July 15, 2024

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Best Toy Storage 2024 – Forbes Vetted

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Does your home feel like a toy disaster zone? The best toy storage helps parents regain control of the mess. As a bonus, they offer kids an opportunity to learn how to be more autonomous when it comes to keeping their play spaces tidy. To find the best toy storage solutions of 2024 on the market, we tapped professional organizers, interior designers, a toy development professional and a child therapist for their favorite options. We also culled their top organizational tips for nurseries, kids’ rooms, playrooms and wherever else there’s toy clutter.

When choosing toy storage organizers, “the first [step] is to narrow down what the kids actually want and need,” says Brandie Larsen—who, along with her sister Ryan Eiesland, is one of the professional organizers behind the Sacramento-based business Home Sort. Eisland says the duo likes to work with kids and their parents to decide if each toy or game is something they still want and actively play with. (“Kids love a chance to make the decisions and be in the driver’s seat,” she adds.) The toys that don’t get put into the donate pile get organized into a system that makes sense and that the child can maintain.

Best Toy Storage At A Glance

  • Best Toy Storage Furniture: Mack & Milo Toy Organizer , Lovevery Montessori Playshelf, Pottery Barn Kids Cameron Wall System, Closetmaid Cube Bookcase, Le Toy Van Toy Box, Ikea Trofast, Mustard Made Locker, Honey Can Do Kids Organizer, Humble Crew Kids Book Rack
  • Best Double-Duty Toy Storage: The Inside Storage Ottoman, Crate & Barrel Rue Bookcase, Stuffed Animal Bean Bag Chair, Hot Wheels Car Case
  • Best Rigid Toy Storage Containers: The Container Store Linus Cube Bin, Mdesign Stackable Bin, Room Essentials Cube Bin, LEGO Brick Drawer, Iris Portable Case
  • Best Soft Toy Storage Containers: Pehr Drum Bin, Decomomo Storage Bins, Lilly’s Love Hammock, Toy Storage Mat Bag, Mesh Zipper Pouches
  • Best Arts & Crafts Toy Storage: The Container Store Cart, Mdesign Handheld Caddy, Three Layer Portable Storage Box
  • Best Bath Toy Storage: Pillowfort Bath Storage Caddy, Munchkin Super Scoop

Jessica Davis, owner and principal designer of JL Design in Nashville, says this Mack & Milo toy storage organizer as a must-have for every playroom. The piece features a dozen open storage baskets that are set on an angle, which makes it easier for kids to see and grab toys, as well as toss them back in when it’s time for cleanup. It’s affordable enough that some families might be able to stack two of these side by side and call it a day in terms of creating toy storage for a larger space, such as the living room. Note: Only the grey and white models are currently available, but you can sign up to be notified when the other colors are back in stock.


“When it comes to kids’ storage, the most important thing is to keep it simple and at eye level,” says Hudson, New York-based interior designer Nicole Fisher of BNR Interiors. We think the sleek, Montessori-style play shelf by Lovevery, crafted from sustainable birchwood, is a great example of this kind of toy storage. Fisher suggests keeping toy baskets and children’s books on low shelves so kids can easily access them, and this solution comes with two wooden trays and two storage bins to help with that added organization. Plus, the ample hidden storage in the back allows for easy toy rotation.


“We love open shelving alongside cabinets to show off signature toys and books for a fun and playful vibe, as well as to stash the rest so it doesn’t get too busy,” says Kelsey Fisher, Havenly lead designer based in Denver. One cabinet she particularly loves is the Pottery Barn Kids Cameron Wall System. “It allows you to mix and match pieces to best serve your space and storage needs,” she says. Also, it holds a lot of stuff.


“You do not need a lot of furniture to keep things organized in a kids’ space,” says Idaho-based interior designer Mikayla Keating of Keating Collective and Interiors. Her advice: Keep pieces minimal and the room layout simple to make more room for play. One furniture item she recommends for toy organization is a cubby-style shelf like this bookcase by Closetmaid. You can add as many soft bins with handles as you want (like the fabric cube or bin options we recommend on this list) and choose to assemble the bookcase either horizontally or vertically to match your child’s needs.


Le Toy Van Toy Box

It’s one thing to see all of your kids’ toys tucked away in an orderly fashion—and don’t get us wrong, we live for it—but what if you couldn’t see the mess? When you’re all tapped out on storage options that display their books, toys and accessories, a modern toy box is a quick and easy way to keep the less cute things (looking at you, swamp monster doll) out of sight. Plus, the storage capacity here is quite large (26.5 x 20.8 x 16.7 inches), and the child-safe soft-closing hinge means it’s less likely to slam shut on tiny fingers.


