If you’ve got kids, you’ve got toys and games (probably more than a few)…and toy storage needs. Don’t despair! I’ve rounded up some truly fantastic ways to organize and declutter stuffed animals, LEGOs, dolls and action figures, puzzles and board games, arts and crafts supplies and video games. With a little inspiration, tips and tricks, you’ll have the perfect playroom (or play area) in no time.
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How to Declutter Toys
The first step in any organizing project is to declutter and purge. Trust me on this! If you have more items than your space can fit, you won’t be able to truly organize it, and you’ll end up feeling frustrated.
Toys seem to accumulate practically overnight! And our kids’ interest in toys changes practically overnight, too. So, decluttering and purging in the playroom is likely something you’ll need to do on a regular basis (at least twice a year).
One challenge with decluttering toys happens when our kids develop a sudden attachment to something they haven’t played with in years…simply because you suggest they give it up.
But once decluttered, kids rarely miss those toys. In fact, they may even begin to enjoy the toys they’ve kept more! Learn why and how to start a toy rotation system, courtesy of Evidence-Based Mommy.
To make decluttering easier for you and them, start by gathering up anything non-sentimental that’s broken, missing important pieces or permanently soiled and dispose of it. No need to discuss it with your child.
After that, go through the remaining toys with your child and discuss which ones he/she no longer plays with that might be happier in a new home. (If you’ve seen Toy Story as a family, your kid will understand the need for toys to be “loved.”)
The toys your child is willing to part with can go into a “donate” pile to be given to a charity like Goodwill.
If he or she is struggling to part with a toy (but you know they are not going to play with it), one tactic you can try is suggesting that it go into a “wait and see” box which is placed in another space like the garage or attic.
Give it a month or two, and if your child hasn’t mentioned or played with it, go ahead and donate.
Now, you’re ready to organize!
Playroom Furniture Ideas
If you have a dedicated playroom or play space in your house, it’s really helpful to install a few functional pieces of furniture for toy storage.
NOTE: Be sure to secure all heavy furniture to the wall to prevent it from tipping over onto your child.
My favorites include shelving or cubby holes that easily house containers and bins, along with cabinets to hide away bulkier toys.
Toy Storage Organizer
When my son was little, we were able to store most of his toys in a bin-style organizer like this one. The open shelves made it easy for him to find the toys he wanted and I could teach him basic organizational skills by grouping like items together.
He knew that his Hot Wheels went in one bin, superhero action figures in another. And he learned that it was much easier to locate toys when they stayed organized!
Toy Cabinet With Wheeled Drawers
This option is both stylish and functional, perfect for a play area in a living or family room. If you have a long wall, you can place two or more side-by-side. I love the concept of the wheeled drawers, which make cleanup easy and hide toys and games when not in use. The top shelf looks perfect for books, too.
Modular Cube Storage
I’m all for toy storage that can be customized to suit any size space. Modular cube storage like this solution works great in corners, small or awkward spaces:
I love this cube toy storage idea by Jemma from Thimble and Twig, which she completed with fun colorful baskets:
Sliding Bookcase With Toy Storage
How clever and amazing is this?? A toy organizer with a sliding bookcase that looks great in a bedroom, playroom or living room.
Martina from The Lived In Look mounted wall hooks for hanging costumes in the playroom. Great idea!
Storage for Stuffed Animals
So, you’ve decluttered and donated all of the stuffed animals your child would part with…but you’ve still got to find a way to store the rest. Figuring out how to organize stuffed animals can be a little tricky, especially if there are a lot! Here are several ideas that can work in just about any space:
Stuffed Animal Storage Hammock
If your child wants to see all of his or her stuffed animals, but you want to keep them off the floor (where they collect SO MUCH dust!), consider a storage hammock or two. These hang easily in the corner of any room and can be set to “kid height” to make it easy to retrieve and replace the animals.
Stuffed Animal Bean Bag Storage
Personally, I think this solution is brilliant. Not only does it store (and hide) stuffed animals, but it serves as extra seating in the playroom or bedroom. Double duty! For people looking for out-of-sight options, this is a good one.
Another option to keep stuffed animals off the floor: a toy chain that holds up to 40 toys via simple hooks and clips. This can be strung horizontally along a wall or attached to the ceiling to hang vertically. I think it adds some charming whimsy to the room!
