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The best toy storage solutions check several different boxes. They're child-safe and easy to handle (since they'll be mostly used by kids), but ideally attractive and durable so parents will enjoy looking at them every day. They're also suitable for what you're trying to store—whether it be bath toys or a selection of art supplies—and don't create clutter every time you need something out of them.
"I always like to pick things that are practical, meaning they're big and open and easy for kids to tote around the house, but that also fit in with my aesthetic," says home organizing expert and coach, Shira Gill, author of Minimalista: Your Step-by-Step Guide to a Better Home, Wardrobe, and Life. "So maybe instead of a fluorescent plastic bin, you're getting a beautiful woven basket that you could later repurpose for blankets." In doing so, your toys become a seamless and stylish part of your home.
Although, while it's fun to look at all the pretty, efficient options, Gill wants to remind parents about her most important toy storage suggestion: editing down the toys you have to store. "My top tip is always just limiting volume," she stresses. "The less you bring into your house, the less you have to store and organize and clean and manage." Once a preschool teacher and now also a parent, she's seen firsthand that kids don't often require a lot to be creative and stimulated. "We can give them just a handful of things and then trust that they are endlessly creative and imaginative and resourceful," says Gill.
For the toys you do collect, here are the best toy storage solutions.
Best Overall: Squared Away Six-Cube Organizer
Comes in three colors
Can be horizontal or vertical
Has anti-tipping hardware
Backing can be flimsy
Cubby bookshelves are some of the best toy storage investments out there, because they're versatile and offer plenty of space for your child's favorite toys now and as they grow. This pick is on the heavier side, weight 38 pounds, but is also quite flexible and can be displayed either horizontally or vertically (unlike units that have legs). It comes with anti-tipping hardware. You will need to assemble it yourself. Although, the process is fairly easy. Once it's set up, you can use the cubbies for 13-inch storage bins, books, or larger standalone items like a dump truck or small dollhouse. Later, you can repurpose it as storage in your mudroom or family room, or a teen can fill it with records and plants.
The backing on this product can be flimsy, but you can stack the units or line them up to create the look of built-in shelving. Plus, the cubby bookshelves come in oak, gray, or espresso so you can match them to your aesthetic.
Dimensions: 30 x 13 x 44 inches | Item Weight: 38 pounds | Weight Capacity: 175 pounds | Material: Particleboard, MDF, and metal | Color: Oak, gray, espresso | Assembly Required: Yes
Best Budget: IKEA Fladis Basket
No assembly required
Handles are flexible
Easy for kids to transport
May not be durable over time
Not as spacious as cubbies
Chic-looking "belly baskets" in all shapes and sizes are all over Instagram, and there's no reason to keep the trend out of your kids' rooms. In fact, these baskets can be an easy and affordable way to store small items like blocks or larger ones like blankets. This tried-and-true version from IKEA can either be used with the handles up, which helps hide what's inside, or down, which reduces the height but makes the contents more accessible.
It's also a sustainable choice for your home, as it's made with seagrass, a renewable material. When it comes time to clean it, simply wipe this basket with just a dry cloth.
Dimensions: 10 x 12.5 inches | Item Weight: Not listed | Weight Capacity: Not listed | Material: Woven seagrass with clear lacquer | Color: Natural | Assembly Required: No
Best Basket: IKEA Risatorp Wire Basket
Easy to clean
Cute color choices
May be heavy for kids
Smaller items such as cars or art supplies (think rubber stamps or crayons) will live happily ever after in these lovely baskets, which were originally designed for non-refrigerated fruits and vegetables. They come in several fun shades, so you can pick out a few and have your kids store, say, cars in orange ones or pretend food in green ones. The mesh material makes it easy for them to see what's inside, but also helps camouflage some of the mess that may usually linger around your home.
When setting them up, though, you might want to find a floor-level home for these baskets. The steel material may be heavy for little kids, but will prove to be easy to clean with just a damp or dry cloth. In the future, you can use them for gardening supplies, mail, pantry storage, and so much more. They can hold up to 9 pounds of items at one time.
Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 7 inches | Item Weight: 1.6 pounds | Weight Capacity: 9 pounds | Material: Powder-coated steel basket, birch veneer with clear lacquer handle | Color: White, orange, olive green, or gray | Assembly Required: No
Best Outdoor: The Container Store Silver Mesh Handy Bin with Wheels
Can also be used as a hamper
Wheels may fall off with heavy use
Looking for a storage solution for sports items or beach toys laying around your home year-round? With its steel mesh material and ventilation holes that help filter dirt and sand, this bin is suitable for any spot outdoors, or a damp area like a garage or basement. It comes with a set of caster wheels so it can easily be moved around, and the incorporated handles make it comfortable to carry from one place to another.
Now, you'll want to be careful with how many heavy items you put inside. The wheels may fall off of it, if it's carrying too much at one time. However, it is tall enough to comfortably hold basketballs, a baseball bat, or tools for building a sand castle. You can also comfortably use it indoors as a laundry hamper or to store umbrellas.
