This post is sponsored by Better Homes and Gardens at Walmart. All opinions are 100% my own.
Short on space? These ideas for living room toy storage are helpful for small space organization. Storing toys without a dedicated playroom or kid space can be tricky but it’s not impossible to hide away toys in living spaces. Taming the toy clutter when you have little ones is no joke. I’ve often wondered if “toy storage” was a real thing. Most of the people I know resigned their living rooms into kid spaces and I don’t hate it but I also want my living room to actually be a living room.
I remember when P was first born and people would tell me “oh, babies don’t need anything except for milk and diapers.” Sure that’s true – but if you want to survive and maybe even get a little sleep you pull out all of the stops and go for the swing, and the jumper, and the play mat thing. Then they get a little older and you want to “stimulate” them so you buy the ball thrower thing, the little car or horse or whatever they can ride, and my personal favorite all the makers of noise (WHYYYY). Before you know it you have a legit house full of baby stuff and toys and you need a place to put all the things.
Luckily, we’ve got ample storage space for all of the baby stuff we’ve saved and I’m really good about going through the toys that become dust collectors and retire them to storage. The thing is, without a proper playroom, and without proper organization, my living room gets taken over with toys. In our old house we had a small alcove underneath the stairs that was the perfect hideaway for all the toys. We put a cubby under there and all of the toys (except the giant circus tent – yeah…) were perfectly hidden from view when you stepped inside our house. Now, they weren’t necessarily organized but they were out of sight. This house, doesn’t have that kind of hideaway so I needed to come up with something easy on the eyes as well as functional for toy organization.
Since we’ve moved in the play area has looked like this. Oh yeah – that storage bag is full to the brim and completely non-functional. If there’s something she’s looking for at the bottom of the bag, she dumps the entire thing. It’s not all organized and it’s not at all functional.
Yesterday I shared my summer home tour, and you can’t quite see the play corner of this space but on the other side of that side table on the left is where the chaos begins. It’s right in our living area.
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Tips for Living Room Toy Storage
Pick a section of your living room to corral the toys.
To keep toys from overtaking your living space. Pick a corner or a section of your living space to house all of the toys/kid things. The first step in organizing your toy storage is to make sure everything has a place.
Use some type of organizer or shelving system
You’ll want something to put the toys on. You can see in my photo above that before we got an organizer – the toys were just in a giant storage bag which made toys hard to find. Having a shelving system with dedicated bins and baskets made things easier to find and easier to clean up. Depending on the size of your family and the size of your space, you may need multiple organizers or larger shelves.
I wanted to find something I could add to the living room that could serve as a toy organizer that also was a little bit stylish. I loved this 8 cube organizer I found at Walmart. I scoped it out online and picked it up in our store. I love the weathered wood finish and it comes in multiple other finishes too. It fits perfectly in this corner of our living room keeping the toys corralled.
Use baskets and bins to corral like items
After you’ve found a storage options that works for you – you need some baskets and bins that can corral like items. Baskets are great because they hide the contents really well. That’s great for a living room toy storage situation.
This new cube system houses all of the toys that are most played with in our home. Puzzles, books, board games, stuffies, play food, etc. I added a handful of baskets to stash the smaller toys (similar baskets here and here). Then, place the puzzles and wooden sets, along with the books on the shelves. You’ll see the play kitchen has been relocated to the closet to be brought out when we want to play with it. It’s so nice now that everything seems to have a home instead of digging through the depths of that storage bag for the smallest dinosaur figurine. One other thing I love about this toy organization system is that everything is at kid level so my kid can be responsible for putting things back where they go.
Use a variety of sizes of bins and baskets
Scale is important. You won’t want to use a large basket or storage bin for small items – they’ll get lost in there. Use smaller baskets or bins with lids for smaller things like tiny figurines or art supplies. The baskets and bins are great for the larger items but something smaller to hold small items is really important too. This wooden storage box houses all of her little craft supplies like paint brushes and crayons. I love how it’s disguised as a decorative accessory. We also use this system to store tiny toys.
I added this giant chalkboard to the top of the cube which is just a decorative accent. I think a big mirror in this spot would be great or a little gallery wall. The chalkboard is a DIY project you can find here but I found a similar one for sale here at a reasonable price!
This post is several years old but it’s been updated – see our current organized playroom ideas here. I still live by these living room toy organization ideas and I think keeping things collected in an organized storage system is the best way to keep your living room from being overtaken by toys.
Overall, I can’t be happier. This space cleaned up so nicely all because of a simple piece of furniture. I love that we can feel as though the space is family friendly without being completely overrun by toys.
Have a bunch of tiny toys? See how we organize my daughters’ favorite small toys here.
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I’ve been busy organizing other spaces in my house. You can join our organization challenge here.