Kid Tested

5 Tips for Toy Organization

November 4, 2013

{Blogger Challenge Day 3} 5 Tips for Toy Organization

It’s November 4th….how many of your Christmas lists are signed and sealed? Before we go dumping another boatload of toys into our once-was-a-dining-room-now-is-a-playroom, take a minute to assess the current situation. Our situation has not always been a good one. We had buckets of mismatched toys, missing pieces, broken, battered, and bruised….and, Manufacturers, if you are listening and want my kids to test the durability of your toy I can assure you it’s crap and my kids can break it…..(Apologies. Minor digression). My kids dump their toys all over the floor (because thats what boys do) and 95% of the toys lay untouched as they search for the one car they want to play with. Five minutes later they are bored and ready to move onto something else. On a mission to fix this toy predicament, my husband graciously took the kids out for a few hours so I could get to work and remedy the situation. (He jokingly says I always throw him under the bus on my blog so I want it to be publicly known how much I appreciated this)…sooo high maintenance…kidding, I love you! Here are 5 tips for toy organization that ultimately leads to more productive play and less mess.

1. Go on a toy cleanse. Dump all the toys into a pile. Toss the ones that are broken and make a second pile of toys to donate…..ones that your kids haven’t touched in 6 months and/or toys that should come with the label, “Warning, this toy makes extremely annoying sounds and will drive you insane.”

2. Sort the remaining toys into categories. For us, we mainly have action figures/people, planes/trains, cars and baby toys.

toy organization

3. Assign each group of toys a bucket and color code or label them so your kids know which type of toy goes in which bucket making clean up much easier. This type of organization also makes their play more productive because when they decide they want to race cars, they grab the car bucket instead of dumping all the buckets to look for the cars which, in turn, causes distractions and whining because they can’t find the blue car with the red stripes. Trust me, bucket organization is key. And trust me again, kids can never find anything!

4. Simplify. These are the only 3 buckets of toys we have in our play room.


I know. My kids are so deprived, right? Wrong! According to Kim John Payne, M.ED. author of Simplicity Parenting:

“Too much stuff leads to too little depth in the way kids see and explore their worlds….As you decrease the quantity of your child’s toys and clutter, you increase their attention and their capacity for deep play.”

Essentially, less is more. We do have a few additional toys stored in cabinets in our playroom like so:


And our remaining toys are in the basement, which has a few more buckets and bigger toys like a fire house, tool bench, and kitchen.

5. When you sense your kids are getting bored with the toys that are offered, do a little rotation. Have your lovely husband take the kids out for an hour, do a little swap-a-roo by hiding the toys that are out and bringing out old gems. When they come back its like Christmas morning without the bill.

There you have it! My 5 tips for toy organization. You may never get your dining room back, but at least you can make it presentable….

So how do you keep your toys organized? And how many of you hope Santa brings you this adorable toy bin?

I’ll take three!
*This post contains affiliate links. I receive a very small commission for any items purchased using these links. Like I might be able to buy a postage stamp…or maybe not. Did you hear the price is going up?!


Payne, Kim John M.ED. (2009). Simplicity Parenting: Using the Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids. New York:      Ballentine Books. 


  • Gina Badalaty
    November 4, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Oh we have bins and shelves, that’s not the issue. The real problem is getting them to clean it up after they’ve done playing with an entire dumped-on-the-floor bin (or three!)

  • Life with Kaishon
    November 4, 2013 at 11:35 am

    I really need to clear the toys out of our living room. I keep them there just in case I babysit, but that only happens about twice a year. The toys have got to go.

  • Anita Levesque
    November 4, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Nice idea. I wish I had known this when my kids were small. Thanks for sharing. Anita

  • Sherry
    November 4, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Great Ideas I love the buckets such a clean and pretty idea.

  • Colleen (Souffle Bombay)
    November 4, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    I just did this in “our” never was a dining room just is a playroom and in their upstairs playroom. Feels good doesn’t it!

  • Merle Gibbins
    November 4, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Great post and so glad those years are over !! Well not really I would love to do it all over again but my baby is 36 years old now !! Speaking as a great grandmother just enjoy the years you have with them when they are young. Time flies too quickly. Thanks for sharing.

  • Erin Jay
    November 4, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Thanks for the tips. #1 is my favorite!

  • casey leigh
    November 4, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    love that book!!! and the storage bins! so cute. xoxo

  • Lindsay
    November 4, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    This is so smart! Toys are taking over our house! Where did you get those buckets from? I love them!

    • Sisters to Sons
      November 4, 2013 at 9:12 pm

      Thanks, Linds! These buckets are from pottery barn kids… their names are also inscribed on the other side… super cute!

  • PS
    November 4, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Oh yeah, wow – that one made me really look good. I took the boys out to have a good time while you cleaned the house?! Kidding – great post!

  • Carrie
    November 4, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    We do the ‘dump and sort’ trick too. Such a great point about the quantity of toys. I’ll be sharing that quote for sure!

  • rachael
    November 5, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Gosh you put my house to shame and i don’t have any kids!!! Great tips!

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