7 Tips for Organizing Toys

Living in a high-rise apartment building with kids and without a garage, I’ve learned a thing or two about keeping things organized.

Since we lost the attached garage with our move to this current place (so missing that and can’t wait to have a garage again in our next place), I spent two months prior going through every aspect of our life and throwing out, donating, and selling a whole lot of stuff that just had no use for the time being. I got rid of so much furniture, decor, clothes and baby gear, and it felt awesome. Another option could be storing your furniture and household items in keepsafe storage, but do whatever works for you!

Purging and selling was a lot of work, but I’m so happy I did it. I felt more in charge of our stuff and took the opportunity to redecorate in a more minimalistic style because of it.

The move has done wonders for us — so much more light! There’s barely any carpet, and my kitchen is huge and gorgeous! Did I mention there’s a cool city view? And I have a walk-in closet?! I’m in love, if you can’t already tell.

I love that our home doesn’t feel like a kid took over entirely. You can definitely tell there’s a baby around at all times, but adults live there too, you know.

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How to Organize Toys in a Small Space | BondGirlGlam.com

How to Organize Toys in a Small Space | BondGirlGlam.com

How to Organize Toys in a Small Space | BondGirlGlam.com

How to Organize Toys in a Small Space | BondGirlGlam.com

Here are my tips for organizing your toddler’s toys without losing (too much) of your sanity:

1. Enclosed Bins & Boxes

Make use of storage space solutions that keep all those bright colors out of sight and out of mind for a more peaceful home. I really prefer enclosed containers, because you can’t see the toys!

Vienna’s main toy storage is the IKEA Kallax (formerly Expedit) shelving unit, the one thing from IKEA that I’ve kept over the years. It’s served many a purpose in both of our apartments, from dining room/entryway dècor to baby storage.

I also bought four seagrass baskets to put into the shelving unit. Every few days or so I rotate out which basket sits in the living room for Vienna to play with, so she isn’t too bored with the same toys.

Our TV stand cabinets now also house additional toys in the living room.

How to Organize Toys in a Small Space | BondGirlGlam.com

2. Vertical Space

Think about how you can use wall space to store or display your children’s toys in a chic way. Vacuuming around a bunch of stuff on the floor sucks, let me tell ya.

One of my favorite vertical storage solutions is a wall ledge shelf for books. The only thing is only the prettiest books make it on there, since this becomes a part of your dècor. But it always looks so darn good! I keep meaning to do it for Vienna.

There’s also this tree book shelf that I really want one day, but I don’t have the wall to do it right now. Isn’t it adorable?!

I’m also considering buying a tall armoire to hang clothes and store toys.

3. Underbed Storage

This one pains me a bit, because I really believe in keeping things clear and breezy underneath furniture. Something about not having anything underneath a bed just feels right to me.

I’ve started keeping a few of Vienna’s things under her bed and ours over the last few months. I’d recommend looking into beds with pull-out storage built-in underneath. There’s also special storage boxes you can buy that are low enough to fit under most standard height bed frames.

How to Organize Toys in a Small Space | BondGirlGlam.com

4. Seasonal Purging

Kids are always growing and regularly changing their skill sets and interests. It’s an amazing thing to witness, but they inevitably outgrow their toys and books in the process. A part of it is boredom, and sometimes putting a toy away for a few weeks and bringing it out again makes it “new” again. for example, a few weeks ago she was constantly playing with one of her cuddly plush toys, having tea parties with it and was completely inseperable. Now, she’s obssesed with her play figures that are similar to Unicorn Toys, and her plush toy is nowhere to be seen. It’s still in the room, but it’s just sat there, not being played with. There will be so many phases, so be sure to find a way to store the toys so they are still accesible if there is still that slight bit of interest.

Store some of the nicest and most valuable keepsakes for future babies. Give stuff away to your mama friends. Donate the rest, or sell things in bundles on a mom-to-mom Facebook group. Consignment shops and apps like Offer Up are other great ways to purge toys.

Amidst all the purging, think of every new purchase from the perspective of where it’ll be stored within your space. That helps me stop unnecessary purchases, and only the best/most needed/most wanted things make it into the house.

Lastly, a trick I learned from having a December baby was to not open/unpackage a few gifts from my daughter’s birthday and Christmas right away; I’ll bring them out later when there’s nothing special going on holiday-wise and as a reward for some achievement. That way there’s less new stuff out all at once and the fun of gift-opening is spread out a bit.

