Toy Storage Inspiration

I’ve pretty much beaten the “I’m a minimalist, I don’t want my house to look like a daycare center just because I have kids” line into the ground. But I am who I am. And the playroom/office/doomsday zone? Not cutting it.  

Thomas originally had one galvanized bin of toys – anything that didn’t fit into it was stored in a neat and tidy box on shelving in the basement until it was toy rotation day (toy rotation happens whenever I’m bored with his toys – sometimes once a week, sometimes once a month, and it works wonders at making old toys new again). I am still very much a proponent of keeping the toys to a minimum and limiting large plastic items as much as possible, but realistically, one galvanized tub of toys worked for a 12 month old. For a mobile 22 month old? It’s time to consider an alternative solution.

Here’s what we’ve currently got going on for toy storage on the main floor – Thomas has one bookshelf in the office. And a basket of books in the living room (and books galore in his room – I try to keep toys out of his room – a trick I learned from Laurel long before kids were even on my mind as anything but other people’s cute babies). 

Another thing I’ve realized? I thought bins and storage boxes were the answer to my problem. But, turns out that toys that are not easily visible (in this case, the legos in the closed up bin and the toys at the bottom of the white tub) Thomas doesn’t think to play with – he goes for the toys that are easily visible.  All of this is to say, I’ve been searching the internets for toy storage ideas that won’t overwhelm me with kiddiness but, also promote learning and play. And I thought I’d share what I’ve found – not like I’ve put any of these ideas into practice yet.  That will take a good 6 months :).

For mostly open and accessible toy storage, I’m liking these ideas:

Source: via Emily on Pinterest

Source: via Emily on Pinterest

And for things that do need to be contained because of multiple pieces (blocks, floor puzzles, etc), I’m loving these ideas:

Source: via Emily on Pinterest

So that’s where I’m at these days. Any brilliant toy storage solutions you’ve seen or put into place lately?


  1. No, I don’t have tips at all. I totally need to wrangle this, AND get on top of toy rotation, because you’re totally right–if she can’t see it, she doesn’t play with it.

    Man, how I *wish* we had another room other than her bedroom for toys!

  2. I really like the Land of Nod piece of furniture, and I’m loving the crates with wheels.

    can’t wait to see what you do. Also, I’m happy for the tip to keep toys out of the room. That makes sense to me.

  3. Those bags are AWESOME and my hands are getting itchy to sew a million of them. But calm down, Sarah. Katherine has like 4 toys right now and she’s mostly working on fattening up. haha…
    I can’t wait to see what you end up with! :):):)

  4. I love that other mom’s do the toy rotation like me. I started doing this because they get so bored with the same stuff over and over again. The only thing I do different is I do my rotations like twice a year, mostly because I’m too lazy to get into the attic and take them down..Ha!! I love those toy room inspiration pictures, really makes me want a toy room for my kiddos 🙂

  5. I’m kind of drooling over this post!

  6. Why do you want to keep toys out of his bedroom?
    Just curious

  7. Hi Jennifer – Mostly to contain the mess to one spot, honestly. But also, as he transitions out of his crib later this year, I think fewer distractions at nap/bedtime would be good for him. I try to keep his room a creative place for reading and resting – not stepping over toys. Who knows how that will evolve as he gets older, though!

  8. We are entering the “toy explosion” phase and are already trying to figure out how to corral them. I love all of your ideas! Especially those bags….how perfect! Can’t wait to see what you come up with so we can shamelessly copy you!

  9. great ideas – and good point about being visible – but wanting to find something that is still satisfactory for mom. i like those bags with the clear window a lot!