Step, step, step . . . crunch. Sound familiar? Sometimes it feels like our kids’ toys are taking over our living spaces. But wrangling all those bits and pieces can be challenging, especially in smaller homes. We’ve found 12 of the best, most creative ways to contain the flood of playthings — and maybe save a bare foot or two in the process. Click on for your storage solutions!
Leggo my Lego: Cheap and easy Lego storage
Any parent of a Lego-crazed kid knows there’s nothing more painful than treading on a wayward brick, and digging through a giant bin slows little builders down when they’re in the zone. Happiness Is Homemade has the answer for both issues: These DIY hanging metal storage bins keep Legos sorted and tootsies safe. Check out the post for a full tutorial.
DIY Lego table
A Little of This, A Little of That has a Lego storage solution that also features a play surface. The blog’s author repurposed an Ikea table to make this great piece. Lego building plates are adhered to the top, and it includes drop-in bins to hold all those bricks — ingenious!
Neat-Oh! Lego ZipBin
For portable play, try one of these handy zippable bins. When not in use, Neat-Oh! ZipBins store Legos neatly, and they open to lay flat for the perfect play surface. The bins come in a variety of LEGO themes — including Star Wars — so every fan can have his pick.
Wooden crate on wheels
On those days when your kiddo just can’t make up her mind, bring out all the toys! These convenient DIY rolling crates from Mommy Mentionables are ideal for mobile play. The chalkboard labels make sorting easy, and we bet a doll or stuffed animal would love a ride in one of these. Instructions are available in the post.
Hidden treasures: crib bench with storage
In smaller spaces, it makes sense for furniture to have more than one use. The author of My Repurposed Life made this fabulous bench-slash–toy box from an old crib. The seat lifts easily to stash toys, and it functions as extra seating. A beautiful upcycled addition to any bedroom or nursery!
Little Tikes Sort ’n’ Store Toy Chest
Not into DIY? Try this clever chest for stashing playthings. When it’s closed, it becomes a bench. Two pullout drawers in the bottom help wrangle all the smaller stuff that might otherwise get lost in a generous six-cubic-foot box.
Suitcase toy storage
Banish monsters from under the bed by taking over their real estate with toys! Jessie of Cape 27 created these super-cute repurposed suitcases for below-bed storage. This storage setup is easy to move around on its built-in wheels, and the pockets make excellent beds for Barbies. Don't have an old suitcase? The authors of DIY Passion built under-bed rolling crates themselves. Follow their instructions for making your own.
Display cases: stuffed animal swing
It’s Always Autumn came up with this fun, inexpensive way to display and store stuffed animals — Autumn says she completed her DIY swing in a couple of hours. Each shelf fits approximately eight Build-a-Bear-size stuffies, freeing up tons of floor space. (Not recommended for tots who might climb, but great for older kids.) Swing on over to her blog for a tutorial.
Superhero jar storage
Angie of Country Chic Cottage repurposed wide-mouth Mason jars for holding oodles of playtime odds and ends. To create this fun storage system, all you need are jars, superhero figurines from the dollar store and spray paint. If your kid isn’t into superheroes, use animals, princesses or any other figure that will make her smile as she stores.
DIY matchbox car garage
Lauren of A Lo and Behold Life will let you on her techniques for building a DIY garage for Matchbox cars. She used shoe racks to make this easy, cheap and decorative parking lot — a brilliant way to use wall space for storage and decorate the room.
Go vertical: Ikea wall storage
When floor space is tight, it makes sense to turn your walls into extra storage. Ikea has lots of vertical products to help get the job done. The Krokig attaches to the wall to store small items and has hooks for hanging bags or totes. Kusiner corner wall baskets make use of otherwise dead space (note that the fasteners will come undone if a child tries to climb the basket), and Pysslingar wall pockets are great for craft supplies or smaller dolls.
Toy storage bag set
Snap up these adorable custom storage bags from Etsy shop MojaCreations. Each set comes with three bags in different sizes and features a clear window to view what’s inside. Let the kids help pick the fabric, and they’ll want to help clean up! Use wall hooks to hang the totes, keeping stuff safely off the floor. Your feet will thank you.