How to Organize Toys in a Small Space | BondGirlGlam.com

5. Grandma’s House

If you’re lucky to have a grandma (or two) living nearby, send some of the toys her way. Kids seem to find joy in old toys they haven’t seen in a while.

I also secretly send toys to my mom’s house that I don’t like aesthetically but can’t bear to throw away (sentimental gifts that just aren’t my style, etc.). It keeps me a little more sane and makes her house more fun for grandchild(ren), so it’s a win-win!

How to Organize Toys in a Small Space | BondGirlGlam.com

How to Organize Toys in a Small Space | BondGirlGlam.com

6. Library Card

When we moved into this new apartment, I signed up for a library card at my local library. I love that I can borrow books for daughter, and she’s so excited about something new to read and pour over. Then in about two weeks’ time, we give the books back and come home with a new set. Greatest invention ever.

How to Organize Toys in a Small Space | BondGirlGlam.com

7. Repurposing Toys

Vienna’s tepee in the living room sometimes serves as spillover storage for her toys and books. I love that you can’t really see what’s inside with the “doors” closed and it can be put away in seconds.

I keep a couple of favorite toys in my car, diaper bag and stroller for her too.

Sometimes I have her play with non-toys. Isn’t it hilarious how little kids will often be more interested in the box a toy came in than the actual toy itself?! Rearranging her cup and plate drawers, my closet, and my hair/makeup cabinets are some of her favorite daily pastimes too, haha.

How to Organize Toys in a Small Space | BondGirlGlam.com

How to Organize Toys in a Small Space | BondGirlGlam.com

How to Organize Toys in a Small Space | BondGirlGlam.com

How to Organize Toys in a Small Space | BondGirlGlam.com

As an honorable mention, I’d also like to add playground equipment as toys. Park slides and swings are some of Vienna’s favorite things to “play” with. If you consider playgrounds and parks and the world in general as your child’s oyster, it’s kind of an extension of your home’s play room. I think we’re pretty lucky to live in Southern California, where the weather is great for outdoor play most days of the year, so I try to take full advantage of it. I have a few favorite parks we like to visit as well as try to find new parks on my phone via Maps, local blogs and just driving through neighborhoods.

Please share your toy organization tips in the comments!

If you’re into this kind of article, also check out 10 Tips for a Cleaner Home.



Bond Girl Glam is a fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog by Irina Bond, curated to inspire your inner Bond Girl.


  1. 6.23.16
    Inna said:

    Your hilarious! loved this article thanks I have been purging our house since January. It’s so hard though cause every time gramma visits she brings presents for her only grandkids which happen to be my three kids and she’s here a couple times a week. But like you donating and just giving stuff to my mamma friends is what I do too. Love your new place, it looks minimalistic and perfect.

    • 6.24.16

      Thanks, girl! Grandmas are a blessing! Good luck with the rest of your project. xo

  2. 1.3.18
    Kristen Callender said:

    It’s like you’re reading my mind! Toy clutter drives me nuts! We have a 2 year old boy, Calvin, and a 2 week old, Pippa. Trying to figure out how to organize in our temporary 1100 square feet of living space – great tips! One quick question… How do you store puzzles?? The Melissa & Doug rack does not hold the size of puzzles we have purchased…any suggestions??

    • 1.3.18

      Congrats, mama! You’ve got your hands (and heart) full! I store puzzles in their boxes either stacked on top of each other or stacked sideways like books, but I have to admit we don’t have a ton of them. We have some space in our TV stand for storage, so I put bigger stuff like boxes in there. A closet or a tall armoire would work nicely too. xo

      • 1.4.18
        Kristen Callender said:

        Thank you!! is on overload!

        I think I might have been a bit too ambiguous with my question. I was wondering if you (or anyone else, for that matter) had any tips for storing this style of puzzle…


        I know they sell racks, but I’ve only seen the racks for a certain style/size. We have all types… the chunky big puzzles, audio puzzles, etc…

        • 1.7.18

          My bad. Now I know what you mean by puzzles. I see that Melissa & Doug has a bigger size rack: http://bit.ly/2CC3cKg. Do you have that one or the smaller one? I found other kinds of storage solutions on Amazon too, including wooden ones and even wood furniture like you’d find in schools: http://bit.ly/2CB1AAv. Dish storage might work too. I use my dish rack for pot & pan lids, for example. Hope that helps! xo

  3. 1.5.18
    Nina said:

    Thank you for the ideas! I love your home, very cozy

    • 1.7.18

      Aww, thanks, Nina! So sweet. xo

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