Small living spaces are great for encouraging family togetherness and keeping cleaning and maintenance tasks to a minimum. What they’re not so great for is storage. I enjoy having my kid’s toys in family living spaces so they’re interacting with others and playing where I can keep an eye on them. But without an extra family room or playroom, it can feel like my kid’s toys are taking over the house.
As a mom of two and a home daycare provider in an 1100 square foot house, here are 11 ways I’ve found to store toys in a small living space without sacrificing having a put together home.
1. Furniture that Doubles as Storage
There are many options for attractive furniture that doubles as storage space. Ottomans or benches that open up are a great place to hide your children’s books or bins of toys when you need them put away. Coffee tables or end tables with drawers or cupboards underneath are great places to stash puzzles or other games. Most of us can’t afford to go out and buy all new furniture but many discount shops carry affordable storage ottomans and tables. A few additional storage spaces can make a big difference in your home’s appearance.
2. Woven Baskets for Toys
When you don’t have room to tuck things away, purchasing some stylish woven baskets to toss loose toys in can be a great option. Small baskets can be tucked into corners or behind furniture without looking too childish for an adult space.
3. Plastic Tubs with Lids for Stacking
Purchasing multiple small plastic tubs for toys is a must for most families. You can label each bin with a word or picture to help your children know what each is for. Bins with lids in a uniform size can be stacked on shelves or closets out of sight. These can typically be purchased at discount or dollar stores for around a dollar. (check this one out from Pigskins and PigTails)
4. Create Space Behind Your Couch
If your couch is pushed flush against a wall, consider pulling it out a bit and stashing toys behind it. If you have an open floor plan like I do, you can still put larger toys behind the couch. They won’t be out of sight, but it keeps them from being underfoot in high traffic areas. Consider putting the toys under a table, like this one!
5. Shoe Racks for Toys
Shoe racks make great toy storage. A hanging shoe rack on the back of a closet or bedroom door can be used for small stuffed animals or Barbies and action figures. A sliding shoe rack on a closet floor also holds Barbies or action figures and their various houses and cars.
6. Stick it to Wall or Fridge
Small boxes or bins stuck on the side of your refrigerator with a magnet or suction cup can be filled with tiny toys or craft supplies. You can actually make these storage containers with your kids as a craft project. Collect empty pasta boxes or other small containers. Add a little paint and a magnet glued on the back to create a cute a useful storage container.
Or, make the container, the toy itself! Have you seen this adorable fridge fairy garden?
7. Rolling Toys In and Out
Carts or shelves with wheels are handy for storing toys and wheeling them out of sight when you’re done with them. An inexpensive cart with shelves can be filled with the stackable toy bins or baskets and put away in a closet or laundry room area.
8. Portable Toy Caddies
A few portable toy caddies can make a big difference when trying to keep living space free of toys. A caddy can be filled up with small toys or craft supplies and then easily packed up and stored at the end of the day.
9. A Pegboard or Wall Hooks
A Pegboard or wall hooks can be placed inside a closet and used for hanging sports rackets, small baskets of toys or doll clothes. This can also be done on a wall if you keep it neat without detracting from your home’s decor.
10. Maximize Space Outside of the Living Room
Make sure you’re making the most of any storage space you have outside of the main living areas. A bed skirt or crib skirt in each bedroom creates a lot of space for toys and games not currently in use. Sort toys by size so you can stack them and maximize shelves and closet space. Hang mesh bags inside a closet for stuffed animals or balls. In bedrooms, stuffed animals can be in hammocks or wall shelves to keep them off of the floor.
11. Toy Hammocks
For kids with an awful lot of stuffed animals like mine, toy hammocks are a great place to store all of those furry friends. We put them directly over the kids’ bed so the toys are easily accessible, and they are SUPER easy to put away.
Organized toy storage makes toys more easily accessible while keeping cleanup quick and easy. If you frequently find your living space being taken over by toys, I hope these toy storage ideas can help you reclaim your living space.