Canvas Toy Chest
A cute canvas toy chest is another easy way to keep stuffed animals tidy. I recommend chests without locking lids…much safer for kids than old-school trunks.
How to Organize LEGOs
LEGOs and small building toys get EVERYWHERE. And they can be tough to keep organized, especially when kids love to dump everything out into one huge pile. Depending on the size of your child’s collection, and how he or she likes to use LEGOs and building toys, there are several effective solutions to consider:
Organize LEGOs By Color
Our family has a lot of LEGO bricks. An amount some people might call, well, obscene. But my son has enjoyed building with them for over 10 years, and my husband has a few big Star Wars sets himself…so we’ve amassed a big collection over the years.
In our house, organizing LEGO bricks by color works the best. This can be done very simply with stackable shoe boxes with lids:
A 10-pack of plastic shoe boxes can be found inexpensively on Amazon. It might even be helpful to add labels, especially if you don’t use clear bins or boxes. We stored our color-sorted boxes inside a shelving unit in my son’s closet.
You Might Like:
16 Sensational Ways to Make Labels For Organizing Your Home
If you have the space, another easy way to organize by color is in one of these toy storage racks with bins:
Organize LEGOs By Brick Type
Building toys and LEGOs can also by organized by type. This might be helpful for older kids who know exactly what size or shape they’re looking for, like “2×4 bricks” or “mini figures” or “base plates.” For this type of organization, labels are a MUST. In addition to the options above, here are a few solutions for sorting LEGOs (or building block) by type:
LEGO 3-Drawer Storage System
You can purchase a few of these and store them side-by-side to accommodate any sized LEGO collection. I love the front plate clip that allows your child to place a representative LEGO on the front to identify the category!
Mobile Drawer Organizer Cart
This wheeled cart comes in several sizes and creates a conveniently mobile LEGO storage system:
LEGO Store and Play Options
Sometimes, all you need is a place where your kids can both play and store LEGOs and building toys at the same time. I love the LEGO table storage solution:
This great option is a LEGO play mat by day, and a stylish storage tote by night:
Does your child like to take LEGOs in the car or on trips? A more portable solution like this tote with built-in play mat might come in handy:
Check out a few more ways to organize LEGO kits on Practical Whimsy Designs, like this creative solution:
Kids’ Collection Storage Ideas
My son is a collector, just like his dad. He has gone through phases of collecting Hot Wheels, Disney’s Cars, rocks and minerals, Pokemon cards…you name it.
If there’s one thing I learned early, it’s the importance of finding ways to store collections efficiently! Here are some cute and creative ideas that maximize space while and give the collection a special place:
Kids’ Secret Treasure Chest
This box holds trading cards, rock collections, Hot Wheels, earrings, necklaces, bracelets and more. It comes in multiple colors, too.
Trading Card Storage
For kids who collect Pokemon or other trading cards, having a portable storage solution that keeps them neat and organized is a must. This option can fit nearly 650 cards…enough for the most serious collector.
Clear Stackable Storage Box Container
Kids can see every treasure all at once with this clear, stackable storage box. The dividers are removable to accommodate larger items, too.
Miniatures Display Case
Let your child show off his or her favorite mini figures, matchbox cars and other small toys with a display case that sits on a dresser or tabletop or can be mounted to the wall.
DIY Collection Storage
Want some really fun ideas for creating your own collection storage solutions with your kids? Check out Organizing Your Kids’ Collections on Crafts By Amanda. The list includes some great upcycled projects using items and supplies you probably have lying around the house.
Doll and Action Figure Organization
Dolls and action figures are another category of frustration for parents, especially when kids have amassed a large collection that always ends up all over the floor.
Having a very specific space for organizing dolls and action figures helps keep them off the floor and makes them easier for kids to locate and play with them. Here are some ideas:
How to Organize Dolls
I like to sort dolls by type and size: American Girl, Barbie, Polly Pocket, Disney princesses, etc., then find organizers that fit each type. Consider the accessories you have for each type of doll, too. Labeling each bin or storage area helps your child remember where the dolls go!
