12 Clever Toy Storage and Organization Hacks

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Recycled and Repurposed Toy Storage

Toys on the floor
Photo by Alexandra Rowley via Getty Images.

What does a lingerie bag have in common with a knife rack?

With a little imagination, these items—along with a few other things you may have lying around the house—make terrific storage for toys, books and whatever else is piling up on your playroom floor. So before you spend a small fortune on store-bought storage solutions, take a good look around. You might be able to save some cash with one of these clever toy storage hacks for kids.

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Over-the-Door Shoe Rack

Over-the-door shoe storage rack as toy storage for kids
Photo via .

Thanks to an abundance of pockets and a clever space-saving design, over-the-door shoe racks make an excellent home for tiny toys, like Legos and toy cars. Barbie dolls and action figures also fit perfectly into a shoe rack’s deep and narrow pockets while still leaving plenty of room for dolls’ clothes and other accessories. Be sure to choose a rack with clear, plastic pockets, so your little one will be able to see what they’re looking for without tearing everything out. Mount behind the door, or create a larger storage area by nailing several racks directly to the wall.

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Metal Trash Can

Trash can turned DIY clothes hamper
Photo by Rebekah Merkle via Atkinson Drive.

Want a lot of bang for your buck? Skip the expensive toy boxes and storage containers, and take a stroll down the trash and yard waste aisle at your local hardware store. Given a bright and glossy coat of paint and a soft and sunny lining, this $25 trashcan-turned-storage bucket could house anything from stuffed animals to laundry. Bonus: A satisfying “ker-plunk” each and every time your kiddo actually puts a toy away.

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Canvas Shopping Bags

Canvas bags extend the storage potential of hooks
Photo via Sanctuary.

Want to make the most of your wall space? Try installing a row of hooks. But instead of using them to hang coats or just a few items of clothing, slide the sturdy handles of a simple canvas shopping bag over each knob, maximizing its storage potential. You can even stencil labels directly onto the canvas, assigning individual bags titles like “Blocks” and “Play Food.”

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Vintage Wagon

Vintage wagon repurposed as a rolling book cart for childrens' books and toys
Photo via Fancy.

This vintage toy wagon doubles nicely as a rolling book cart.

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Magnetic Knife Rack

Magnetic knife rack repurposed as toy car storage for kids.
Photo via Boligcious.

Sick of stepping on those toy cars? Rack them up! A magnetic knife rack—like IKEA’s sleek, stainless steel “GRUNDTAL” rack ($14.99)—makes the perfect parking place for your son’s Matchbox collection. Simply glue a small magnet to the base of each car, and “park” it on the magnetic strip. Your little guy - and your little toes - will thank you.

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Book Ledges

Book ledges repurposed as toy car storage for kids
Photo via Pintrest.

This easy storage hack is as decorative as it is functional! Instead of piling toy cars into bins and buckets, try filling a wall with your son’s favorite four-wheeled treasures. Book ledges are the perfect size for displaying toy cars. Just be sure to choose a shelf with a shallow lip. You don’t want to obscure the side of the cars! IKEA’s “Ribba” picture ledge ($9.99) works well. If you prefer to see the entire car, try installing the ledges upside down.

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Lingerie Bag

Lingerie bag repurposed as bath toy storage for kids
Photo via Make It and Love It.

Tired of scooping up cold, wet bath toys every time you step into the shower? Instead of paying $20 for a small bath net or bulky storage scoop, why not pick up an inexpensive lingerie bag and make your own? Designed for use in water, a lingerie bag’s mesh material dries quickly and allows any water trapped inside the bag to evaporate easily, making it the perfect tool for the job. Simply sew ribbon loops to the corners of your lingerie bag and fasten to the shower wall using cheap suction-cup hooks.

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Wall Baskets

Wire wall baskets repurposed as toy storage for kids
Photo by Better Homes and Gardens via Centsational Girl.

Wall-mounted wire planters like these usually store little more than potting soil, but when mounted on a playroom wall, they actually make an attractive and inexpensive alternative to those pricey, purpose-made wall baskets.

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Hanging Baskets

Hanging fruit basket repurposed as bath toy storage for kids
Photo via Dandelions on the Wall.

A three-tiered fruit and veggie basket serves nicely as a drying and storage rack for bath toys and shower accessories and can be easily hung from your existing curtain rod. Prefer something a little less obtrusive? Mount a hanging plant hook to the wall above your shower, and hang your basket in the corner.

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Dresser Drawers

Dresser drawers repurposed an DIY under-the-bed storage
Photo via Better Home & Gardens.

These attractive storage drawers, repurposed from old and thrifted dressers, fit neatly under the bed and roll out for easy access. Use the reclaimed space to store toys or tuck away winter clothing, extra blankets and other items not currently in everyday use.

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Vintage Suitcases

Vintage suitcases repurposed as under-the-bed storage rollers
Photo via Cape 27.

Given a fresh coat of paint and fitted with a cheap set of caster wheels, old luggage, like these chic but outdated suitcases, also make for some pretty swanky under-the-bed storage bins.

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Trundle Bed Storage Frame

Trundle bed frame repurposed as hide-away train table
Photos via IKEA and Little Kid Stuff.

Train tables offer hours of imaginative play, but finding room for one can be difficult. Short on space? Instead of sinking your hard-earned cash into a large and ungainly play table, try this ingenious hack: This under-the bed storage box (“BEDDINGE” by IKEA, $30) would make a beautiful playscape for trains, cars or even a doll village. When the kids are done playing, simply slide the entire box back under the bed and out of the way.  

Looking for more creative ways to tame your child's toys? Check out these amazing DIY toy storage ideas for nurseries and kids' rooms!