Stylish toy storage solutions
Finding creative and stylish ways to store toys can be immensely satisfying, and can be simple to do.
Containing toys has been a long-running project of mine: my daughter’s toys seem to multiply by the day, despite my one-in-one-out policy! I’ve enjoyed finding creative storage toy solutions over the years.
As a family photographer, I see a lot of children’s bedrooms – I’m always taking note of clever ideas and fun tips.
Here’s a collection of my favourite solutions for storing toys – I hope they give you some food for thought, and some inspiration!
How about building shelves and toy storage into a cubbyhole, which can grow with your kids?
An area that can also hold a desk will work for homework later – having a fun area to sit and work might make all the difference with those homework battles!
I picked their brains for further insights – they advised:
“If you’re looking for a little more control over the toy clutter, you’ll want to look for storage solutions that keep things hidden. Benches and ottomans are a great way to use a functional piece of furniture as some extra toy storage”.
Crates are your friend, and feature in pretty much every toy storage solution. Big boxes, big bags, mesh boxes. Look for objects that will suit your home’s style, but that will store lots of toys – and that you and your children can easily lift out to get at the toys.
Toy boxes don’t have to come from children’s furniture stores – there are plenty of grown-up options that suit your home’s style that you can incorporate into your living spaces.
Good old Ikea comes into its own with large storage units – you can always jazz these up with baskets from elsewhere. Use Ikea’s basic framework, and add containers that suit your family’s style.
Think about wall mounted storage. Hooks and shelves can be a great way of storing prettier toys and collectibles.
Using a wardrobe with shelving is a brilliant way of storing lots of toys out of sight, and it’ll be a useful bit of furniture later in life too.
I’ve got a small wardrobe in my daughter’s room which holds all the boxed activities and jigsaw puzzles that can be really hard to store in traditional toy storage systems.
Use the toys as a focal point
Kids come with lots of toys, there’s just no way around it.
Instead of trying to banish every toy out of sight (an entirely fruitless mission!), try embracing them.
Ok, some toys are definitely best left in a cupboard, but some toys are beautiful objects in their own right – don’t be afraid to use them like decor around your home.
Plus, when toys are visible, children are more likely to remember them and actually play with them.
If you can cope with seeing the boxes, open shelves can also work well as a place to store games and activities.
The cons are that everything’s out on display, but the pros are that you’re more likely to get them out for a game if they catch your eye:
Use that fireplace!
Could anything by cuter than a fireplace stuffed with toys, and toys right across the mantelpiece?
Look for under-utilised areas in your home that could hold even more toys. Is there a space behind your sofa that could house some more toy boxes?
Or are there any nooks or dead space on a landing, for example, that could accommodate some toy storage shelves?
Awkward corners can become play zones if you make them cosy places for children.
Add colourful lights and rugs, and your little one will be delighted with their own special activity zone or cubbyhole. So much the better if it’s a corner you won’t see once your children are in bed!
Keep toys within reach
If you put toys on a shelf, make sure your children can actually reach them.
It’s easy to accidentally design toy storage for adult proportions – but it’s no good having a charming display that your little ones can’t reach.
A few toys each day
A great tip for keeping play at home interesting and stimulating is to take out just a few toys each day, and switch them for something different the next day.
Small storage boxes can be a good way of making a game of this – have a look through today’s toys with your little one:
Glue and paint
For tiny things like pencils and beads, a great craft project is to make toy lids for jam jars.
Glue a toy animal or super hero to a jam jar lid, and paint them both the same colour.
The results are really fun, and can make a hectic desk look a bit more manageable.
I still chuckle looking at the tiny wicker hamper I bought to hold “all” of my daughter’s toys when she was a baby.
That was swiftly upgraded to a big chest, and then to storage under a window seat. I finally realised that my entire home was really just a big box for her toys and activities.
However many toys your baby has now, that will multiply!
Give yourself lots of space for storing more toys than you could ever imagine.
I hope this has given you some ideas for how to contain – and embrace – toys in your home. With a bit of thought and creativity, toys can become a charming part of your home decor.
It doesn’t matter at all if your home’s not picture perfect for a family portrait session. As a family photographer, I see homes very differently to how you might as a parent – I’ve written about this in a blog post about where I take photographs in a room. As a photographer, I’m looking for light and colours, and opportunities to bring out your child’s character. Toys can be a creative tool, as well as being meaningful mess.