Top 10 Tips for Organizing kids’ toys

Now that the holidays are over,  you may have new things to find a spot for in your home. For us, that means more TOYS for our pre-schooler & kindergartner. I’m sharing my top 10 tips for organizing kids’ toys here to help you find a functional, well-designed way to organize your kids’ toys.

Every year, as the excitement of opening gifts wears off, the reality of needing to organize and find a place for all of our kids’ new toys sets in. The prospect of organizing kids’ toys used to stress me out. However, the following 10 tips have helped me embrace the change rather than dread it.

I made a Google Web Story for a quick summary of this article if you’d like a quick read or even something to post to your Pinterest Boards! Here are the tips:

  1. Organize in Zones
  2. Keep Toys on Their Level
  3. Use Broader Categories for Loose Toys
  4. Use Clear Bins
  5. Separate Small and Large Toys
  6. Use Pictures Labels
  7. Make It Cozy
  8. Use Multi-Purpose Pieces
  9. Put the Storage Where the Items Are Used
  10. Use the Toy Colors & Textures as Design Elements

Let me explain these below!

Top 10 Tips for Organizing Kids' Toys
Tip 1: Organize in Zones

1. Organize in Zones

Much like you’d see in a classroom, putting categories of toys together helps your kids find them, is easier to clean up, and may even keep the toys in their spot of the room (a mama can dream, right?). In this room we have the art and reading corners, a garage/tool shop, a building/trains table, and a spot for all loose toys.

When the kids play, they really do tend to stay in each zone longer, rather than carrying the toys all over. When it’s clean up time, it’s much easier for the kids to know what to do because all of the toys go in one spot, the books have one spot, all trucks have their own bin, etc.

2. Keep Toys on Their level

Having things at their height keeps my boys from climbing.

However, we only keep in sight the items we are comfortable with them using by themselves–we put away the rest out of sight in the kitchen/living room area where we usually are to lower temptation. 

We do NOT keep scissors, paint, or slime up here because we know that could be a disaster.

As it is, we can easily fix whatever they do with what’s up there now.

Kids Playroom and Toy Organization
Tip 2: Keep Toys on Their Level
Top 10 Tips for Organizing Kids' Toys
Tip 3: Use Broader Categories for Individual Toys

3. Use Broader Categories for individual Toys

Rather than having Paw Patrol cars, trucks, and tractors in separate bins, we use one large bin for trucks and tractors. It’s easier for our kids to understand when cleaning up. Clean up is certainly faster too without all of the extra sorting.

Of course, this will depend on what kind and how many of each kind of toy you have to store. We have a whole lot of Little People vehicles, so they are in their own bin, but then all other vehicles are put together.

4. Use Clear Bins

It helps when the kids can see what is in the container because they will not have to dump everything out looking for something. It’s also a way you can use what you have in the room as design elements (see number 10 below).

Organizing Kids' Toys: Use Clear Bins
Tip 4: Use Clear Bins
Top 10 Tips for Organizing Kids' Toys
Tip 5: Separate Small and Large Toys

5. Separate Small & Large Toys

I put the toys with smaller pieces or sets in smaller containers on top of where the large toys are stored. The larger toys are easier to clean up quickly and the smaller toys/sets can then be taken down one at a time.

At 5 and 2, our boys are just starting to grasp the concept of cleaning up one thing before they get out another. They’ve learned a lot about that routine at their Montessori school, where they can take out one type of toy or activity and play with it on their own smaller mat. I haven’t gone that far at home (yet…I’m tempted). But for now, keeping the smaller toys in their own bins up and away from the open bins is working fairly well.

6. use picture labels

Labeling in general always helps everyone maintain organization in the play room. However, our kids cannot read yet, so I made labels with the picture and the word so they (and the babysitter, grandparents, husband, etc) know where everything goes on their own.

I laminated them and used adjustable command strips (you can use up to 3 times) to secure them so I can move things around as needed and the labels aren’t torn up.

Speaking of laminating, I highly recommend everyone who wants their home to be more organized to get an inexpensive laminator. I’ve linked everything I used in this playroom organization project HERE.

Organizing Kids' Toys: Separate Small & Large Toys
Tip 6: Separate Small & Large Toys
Organizing Kids' Toys: Make It Cozy
Tip 7: Make It Cozy

7. Make It Cozy

This may not seem like a tip for organizing kids’ toys, but because our kids are so comfortable and love hanging out here, they stay longer. If they stay here more, they seem to want it to stay more organized. They get to feel why having an organized space feels so goof.

We have soft chairs and a fuzzy rug in the reading corner. And then I found these amazing pillows, which we move around the room to lounge on while playing. They also make it down the living room for movies or TV. I love the color options, they are full and fluffy, and they leather handles are super helpful.

8. Use Multi-purpose pieces

This is probably one of the most important tips for organizing kids’ toys!

For example, this train table is also used for legos and all different kinds of blocks and building sets.

I like it because there is storage inside and under it. It also tends to contain all of the things the boys have built that day/weekend. Anything I can do to corral the mess of toys is a win.

Top 10 Tips for Organizing Kids' Toys: Use Multi-Purpose Pieces
Tip 8. Use Multi-Purpose Pieces
Top 10 Tips for Organizing Kids' Toys: Use Multi-Purpose Pieces
Tip 9: Put the Storage Where the Items Are Used

9. Put the Storage Where the Items Are Used

All of the blocks, legos, and trains are stored in or under the table where they’ll be used.

I also tend to keep the kids’ art and I keep a basket to store it all right above the art table. That way, the art is more likely to make it there. Eventually, I will combine all of their art into a book. That’s a project that is actually on my 101 in 1001 list.

10. Use the Toy Colors & Textures as Design Elements

Don’t worry about hiding everything in opaque bins. Use the crayons, the matchbox cars, the books, etc., as decor in your space. 

The textures and colors make this space so visually interesting that I didn’t have to add a whole lot of color in my design. The white walls and white storage furniture feel anything but boring.

The colors excite them and feel really fun.

Top 10 Tips for Organizing Kids' Toys
Tip 10: Use the Toy Colors & Textures as Design Elements
Kids Playroom and Toy Organization
Kids Playroom and Toy Organization
Organizing Kids' Toys: Make It Cozy

I hope you found this tutorial to be helpful. I also made a Web Story tutorial you can check out here. If you ever make your own version of this bell-shaped candle, I would absolutely love it if you would send me a picture or tag me in a social media post! Until then, hang out and check out the latest posts on the blog!

XOXO Alicia

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