Storage/Toy Box ideas

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from Arcain. Show Arcain's posts

    Storage/Toy Box ideas

    DS is turning 1 in a little over a month, and DH and I thought we might get him a nice wooden toy box as a gift. This stemmed from the fact that we have no real storage for his toys. All we have right now is a set of 4x4 cube shelves with those canvas drawers, some of which is used for his bibs, blankets, etc., and is nowhere near enough for the exponentially growing toy collection.

    What it's leading me to realize is that I am totally clueless about how to organize DS's space now that he has a lot of (increasingly big!) toys. He has a tiny bedroom, so most stuff is going to be in our family room. He basically has half the room, and I'm planning to set up a gated area with a mat for him to play in safely when we can't be chasing him. I have this vague vision of a series of unobtrusive, fun and cute, impeccably organized shelves and storage boxes that actually fit all his stuff and that he can access when he wants to get toys, but I have no idea where to start. I am terrible at anything beyond the most basic home organization or decor.

    Can anyone share their fabulous storage ideas or products? And perhaps smack some sense into me RE: thinking I'll ever have a clean house again (not that I ever did...)?


  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from clc51510. Show clc51510's posts

    Re: Storage/Toy Box ideas

    Arcain, I know this isn't what you're asking about but we just got a storage ottoman from Target for our living room and are using it in place of a coffee table.  I went ahead and filled it with DS's toys and blankets.  I have two other ideas in mind that I would like for our finished basement which will be transitioning from the "Man Cave" to playroom (Sorry DH!) but I'm not sure which one I will go with: Storage Bins or stacking storage containers.  Good luck!!

  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from lissafro. Show lissafro's posts

    Re: Storage/Toy Box ideas

    Does pushing everything up against the edge of the room until it piles count? 


    Seriously, I think I've seen lovely things like open shelves with baskets and nice bins at places like IKEA and "Land of Nod" (crate and barrel's kids thing).  They have them at Target and places like that too.  I'm not sure how one keeps the toys in the containers.   Right now the closest we've come to organizing is grabbing anything we see that is a choking hazard and relegating it to DD#1's room so that DD#2 can't get it. 

  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Arcain. Show Arcain's posts

    Re: Storage/Toy Box ideas

    Clc, love the ottoman idea! Anything that has a dual purpose is key here!

    Lissa, LOL, it counts in my house. I'm actually developing a system for which toys get shoved into which corners. Yeah,  I looked at some Land of Nod stuff. They have some shelves I like, but I'm not sure how they'd work I. The room we have...

  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from Trouble30. Show Trouble30's posts

    Re: Storage/Toy Box ideas

    Toy boxes don't really work in my house, well only when I clean up after they've gone to sleep!  Depending upon how much stuff you accumulate, I have found what helps is to have a toy/book rotation system.  I have several large storage bins filled with toys that get rotated in and out of our main play area once a month.  I also rotate the books, but we keep the ones not in circulation up on bookshelves.  It's not the solution you were asking for, but it certainly cuts down on clutter and my kids seriously feel like they have a whole new set of toys every month!

    But if you do get a toy box, get one with a little cutout under the lid so they can't close it on their fingers.  We got one as a gift and i'm forever worried that one is going to bang it down on the other's fingers.  Luckily they don't go in it too much and prefer to sit on it.

  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from luvRIboy. Show luvRIboy's posts

    Re: Storage/Toy Box ideas

    I've been thinking about all of this stuff lately, too, as we get ready to move into a new home.  There's a playroom on the 3rd floor, but we're not going to be using that for a while, so I'm trying to figure out how we can have the toys on the main level but not take it over, like they do now! 

    Here's what I've figured out so far:

    For the living room:

    I found these big woven baskets at Christmas Tree Shop, which I'm going to use as storage baskets for toys in the living room.  They have handles, so I can bring them upstairs to trade out toys between the living room and their bedrooms.  Also have a cabinet thing from Pier 1 that currently is in our front hall, and I plan to repurpose in the new house for kids stuff (art supplies, and blocks and legos); it's got two deep basket drawers and 4 more shallow ones, but it is furniture, not something that looks like it will be filled with kids stuff.   