MOST POPULAR

The sturdy wooden frame of this organizer combined with lightweight plastic bins make for attractive, affordable and easy-to-use toy storage. The Trofast product line is available in a wide range of sizes (think tiered shelves or taller storage), so the sky is the limit for creative uses. The plastic bins are well made, can hold a wide range of toys and are easy to label with a sticker or image to help keep toys neat.


The Midi Locker

Versatile and attractive, this locker-style unit will look fabulous in a tween’s room or kid’s playroom. The metal unit has two adjustable shelves, hooks, cable holes, handles, locks and keyrings. The units ship flat-packed, so some assembly is required. 


Available in three colorways, this innovative toy storage unit features 12 plastic bins across four shelves. You can assign toys to big or small bins or specific colors depending on your storage needs. Each bin comes off the shelf so the toys can be played on the floor, at a table or anywhere else. When it’s time to clean up, simply put the toys back in the bin and the bin back on the shelf.


Encourage a love of reading with this kid-sized bookshelf that displays picture books face out, making it easy to grab, go, swap and read all your favorite books. The compact design is just 11 inches deep, so it won’t take up a ton of space. Because the shelves are made of nylon, the entire rack weighs just 7 pounds. Easy to set up, you’ll just need a screwdriver and a few minutes.


This chic ottoman doubles as storage, providing an attractive and discrete spot to store toys when they’re not in use. Perfect for smaller homes or living rooms that also function as playrooms, these pricey picks are available in over 120 fabric styles, ranging from stripes, florals, modern and classic prints. Each piece is made to order and spot cleaning is recommended.


A great way to ensure kids keep up with their newfound cleaning skills is to make it as accessible as possible. This cubby-inspired bookcase does so by being low to the ground. It comes in three modern, neutral tones to match nearly any bedroom or the playroom. You can stack bins on top of it (or sit on it), or store them in the cubbies. The Rue comes in a number of sizes, including six-, eight- and 12-cube configurations, so you can scale up or down depending on your child’s space and number of playthings.


If stuffed animals are taking over child’s room, this storage solution not only hides the stuffies out of sight, but creates a cozy, comfy bean-bag style chair. Made of plush fabric with a super sturdy zipper, this is simply a cover that you fill with stuffed animals (or extra pillows and blankets). The filled chair becomes a seat in your kiddo’s room and stuffed animals are neatly stored out of sight.


Hot Wheels 100-Car Rolling Storage Case

With the ability to store up to 100 cars, this hard-sided rolling case can double as a toy travel bag. It is made specifically to hold Hot Wheels cars, but it can hold other cars and small toys too. The rugged plastic case has individual slots to hold each toy car, a telescoping handle and built-in wheels to make it easy for kids to tote their cars.


When it comes to storage options for toddlers and little kids, New York-based professional organizer Andrew Mellen is a firm believer in open-top clear storage bins. “We do not put lids on anything we want children to interact with because if they have a physical barrier between them and the home for something, you might as well put a brick wall there. They will not go through the lid to put stuff away,” he says. Instead, he recommends using uniform plastic tubs that are clear so kids can easily see what’s inside them.

These Linus Cube Bins stand up to all sorts of rough kid handling and won’t be scratched or stained by messy art supplies or Hot Wheels. The large size (which measures 12 x 12 x 12 inches) fits perfectly on most bookshelves, too.


Mdesign Stackable Hinged Lid Bin

After a round of sorting through your child’s toy collection, you might be left with a pile of small odds and ends—like Barbie clothes or tiny erasers—that seem impossible to organize. The Home Sort sisters recommend clear storage bins, specifically these small Mdesign containers, for corralling those pesky, unwieldy toys. The small hinged lid on these boxes allow parents to place these toy storage organizers atop one another, turning a mess into neat stacks.


These affordable storage cubes are soft and light, making them easily totable for kids of many ages. They’re nearly a foot tall, so they’re deep enough to hold a number of kid things, including books, dolls or stuffed animals, and they fit just right onto a bookcase shelf. They’re pretty enough to place in the nursery or living room and come in a variety of colors. The portability of these toy storage organizers means that neatness—not messes—can follow them from room to room. Plus, they can be folded flat when not in use.


LEGO 8-Stud Storage Brick Drawer

When it comes to LEGO (one of the peskiest toys to organize), Davis goes right to the source. The brand’s LEGO Storage Brick Drawer has two spacious compartments for all those little parts—or any toy or office supply really. Designed like the iconic LEGO brick, the box is topped with eight oversized studs that connect to additional Brick drawers when you run out of space—which will likely happen often if you have a LEGO fanatic. The fun design also comes in a variety of bold colors.


