels like enough

Like I said, I’m grateful to have this problem because it’s a problem I wouldn’t have if it weren’t for Little MPB. I actually love stepping over toys in the evening after Little MPB is fast asleep, because there is just so much symbolism in the fact that we have kids toys littering our living room floor. But, I’ll admit, I don’t love stepping on the toys, that reminder is much less appreciated.

My house is littered with paw patrol toys, megablocks, dump trucks, teddy bears, blankets, fire trucks, tickle-me Elmo, race car tracks, go-go smart wheels, and countless random toys. Our current toy storage system includes, random larger trucks just sitting on the ground. We also have a 3 Sprouts toy bin that is always overflowing with toys and we use Ikea Kallax shelves horizontally with bright coloured drona boxes full of toys. The shelf is sort of like this, but with kids toys not the fancy adult stuff (Picture source: from Ikea):

Source: Ikea

Our house design means that our main living room now serves the double function as Little MPB’s main play room. I’m over the fact that I wont have an adult living room again for a number of years, but I would like to try to find a way to at least have the everything co-exist a bit better.

And here in lies the problem. How do I create a space that allows for his toys to be stored in a way that makes sense and is effective? How do other people store all their kids toys?

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11 Comments on “Toy Storage

  1. We finished our basement and vowed all the toys would be downstairs in the toy room. Down there, it almost looks like a mini classroom with toy secions-a kitchen area, a reading area, a block/car/puzzle/game area and a doll/barbie area. However, the toy over flow quickly made it’s way upstairs and into our girl’s bedrooms too. I think this question is one that all moms are wondering because as long as we have kids there will be toys and as long as we have toys there will be toys everywhere. One thing I do like to do when a birthday is coming or Christmas where my girls receive more toys or ‘things’ is I either try to sell toys on buy-sell-trade pages that they no longer play with and then put that money from those used toys in their savings account or I will have my oldest pick out a few books, a few games, a few dolls, and a few other misc toys she doesn’t play with and we donate them. If we kept everything, we’d be up to our ears in toys!

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  2. For us the key is to downsize toys! We also put toys on rotation where half of them are in the crawlspace and half are accessible, and we swap them out every now and then. We use baskets in our Ikea shelves in the living room for the littler toys like blocks and things… And the bigger toys are just limited in qty so they can be tucked into a corner in the evenings. Good luck with your organizing!

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  3. We rotate toys and we are ruthless about what to keep. Things like mega blocks/duplo/building blocks etc are always out and kept in the bins for the cube shelves. We also put a shelf in his room as well as the loungeroom so we put some toys in there.

    I am also a big fan of doing toy cleanouts before birthday and Christmas, I will also be telling family to get clothes, crafts/arts supplies, adding to our duplo collection or buying experiences. My son doesn’t need more toys but time with people who love him is the best gift.

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  4. I definitely agree with the rotation idea and also can you make storage seats for some of the toys? This way your living room can look as grown up as possible in the evening while hiding all the secret toys away under your foot stools, benches or window seats! We also have periodic clear outs and donate to nursery schools, after school clubs and charity along with selling the odd thing too.

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  5. I’m not the best person to give advice on this because our house is quite messy, but what works for us are these beautiful knitted baskets made in Kenya from recycled material. We have 1 big one in the living room and 1 smaller in each kid’s room and we just throw in them the toys that have no designated place in kids’ rooms/are lying around in the living room when we feel the need to clean fast.

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  6. My son is only 15 months but I work hard to keep his toys to a minimum. I try to embrace minimalism in all my mom-life! So when toys came in for Christmas, toys went out!
    Right now, we have soft-rope-baskets in his room – one for stuffed animals, one for blankets, and one for small board books. He also has a shelf that I made from four wooden crates from the craft store. On that shelf is a basket to hold his wooden blocks, a 31bags tote to hold rubber duckies, his larger books, assorted larger toys, and wood puzzles.
    In the living room, our couch and love seat form a little corner of unused space by the window and that has been designated as his space. In it, I put a pillow or two, three large cars, a handful of books, and two plastic bins from target – one with foam blocks and one with assorted plastic toys.
    We’ve only had one Christmas and one birthday but I plan to use the one-in-one-out method each year. When his toys no longer fit these spaces, I’ll down size anything he’s lost interest in.
    Again, I know he’s younger than little MPB and needs less space but hopefully I can keep the minimalism going! I also tend to be ruthless with my purging!
    Good luck with the organizing!

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  7. We’ve got the IKEA three tiered TROFAST system, and its been working great. It was originally in her bedroom but we’ve now moved it to the living room so its easier to get things out and put them away. I am like you, more than happy to have the things around, but trying to find a way to co-exist. It allows just one corner of the room to be her toy zone so when she goes to bed everything gets returned there and the room becomes a grown up space again.

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  8. We do the same thing you do. I love the shelf and box system. But there are wayyyy too many toys! We pack some up in the basement. Give some away and (shhhhhh) we even took some unopen ones back to the store!

    If you find a miracle solution, let us know!!!

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