How to Organise Kids’ Toys: 7 Steps to a Clutter-Free Home

Is there anything more painful than stepping on an errant piece of Lego? Maybe stepping on the shoe of a Barbie, or an upside-down Hot Wheels car. I’ve experienced all three. Many many times.

Kids love toys. And parents love toys, especially when they keep our little ones occupied as we try to enjoy a cup of coffee while it’s hot. But kids are not always the best at cleaning up after themselves which is why we could all use some advice on how to organise kids’ toys.

What do you do when you have toys strewn all over the floor or decide your kids just have too many toys for them to play with?

You get creative.

The Home Edit
Source: Instagram

Organisation is my jam. My Pinterest is full of fun, funky and unique ways to store everything from socks to toys to pet supplies. I may or may not have binged all eight episodes of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix. Okay, I did. There is something so relaxing about the joy she finds in tidying and organising spaces. It’s the kind of calm I aspire to be.

Because, that’s the thing about a clutter-free, organised toy area – it can create a calming space for you and for your kids. Chaos can lead to stress, even if you don’t think the mess is really messing with you.

And I think we can all agree that when it’s the middle of the night and nature calls and it feels like you’re walking a gauntlet of Lego landmines and the dreaded slimy substances on the way to the bathroom, some organisation is called for. Stat.

How do you accomplish this when your kids want to keep every toy they own, and your house becomes meltdown central at the mere mention of ‘put it away’?

You get tough and you put some of the responsibility in the hands of your mini-me.

Here are some easy tips to get started on how to organise kids’ toys

1. Categorise the toys

Sort, hopefully with help or while kids are sleeping/at school, the toys into categories like vehicles, building, reading, soft etc. You can categorise your categories with things like ‘play with often’, ‘play with occasionally’ and ‘rarely play with’.

How to Organise Kids' Toys
Source: Adobe Stock

2. Play favourites

Give your child the opportunity to pick a certain number of favourite toys that can stay out on their bed or set up on the floor, out of the way. These might include a favourite stuffed toy to sleep with, a book they love to read each night, or a play set they enjoy on a regular basis.

child with plush toys
Source: Adobe Stock

3. Get boxy

Find a storage container that works with you. Currently, I’m a fan of bamboo so a few of my growing collection of storage containers are bamboo. But choose whatever works. I’ve found with little kids, flexi tubs (available at Kmart and Bunnings in various sizes) are perfect.

Toy storage ideas from Kmart
Source: Kmart

The colours look great in kids’ rooms and they’re durable, easy to clean, and can double as a laundry basket. Consider making or buying shelving to store whatever container you choose so it’s slightly tilting forward, making for great visual access. This means they don’t have to pull out every container looking for something.

Even little things need boxes.

mum central

4. Sometimes, we need labels

Paper, a printer, and packing tape are all you need to create labels for the containers. If your child can’t read yet, look up or draw pictures for each category and use the packing tape to stick them on.

Of course, you can easily Google labels, but getting your kids involved in making them helps them stay connected to what you’re trying to accomplish and gives them a sense of ownership over their space.

how to organise kids' toys
Source: Adobe Stock

5. It’s all about rotation

If your child has a lot of toys, and you want to keep things fresh without buying new toys, simply put half of them away where your child can’t see them and every few months, rotate them with the current toys. It is like giving them a bunch of new toys but budget-friendly.

culling kids toys, large toy collection
Source: Bigstock

6. It’s area-omatic

I know. I’m terrible at puns. Sectioning their room into ‘areas’ is a great way to teach them to stay organised.

For example, put a bookshelf near their bed, this one from Kmart also has storage below which is perfect for the toys they really love or reading cushions. This can become their reading corner. Super easy to pick a book and get comfortable.

Have a vehicle corner or doll house corner, you get the idea. This teaches them to keep everything near its station and makes clean up much more efficient.

Organising Kids' Toys
Source: Adobe Stock

7. Let it go.

If you notice there’s a toy or bunch of toys your child doesn’t like or play with much, encourage them to donate them (if they’re old enough to understand) to a children’s ward at a hospital, a doctor or vet’s office, or a toy drive during the holidays. There are organisations that send boxes of toys to countries where kids might not have as many fun things to play with like Good Samaritan.

how to cull toys, toy donation
Source: Bigstock

It might take a few tries, after all, repetition is key when teaching young kids, but it’s worth it. Teaching them how to prioritise, organise, and keep their spaces clean and functional are all fantastic life skills they will need as they grow. Plus, once they have a handle on it, it’s one less thing for you to do. Put your feet up Mama, you’ve earned it.

How to Organise Kids’ Toys: Specific Toy Organisation Ideas 

Check out these awesome toy storage ideas for specific toys such as LOL Surprise, Nerf Guns, Shopkins and Plush Toys.

Collectibles storage ideas

Read them here

small toy storage ideas

Nerf gun and bullet storage ideas 

Read them here. 

nerf gun storage ideas

LEGO Storage ideas

Read them here. 


Stuffed Toy Storage Ideas

Read them here. 

stuffed toy storage ideas

Organising other areas of the home

Avatar of Tina Evans

Tina Evans is a complete introvert, an avid reader of romance novels, horror novels and psychological thrillers. She’s a writer, movie viewer, and manager of the house menagerie: three kelpies, one cat, a fish, and a snake. She loves baking and cooking and using her kids as guinea pigs. She was a teenage parent and has learned a lot in twenty-three years of parenting. Tina loves Christmas and would love to experience a white Christmas once in her life. Aside from writing romance novels, she is passionate about feminism, equality, sci-fi, action movies and doing her part to help the planet.

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