Looking for stylish ways to corall your kids' toys? We asked home design mom bloggers who participated in our Top 25 blogger program to reveal their favorite ways to organize toys and keep them within easy reach — the better to maximize both play and clean-up. Here we're sharing their winning suggestions, as rated by Circle of Moms members.
1. Book Stands & Library Racks
For book storage in a young child's room, consider a display that showcases book covers. As Cindy Sandelin of The reNOUNed Nest shares: "I'm a big fan of stepped book stands that display books and magazines so they show the cover (rather than the spine), making it easy for your child to find what they are looking for and easy to clean up!" Kelly Marzka, who blogs at View Along the Way, agrees: “My son LOVES his books, so we built a little library rack for him...He can see the front covers of the books, and he can easily reach them all. Works great for us, and the little guy seems to be a fan.”
2. Vintage Suitcases
Although Alison Agnew of Stuff and Nonsense is a “bin girl…all the way”, she also loves the storage solution she came up with for her daughter’s doll collection: “My daughter has a few vintage suitcases that she uses for Barbie and doll storage...they look so sweet stacked in her closet.”
Baskets make for another attractive toy storage solution. Melissa MacGregor of HOUSEography explains their allure: "The best part about open toy storage is that the kids can pick up themselves...theoretically. But even if I have to pick up the toys, it takes less than a minute to toss them in the baskets.”
You can also store baskets on shelves for a clean look, adding extra style with Cindy Sandelin's labelling tip: Tie a paper label (she suggests the circular tin-trimmed kind often used for keys) to each basket using a ribbon or small piece of rope. The result? "Adorable."
4. Traditional Furniture
A readily available idea for storing toys is to tuck them away in stylish, traditional furniture piecies. Shannon Acheson, who writes the blog aka|design, has used "drawers, coffee tables, hutches" and other piece of furniture that are already in her home to store everything from cars and dolls clothes to books and blocks.
5. Colorful Bins
"Buy stylish bins," suggests Amanda Bowe, of Our Humble ABowed. Bins can be found in a wide range of materials and colors, and in every price range: "Some are from the Target dollar section (costing only $2.50), others look like a locker. The bins that are visible are always metal and usually a poppy color for a dose of fun."
6. Window Seats
Who says bookshelves need to be used for books? Hello Splendor blogger Beth Dotolo shares a fantastic DIY project that transformed a cheap Ikea bookshelf into a stylish window seat with toy storage space: "My stylish solution for storing my son's toys is dual purpose! I purchased an Ikea Expedit bookshelf, turned it on its side, and made a cushion for the top out of leather-look fabric remnants. I now have a super chic window seat with toy storage below."
7. Storage Systems...and Polaroid-Labeled Boxes!
Traci Zeller, of Traci Zeller Designs: The Blog offers two great ideas for keeping toys organized: an affordable, modular storage system, and boxes labelled with Polaroid photos of their contents. "The IKEA Trofast system is a dream come true for moms! I painted mine and put photos on each bin so that my twins (who cannot read yet) would know what goes where. I also created extra seating in the playroom by adding cushions."
And one last tip for keeping your kids' toys under control: Don’t forget to edit! As Tara of Between You and Me shares: "During the summer months, we take the time to go through all of the toys that aren't getting much attention and we decide if they are worth keeping and storing in the attic for future grandchildren, or if they get sent to children who could enjoy them today!"