This post is a partnership with Nakturnal.
Are you overwhelmed by toys? Many parents are and I believe that those who live in small homes have even more toy storage problems. We live in a condo and I was overwhelmed for so long until I came up with some solutions for organizing all the chaos. I’m not saying that all our toys are always put away and our home is spotless but things are much better than they used to be.
I want to start by saying that I’m not going to tell you to get rid of most of the toys. Most posts I read for “tips” on organizing always suggest that and, in my opinion, if my kids didn’t have many toys I would not be looking for tips to organize them in the first place. Obviously getting rid of some toys and having less to organize is the first thing you’d want to try to do but you all already know that I’m sure ;)
So here are my tips for organizing toys. These work for all size homes but I think they are extremely valuable tips for those who have limited space like we do.
First, it’s important that all toys have a home. When everything has a place it’s more likely to be put away properly. I love cube shelving with cubbies (like this Skip Hop one above from Diapers.com) where like toys can be grouped together (ie blocks, dolls, cars, etc). Labeling the bins or containers with words (for those who can read) or pictures makes cleaning up easier for children as well.
If you are not sure where to put your child’s toys because you don’t have much space, you are going to need to get creative with your storage. In small homes it’s all about maximizing the space you do have. I love pieces that can do double duty like ottomans with storage space inside that can double as seats for guests. Utilizing previously “wasted” space is a great idea, too. Shoe organizers or other wall organizers (like the ones above) behind doors work great for craft supplies, small toys, books and other items kids have. Under the bed is another place that is usually not utilized but bins with wheels are perfect for storing train tracks or other toys that children setup on the floor. You can even build your own train table that rolls under the bed and can be pulled out when your child wants to use it.
Another way to maximize the space you have is to use vertical space. I am a huge fan of tall storage units and have some in my boy’s small room that they share. Their small toys are inside the storage unit’s bins and then large bulky toys are on the top of it that they can get down with a step stool. A bookshelf or other tall shelving unit like we have is a great way to store many toys without taking up valuable floor space because it’s utilizing space that’s otherwise not used higher up on the wall. Wall mounted shelves are another way to use the space that normally is empty. (You’ll want to make sure that taller shelving units are secured to a wall to prevent tipping. Find out how to do that and get other safety tips here.)
When my boys were younger and their toys were larger I also rotated their toys. I kept some in our garage and then once a week I’d bring a couple “new” ones in and take a couple of the ones inside to the garage. The boys loved when I did this and it was great when we were really limited on space in the areas they played in. Here’s a great post about how to start a toy rotation in your home.
What tips do you have for organizing toys? I’d love to hear how you do so, especially if you are tight on space!