Lego landmines (caused by like lack of cheap toy storage ideas)
Any parent of adolescent boys will know right away what that means.
There’s just something about bare feet and their ability to find the one and only Lego in the room at the least opportune moment.
Let me just say that a mom’s balancing skill has not been fully tested until she has stepped on a Lego, in bare feet, in the middle of the night, all while holding a sleeping baby.
It’s a skill only a mom (or a dad for that matter) can fully appreciate.
It’s true all kids have toys (in the first world at least), and if you have toys, then odds are you have toy clutter.
It’s just the reality of being a parent. Keeping a child’s bedroom or playroom organized can be a tall order to fill. ESPECIALLY if you don’t want to spend a fortune to organize a playroom – you might just be asking the impossible.
It’s true: there are many beautiful (expensive) options for storing those toys out there.
Elaborate cabinets with cubbies, and full wall storage systems that are built to separate and hold each category of toy like a well-oiled preschool room. A great idea, but also, and unfortunately, a pretty expensive one.
My mission this week was to find not only simple ways to store our children’s playthings, but cheap toy storage ideas as well: straightforward systems that will set up toy storage that is not only easy for your kids to use, but will look good, too – while not costing much at all.
For this mission, I needed to call in a few experts – Moms living in the trenches, all with kids that have an array of toys.
Each of these moms has come up with a simple yet genius storage idea, some using items you might already have on hand (hows THAT for cheap toy storage – BUY NOTHING!). This is what I like to call “repurposing for organizing”, and it’s a trend I am hoping more parents will pick up on.
Remember the number one rule of staying clutter-free:
Use what you have before you buy what you need, and prevent more things from coming into the home.
Cheap Toy Storage Ideas for the Playroom
1. Toys that double as storage.
This is a great way to use what you already have on hand to contain those toys in a cheap and easy way.
It’s also a fun way for your kids to take a more active role in the cleanup, no matter what their age.
A shopping cart to hold play food and dishes, a car-case to hold Matchbox cars, and a toy truck to hold balls are just a few ideas.
This cheap toy storage idea will not only teach your kids to clean up more easily but will keep like toys together, making playtime less frustrating for them.
2. Use laundry baskets to sort like toys
This might just be one of my favorite ways to simply store just about anything in your home, especially toys.
Even young children can help to clean up stuffed animals, balls, or dolls when a basket is a container in a playroom.
(I also find my kids like to dump out the toys and play with the basket. Why not?)
Label each basket with age-appropriate signs, such as pictures for very young children or large printed words for preschoolers. This is a great and fun way to incorporate learning into daily activities such as clean-up.
Another benefit of using baskets as an inexpensive toy storage option is that it will help you to better gauge just how many toys you have.
If your once half-full basket is now overflowing with balls or plastic trucks, it may be time to downsize just a bit.
Clutter doesn’t just stress out adults, but kids as well. By keeping toys to a more manageable amount, you reduce what I like to call toy overwhelm. This simple tip will do just that – keep your child’s playroom more manageable for both you and them.
Do you wish you could remove the clutter from your home, but you aren’t quite sure where to start? Find out how you can have a Clutter-Free Home when You Are Messy at Heart, and create a home you love.
3. Use DIY wooden bins to hold heavy books.
I love books for kids and the large variety that is available for every age. The problem is that not all books are created equal. Some are durable and can be played with even by very young children, while others are meant for parent’s hands only, and those special reading times before bed.
Reading books should be kept up on a hard to reach the shelf, giving them special meaning to both you and your child. Those other books, the playbooks, can then be stored down low so your child can more easily access them.
This calls for a DIY book bin. Wooden crates are super sturdy, and an easy way to keep books together so your children can use them whenever they want.
These bins can be found at any department store, and are usually purchased unfinished. This is an entry-level DIY project, making it easy for anyone to try.
Simply paint the bin to match your child’s room or their personality. Once dry, you can attach wooden letters for their name or a quote from a favorite childhood book. The letters can be purchased already painted either online or at a local craft store.
Using durable craft glue, attach the letters and other embellishments to the front of the wooden crate. You may want to apply felt to the bottom to prevent scratching floors if your child slides the crate.
I love how durable these bins are, yet they are nice enough that they can be adapted as your child grows older.
This simple wooden bin is a great way to corral books, and adds a bit of personalized charm to a child’s bedroom or playroom.
4. Repurpose items for perfect small toy storage
It is crazy how many pieces come with toys today. Each set seems to have so many teeny tiny parts, and it can be tricky keeping all of those little things in one spot. To help, I love to repurpose items, giving them a second and incredibly useful life in the playroom.
This just might be one of those perfect cheap toy storage ideas, and it comes from Crafting With Kids.
She repurposed an animal cracker container with paint, then filled it with small toys and toy parts. This DIY would look great on a shelf up and out of the way of small hands, and keep the floor free of those small toys – and our feet just a bit safer.
5. Use a box as a large toy bin
This is another simple DIY and it comes from What’s Up Fagans. Playrooms are not just full of small toys; there are quite a few large toys as well. To make clean-up easier, you will want a larger container to toss things in.
By repurposing a few diaper boxes, you can turn what was once meant to be trash into a toy organizing treasure.
Give it a touch of your child’s personality with pages from a book, or even artwork from your child, and turn this cheap storage idea into one that will keep that playroom a bit tidier. When you create simple storage like this, you will, in turn, make it easier for even very young children to help at clean-up time.
6. Clear Dollar Store Bins
Let’s get back to those Legos for a minute. I love Legos, and so did my boys. So much so, that after raising four boys, we had enough of them to stock an entire store! The problem was keeping things organized to make it easier for my boys to get creative with them.
This storage idea is from Dukes and Duchesses, and it is just genius in its simplicity. She takes inexpensive plastic stackable storage containers and uses them to sort legos by color.
For the longest time, I tried to keep Legos organized by sets, which was next to impossible, since pieces always seemed to end up missing. Keeping Legos stored by color is not only perfect for older kids, but great for the younger kids as well. This creates storage that doubles as a color teaching tool, giving you double duty out of this great organizing idea.
7. Under the bed toy storage
When I talk to folks about organizing their homes, I love to encourage them to take advantage of the space they have before deciding whether or not to add more. In most homes, under the bed is one of those organizing nuggets that often gets overlooked.
This is especially true in the child’s playroom or bedroom. More often than not, that area below the bed is more like a catch-all of clutter. A place where toys go to hide until a Saturday is dedicated to cleaning it out.
Why not turn this space into a cheap storage area that is perfect for other toy storage, or even a toy rotation system?
Before we look at this storage idea for the playroom, let’s talk about what toy rotation is. Toy rotation is simply dividing up some of the toys in your child’s room, and keeping them packed away, leaving only a smaller selection out at one time.
This will keep your child from having toy overwhelm, something that can cause them to be bored from too many options.
Pack a few things away, and swap them out every few months, giving your child a fresh batch of fun in the playroom.
This idea for organizing the playroom came from The Country Chic Cottage.
She purchased plastic bins with wheels that fit perfectly below her child’s bed. This is a great way to hold games or delicate toys as well. When things are out of sight, you can more easily control how often those toys are played with.
When corralling toys in a playroom, finding storage ideas that actually work can be a bit tricky. By repurposing what you have, being creative with the space in the room, and using storage that can double as a teaching tool, you will set up a space your child will love as much as you do.
Get creative with your cheap toy storage in the playroom, and allow your children to get creative with their play.
This is a guest post from Tracy at Declutter in Minutes (Tracy is one of my best blog friends and I am so excited to have her share her post with me today!)