By: Stephanie Hawkins
Choosing the right storage solution for toys
When most people think of organizing, they think of shopping for bins and baskets. But finding the right storage solutions for your stuff is almost the last step in the organizational process. If you haven’t done the first three steps yet, read about them here, here and here.
The practical approach to storing kids toys
Now that you have an understanding of what your organizational goals are, how your kids use their toys, and where they’ll will be stored in your house, you need to figure out how to store the toys.
The most practical way to store toys is on low shelving in containers. For large toys, that don’t fit easily into containers, shallow bookcases work well. Avoid storing toys on the ground, as this makes cleaning more difficult.
Look for shelving that takes advantage of vertical space. You’ll want store toys that your kids use on a regular basis at a height they can reach. Keep this rule-of-thumb in mind:
- Store toys used on a daily at kid’s knee height
- Store toys used on a weekly basis at kid’s chest height
- Store toys used on a monthly basis or that require adult supervision or participation above kid’s reach
Don’t occupy valuable storage space by storing sentimental or decorative toys on low shelves; these should be stored out of kid’s reach.
Choosing the right containers for kids
When you finally hit the stores to shop for containers, keep these tips in mind:
- clear containers makes it easy to see what’s inside
- plastic or rubber containers can take abuse much better than woven straw
- containers with handles allow you to easily carry the toys to different rooms
- over the door shoe organizers are be great for small items
- adhesive hooks for walls and backs of doors are great for dress-up clothes
- avoid containers with lids (lids make accessing toys and cleaning up more difficult) except for small toys that are a choking hazard for younger children
- avoid toy chests, or large containers as toys will just get buried at the bottom
- Before you buy any container, consider how you will label it. Graphic or word labels on containers help keep a play room well organized.
For toy storage inspiration, check out these container and label ideas on Pinterest.
A few places to shop
- IKEA – assorted shelving, bookcases, toy storage units, cube cloth containers, clear plastic bins, woven baskets
- Costco.ca – inexpensive shelving and toy storage units
- Dollar stores – inexpensive bins, baskets and clear containers
- Real Canadian Superstore – inexpensive rubber and clear containers
- Pottery Barn Kids – stylish toy storage units, shelves, woven and cloth baskets
In the next post, I’ll finish this toy organizing series by discussing how to maintain and tweak the toy storage solutions you’ve put in place.
Stephanie Hawkins is the founder and principal operator of Haven Home Organizing. As a business-owner and dedicated domestic engineer, she has a passion for helping busy parents simplify their home lives. With two children, she understands the unique challenges faced by mothers in the workforce. Stephanie has an affinity for order, she has a Master’s of Library and Information Studies from McGill University. You can also follow her on Twitter @HavenOrganizing.