    We also have an ottoman as our coffee table and it has a shelf below it...that's where puzzles and books go. 

    For bedrooms:

    Also from Christmas Tree Shop, I got each kid a folding bookshelf ($30/each or so), for books, stuffed animals and "stuff".  Have cloth baskets for the bottom two shelves. And bigger cloth bins/baskets for the bigger stuff. 

    We'll see how it all works!


  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from ml2620-2. Show ml2620-2's posts

    Re: Storage/Toy Box ideas

    We have found that when you put something in a toybox, DD doesn't see it so she doesn't play with it and it becomes the land of unloved toys.

    We just purchased a long short bookcase with three shelves and we put everything on the shelves so she sees her options. But like Lissa said, the big stuff does get pushed up against the wall. You will never find a perfect solution, it will change over time (DD is 2.5 and suddenly she has a ton of things that have little parts - so I've been making little bags of things that then go into the bigger bins so I don't have to go out and buy a bunch of small bins.

    In short my advice is not to go with the toy box, and to invest in something that can adapt over time (not too cutesy, modular and scalable). If you do go with a toy box, get something with a totally removable lid so he doesn't hit his head or pinch his fingers accessing it.

    I love the ideas I see at - it's a bit psycho for organizing as a whole, but tons of great searchable ideas.

  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Storage/Toy Box ideas

    Ditto those who have said "out of sight, out of mind". Anything DD can't see, she will never play with.  I'm similar.  Go figure. :)


    Like Luv, baskets have worked really well for us because they can be carried, and bookshelves (for toys, not for books) have worked well too. We're also currently in the market for a better organizational system, but for now we have a few baskets with books in them in every room (I infinitely prefer this to trying to keep books on bookshelves, which is impossible), and a handful of cloth containers that are actually meant to be clothing storage bins (I bought them when we lived in our small condo with limited closets, I would fold my sweaters into them) but are GREAT for the toys because cleanup is a breeze - just throw everything in! And they are soft, so no injuries if you fall into them.


    I looked at this at BJ's over the weekend but it was VERY wobbly. However, I love the idea:

  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: Storage/Toy Box ideas

    Poppy-we have that storage thing in DS' room. and it's not wobbly at all. Its not a perfect solution, but it does help sort the cars/legos and other items.

    We've also got the leather storage bench in the living room. Currently there are too many toys to close it, but when company comes over I can arrange things to close adds additional seating and gives a polished look.

    We recently purchased this from ikea and it stores DD's bigger toys. DD loves to actually sit in this and just play with all the toys.

    I've put this in both of their closets. Helps stores the out of season/next size clothes. I've also used the bottom tiers to store puzzles/dress up clothes.

     And I have a bunch of this type bin I got at homegoods around the house. DD's books are in it in the living room, DS's big trucks and other random toys are there.


  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from GC1016. Show GC1016's posts

    Re: Storage/Toy Box ideas

    I am in the throes of organizing right now. 

    I've banished anything that makes noise from the living room; all that's left are open lined baskets with puzzles & books, her little table & chairs and her PB Kids "easy chair." 

    We have two full walls of built-ins in our office, and I'm cleaning out the bottom two rows and putting all her toys in small, clear containers with lids, grouped together by type (games, dolls) or theme (animals, shapes, music) depending on how creative I'm feeling.  [I got the idea from the kids' room in a local museum.]  The bins are a little smaller than a case of beer (we all measure in cases of beer, right?), and she can open and close them herself.  I also moved her easel & art supplies in there (less furniture to color on) as well as the noise-making toys. 

    I had a big canvas bin as a toy box, but it was just a mess -- she couldn't reach everything and it was all jumbled and chaos.  The smaller bins work much better. 

    We do have a wooden toy chest that I got at an unfinished furniture store in Malden.  I use that just for dress-up clothes, though. 

  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from Micromom. Show Micromom's posts

    Re: Storage/Toy Box ideas

    I also recommend the storage ottoman.  I have ones that have a padded top that flips to give you a wooden table surface.  Also good for extra seating in a pinch.   I found the best price at target.

