11 Expert-Approved Ideas for Storing Toys in a Living Room According to a Former Teacher

If you’ve ever been overwhelmed by storing toys in a living room, these 11 expert-approved ideas are for you!

Storing toys in living room
Photo by Cottonbro

If you’ve ever walked into your living room and felt instantly stressed by the sheer amount of toys everywhere. This is the perfect post for you.

I’m going to share 11 ways I’ve been able to not only hide the toys but also organize and store them properly. So that your kids will be able to put the toys away themselves, and you’ll be a lot less stressed the next time you want to hang out in the living room.

The Best Storage Ideas for Toys in a Living Room

As a mom of two; one four-year-old and one ten-month-old baby. I know how messy toys can be. Not only that, I’m also a former kindergarten teacher and my favorite thing was creating play areas for our kids. This meant I had to organize them in a way that not only made sense to us teachers but also to the kids so that they could learn to clean up after themselves.

Edit, Unclutter, and Donate!

We all know kids grow so fast, and each stage seems to go by quicker than the last. This is why I aim to declutter and edit our toys every six months if not every season.

My best tip is to see if you have a local consignment shop for children’s clothes and toys. Then you can earn money back from your used toys, and maybe even shop for used toys while you are there.

We have a post coming up in the next few weeks about clearing the clutter that you don’t want to miss! Make sure you’re signed up for our weekly newsletters as well, for exclusive tips and the best tips and tricks.

Choose the Right Toys for Your Home

A big concern for parents is that after you edit and donate a lot of toys, you’ll just end up with more! So our advice is to start thinking about what toys you want in your home. We’ve recently started making a shift to buying very few toys, and I’ll be honest. Our kids play with those toys a lot more than they did before.

Sometimes choosing a handful of toys is the best option. That way your child isn’t overwhelmed with choices and you’re not overwhelmed with the mess.

storage ideas for toys in living room
Photo by cottonbro

What is Toy Rotation?

A great tool we were taught in Teachers College was toy rotation. Which is the idea that you create smaller groupings of toys and rotate them out.

This way you have more control over your environment, and your child has the opportunity to focus on a handful of toys rather than them all at once.

Designate Space for the Toys

This fits right there with having control over your environment. Choosing a space that you feel comfortable with a mess being in is a great idea. Because with kids, you have very little control over the messes they make.

If you give them a designated space where they can play, they will learn that they should keep their toys there instead of spreading them throughout the house.

Double Use Furniture

Let’s chat about another idea for storing toys in a living room and how you can buy furniture that will double as storage. There are a ton of options out there. We’ve seen ottomans that open, allowing space for toys. Or even coffee tables that can fit storage underneath.

Here are a few options:

Modern Ottoman

We love the style of this ottoman and it will fit well in any modern style home.

Check it out >

Storage Bench

A more traditional option for home, but has enough storage for toys.

Check it out >

Baskets will be your Best Friend

I love baskets for hiding toys. It’s what we’re currently using in our living room. However, this works best when you’ve already edited and donated toys, and commit to a toy rotation every few weeks.

Toy Hiding Options

Shop the items above by clicking on the pictures.

The best part of having a crate or hamper on wheels is that you can wheel it into another room when you have company over. It’s an easy fix and a quick clean.

Wicker Bins Look Great

Similar to the baskets, we’ve used wicker bins in client homes for hiding their children’s toys. These bins are fabulous for looking great in a home, as well as being big enough for hiding a lot of toys.

Floor to Ceiling Storage or Media Center

If you have the opportunity to get floor-to-ceiling storage or a media center then you have a lot more space to hide the toys. It’s an investment but one that is worth it in so many ways.

You’ll be able to have extra storage for years and years. Which would make sense if you live in a smaller home, like us.

Photo by Tatiana Syrikova

Bins for Toys

Whether you have a media center, or extra storage space to put the toys in, I wanted to share some bin ideas for storing toys in a living room.

Bins with Pictures or labels

These labels are great for adding to baskets. If you have a school-aged child, draw a picture instead.

Check it out >

We used to do this in the classroom which is perfect for school-aged children and younger. Keep your hard work organized and teach your children where their toys belong. We loved taking photos of the type of toys that belong in each bin. For example. if blocks go in a bin you would take a photo of the blocks and add it to the bin.

Chalkboard Boxes

We love using these in our homes, just as much as in the classroom. They work for smaller toys better, but I love that you can always change them out and reuse them.

Check it out >

Since we’re always changing out our toys (toy rotation is an amazing tool). We want to be able to change the labels on each box. I love the idea of having a chalkboard box because you can of course write what you put in them. Or you can get your child to draw a picture of what’s in each bin.

Let us know in the comments if you have any storage ideas for toys in a living room that has worked for you!

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