For large dolls like American Girl, there are several really cute storage solutions for both the doll and its accessories:
Doll Care Station
This option works for any doll up to 20″ in length. The doll can “sleep” in the bed on top, and its clothes and other accessories can be stored in the removable drawers or side pocket.
Toy Chest for Large Dolls
If your child has a lot of large dolls, a standard toy chest might be the best place to keep them together:
Within the toy chest, you can further keep the dolls and accessories tidy with individual organizers like these:
Over the Door Hanging Organizer
For Barbie (or other medium-sized doll) collections, consider a hanging organizer that fits on the back of a bedroom/playroom/closet door. You can even label each pocket with the name or type of doll to ensure each one has its rightful place.
If you enjoy sewing projects, Sustain My Craft Habit has instructions for a cute DIY variation on this hanging toy organizer.
Stackable Storage Case for Dolls
Store smaller dolls like Shopkins in this handy, stackable case that comes with 60 adjustable compartments and easily fits inside a larger toy chest:
How to Organize Action Figures
Open Storage Bins
When my son was small, he had SO MANY action figures. It seemed like every time he watched a new superhero cartoon or movie, he started a new collection. (His dad is mostly to blame for this — he liked collecting as much…or more..than our son. Still does.)
We tried many different ways to organize his action figures, but for us the best solution to keep everything sorted correctly was the simple open storage bin organizer. You can label (using words or pictures) each bin to help your child learn where each type of toy goes.
Action Figure Organizer Case
Small action figures and minifigures are easy to store (and take in the car) by using an action figure case like this:
Board Game & Puzzle Storage Ideas
When board games and puzzles begin to take up too much space, look to condense them with simple storage ideas.
Standard jigsaw puzzles can be removed from their boxes and stored in clear document pouches like these (just cut out the picture and store with the pieces):
The pouches can be stored together in a bin. It’s a great way to free up shelf space. Easy, peasy!
Do you have several of those wooden puzzles for preschoolers? Try a wire puzzle rack to save space and store them vertically:
Board games can be more easily accessed in a cabinet when you install wide sliding shelves:
I love to store board games on hanging shelves in a closet:
If your kids’ play area has enough space, consider an activity table with storage for board games to keep everything in one convenient location:
Organizing Kids’ Arts and Crafts Supplies
Arts and crafts is such a fun and healthy way for kids to spend time! Help make clean-up time (almost) as fun as creative time with easy solutions for storing arts and craft supplies.
Rolling Storage Cart
Let them be creative wherever the mood strikes with a rolling arts and crafts storage cart. I strongly recommend labeling the drawers to keep supplies sorted properly. One drawer for paint and paintbrushes, another for paper and scissors, one for glue and tape, another for colored pens and pencils…and so on.
Whatever system that works for you is what works!
Carousel Craft Storage Organizer
The perfect way to organize a craft station! This organizer neatly stores small supplies like glitter pens, buttons, beads and more in a fun and easy-to-access carousel.
Kids’ Arts and Crafts Center
This is the ultimate: an arts and crafts center that will keep the kids busy for hours. It comes with two stools, rolling paper, paint cups and storage bins for all of their supplies.
More Arts and Crafts Storage Hacks
Extreme Couponing Mom has some brilliant hacks for organizing crafts supplies, including re-purposing a coffee pod holder to store Play-Doh:
Confessions of an Overworked Mom recommends re-purposing large coffee cans for art supplies:
Ottawa Mommy Club came up with some cute and clever solutions for arts and crafts storage in her playroom as well:
Video Game Organization
If your child’s play area also contains a video game console and games, then video game organization is another area of focus for you.
A simple idea is utilizing wicker baskets with lids. We’ve done this in our family room, using baskets that fit neatly on the shelves of our media center.
We have also used drawer organizers to store video games inside a cabinet in our son’s room.
Another option I really like is to take the discs out of the containers (recycle the containers) and keep the discs in a CD Wallet. This REALLY saves a lot of space!
Other ideas: use a storage ottoman or check out the variety of video game storage organizers on Amazon.
Toy Storage: Final Thoughts
I hope you found some inspiring ideas to declutter and organize toys and games in your home! Take it one step at a time, one space at a time, and you’ll soon be enjoying a beautiful playroom with your kids. Happy organizing!