We have wood crates, with toy fruit and veggies, crafts, blocks, trains, etc., but no way to store or organize them. Do you have a toy storage solution? Do you dump everything by category into bins or baskets, and shelve them that way? Thanks in advance, and while I am at it, thanks for another great year of very cool picks! -Elizabeth

Oh Elizabeth, I love your question because I feel your pain: With three kids and a slight obsessive neatness streak, I am always reassessing my toy storage situation, especially after the holidays.

One solution that has worked for us is to mix the type of storage containers we use, from wide open baskets to bigger pieces of furniture which hold lots of related items or those toys I’d prefer to be out of sight.

I’ve rounded up a few different toy storage solution ideas for you here. I hope that you find something that works for your family! -Christina

Consider having a fixed piece of furniture to hold a lot of toys in one place. It’s a great idea, especially if it is something that blends, rather than clashes, with the look of your decor.

Oeuf Toy Storage

I love Oeuf’s standing toy stand called The Toy Store because everything is easy to access. You may choose to store all your play food in the bins, or mix-and-match to separate toy cars, LEGO pieces, craft supplies, and so on.

Toy storage cubes by Via Toy Box

For a very versatile option, we’re big fans of the colorfully modern cubes from Via Toy Box which can be configured to fit your needs. They can work as stand-alone boxes, or be fitted with accessories to turn them into shelving or even a kids’ desk. They look great in a playroom, if you are lucky enough to have one of these magical rooms in which to toss all the toys. (Alas, I am not so lucky.)

Eiffel Bookcase

If you’d prefer to keep your toys in the wooden crates in which they were purchased, or if you have games and puzzles piled up, you may like this modern Eiffel Bookcase from Argington. I have a version of this in our home and love it. Just be sure to measure your crates–it fits most of our games but not every single size.

Expedit bookshelves from Ikea

If you are lucky enough to have an Ikea nearby, check out their affordable Expedit bookshelves. I have four–yes four–of them in various sizes and finishes, in different rooms from my son’s bedroom to the office. With one of their bins tucked inside, they hold a lot and can also be used as a bookshelf once the toy trains are outgrown. Plus, as with many things Ikea, you can’t beat the price; though get mentally prepared for the assembly.

Also see part 2 of our answer to our reader–our favorite bins and baskets for toy storage!

[photo at top: jj cole]

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