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We have four kids and that means that we have more kid stuff than we can handle sometimes.  While I love our kids to play, explore and learn, I also like to keep the house neat, which means keeping their toys out of view when they are not being used.

Update: this post was written a few years ago, but I know that cleaning & decluttering is always relevant, so I wanted to share it again today. 🙂

I accomplish this by putting most of their toys in their rooms but hiding all of the other kid-things downstairs.  I just don’t like the look of primary-colored things everywhere.  If kid toys were “coastal colors”, I’d be on board, but the red, blue & yellow look just isn’t my style.

So- I have certain spots in the room where I hide them when they AREN’T BEING USED. (I’m all for forts being built, toys being brought out, obstacle courses being made… all in the living room, but I just want them “hidden” (put away) at the end, because I also like our home to be kept neat.)

My goal is to have a good balance- a clean home and a kid-friendly home where your kids WANT to be.

hide toys in the living room
Here are my favorite toy-hiding storage ideas & the affiliate links to find them. 🙂

1. A rolling bin.
Something like this would give you an easy way for your preschoolers or grade school children to clean up (If the child was under four, I would simply remove the strap, because straps make me so nervous with little ones!  It would still be a great pushing rolling pin!)  I would roll these right into a closet!

Screen Shot 2014-12-25 at 10.28.13 PM
  2. Cleaning short-cuts:
I even have my kids use the little tikes shopping carts to clean up their toys.  They pick them up with the shopping cart and dump them into a nice toy box or ottoman.

cleaning toys hack
3. Ottomans:
Our kids fill up their shopping carts, drive them over to the ottoman and dump them in.
I love ottomans like the one below, it looks nice, but it is really filled with toys!



4- Use an Ikea bookshelf turned sideways to hide toys like this one from  (I would put those Ikea baskets in all of the spots)

5. Have double-duty rooms.
If you can have furniture that doubles as something else, this would make things so much easier.
(Ottomans that hold toys, living-room sofas that double as beds or a  DIY wall-bed, making a guest room into a playroom)

6. Have things where the kids can reach them.
If you can have your cups, plates, etc.. where your kids can reach them, then they can help you clean up and put things away.  We keep our cups in a basket that they can reach and we keep our plates and bowls in drawers for easy access.

7- Make kid-items prettier!
You can make so many kid-items pretty!  Wooden tables, old-fashioned wooden train tracks, and trains, even plastic picnic tables.  I saw this picture on Pinterest a while back and think its a fantastic idea!  I could do this to a lot of different things in our house!

I tried to visit the webpage to see how it is done, but it takes me to a page that is no longer in use (so you can’t find this one anymore).  Here is how I did it.

1- Use a screwdriver, take it apart & clean it.
2- Use Krylon Fusion Spray Paint and paint it black and the top and benches off-white.
3- Using a stencil, (you can make your own), make the polka dots
4- Using a stencil, paint the circle and the H.
5- Spray a protective coating on it.

That’s it!
little tikes table makeoverI found this on Pinterest, but I can’t find the original source.  If you know it- leave it in the comments. 🙂 


8. Turn a closet into a playroom.
Our daughter, Allie, has a beautiful walk-in closet, but she is three and can’t reach any of her clothes.   We turned her closet into her playroom.

Her clothes are hanging up top, and Mickey added a second shelf for her shoes, etc…    At the bottom, she has all of her doll houses, princesses, toy cars and baby dolls.  She sits in that closet and plays for hours (literally) with her brothers, myself, Mickey or just by herself.  It is her own mini playroom.

9. Hide them in a beautiful basket!

basket storage toys

10.  Have a bench that can double as a storage spot.   You can hide toys in the seat, but you can use the rest for decorative items.  You could have it in your mudroom or living room and it will look beautiful.


  • Or you can make your own DIY mudroom bench like ours:


  • Or you can even do a long one like this from Houzz:

    bench toy storage
    Whatever you decide, if you leave toys out or hide them, you have to do what you love.  I love walking into an organized home but filled with the laughter of kids.