Replace dented, ripped or broken board game boxes with these clear plastic cases that are big enough to hold game boards, pieces, cards, dice and more. The 10-pack is stackable, but singles and packs of six are also available if 10 is too many. The snap-tight lids keep all the game pieces in place and make it easy to take your favorite board game on the go.


Pehr Pom Pom Large Collapsible Drum Toy Bin

The only thing better than teaching your child to embrace being tidy and organized with their things is giving them storage options that don’t make your home look like a child’s classroom. These decorative baskets fit in with an array of décor styles and look like something we might pick up for ourselves to store throw blankets or magazines. You can show your kids that this stylish bin is where they can keep tubs of Play-Doh, video game controllers and other small toys and accessories for better toy storage anywhere in your home. Plus, they have convenient cut-out handles and are lightweight enough that a toddler can easily pick them up.


These roomy fabric storage bins are ideal to add to existing shelving or to stack under their beds or in a closet. The handles make them easy to tote around, they fold if needed for storage and they’re framed well enough that they keep their shape even when not full. We love the variety of sizes and prints—and the overall affordability. One of our editors uses them to store all those stuffed animals, as well as the kids’ off-season clothing.


If stuffed animals take over your child’s room, let those stuffies hang out in their very own hammock. This adorable, soft storage solution comes with everything you need to hang up the hammock in any corner of the room. The high-quality net is available in nine colors and has anchors, hooks and a handy hanging guide.


This toy storage solution is a play mat for holding LEGO or smaller toys. When cleaning up, simply pull the straps and seal the bag, and the play mat morphs into a storage bag. Unlike some other options, this bag fully closes and can hold up to 40 pounds of toys


This affordable multi-pack of mesh bags is handy in all kinds of situations beyond keeping bits and bobs organized. The pouches are also ideal for storing stuff in the car or packing for vacation. The set comes with 24 pouches in eight colors and three sizes. The large size is big enough for file folders, and the small size is excellent for small doll accessories or puzzle pieces.


New York-based interior designer Casey DeBois of DeBois Design follows the Montessori system of everything having its place. “The more systems in place, the easier it is for everyone to follow,” she says, and that’s especially true for children. When it comes to corralling art supplies, DeBois recommends a rolling cart. “It keeps everything contained, you can easily see your supplies and it’s mobile.” This popular rolling cart comes in a number of fun hues so you can easily match the cart with your living room or nursery décor.


Mdesign Small Plastic Caddy

Available in a whole slew of colors, these plastic bins are the perfect height to hold markers, crayons, colored pencils, pens and paintbrushes. Each one has four compartments, so it’s easy to sort. We love that the bins can be lined up on a shelf. The top handle makes it easy for kiddos to grab, go, create and put the caddy back in place when it’s time to clean up.


This versatile box is right-sized for art supplies, and the best part is that it’s easy to take and tote. The three layers provide plenty of organized storage space for art supplies, big and small. There’s open space on the bottom and smaller compartments in the top two layers to keep gear neat and tidy.


This handy plastic bathtub caddy quickly expands to fit across nearly all bathtubs. It’s easy to take in and out of the tub, but attractive enough to leave in. There are three compartments that can hold supplies, washcloths and bath toys. The entire bottom of the caddy is perforated, so water drains and gives toys and soap bottles the chance to dry out.


Thanks to a quick-drying mesh bag, storing and collecting bath toys is a cinch. You attach the strong suction cup to your tile or fiberglass bathtub walls, and the mesh bag mounts onto the suction cup. The bag has a plastic handle and wide mouth to collect toys, so it’s easy to scoop wet toys and store them out of the tub to dry off.


Why Trust Forbes Vetted

This story was originally researched and written by Forbes Vetted contributor Tina Chadha. It was updated by Maya Polton, a mom of three who aims to keep all toys in their proper spot. As parents ourselves, the Forbes Vetted Kids & Baby Gear team has firsthand experience with products in this space and has tested hundreds of kid and parenting products. We deeply research every item we recommend, from the best diapers to the best mattresses for kids.

To pinpoint best toy storage organizers, we consulted organization and design professionals, as well as child toy experts, to get their insights into the options they recommend for various needs and spaces. Our experts include sister duo Brandie Larsen and Ryan Eiesland of the organizational services business Home Sort; Jessica Davis, owner and principal designer at JL Design; professional organizer Andrew Mellen; Nicole Fisher, interior designer at BNR Interiors; Havenly lead designer Kelsey Fisher; interior designer Mikayla Keating of Keating Collective and Interiors; Casey DeBois, interior designer at DeBois Design; Emily Ardeljan, LCSW and child and family therapist; and Alison Glaser, vice president of product strategy in Lakeshore Learning’s research, design and development department, and Andrea Smalley, owner of Lighten Up. We asked some of our experts to share their tried-and-true techniques for optimizing toy storage space and getting kids to take ownership of the cleanup process.

