A Toy Storage Solution That Can Grow With the Kids

The holidays are over and there are SO MANY new toys! It's a perfect time to purge and donate toys that kids have outgrown, and to come up with a new toy storage plan that will grow with the kids!
There are a ton of toy organizer options out there, but to stand the test of time, you need to find a toy organizer that is flexible enough to change with the size, shape and quantity of the toys through the years.

Around this time last year, I got a call from a friend who said her son's toys were taking over their family room and she needed help! Putting the toys "away" meant stashing them all behind the couches and chairs on either side of the room, but they really weren't hidden and they definitely weren't organized. It was causing stress for the whole family!

I went over to see if I could help, and we walked around together looking for a better place to store and organize the toys. She showed me a big coat closet positioned between the entry way and the family room. There wasn't much in it other than a few cleaning supplies and some misc boxes and cords... where were all the coats, I asked?

It turns out that they also had a smaller coat closet in the mudroom that was a bit chaotic, but had plenty of potential to serve the family's needs. With a little work, I helped them reorganized the small coat closet. {Get the details about all the small coat closet storage solutions!}

Once the small mud room coat closet was functioning well for the whole family, and we were confident that the larger coat closet wasn't needed for coats, she was able to clear out the big closet, getting rid of what was not needed and finding a new home for the vacuum.

I then put together a new plan for this closet that would provide plenty of storage for all their son's current toys, as well as the flexibility to adapt with new toys in the future. Keeping in mind that this closet might not always be used for toys, we decided to keep the existing shelf and closet rod in place so it could easily be converted back to a coat closet in the future. We felt like this was especially important for maintaining the potential resale value of the house.
Toy Storage Plan

Since the closet is wider than the door opening, I chose shelves for the bottom of the closet that were only about half as deep as the closet to allow even the back corners to be easily accessible.

After researching lots of shelving and storage options, we decided to create a custom solution using pieces from the IKEA Trofast system.

The Trofast system comes in lots of options, including different heights and widths, but my favorite thing about Trofast is that it can be used with a combination of shelves and drawers, and that configuration can be easily changed as needed. I opted for shelves on the far sides of the closet, and left the center two sections open for sliding drawers. I also chose some light weight bins with handles for the top shelves.

Ikea toy storage solutions

Here's the supply list of exactly what I used in this closet:
Don't have an IKEA near you? Some of these items are also available on Amazon. You'll usually end up paying more at Amazon then directly through IKEA, but I'll also include affiliate links to the Trofast available on Amazon for your convenience. 
After sorting all the toys, and adding simple labels to all the boxes and bins, the coat closet turned toy closet was a thing of beauty!

Toy Organizers in Closet

I filled the TROFAST bins with groups of like toys, including blocks, balls, animals, and cars.

Ikea Trofast Toy Storage

What I love most about these bins is that they function like drawers, but can be fully removed from the tracks and carried to the family room rug for playtime.

Ikea Trofast Toy Organization

Then when it's time to clean up, the family can toss everything back in the bins and slide them back in place in closet.

How to organize toys

The sliding bins work perfectly in the center of the closet, where the door opening is, but because of their depth they would have been hard to maneuver into place in the corners of the closet. Instead, I slid TROFAST shelves into the tracks on the units on the far right and left. I then filled my favorite inexpensive, clear stacking storage boxes with additional toys and games and placed them on these shelves.

Toy Storage in a Closet

Other toys I placed directly on the shelves for easy access.

Ikea Toy Storage

Big toys often pose the biggest organizational challenge because they don't fit on standard shelves. When planning this toy closet, I specifically chose to leave a large open space between the new storage units and the fixed closet shelf to accommodate big toys.

How to organize large toys

how to organize and store big toys

I used the SKUBB storage boxes on the top shelf to organize additional toys. The long handles make the toy baskets easy to reach and lift down {even for someone short like me}. I filled these boxes with lighter weight toys and those played with less often. These top shelf storage boxes also allow the parents to control access to other items, like art supplies that could be messy in little hands if left unsupervised. 

Organize with Ikea Skubb boxes

I accomplished the total transformation of this closet from under-utilized coat closet to super functional toy closet for just $250, including the storage frames, shelves, bins, boxes, and labels. 

Organized closet before and after

This little boy's toys will continue to change over time, but this toy storage closet will easily adapt and grow with him! The Trofast storage frames each have six tracks, allowing different sizes and configurations of bins to be slid into the frames over time, and the shelves can also be repositioned as needed. And because the labels are just written on scrapbook paper and slid into the adhesive label pockets, updating the labels will be quick and easy. {Read how to create these easy to update labels.}

organized closet toy storage

1 comment :

  1. Hi Angela,
    Would you mind letting us know the size of the clear stacking boxes that was used in the trofast system. I am thinking of redoing this whole process in my sons closet coz u r absolutely right. Christmas has created chaos in his room ;>