    If that means that toys are out all day long and they are only put away at night, so be it. Luckily, with so many places to store/hide toys, it is pretty easy to keep our house looking organized. 🙂

    *** If you want to print out my room by room cleaning guide, you can find it here: 

    daily cleaning list print here



    If you need help getting started, you can join my Whole-Home Declutter Course.  I will send you my FREED FROM CLUTTER book for free and a series of 7 emails that give you specific tasks every single day and in a week your home will look decluttered, cleaned, organized & fresh. 🙂

    clutter & depression go hand in hand


Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. I am also a mom of a girl named Eva and she is only 10 years old. Every month I used to decorate her room in a new way so that she likes it. But I found difficult to manage her things and as there are lot of stuff in her room and that’s why for her toys there is no proper storage. I liked all your storage ideas. These are fantastic and easy to implement.

  2. Nice toy storage tips, these simple steps can be made use so as to get more living space in our house. There are many house hold items that we are not using which if effectively stored can create awesome space in our house. Mini storage facilities can be made use of if we have so many items that we do not use. Toronto storage named Jiffy storage offers reliable and affordable storage solutions where goods can be stored for long or short period of time.

    1. So far so good, but ours is kept on a screened in porch, so it is not being hit by the elements.

  3. I LOVE the ottoman idea.

    I have their toys sorted by type into attractive boxes/bags so that there’s a place for everything. I remind them to take out one or two bags/boxes at a time and then clean that up before taking out a new one to keep the mess at a manageable level.

    I also rotate their toys so that some are always in storage and I trade them out once a month or so. This works both for making sure the mess never gets too big and also ensures that they don’t tire of their toys as there’s always something they haven’t seen in awhile.

    1. Love that! My friend, Julia, rotates toys, too. Smart.

  4. I am loving our little cubby spots with baskets in the living room. I got one before Christmas because I knew what toys the kids were getting from my BIL and they had to have a home.

    I’m thinking the ottoman idea is genius!

  5. Such lovely ideas! We just moved to our new place and the kids finally have their own bedrooms. My current task is organizing all the storage space in the house, and creating it in the rooms where it’s needed. Love the idea about the Use an Ikea bookshelves turned sideways and I thing this is going to be a good solution for both kids’ rooms. Thank you for sharing!

  6. In our old house there is a hallway that runs behind our living room but no reason for it so we closed it off with cube shelving and a countertop, push the foam tiles on the floor and use it to store the toys, I can see through from the kitchen and keeps our living room relatively clean lol and now we have storage on the other side for our craft supplies in the dining room too

  7. wow! really nice toy storages ideas. My house is a little jungle of toys. I need this type of toys storages ideas. I really like it. Thanks for this ideas.

  8. What a thought! super ideas really! It is clever and space saving ideas. I think mom will get rid of kids messy toys. Thanks for sharing such a nice toy storage ideas.

  9. Amazing ideas. It is really clever and space saving ideas. In small home its help to get rid of messy toys. Thanks for such a nice idea to organize kids toys.

  10. Amazing Idea! Messy toys is a great problem who have kids in home. I am really fed up for my kids messy toys. I want a solution to store toy properly. Thanks for sharing toy storage idea. Really helpful thought

  11. Messy zone is common problem which home has kids. I am one of them. I have to busy max time to arrange of my kids messy toys. It’s really tough. I am searching how to get rid from messy toys. Thanks for sharing amazing ideas. It’s really helpful for me. Now i am free from my kids huge messy toys. Thanks for helping to buy best toy storage box ideas.

  12. What a clever though! It’s really amazing space saving ideas for small family. Kids also like it very much. kids really need a space for his own to build mental growth and developed kids creativity. It can use for multipurpose.Its really inspired to learn with fun. Thanks for sharing such a nice blog.

  13. Really Amazing idea! Mess is common problem in every home which have child. My house also a messy zone because of my kids huge stuffed animal. I have to busy max time to arrange of my kids messy toys. It’s really tough. I am searching how to get rid from messy toys. Thanks for sharing amazing ideas. It’s really helpful for me.