10 Tips for Organising Children’s Toys

Stepping on Lego pieces HURTS! Kneeling on them is even worse! I love Lego but it’s hard to organise. Since I’m away on a road trip, I’ve been fortunate to have some wonderful people guest post for Be A Fun Mum. This post is from Tim, who writes online articles all about organisation in the home.  I asked him to give me 10 top tips for organising children’s toys and here they are.

10 Tips for Organising Children’s Toys

Toys present an organisational nightmare for parents. All around the house, toys create clutter and trip hazards.  Life without an accessible and easy to use toy storage solution makes teaching children to put their toys away almost impossible. The following 10 tips for organising your children’s toys can help you find a organisation system that both easy to maintain and simple to use.

1. Define A Play Area

Toys strewn all over the house present an organisational nightmare. It can be useful to have toys in defined areas in the house. Those with large homes can set aside one room as a play area. Those with smaller residences might consider restricting play to bedrooms, and a corner of the living area. When parents contain the proliferation of toys, they take a giant leap toward organisation and provide for easier cleanup.

2. Limit The Number Of Toys In The Home

Children only need a limited number of toys. Further more, too many toys can easily overwhelm even the largest playroom. To reduce the number of toys in the home, begin by eliminating duplicate toys, broken toys and toys that children do not use.

3. Be Realistic About Size

Children like big riding toys, tents, tunnels and play houses, but storage of these toys can become difficult of your home lacks adequate space for them. When you buy a large toy, choose a model that easily disassembles to save space.

4. Sort ‘n Store

Categorise toys by type (Cars, dolls, puzzles, etc.) These sorts of specific and related toys can be stored together rather than dumped into a huge toy box. Doing this reduces clutter while giving children more options when they decide what to play with.

5. Cycle And Schedule Toys

When dealing with a toy surplus, rotate some of them into the shed or garage. This eases storage issues in your living space, while helps create new experiences when the stored toys re-enter the player areas.

6. Use Toy Shelves

Shelves help children see what toys they have. When storage boxes are used, try labeling them with large words or pictures to help children identify their contents. Shelving gets toys and boxes off the floor and usually is an affordable solution.

7. Fast, Easy Cleanup

With busy schedules, sometimes children don’t have time to get all their toys put back at once. For these occasions, try using a laundry basket or blanket as a way to quickly collect toys for later storage.

8. Keep Some Toys Out Of Reach

Puzzles, models, play bricks and other toys with lots of pieces can create a disaster when children take them out at random intervals. Parents can decide if their children have enough time to get out these complicated objects and help prevent getting the pieces mixed up.

9. Establish Rules

Teach children how many toys they can have out at once. This limits clean up and encourages children to finish one activity before starting a new one.

10. Put Safety First

Toys and storage boxes stacked on top of each other can easily tip over and fall. Find ways to keep toys low and use shelves and cabinets where necessary to keep children safe.


Throughout history, toys have presented organisational challenges in the home. The 10 tips for organizing your children’s toys can help make playtime manageable and fun.

The Author

Tim Riley has been dealing with vacuum cleaner bags for most of his career and writes reviews on products like Bosch hoover bags for a living.

Need More Inspiration?

Here are some pictures and links that may help.

Emma’s Toys

Read my interview with Emma here: City to Country.

organising children's toys

Rachel’s Toys

Read the interview I did with Rachel here: A Room for Everyone.

organising children's toys

Pilgrim’s Toys

Read the interview I did with Pilgrim here: Home — Bold and Bright.

organising children's toys

Sharron’s Toys

Read my interview with Sharron here.

organising toys

Nicole’s Toys

Read more about how Nicole (Planning With Kids) organises her children’s toys here: Organising Toys.

Organizing Toys

Pinterest Organising Toys Board

If you need some inspiration I have a wonderful collection of pictures on my Pinterest Organising Toys Board. Just click here: Organising Toys.

pinterest organising toys / organizing toys


How do you organise toys in your home?

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  • Reply
    July 20, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Thanks for the great tips! We do a lot of these things at home. Our girls (2 & 3) share a room and we only have a few stuffed toys and a toy cot in their room, plus a LOT of books. Friends always comment on how tidy their room is and that’s because there’s hardly any toys in there! (it’s upstairs and they don’t like to play up there away from me so it works out well that way).

    Our downstairs area is open plan, but we have defined areas in the loungeroom so their play space is around the corner from the ‘adult space’. We have two expedit units – one in their play area and one in a big cupboard under the stairs. There is enough space under the stairs so we can put bigger toys (doll strollers and highchairs!) under there if we want them away. Each ‘cube’ of the expedit units has a basket with toys sorted into categories (barbies, baby dolls, dressups, musical instruments etc) and the things that get played with most often are in the loungeroom while things with little pieces (like puzzles and little playsets) are under the stairs so there can’t be too much mess at once. Bikes and balls are outside, craft supplies in shelves on the garage (not quite willing to leave paint easily accessible to my just-turned-two-year-old just yet…) and in the dining area the girls have a toy kitchen with all the other bits and pieces as well as little table where they can do craft and eat sometimes.

    I strive to be as organised as I can, and I have to say, toy organisation is probably the most fun thing to organise at home 😉 Only thing is, I’m a hoarder and can’t bear to part with things, even if they don’t get played with a lot…..working on it!

