Home & Decor

Finally, a Toy Storage Solution

Tuesday March 22, 2016

The toys have been corralled, I repeat, the toys have been corralled.

Ever since Bean was born, we’ve had this Toy Issue, which I’m sure some of you are familiar with. Namely: What Are We Supposed To Do With All These Toys and Why Do Some of These Toy Sets Have 50 Pieces, That Really Seems to be Quite a Lot of Pieces? What do other people do with all this stuff?

After fretting and frowning for 3 years, I’m happy to report I came up with a method. Just store it like anything else in this apartment: boxes.

We rotate Bean’s toys on a weekly/daily basis, so what I really needed was an organizational system that made it easy for me to put away and locate other toys. Her toys are housed on top of our Ikea PAX wardrobes, so this isn’t a storage system that she has access to. The toys that she plays with are on a series of low shelves around her room.

First, everything had to come out of its original packaging. It’s just too bulky and wastes space. Then, all sets got put into Ziploc bags. This is how we’ve been managing for the past few years. After a while and after a few Christmases and birthdays, the Ziploc bags, though, were plotting a violent overthrow of the apartment.





Enter the categorized boxes. These are from The Container Store, and I highly recommend them. We’ve also organized our utility/craft closet with dozens of them. I love that they are translucent but also slightly opaque white. It means you can see what’s in the box, but it’s not jarring to look at.

I labeled the boxes according to how I think of Bean’s toys, and the categories that make the most sense when I’m putting together activities for her: Jigsaw Puzzles, Coloring & Sticker Books, Crafts, Art Supplies, Automotive, Science, Math, Dollhouse & Dolls, Balls, Building, Blocks, Cards, and Letter Games. I also have a tray I call “Manipulatives.” (Things like wood bolts and screws, stacking pegs, etc.)

(I used ten Men’s Shoe Boxes in the images shown here. I also used several Boot Boxes for coloring and sticker books, and a couple Tall Shoe Boxes for crafts and art supplies. Our utility closet uses the Women’s Shoe Boxes.)




Stacking these on top of our 7-foot wardrobes means that they’re also out of sight and don’t add to the visual clutter. Huge when we’re talking about small apartment living.

This system has been very helpful when it comes to deciding which toys to put out. Grabbing a Ziploc out of each box ensures that she has a good range of toys to work. It’s also easy to put together Montessori trays, mixing and matching pieces from different toy sets, because I know where everything is and where everything should go back to.

As she gets older, the categories will likely stay the same, but the contents will shift. I think. For now, though, I finally feel like I’ve figured this toy storage thing out.

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