Dimensions: 14 x 14 x 26 inches | Item Weight: Not listed | Weight Capacity: Not listed | Material: Steel mesh with silver epoxy finish | Color: Silver | Assembly Required: No
Best for Small Spaces: Crate & Barrel Rue White Five-Shelf Bookcase
Has anti-tip hardware
Two-tone color palette
Various sizes and configurations
Not solid wood
If you're dealing with a small space like a nursery or tucked-away playroom, the best type of toy storage for you takes advantage of your vertical space. This shelving unit has an elegant oak base that gives it a modern silhouette, and is available in a range of different sizes and configurations. So, you can pick out a design that'll work best with your space and the items you want to store, and bring it to life. The model comes with anti-tip hardware to secure it to the wall and assembly is required. However, you can put all of your toys in a single place, if you so choose, and not worry about stepping over stuffed animals.
"Even if the kids can only reach the bottom three bins, you can keep things like messy art supplies up high, so only adults have access to them," says Gill. You can also put toys with small parts up high, so you can pull them down when you're able to supervise your child playing with them.
Dimensions: 14 x 15 x 72 inches | Item Weight: Not listed | Weight Capacity: 40 pounds per shelf | Material: Medium-density fiberboard shelf, oak base | Color: White, gray, or midnight blue | Assembly Required: Yes
Best for Bath Toys: Yamazaki Wood Handle Bath Caddy
Easy to clean
No drainage holes
May be heavy for kids
If your kids tend to rack up bath toys, this simple yet attractive bin will help them edit their choices and store their absolute favorites. Created by the design company Yamazaki Home, this caddy comes in two different sizes and was originally designed to organize shampoo bottles and other bath products. While it doesn't feature any drainage holes—which means you'll need to dry off items before placing them in it—the sturdy handle makes it easy to move the caddy around the bathroom.
Not to mention, the caddy can be repurposed in several ways. Think storage for tools, cleaning supplies, or kitchen condiments. You can also easily clean it by dusting it off with a soft, dry cloth, and don't need to assemble it upon arrival.
Dimensions: 14.6 x 8.3 x 9.4 inches | Item Weight: 1.28 pounds | Weight Capacity: Not listed | Material: Bin, plastic; handle, ash wood | Color: White | Assembly Required: No
Best for Toddlers: Pehr Pom Pom Drum Bins
Comes in various sizes
No sharp corners or edges
Pom-poms may not be durable
Bins are initially wrinkled
The best bins for younger children are lightweight and free of sharp edges and corners that they might bump into. These particular cotton canvas bins also happen to be adorable. However, you'll surely want to supervise younger children so they don't attempt to yank on the pom-poms. They work well for tinier items like blocks, as well as musical instruments, stuffed animals, or any kind of small toy collection in your home. You can keep them in a corner of a room, or tuck them into cubbies and pull them out when it's time to play.
Gill notes that baskets like this can look really cohesive in a playroom. These particular baskets will look very wrinkly at first since they're shipped flat and made of 100 percent cotton canvas. However, they'll take shape after you've put items inside and can be purchased in multiple different colors.
Dimensions: Pint, 10 x 10 x 9 inches; Medium, 15 x 15 x 11 inches; Large, 20 x 20 x 15 inches | Item Weight: Not listed | Weight Capacity: Not listed | Material: 100 percent cotton canvas | Color: Multiple | Assembly Required: No
Best for Tiny Items: ArtMinds Ornate Treasure Chest
Kids can decorate it themselves
Easy to paint or stain
Hardware may be flimsy
Not very easy to clean
Tiny animals, pebbles, itsy-bitsy erasers, fake gems. Those are just some of the things kids can store in this wooden treasure box. A bonus? Kids can decorate it themselves, turning this storage solution into a fun activity for the entire household and making it a personalized place for toys. While its hardware may be a bit flimsy, it also is affordable and will serve as a long-lasting container for small items that have big meaning.
"Tell your kids, if it's important and you love it, it's got to be in this bin at the end of the day, otherwise it's going to get lost or stepped on," says Gill. This will help your space stay organized, and put the treasure chest to good use on a daily basis. For this chest, assembly is not required. Just know, it's quite small at 9 x 5 x 4 inches.
Dimensions: 9 x 5 x 4 inches | Item Weight: Not listed | Weight Capacity: Not listed | Material: Unfinished wood chest, metal hardware | Color: Natural | Assembly Required: No
Best for Art Supplies: Made by Design Three-Tier Metal Utility Cart
Made of durable material
Some units arrived damaged
This simple cart makes it easy for kids to be in charge of their own art-making. You can tuck it into a corner and they can easily move it over to a table when they want to make a masterpiece, thanks to a set of locking wheels. Try putting different art materials on the top shelf (think, cups of crayons and markers) and stacks of paper in the middle. The bottom can be used for boxed crafting kits or "works in progress."