    • Reply
      Kelly b
      July 26, 2011 at 9:20 pm

      Ikea has such great products like the expedit system. Love it! Sounds like you have a great system Erin.

  • Reply
    July 20, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    I’ve just discovered 2.9kg cans of crushed tomatoes (we love to make big batches of bolognaise) and when empty they are perfect for storage. So far we have tools (hammers etc) in one and farm animals in another, and when I get to it they’ll be covered in an appropriately coloured fabric so they’ll look pretty too.

    I love finding storage solutions that cost me nothing!

  • Reply
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    September 14, 2011 at 9:37 am

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  • Reply
    December 28, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    I would love some ideas on storing big dump trucks and cars please. We have lots of storage boxes but they don’t fit these jumbo sized toys in. Was considering hanging them but unsure how

  • Reply
    July 26, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Thanks for the great tips!
    Currently we have a large bookcase with the first shelf dedicated to ‘good books’ (keepsake books, paper pages, etc) the second shelf full of puzzles (little hands can’t reach yet!) and the next three shelves dedicated to toys. Blocks are in a basket on the bottom shelf, and the rest of the toys are set in catorgories (e.g – on the bottom shelf along with the blocks are shape sorters) we also have a smaller bookcase half the size of the first full of board books and musical instruments… we keep our hotwheel cars in a box under the change table & all small toys not in any particular set (most ofthem are those cheap happymeal toys) in a large plastic tub. we have things like dumptrucks & toy vaccuum cleaners lined along the wall of the bedroom.
    All of our craft supplies are kept in an old kitchen hutch in the dining room/office which has been blocked off by baby gates, & we have another plastic tub downstairs easily accessable for outdoors toys, balls, & bikes. We keep the bigger toys like the slide & wagons in the garage.
    oh Also, I might add that all this belongs to my 18month old son! He is the only grandson /nephew in both mine & my partners family so spoilt is an understatement!!
    Our house is also very tiny & we have limited storage space so I have to be creative with everything!!

  • Reply
    July 26, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Do you have any tips for storing stuffed toys? We have soooo many that were gifts when my daughter was born & i just cant bring myself to throw them out!

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      July 26, 2012 at 1:19 pm

      I’ve seen them hung up in like a hammock type thing. We pack up some stuffed toys that we want to keep (but are not played with anymore. My daughter keeps her stuffed toys in toy bins and that works well for us.

      • Reply
        August 10, 2012 at 10:05 am

        Great! Thank you for the tips 🙂

  • Reply
    Lucy Morgan-Jones
    July 27, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Hi! Some great storage ideas here! 🙂

    I too use a plastic crate to store our Lego in, but first I put all the Lego on a single bed sheet (flat sheet). Simply lift it out of the crate/box by the corners of the sheet, lay it on the floor/table etc to play on. Then when its time to pack up simply pick up the sheet by the corners. Hey presto! No more picking up a million and one tiny pieces. 🙂

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  • Reply
    April 6, 2016 at 5:59 am

    I strive to be organized, in every works, but kids stuffs are real messy.At last finding no way out I managed a separate room for my two kids. Your tips are helpful too.Nice ideas and advice. Thanks.

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  • Reply
    June 23, 2017 at 4:00 am

    thankyou for all these tips they are really easy to understand. I have a 3 yo girl and a disability and this limits mobility and energy. So 1st off I give my child what I can and usually there’s not much energy left for sorting etc after doing a few home chores as well. I have a great husband and stepdad and I know they help where they can but they are also busy themselves. I do feel overwhelmed with the clutter that these things present Any thoughts??

  • Reply
    May 21, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    Love the suggestions. I really struggle with my now 5yo ignoring my requests to tidy up so I’m running out of space for confiscated toys. I do have boxes for toy types, but rather than have the boxes accessible I am going to try and make a catalog of games so they each get to pick something to play with. Fingers crossed as the place is usually a mess!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    I strongly recommend that you please all be so kind and let the children keep things that they really have been dealing with all the time and love them so much so far!!!If you see that children love these things very much and want to give up beloved things, then under no circumstances should you remove these things, and then not if they are already grownups and want to keep those things in mind in memory of childhood!!!If there really is no room, then just buy the storage boxes and the problem is solved!!! I also have many things at home, but I’ve been able to keep everything in good condition thanks to these storage boxes and I do not see any problem!!!If you can see that the kids are really good at keeping things up very well after dealing and the rooms are absolutely perfectly clean every day, please let them keep things until they really want it !!! If they can not clean it, then teach them and if they are cleaning everything, then keeping things is not a problem if there are big storage boxes.If children want to keep their things up,then let them do it !!! Children still want to make their own collections, videos and in the future they would definitely want to give their old things to their children !!!If there is no room at all, then take some things, but not all things, if they like their things very much !!! I consider collectibles of children’s things to be very valuable, because for some time they become rare and there is no way to get them again! I have a very big Disney collection in my home and there are other things too. I do not give anything away because these are my things!!! If I have decided to keep my childhood things, then I’ll keep them forever!!!I’m very experienced in childhood things and I know that things in childhood needs to be kept so that you can remember the old good times and in the future give them to your children!!!
    Reminder and teachings for parents and children!!!

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