10 Beautiful Ways to Organize Living Room Toys
Updated: Sep 21
Hey everybody! Welcome to another beautiful week.
Whether you know this or not, working from home while my kids are here during the day has proven to be more of a struggle for me than I thought it would be. Usually I have at least a few hours when my youngest would have quiet time and the older 2 were at school and I could get my work done. That was pre-COVID.
In these past few months though, we have of course been sheltering at home just like everyone else and I have been struggling. I started noticing that both my work and also my time with my kids was suffering.
When I was trying to work, I was constantly being interrupted by my children (we don't have a traditional office with a door so this of course added to the chaos) and when i was trying to spend quality time with my family, I was also trying to catch up on the work from earlier because I'd been distracted. This is a vicious cycle!
By giving attention to everything all at once, I got nothing accomplished and felt worn out and defeated in both my work and family life. There are articles about how you truly cannot multitask, and I believe I can attest to their validity!
I needed to make a change.
I needed to know I was making the right moves in my business, but also that I was bringing joy to our family. Because this is the most important thing of all.
So I made that change. And it has worked SO WELL.
In true organizer fashion, I came up with a schedule for the kids and I and life has been SO MUCH EASIER since we did this. The kids know I need to work when I have the time scheduled, and I am completely available with zero work guilt at the times I am supposed to be present with them. We can all feel the difference.
One of the things I did that helped us immensely was to create "stations" so that the kids (most specifically my youngest) would have something fun and exciting to play with while I work. Because she loves to be close to me, I made these stations in the living room. And this brings us to what we are talking about today!
Living room toy storage!
Living rooms are where we spend so much of our time at home, and they should be a space that welcomes our entire family! So naturally, toys are included in the items that belong here. I will admit though, as a decor loving mama who also loves a clear space that is decluttered, the toys in the living room kind of make me CRAZY when they don't have a home.
Enter the beautiful ideas you see below! If you have a space that needs a toy overhaul, there will for sure be an option below for your taste, style and budget. I hope I can inspire you towards finding what works for you and your family!
Option 1: Baskets
The first option is the simplest and most cost effective option. There are so many beautiful baskets and containers available that will match any decor, whether you have a more traditional space or a laid back family space. Felt baskets like these above are soft and kid friendly, or you can use wicker or even fabric.
Not only are baskets beautiful in a space, but it makes it super easy for your kids to access the toys. They know precisely where the toys are, and can just dump them out on the rug. Once they're finished playing, it's super easy for them to clean up! Having baskets is also a great way to know when you have too many toys in the living room; when it starts to overflow, relocate some items back to the main play space (or better yet, donate the items that your children have grown out of!)
Option 2: Cube Storage
If you don't know this about me yet, I adore most products that Ikea makes. Here they are with the Kallax shelving system knocking it out of the park. This console adds both style and storage - a win in my books! You can get cube bins that fit perfectly into this shelf, or find baskets and/or containers that suit your style a bit more. I love mixing it up as they did above with different types of baskets. This also makes for a lovely book shelf! A beautiful addition to any living room and you can't even see the toys!
Option 3: Picture Shelves
By storing books in your living room on display, you will encourage your children to pull a book off the shelf and curl up to read. What a great habit to foster in your children from a young age!
If you have an empty wall space that requires some decor, a book rail such as these may be the perfect addition to the space! This would also make for a lovely place to display your children's artwork mixed in amongst the books. These shelves are available from Ikea!
Option 4: Repurposed Furniture
Do you have an old dresser or china cabinet that is no longer in use? Consider giving it a fresh coat of paint in a colour you love and adding it to your living space as both a focal point as well as toy storage! When the doors are closed, this beautiful armoire is a lovely addition to the room. No one would guess that it is full of toys and board games! If your family likes to play board games often, keeping them easily accessible in your living room space will encourage more play!
Option 5: Storage Ottoman or Coffee Table
A storage ottoman is a fantastic way to keep toys hidden and out of sight, while adding a functional piece of furniture to your living space. Be sure to choose a design with a self holding hinge as you don't want any little fingers getting squished!
A coffee table with extra storage underneath would also make for an excellent living room toy storage area. Any coffee table with a lower shelf could be used as storage for toys. Simply purchase baskets that fit onto the lower shelf and store toys hidden from prying eyes.
Option 6: Window Seat
If you have an open window space in your living room, consider a window seat for the space. A window seat will not only add to your decor but give you lots of space for toy storage that you may not have had otherwise. This is (again - I swear I make no money from them I just love Ikea) an Ikea KALLAX shelf. We use this in our playroom for toy storage and it works so well! With a cushion on top, it is a beautiful space to sit and rest while your children play.
Option 7: Shelving
Any type of shelving you have in the space can be used for toy storage. The key is to keep items in beautiful baskets or bins that match your decor. Add decor items specific to you such as the paintings on the top shelf of this shelving system, then add baskets for toys and baskets for books, and you have a beautiful addition to the living space that is very functional for the entire family.
Option 8: Built in Storage
Built ins sound scary when you first think of the option as we are accustomed to thinking this means a high price tag. But these built ins were constructed from the Ikea HAVSTA system and are super easy to add to any space (and are very affordable)! Bins of toys can be stored in the lower cabinets and easily taken out when it is time to play.
Option 9: Shelves as End Tables
I just love this idea in a kid centered living room space, or even in a home with a love for books! Why not replace your end tables with shelving if you have the space? Toys and books can be kept on them without compromising the function of the room, or adding too much furniture.
Option 10: Media Centre
There are many types of TV media centres that have extra storage. The ones in the photo above are custom made from different IKEA shelves, but you can also do the same with an all-in-one media centre.
One of my favourite details in this space are the easy number labels on these wooden crate storage bins. You could even stencil a small picture onto a wooden crate to help kids know where an item belongs.
A living room should be a space that includes the entire family, and as such it is important to not erase all parts of your children from the space. When you are able to keep your kids items in the space but also keep the look you are dreaming of, you can keep it ready for visitors at any moment, and also ready for some quality family time.