The entire product is made of power-coated metal, so it's quite durable. Each shelf can also hold up to 20 pounds of crafting or school supplies. You can purchase it in blue, white, or gray, depending on your aesthetic, but assembly will be required and take some time to complete. However, once it's set up, you will likely be able to put a good system in place. Gill notes that this storage solution is limiting. "You can rotate in and out whatever materials they're currently excited about," she says.
Dimensions: 31 x 18 x 14 inches | Item Weight: 12 pounds | Weight Capacity: 20 pounds per shelf | Material: Powder-coated metal | Color: Blue, white, or gray | Assembly Required: Yes
Our top pick for a toy storage solution is the Squared Away Six-Cube Organizer (view at Bed Bath & Beyond), which is an affordable shelving unit that can be used for toys, books, and so much more as your kids grow older. Sticking to a budget? The IKEA Fladis Seagrass Basket (view at IKEA) is great for storing items like stuffed animals, dolls, and dress-up accessories, and has flexible handles for styling it on your shelves or carrying it around your space.
What to Look for in a Toy Storage Solution
In a flurry to get organized, it can be tempting to buy a lot of storage solutions at once. But before you start loading up on bins, baskets, and shelves, figure out exactly what you want to store. Take Gill's tip about limiting volume into account, and decide where you want those items to live in your home. If your child loves to set up trains in the family room, for example, think about a large, good-looking container to hold cars and track pieces that might fit under a coffee table or in a low-sitting bookshelf. If you have wall space in your kids' room, add a shelving unit with baskets.
Think, even if it's generally, about what types of items you want to store, and whether you tend to accumulate a lot of one particular kind of item, such as bath toys. That'll give you the knowledge to buy confidently.
Size and material
Kids do best with storage items that aren't too heavy or cumbersome. You might love the look of stackable walnut boxes, but in the hands of an exuberant toddler, they could become dangerous projectiles. If your children are on the younger side, sticking to lightweight and soft materials like canvas or woven options like rattan is key. Also, making sure that you can fit all of the items you would like to in one container can be helpful in creating a storage system that works. Check the dimensions of your items and the storage container you're considering to ensure you'll have an ample amount of space.
When shopping, you'll want to steer clear of anything with sharp corners or pieces that could easily pop off and become choking hazards. If you opt for a shelving unit, it should always be bolted to the wall so it doesn't accidentally tip over and fall on someone. Many units come with anti-tip brackets or straps, but you can also purchase these kits separately at hardware stores if need be.
How do you store small pieces of toys?
If you're looking for ways to keep tiny items contained and organized, you can use lidded containers such as Tupperware. Then, use a label maker to mark the lids, so kids can keep track of what goes where.
If you have a lot of small parts across a broad category, you can use a small parts organizer, such as the type intended for screws or fishing gear. (If it's from the hardware store, just make sure it's not too heavy or difficult to open.) Of course, if you're worried about the small pieces becoming choking hazards, always store them separately and out of reach from children until you can supervise them. Some parents have a "toys for the future" bin stashed away just for these kinds of items.
How do you organize and store stuffed animals?
Organizing and storing your stuffed animals will largely depend on your space constraints and how many stuffed animals your children have. The key here is ultimately setting limits. "When my kids were younger and collected lots of stuffed animals, I got them a large, industrial-looking rolling cart and said, 'Okay this is big, and this is your limit, and whatever stuffed animals fit in here, that's the boundary,'" says Gill. If her children wanted new ones, they had to let some go, so they could all fit in the cart.
You can adopt a similar method, or try a zippered storage bin that can fit under the bed, a flexible laundry basket, a hammock designed for stuffed animals, or even a bean bag that keeps them hidden.
How do you hide toy clutter?
One smart way to keep chaos to a minimum is by first creating toy zones for items that stay out. You can also donate items that your kids no longer play with, as less stuff always means less clutter. "I usually suggest that parents pick or have kids pick no more than five broad categories," says Gill. The categories could be trains, dress up, play kitchen, or LEGOs. Those categories stay out of a closet or storage area.
If you have more items than five categories, you can create a "lending library" and allow kids to swap toys in and out. "This is really just a storage closet or high shelf, so if they get, say, bored of their Magna-Tiles, they can put those back in the library and 'check out,' a new toy," says Gill. "You're always keeping that equilibrium."
Why Trust The Spruce?
Lexi Dwyer is a mom of two living in a New York City apartment, and has been a parenting and lifestyle writer for The Spruce since 2019. For this roundup, she looked at many toy storage options, including bins, boxes, baskets, carts, and several different styles of furniture. She considered size, shape, potential safety concerns, and reports of durability. For additional insight, she spoke to Shira Gill, home organizing expert, coach, and author of Minimalista: Your Step-by-Step Guide to a Better Home, Wardrobe, and Life. Gill is also a mom and former preschool teacher. The majority of the products on this list can be repurposed in different ways once they are no longer needed as toy storage.