With only one general living/family room in our house, we don’t have a ton of extra space dedicated to toy storage. Limited living space, combined with the fact that our toddler won’t play with toys in his actual room, I often look up to find a sea of toys and books. While Melissa and Doug, primary colors, and plastic are great for our two-year-old, they don’t exactly go with my decor scheme. Here are 5 ideas for creative toy storage.
1. Upcycle an Old Entertainment Center
You know those old TV hutches that people used to keep their tube TVs, VCRs, and any other amount of entertainment items in? Well, firstly, they’re a dime-a-dozen at thrift stores or on Craigslist, are big enough for literally a mountain of toys, and with a fresh coat of paint, make a great statement piece to your living room. However, please note, these are big and heavy. Whenever it comes to toy storage, don’t forget to properly anchor to a wall!
2. Multi-Use Furniture Pieces
When buying pieces of furniture for general use, make sure it’s multi-functional. For example, we have a long, farm-style bench in our living room that acts as backup seating if we need it, but in the meantime, acts as William’s drawing table and general surface when he needs a space to race his cars or set the table for a picnic. I also found storage bins that fit perfectly underneath the bench for odds and ends.
3. Think Outside the (Toy) Box
Depending on your design style, there are lots of decorative items that can be used as toy storage. If you’re into the vintage look, old crates or trunks work. Or, if you’re more into the modern look, large wicker baskets or wire bins always look great. However, again, if you’re using something not made for toy storage, always make sure that no one will get hurt (think slammed fingers or slivers) when grabbing for a toy!
4. A Bookshelf of Toys
Bookshelves are another inexpensive, easy-to-build, and incorporate into any decor. Simply build, grab some smaller bins or totes that go with your decor, fill with toys and books, and call it a day. Think of it as a vertical toy box!
5. Rotate Toys and Minimize Clutter
My final piece of advice is to try and reduce the number of toys in one space. For example, keep a few bins in the basement and rotate on a weekly basis. We also live by the rule that if a toy comes in, one goes out. It really does help reduce the amount of toy build up and mess to clean up.