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The act of organizing kids' toys can seem daunting. And while everyone's storage and organizational options will differ, decluttering toys and organizing toys all have the same basic steps. I'll share the process I use repeatedly and storage options that might help.
Before beginning, declutter your toys. There are zero reasons to start organizing what you have if your toys don't fit into your available storage options. You can check out my Toy Organization Boot Camp if you want an in-depth look at the process of sorting your toys and decluttering them. Start there. After decluttering, we can look at how to organize kids' toys!
Toy Room Organization Tips
No matter where the toys are stored in your home or what stage of life your children are in, we can all use the same tips when it comes to organizing toys. I'll go more in-depth by age group in a little bit, but overall the following will help you when deciding the best way to organize toys.
Ease of Access
When deciding on your organizing course, always consider what toys need to be easily accessible. These are your children's FAVORITE toys. Their go-to's. Ensure that they aren't only easy to get out but also in a storage solution that makes picking them up and keeping toys organized a breeze.
Stacking and layering toys are common in playrooms anymore. But – all that process does is lead to more messes. If you need to stack, try to do it horizontally rather than vertically. Also, avoid putting any items in layers, like some on the back of the shelf and some on the front. Eliminate the chance for a toy blow-up where you can.
Big Items go First
Along with ensuring that the kiddos have access to their favorite toys, I recommend finding a storage solution for all the big items first. Hopefully, you have already decluttered what you don't want, and now you can find the most logical place for those toys. Think rocking horses, play tables, kitchen sets, etc.
Also, consider any toys with a lot of pieces or any toys you've sorted by type and need a big bin to store together. They should be organized first since the littler items will be easier to find a space for.
Avoid Toy Boxes
I know this isn't always possible, but if you can avoid the endless black hole of a toy box, you should. Toy boxes are notorious for being a catch-all during pick-up times and tossed when your kids are “absolutely sure” that the missing piece is in the bottom. I prefer to store toys in cubbies or bins, one set or type in each. Think – every toy has a place.
Store Mess-Makers Out of Sight
Mess-makers are exactly how they sound. Craft supplies, science experiments, play dough and paint. Any items you know your children should have adult supervision for – keep those in the storage area that is the furthest away from the common play area. It's not that your children will never play with these, but go ahead and limit them if needed.
Toy Organization by Age Group
Since there is no way for me to possibly know everyone's toy situation or what stage of life you are in, I am going to cover three age ranges to give you some organizational tips. If you have children who span the age groups mentioned, focus on sorting by age group in your home as well. Toddlers have one area, and the big kids have another. Even a separate wall will work.
Baby Toy Organization (Ages 0-1 year)
When it comes to baby toy organization, let's just say it's an art form. With all the different shapes and sizes, finding the right storage solution that will keep everything organized and the essential items close at hand can be challenging. And, when it comes to keeping things tidy, it's a never-ending battle.
But fear not, because there are ways to make baby toy organization a breeze. Start by sorting the toys by type, like blocks, books, stuffed animals, and cars. Then give each group its own designated storage space. You can also get creative with shelves, bins, and baskets to help keep everything in its place. Make sure to put any toys that aren't used as much out of reach. Especially any that are not age appropriate.
However, the baby stage is a tough one, so do what you can, momma. Let the baby stage be the baby stage, and when your child can help pick up, it will all come back together. Oh – and if no one has told you – you're doing a fantastic job!
Toddler Toy Organization (Ages 2-4 years)
Manage your toddler's toys and supplies with some creative organization. Toy cubbies are great for keeping stuffed animals and dollhouses in one spot, and bins are perfect for sorting out blocks, cars, and other small items. Safety is also important, so ensure all toys are stored away from outlets and other hazards.
For toddlers just starting to learn their shapes and colors, consider buying colored bins so they can start learning while they play. Lastly, don't forget to rotate toys to keep them interesting. If you find that your toddler has lost interest in a certain toy, it's time to put it away and swap it out for something new. With some smart organizing and a little creativity, you can help your toddler stay safe and keep their toys tidy.
