There’s something about having multiple toddler-age children that amplifies the toy factor exponentially. You’d think that one of each toy would be enough, but it’s not, because each child wants what the other has. And if there’s an older, faster, stronger sibling around, chances are she’ll take both toys and then neither toddler is happy. So you get a third one, and it snowballs from there.
Toy Boxes and Chests
The first containment and organization strategy that we (like most parents) took was a nice, big toy chest. Somewhere we can just collect all of the toys and dump them.
You want a big, sturdy box with a lid that won’t slam closed on tiny little hands like the Sauder toy chest at WalMart. We have that one and we love it. The lid goes up, the toys go in, and then they’re out of the way.
Hidden Toy Storage
When you multiples reach toddler ages, their toys evolve. There are dolls and dollhouses, trucks and trains, ride-on toys, blocks, balls… all different sizes and shapes, so storing them becomes a challenge. The last time I wrote abut toy storage ideas, our main strategy involved hiding everything in toy chests and storage ottomans.
These are great in the short term, like when you have company coming over. You can maintain a bit of a “grown up” decor for as long as you want to keep living in denial. All of the toys are out of sight, cleverly hidden in elegant, functional containers like these:
|Rectangular Storage Ottoman
This faux leather ottoman has storage inside, and doubles as a bench or coffee table, without any hard corners. No one would guess it’s stuffed full of toys. Rated 4.7/5 with over 1300 reviews, it’s pretty popular too. Very classy.
Dimensions: 38.25″ long x 22.25″ wide x 18″ high
|Square Storage Ottoman
The square faux leather ottoman is slightly smaller, but also flat enough to use as a coffee table or seating area. Or even for emergency diaper changes! Sturdy wood frame and feet, and a 95% customer satisfaction rating.
Dimensions: 27.5″ long x 27.5″ wide x 15.75″ high
Toddler-Friendly Toy Storage
Day after day, however, we get tired of just stashing toys away. Especially because our twins are quick to undo all that work the minute our backs are turned. They can’t reach the bottom of the toy chest, so the toys down there are useless. We set out to explore some other toy organization and storage ideas that would let us reclaim our house while keeping the peace.
Essentially, we were looking for toy storage options that were:
- Sturdy and durable, so that the kids won’t destroy them
- Accessible to the little ones, so they can get and put away toys on their own
- Moderately sized, so we don’t lose much of the play room.
- Organized, so that even small toys can be found without a search party.
|Tot Tutors Toy Organizer
This is a classic toddler-friendly toy organizer with 12 rugged, removable bins (8 rectangular, 4 double-wide). It’s less than 3 feet tall, so your toddler can reach everything in it. Great for play rooms and practicing toy cleanup with your toddlers.
Dimensions: 34″ wide x 31″ high x 11″ deep
|Tot Tutors Book Rack
Our kids have a ton of books, but somehow we end up reading the same two or three each night. A traditional bookshelf makes these favorites hard to find, so this book rack (which matches the organizer) is a better toddler-friendly option.
Dimensions:25″ wide x 24″ high x 11″ deep
Better Toy Organization
Both the book rack and the organizer were good for the play room — accessible, sturdy, and great for quick toy clean-ups. That said, they weren’t what we needed for our living room, where we spend most of our time and where the toys were out of control. We had a nice white toy chest in there, but it was always at about 110% capacity. Part of the problem is that the toys in the bottom of the box aren’t very accessible. They get crammed down into the bottom and never see the light of day.
|Sauder 3×3 Storage Cubbies
These 3×3 cubbies were just what we were looking for: easy to assemble, durable, and you get 9 shelves to store toys in. It’s only about 3 feet high so the kids can reach it all. We actually got two of them and put both in one corner.
Dimensions: 35.28″ wide x 35.91″ high x 9.53″ deep
|Club Coffee Table with 4 Storage Ottomans
This is my dream solution: a coffee table with four microfiber storage ottomans that tuck in under it! The whole piece is elegant and functional at once. I really, really want them.
Dimensions: 32.90″ long x 32.90″ wide x 18.00″ high