The best toy storage ideas are often the ones that make clearing up as much fun as play time. And while the problem of toys scattered all around your home does not have a one-size-fits-all solution, looking for something that is stylish, practical and easy for kids to use is sure to be a winner.
Ultimately, your choice of toy storage will be determined by your child’s play style and, perhaps, by your temperament. Some of us are still kids at heart and love toys as much as our children do and may want to put them on display. For others, maintaining a tidy and de-cluttered interior is the goal.
Whatever you and you child prefer, here are our top toy storage ideas or check out our general storage ideas for kids' rooms.
1. Use a classic toy storage chest
Children and tidy living spaces tend not to mix, period. But there are still options to restore order, if only for a short while. One is to store children’s toys in a hefty box or chest, like the equally solid-looking Personalised Toy Box by Chatsworth Cabinets (pictured below) would make a stylish addition to any living room or bedroom. It can also be used as a handy seat so why not pop it in a bay window or even a hallway to throw school bags, skipping ropes and footballs in.
2. Pick one of the many personalised toy storage ideas
Personalised toy storage is another, and perhaps more effective way to create a routine around putting toys away. Many kids will relish the responsibility for putting away their own toys, especially when that involves an attractive container or bag with their name on it. We particularly like the handy Personalised 'Important Toys' Storage Crate on wheels from The Room Alive. For similar check out their other toy storage crates on Not on the Highstreet.
3. Choose organiser systems for small toys
For kids who like crafts or Lego, there are plenty of organiser solutions, such as the mesh drawer systems from Elfa. Crucially, all of their drawers are see-through, allowing your child to find what they want quickly and without pulling everything else out along the way. If you are after Lego specific storage, check out our guide.
4. Put toys on display
It may be that a child has favourites she or he just cannot part with for very long, or the sight of your child’s toys actually gives you joy. In fact, just as you may display your favourite art, toys can be used to accessorise a room too. Colourful wooden toys can be particularly pleasing in an otherwise neutral room, and open shelving offers the chance to use these to redesign the room as your child grows.
The elegant String System in White allows for a compromise between having toys on display, and putting them away. Also available in grey, all from Skandium, from £72.
5. Get creative with shelves
Shelving does not have to be boring, so why not integrate shelved toy storage into the design of your child’s bedroom? The very pretty shelves from Minifili (below) create a quirky display for toys and allow you to put them away out of reach after playtime.
If you are feeling creative, you can also make shelves by repurposing anything from planters to paper tubes. For example, follow this guide for making toy shelves on the quirky Swedish blog Pysselbolaget (below).
6. Hang in there with a toy hammock
Knitted toy hammocks can be attached to walls and doors and are handy for that abundance of soft toys that builds up. Buy one ready made from Etsy, or download a knitting pattern and make one like the sweet design pictured below yourself!
7. Outdoor-indoor wheely wagon
For kids who like to play outdoors... then indoors... then outdoors again, a wagon is a flexible option that can also be used for toy storage once playtime is over. This toy wagon by Plan Toy is so striking, it is guaranteed to captivate the little one’s attention. Available at Kidly.co.uk.
8. Create a designated adventure play area
If floor space is so tight it's a choice between toy storage furniture and toys, why not seek a compromise? A play teepee will transport your child into another world, and when they're back to earth, they can stash away their toys in it. There are options for every budget, from the very affordable, such as the Wigwam Play Tent from Big Game Hunters to pure luxury, such as this stylish option from Wildfire Teepees (pictured below).
9. Go eco with cotton bags
Many of us are trying to make more sustainable choices when we shop for homeware – why shouldn’t that apply to toy storage, too? These adorable animal face Tellkiddo Drawstring Bags (below) are made sustainably from cotton and will add a touch of Scandinavian cool to any room. There is a paper version as well.
10. Invest in purpose-built furniture
If you want to hit the next level in tidiness, consider investing in built-in storage. Design it to suit the space and how many things you need to store, or combine with clothes storage and a desk too.The Dormy House Modular Wall Storage or Multi Modular Storage (pictured below), is customisable to your space, needs and even colour scheme.
11. Grow your toy storage as your child grows
Children's storage and playing needs go through so many transformations over their early years. It can be exhausting (and expensive) to keep replacing and rearranging their furniture to keep up. Help is at hand with Ikea's clever Trofast storage combination. It comes with removable plastic trays which can be added to, and it can be used as a shelving unit for everything from books to games consoles when your child is older.
12. Special storage options for books
Books can be particularly difficult to organise – they slide easily behind sofas and fall behind bookcases. Smaller units, which can sit handily by their bedside, are easier for children to use. We like this cute Elephant Book Stand from JoJo Maman Bebe (below).
See all of our children's book storage ideas.
13. Go portable
Portable caddies can work much better than heavy boxes and bins if your child likes to play in multiple rooms. We like the Elfa Stacking Open Toy Storage Trunk from Store: A Place for Everything, which can be carried around on its own or stacked to create an expandable storage area wherever you want.
14. Mix study time and play time with multipurpose toy storage ideas
Make learning more fun for the kids by combining toy storage with a desk, or position a blackboard above your toy storage unit. Taking breaks for playtime is much easier when the toys are within easy reach. Take inspiration from the Industrial Kids Storage Bench by Woood, which can be conveniently positioned right underneath a blackboard, transforming study time into interactive play time.
15. Utilise the organising power of pockets
Does your child like to take ALL their favourites to bed? Then they need a bedside pocket organiser. Noa and Nani have this cute Pockets Bed Organiser for aspiring pirates.