Living Room Toy Storage Solutions

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I talk a lot about universal truths in motherhood, but one of them we all have to deal with is toy clutter. We want our kids to have everything, and even if we draw a hard line, they still end up with toys everywhere. It feels like any time I get things in order, a birthday or Christmas rolls around and I have to tackle the toy storage needs all over again.

One option many go for is to go with rotating the toys out so that your kids have something special to play with and they will remain interested and playing with their toys for more time. I would love to do this, but right now, it’s not something I can get a handle on. I don’t have the space to store toys for a later date. If I had a good place to store them I would definitely take that approach, but in the house we are in, it just can’t happen here.

How do I handle the chaos?

Since, I don’t have the space to rotate the toys out, I make sure to go through the toys about once a month to remove the things I haven’t seen Little Miss play with. I put them in a box and tuck them away. If after a week or so I don’t see Little Miss looking for it or wanting to play with it, I make a decision with the toys, donate, sell, or throw out.

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I donate anything that is in good condition but was inexpensive to begin with, so it wouldn’t have a good resale price for me. If it was something larger or more costly, I put it on Facebook marketplace to sell. If it doesn’t sell, then it gets donated. Anything broken, damaged, or missing pieces gets thrown in the trash.

There are also some things that I have stashed away for baby 2 when/ if that happens. These things are the very baby toys- stacking rings, shape sorters, rattles, keys. You know, the typical baby stuff.

The problem

So many of us run into the same issue, there’s not enough space for all of this stuff our kids accumulate. We have to constantly adapt to what we have and where everything is going.

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Currently, this is what we use.

We have a 3 shelf bookcase to hold all of the medium size toys. It works great for holding the many books we have and it is the perfect height to hold the Little People house and all the other Little People sets. Now, the linked bookcase isn’t the exact one I have, it is similarly sized. The one we have is from my childhood, so there’s no way to get you the exact link.

We also have a plastic 3 drawer cart to hold the small toys. This is great for all the little people that go to the sets, and small toys that are inevitably everywhere. I like that it is in 3 drawers, so things don’t get lost at the bottom of a big toy box. It too was something that I repurposed from years ago, but I am so happy I opted to use it rather than spending money on a big toy box.

To keep small things together I have bought many small plastic bins. Most of the bins are like these shoe box size bins. These bins are the perfect size to hold barbies, wood blocks, baby doll accessories, puzzle pieces, and more. I was hoping they would fit board games, but the boards are too big to make it work right. I know I could grab some larger bins to hold the games, but for now, this is what I have going on.

The issue with what I have is not having enough storage for everything. I need to add storage to my living room, which currently is where Little Miss spends most of her time playing. The issue with not having enough storage in my living room is that most of the time it looks like a toy store threw up all over the room. Even when everything is picked up, there are toys out in full view.

What I am after is something that is functional beyond the toy years, and something that will hold toys out of sight if possible. The biggest key though is something that can be used for more than just toys because I don’t want to have to replace it in a few years if I don’t have to. I would love to have something that will work long term.

Toy organization solutions

I am in love with this shelving unit. It is short enough that it wouldn’t be a temptation to climb to reach things too high up. It also is classic enough to be used for more than just toys. It has more function than just toys. The downfall to this option is that everything would still be out in the open, and it isn’t going to hold a whole lot even with bins and containers.

This 12 opening cube shelf is high on my list of wants. I know, I said above that I would love to hide the toys behind doors, but this would work so good with bins to hide everything. This is something I could use beyond toys and will remain functional for years to come.

Livingroom furniture that would work

This stand is another one I’m loving. I love the doors that can hide bigger toys that won’t fit into bins behind the doors, and then use the shelves for bins. It isn’t necessarily meant for toy storage, which is what I love. It will be a good storage unit for after the toys have been removed from the living room.

Okay, stick with me here. I am sure you’re looking at this and wondering why I would choose this for toy storage. There are actually a few reasons that I love it. The doors would be great to hide larger toys, or to store the plastic bins, while the bottom shelf would be amazing for the cube bins to hold other stuff. Again, it isn’t meant for toy storage, so it will be perfect to continue using after we are done with toys.

This sideboard would be a great option for toy hiding. The glass in the doors this one might not be the best for very little kids, but it would look cute if you changed the glass for fabric. I love that everything would be hidden inside and not on full display for the world to see.

The size of this sideboard is perfect for a tv stand, entertainment center, toy storage solution. I love the doors to hide what I want hidden, the size to hold everything I would need hidden and still be easily accessible for Little Miss to get to her toys.

Like the previous option, this one has plenty of storage for everything. These options are perfect because they will hold all the toys behind closed doors and still be functional long after the toys are gone.

The final option

So, the other option I am considering to use would be buying a dresser, probably second hand, and refinishing it to work in my home.

A dresser like this one is another great option. The drawers are deep enough to hold toys. It could continue to be used in the living room after we are done with toys, or moved into a bedroom for a dresser.

I love the option of a dresser because it’s so functional in other ways. I just don’t want to get something that we will only be able to use for a couple of years before it isn’t functional anymore. Getting something second hand and painting it is always an option too.

Since I’m writing this just before Memorial Day Weekend, I am going to keep an eye out at yard sales first, and then go from there. I will update this post when I find exactly which option I go through with.

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