Kids Toy Organization (Ages 5-7)
When it comes to kids' toy organization, your storage solutions should begin to downsize. Naturally, as children grow older, their motor skills improve. So, the logical toys are those that work those new skills and ones that have smaller pieces than they would have had access to previously. Another perk to this stage of life – your kids can and should be able to pick up for themselves.
Keeping your kids' toys organized can be a challenge. But with a little effort, it's possible to create a system that works for both you and your kids:
- First, designate a space for each type of toy. Legos can go in one bin, board games in another, and small toys in a third. You could use a separate box for toy cars, while art supplies can be stored in a designated drawer or basket.
- Next, make sure all the toys are easily accessible. This way, kids won't have to dig through bins to find the toy they're looking for.
- Finally, be sure to label each bin, box, or basket with a description of what's inside. This will make it even easier for kids to find what they need. With a little bit of preparation, your kids' toys will be organized and ready for playtime in no time!
My children are currently in this age range, and since they are more than capable of picking up their own toys, we have them pick up 2-4 nights a week in order to earn their electronic devices. Do I also pick up toys? Yes. Do my kids also make giant messes? Also, yes. The key takeaway is that once everyone creates the habit of maintaining the organization, life is so much easier.
Organizing Toys in Common Areas
Keeping common areas like your living room, kitchen, car, and bath neat and organized can be a challenge, especially when it comes to toys. But with a few simple tips, you can keep these areas clutter-free without sacrificing the fun. Start by setting up designated toy storage areas in each of the common areas.
Consider using a toy box or a shelf with bins to store toys in the living room. In the kitchen, designate a corner for toys. For the car, use a storage pouch that hangs from the back of the seat. And in the bath, use a basket for bath toys. Simple additions to your home's common areas can help keep them looking tidy.
Once you have storage areas in place, it's time to have a talk with your kids about keeping their toys organized. Make sure they know that the toys need to go back into the designated storage areas when they're done playing. This will help keep common areas looking neat and tidy. These simple tips allow you to enjoy fun and clutter-free common areas in your home.
Ideas for Storing Toys
Finally, we will break down some of my favorite storage solutions for toys.
- Toy Organizer – I love this Humble Crew storage unit. I actually have 2 of them in my house. The 2 different bin sizes allow us to store different items by type, and the ease of all the bins makes pick up so much easier. And – I love the colors!
- Storage Containers – Sterilite bins are my favorite. I have MULTIPLE sets and use them with or without the lids. These are great for storing mess-makers and those less played-with items.
- Space-Saving Storage Containers – These Iris bins are just for you if you need a stackable option. Not only are they a great deal for a 20-pack, but they are small and compact options that can be stacked throughout your home.
- Toy Hammock – if you are like me and have a million stuffed animals taking up space, consider going vertical. These toy hammocks allow you to get them up off of the floor but still access them if needed.
- Over-the-Door: I love these mesh over-the-door hangers. They are roomy and can store all kinds of toys. You can use them to make the toys easily accessible for your kiddos or to help keep items out of sight (like mess-makers.)
When looking at all of the storage options available, you can get a little overwhelmed. Sometimes it is easiest to decide what you want to organize (whether it's books, stuffed animals, or legos) and then do a search for what will work best for your space. If you need help or want to get my opinion, let me know in the Declutter and Organize with the Boot Camp Mom Facebook group!
Organizing kid's toys is not a big deal as long as you have put in the work to get your toys decluttered beforehand. I can not stress enough how important it is to declutter first. Otherwise, you are just spending money to box up items that your child no longer needs or plays with. Once decluttered, your kids' toys will be much easier to organize.
Consider what you want to organize and the type of toy, and then search for a storage solution that will work. I hope this helps answer the question of how to organize kids' toys. Need some customizable toy labels? Join our email list to download them in our Resource Library today!