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Organized- Home & Toy Storage

Toys everywhere, clothing tossed aside, books piled high- this is our reality with two little boys who don’t clean up unless we march them over to their mess and sing the clean up song while they neaten up, and our home often looks like a tornado hit. We found ourselves using our unused playard to toss everything into, which got the mess off the floor, but now we had a moster-sized mess in an oversized container…also an eyesore, though less dangerous.

I have a sister-in-law who is amazing when it comes to organization, so I asked her what her secret was…she said “shelves and baskets for everything”. So that’s what I did.

Toy Storage- Shelves and Bins

Our toys are now in cubeicals shelves with fabric baskets for smaller items, and other toys are simply displayed on the shelves:

home and toy storage ideas

It’s a great way to separate different types of toys (a storage bin for Legos, another for K’nex, etc) and these fabric bins are flexible. Some come with labels, or you can simply label them yourself if you’d like to make it easier to find which toys you are looking for without pulling out each drawer bin…and so many pretty colors! It actually adds to our home decor when we get creative with the colors (I’m planning to get a white cubeical with rainbow colored storage bins to store the toys in their bedrooms.

Clear Storage Drawers With Labels

Other toys are organized into a set of clear drawers that make it easy to find what we want, and I put chalkboard labels on each drawer to make it even easy to find what we need or remember what should go back where. These are very affordable and come in different sizes, and for us it’s great because we have trains, action figures (large and small), and much more. The top can double as another shelf or storage spot if you’d like to place a basket on it, but I’ve managed to declutter enough (and started to use a toy rotation system) that we have minimized the amount of toys in the playroom at one time.

toys organized drawers and totes

Baskets For The Rest Of It

The rest of the toys, including larger stuffed animals that don’t fit into onto shelves or in baskets, go into a couple of large plastic toy bins with lids.

organize toys in baskets by category

We organized everything by type and use, and everything has to be returned at the end of the day or (new rule) we donate it. Building blocks go together in one basket, Mr. Potato Head pieces are stored together in another, animals figurines and animal toys are in the same basket, train set pieces are separated by wood or plastic and each are organized in their own compartment as well.

So for us, what worked was to separate, contain, and store away when not in use! And we were able to donate that playard.

Organize Shoes Too!

For good measure, we got a shoe organizer too by the front door, and absolutely love it! We don’t wear shoes in the house because our sons play on the floor, and nothing is less attractive than a pile of mixed shoes strewn by the front entrance when you enter, so this shoe organizer is awesome, a total game changed for our entryway:

shoe organizer

We each have a column, and can put up to four pair of shoes (sneakers, everyday shoes, dress shoes, whatever we want and wear often). It looks neat, prevents the shoes from getting scuffed up, and we can find what we need right away…love it! The top is a landing pad for things we plan to take with us out of the home the next day, or bring home, to place temporarily while we take off our coats and shoes.

What are your organizing tips?


  • You’re so organized. I’m trying to get our home as organized. We haven’t gotten the furniture yet to put stuff away.

  • Those plastic drawers are a fabulous idea for storing small toys!

  • Wow, you’re very organized! I use to be organized (a very LONG time ago), but I stopped. It seems like every time I tidied up, someone always messed it back up. Now that my kids are a little older I may just start organizing my house again, as the clutter is a bit overwhelming.

  • We’ve actually gotten lazier the older we’ve been getting, it was easier to stay organized when our daughter was younger than it is now! I have a show rack in our laundry room/mud room where the shoes stay organized, and I’m working on our pantry slowly. Right now the biggest challenge is our home office, mostly because it is a huge space but we don’t have a lot of storage in it, that means things just get put down and they tend to stay there and multiply.

  • I’ll have to think about this next time I go to Target, because my son’s room can use some organization! I also love the idea of a shoe organizer.

  • Love the organization and hopefully it will teach your boys that everything has its place.

  • We have done the shelving units, book shelves and baskets too. I actually find organizing more difficult now that my children are older and there are more of them!

  • I love all of these ideas. I have a thing for stackable bins on my shelves. I also love the those cloth bins that you are using on your stand.

  • I so need that shoe organizer, but not sure where I’d put it. 🙂

  • Wow, you got everything so neat, i Need to do the same thing.

  • I want that shoe organizer!

  • I love the cubby style storage. I need to add something like this for myself.

  • I need to get more organized. Thanks for sharing these ideas!

  • I go crazy looking at all of the clutter. I don’t think shoving everything in the closet so I don’t have to see it counts as a tip.

  • I love these ideas! Especially your rule about anything left out at the end of the day getting donated. I think our house would be a lot more organized if we implemented that one!

  • My kids have a toy organizer with colorful plastic bins but are quickly outgrowing that style of storage. I will be replacing it with something more modern, like the cubbies and bins you have pictured above.