    I definitely recommend open storage, definitely out of sight out of mind around here.

    And one recommendation that might make more sense as your LO grows, but I cycle toys in and out of rotation.  Keeping a plastic storage bin in the basement, I move toys in and out of the main play areas every few weeks.  Good for decreasing the clutter, and keeping toys fresh for the kiddies.


  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: Storage/Toy Box ideas

    We have storage ottomans (container store) and I like them okay, but would only recommend them if you want an ottoman anyway.  We do use them for putting our feet up / sitting / end tables at times, but in my mind they are not the perfect toy storage solution.

    They are like the toy box - once stuff goes in, it doesn't get played with.  My ideal solution is pretty much what GC described: I envision a bottom shelf empty to put our "big stuff" on, like the doll house, big trucks, car ramp, et cetera.  And then a second shelf with clear bins to store smaller stuff in sets.  This is not feasible in our current place, so we do have some clear bins, but they are stored elsewhere and not very accessible.  I do like have the "kitchen stuff" and the "craft stuff" and whatnot, though.  I am also considering those racks people showed above with the open bins of varying sizes.

  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from crackersandcheese. Show crackersandcheese's posts

    Re: Storage/Toy Box ideas

    We have these in our playroom and in my son's bedroom and I love them:

    He loves putting (ok, throwing) the toys in the bins and I love that they stack so you can have one or two. They also sell one that looks like a bookshelf that you can stack on top. I put some of the bigger toys he plays with on top and then we throw smaller things into the bins. They sell similar, more expensive versions at Land of Nod and PBK but I have been happy with this brand. The stuff is away but you can still see it.

  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from dz76. Show dz76's posts

    Re: Storage/Toy Box ideas

    When DD1 was born, we got the toy box that went with the rest of the furniture set we were getting. It wasn't used much for all the reasons others mentioned.  When we had to fit 2 cribs and a twin bed into the room the toy box got moved to the basement where it lived for 2 years before recently making a move into my room to store some blankets and the toys that always wind up in our room.

    I love the cubes by closetmaid that Target sells for toy storage.  We have a 2x8, 3x3, 1x2 and 2x3 and they work really well for us.  I don't have bins for each cube.  Some are used for books or other stuff the wouldn't really fit in a bin.  The big stuff just lives on top of the units or against walls but there isn't any kind of storage that will fit things like a Rody, a wheelbarrow or the fisher price zoo.

  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: Storage/Toy Box ideas

    I must have the only kids who dig through the toy box daily. Often times I can find both kids in the tox box (storage ottoman) sitting and playing there. out of sight is not out of mind in our would help with me being able to get rid of some toys not played with-the kids cycle through all the toys themselves every few days.

  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Storage/Toy Box ideas

    I went to IKEA yesterday at 2pm - what a pleasure, the whole big store to myself! So I saw many things as I trailed through their "street" to get to what I wanted.  And I thought of all of you when I saw this:

    the "name" is trofast and there are 4 or 5 different systems of basket storage, some in stair step styles, others like this.  this might work if you didn't use 'baby' colors! 

  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from amy-lynn. Show amy-lynn's posts

    Re: Storage/Toy Box ideas

    I wanted to add that my DD is not an out of sight, out of mind, kid. She's an out of sight, let's dump everything on the floor and look for it, kind of kid. So having bins that I can scoop everything back up into quickly, without a whole lot of regard for "play food here, dolls and doll clothes there, legos in this bin" is what works for us. 

    I think keeping similar stuff together is an admirable goal, but DD just doesn't see it the same way, and in her games/imagination, she uses the legos with the dolls with the play food, so it all gets dumped out, and I just don't have the energy or time to sort it all back every night (OK I'll be honest, most nights it doesn't get picked up, so it's utter chaos in the den until the weekend, or I can't stand tripping over it.) 

    I guess my message to you is, don't fret about how to keep everything looking like you don't even have kids, just figure out what works for you, and if dumping everything together is the way to keep you sane, don't spend a ton of money and time trying to find the perfect lego storage system, or doll clothes basket, or whatever. Just get something that fits in your space and with your lifestyle, and accept that.