According to The Toy Association, the average household owns 71 toys. But more than 10 percent of homes have more than 200 toys.
Organizing all of the toys that children accumulate over the years is a challenge for any parent. If your family lives in an apartment or another type of small space, finding storage for your little one’s favorite possessions can be even trickier. Believe it or not, it’s possible to have children and have a clean home with some creativity and tools to help you stay organized.
For families who rent, finding practical storage solutions that don’t involve heavy duty installation that might compromise your security deposit can be difficult. However, that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with a giant clunky toy box taking up valuable floor space in your living room. These clever solutions will leave your small space clean, stylish and entirely kid-friendly.
1. Command picture ledges as bookshelves
Many apartments don’t offer the floor space to bring in a large bookshelf, and some taller bookshelves can be dangerous to younger children who like to climb. Instead of sacrificing the shelving to store books and display other items, turn to Command picture ledges.
These ledges can hold up to five pounds and adhere to the wall without leaving any damage. By keeping your child’s favorite books, picture frames and other small decorations on the wall, you won’t take up space on the floor and can add some playful whimsy to the room.
Because these ledges are designed to remove without damage, you can place them closer to the ground so even the littlest child can reach and put away their own things, and can easily adjust the height as your children continue to grow.
2. Benches with cubby storage
Cubby storage is likely one of the first options you’ll find when searching for toy storage solutions, and for good reason: it works. Traditional toy boxes keep clutter out of sight until your little one decides to overturn its contents looking for the last red block or their favorite toy car.
Cubbies allow for more customization and categorization so your children can easily find the specific toys they’re looking for. Baskets or fabric bins allow for stylish storage and make clean up a breeze.
The downside to cubby storage is that it usually takes up some space. If you’re looking to hide your family’s toy collection utilizing cubbies, consider finding furniture that will work double duty. Small benches with cubbies can sit in an entrance or mudroom, or even serve as seating for a low table.
3. Removable wall hooks
When space is limited, using all of the wall space available to you is key. Removable wall hooks can be used in almost any room to hang blankets, costumes or pajamas.
Hang lightweight baskets or bins from the hooks to store small stuffed animals, craft supplies or other small toys.
4. Portable toy storage
Utilizing a rolling cart to store toys and games can provide the vital extra storage you need without taking up the floor space that a bookshelf or toy chest would. The cart can simply be rolled away when toys aren’t in use, and moved to any room when your children are playing.
Fill the shelves of the cart with stackable bins or baskets for further organization.
5. Over-the-door racks
We’ve all seen the over-the-door shoe racks, but you may have not considered using them for much more than shoe storage. Hanging racks on the back of a closet or bedroom door can be used to store stuffed animals, dolls, action figures and other small toys.
Look for options with shelving for extra storage that’s easily hidden away.
6. Dual-purpose furniture
The cardinal rule of furnishing a small space is to choose items that serve multiple purposes. Sectionals with under cushion storage, coffee tables with drawers or ottomans that open will all help you make the most of both your furniture and your space.
Any item that will allow you to keep toys out of sight and serve as seating or table surface will help keep the whole family happy. If you have just a few items you’re looking to store, consider keeping them out of the way in a decorative basket or antique chest that fits in with your space.
Find a solution that works for you
With a little creativity, you’ll find a solution that works for your family to keep your home clutter-free without sacrificing your child’s toy collection. Using various options will help you meet the needs of your household as it evolves.
As a renter, be sure to take extra precautions when brainstorming toy storage solutions and only choose options that won’t damage your space and hurt your security deposit.