We routinely update this article to make sure our selections and prices remain accurate and among the best in the industry. We last updated this story in January 2024.


How We Chose The Best Toy Storage Organizers

In our search for the best toy storage organizers, we consulted a handful of experts including professional organizers, interior designers, a family therapist and developmental expert, to help determine which products should make the cut. Several picks, like the Mack & Milo Bratton Kids Storage Toy Organizer, Pottery Barn Kids Cameron 2×2 Wall System and Mdesign Stackable Hinged Lid Bin, are expressly recommended our experts.

We also relied on the personal experience of the parents on our team to ensure our options have real-world practicality. Further we evaluated size, price range, design features and long-term potential, focusing on items that truly help make parents’ lives easier and their homes a bit more serene. Variety was a factor, too, as we wanted to include options for different needs, spaces and budgets.


What Makes A Good Toy Storage Organizer?

Find an organizer that makes it simple to establish a dedicated spot for each item. This makes it easier to find toys when kids are ready to play and less of a struggle when it comes time to put them back. Next, group similar toys together: Markers and watercolors with all other art supplies, stuffed animals with stuffed animals, baby dolls with baby dolls and so on.

Regardless of which cleaning or organizational method you choose, Emily Ardeljan, LCSW and child and family therapist, reminds us, “Organization is likely different for everyone because everyone has a different threshold for the amount of visual stimulation that they feel comfortable with in their homes. Definitely prioritize functionality and experience over aesthetics or anything else.”


How Do You Store A Large Amount Of Toys?

Bin storage (and lots of them) can help to organize a large amount of toys, such as those belonging to siblings. “Bins come in many sizes and colors, helping you organize toys so children can easily find them and put them back in the right place,” says Alison Glaser, vice president of product strategy in Lakeshore Learning’s research, design and development department. “I also find it useful to label bins with a picture and a word. This not only helps children keep their space organized, but it also teaches and reinforces reading skills in early learners.”

If you’re tight on space, Glaser presents a couple options like “using storage bins with lids and stacking them on the floor in a closet. This way, they remain out of sight but easily accessible to children during playtime.” She also recommends that if it suits your budget, you might “invest in furniture units with built-in storage, such as a bookshelf with baskets that effectively conceal toys but are a cinch to pull out for play.”


Are There Any Safety Concerns With Toy Chests?

As always, make sure all heavy items are properly anchored to the wall and teach kids to never climb furniture. Keep an eye out for toy storage furniture designed specifically for families with features like rounded corners and soft-close draws, doors and lids. They should also be free of small pieces (that could pose as choking hazards) and include all the necessary anti-tip supplies.

No matter how safe these storage items are, make sure to read the included instruction booklet and look out for warnings that advise parents to be in the same room as their kids when using them. For additional suggestions, check out our list of the best babyproofing products.


What Is The Best Storage For Toys?

The best storage for toys is the one you and your kids actually use. Consider the age and stage of your child and the kind of toys you have and what’s taking up the most room. If you’re a board game family, banish the bent and odd-shaped boxes in favor of streamlined plastic containers. If LEGO are everywhere, focus on a solution that works for those small plastic blocks. Being realistic about how your kids can maintain a simple level of organization is helpful.


What Is The Safest Way For Toys To Be Stored?

Safe storage is imperative with young kids. Avoid storing items just above their reach—kids will find a way to get toys down alone and may lead to heavy items falling. If you have small children or animals, safely store small parts in secure bins to ensure they cannot be swallowed. Speak to your kids about where and why certain toys get stored in a specific spot—if they don’t know the reasoning, they are less likely to follow the rules. Kids age and grow, so every few month do a safety check to make sure toys are stored in a safe manner for your child’s new age and stage.


How Do You Store A Lot Of Toys In A Small Space?

A label maker can help store lots of toys in an organized manner. “Utilizing systems with labels helps make it so much easier for everyone to know where things go and to keep the space tidy,” says Andrea Smalley, a professional home organizer. “By organizing every item together and clearly labeling the bins and shelves it makes things so much easier for you and your family to put things away and find things.” Look for double-duty items like storage ottomans or bean bags chairs filled with stuffed animals. They work overtime to furnish your space and keep toys organized.


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