26 Kids' Storage Ideas to Control Clutter

Control the chaos of kids' toys with these creative organization ideas.

triangle storage area in wall
Photo: John Merkl

Kids come with a lot of stuff—and even though their things are small in size, they can create a big mess if they're not stored properly. From toys and books to clothing and shoes, everything needs a designated place so items can be put away when not in use. Creating simple storage systems that both you and the kids can maintain is critical for success.

To help you organize your space, we're sharing our best kids' storage ideas. These clever tips and clutter-busting solutions will help you make use of inexpensive shelving, closet space, under-bed storage, and more. Tackle the problem areas in your kids' bedrooms, playrooms, and around the house with these kids' storage ideas.

01 of 26

Mudroom Magic

Adam Albright

If you have a large family and need to keep tabs on what’s coming in and out of the house, embrace a collection of bins in the mudroom. The kids can kick their shoes off and place them in small baskets underneath a bench so they're easy to find on the way out of the house. Assign each family member a hook (or two) for jackets and bags, and give each person their own basket to prevent their things from tailing around the house. Designate a few bins for items that need to be returned or donated, and create a to-go sports bag that can be easily tossed in the car on road trips.

02 of 26

Build a Mini Command Center

kids storage closet

Richard Johnson

There’s no need to get extravagant when it comes to creating a family command center. Keep it simple and make good use of a slim area by hanging pocket organizers on the inside of the coat closet doors. Use one for incoming and outgoing schoolwork or memos. Assigning one pocket per child and label each one to keep things organized. The other pockets can be used for small items that might otherwise get lost in the closet, such as library books to return.

03 of 26

All Weather Station

kids outdoor gear storage

Marty Baldwin

There’s nothing worse on a busy morning than realizing it’s raining or snowing and frantically searching the house for the appropriate boots. Create a small station, whether it be near the entryway or in their bedroom, for the kid’s weather-related gear. In the wintertime, use it for snow boots, hats, scarves, and mittens. In the summer, sunglasses and sunscreen should be ready to grab and go.

04 of 26

Makeshift Playroom

living room toy storage

Kim Cornelison

Small spaces require quite a bit of creativity. If you’re living with an open-concept layout and don’t have a separate playroom area for the kids, get crafty by integrating one into the space you do have. Use open shelving or cabinets on the side of the island that faces away from the living room area to display frequently used toys. Or, if there’s no storage available on the island, place a slim bookcase against it for the same effect. That way, the kids can play while you meal prep.

05 of 26

Utilize Under the Stairs

triangle storage area in wall
John Merkl

Have an awkward nook under the stairs? Use it to stow away kids’ toys so they stay organized when not in use. Add matching sets of boxes and baskets to corral the small things, and line the books they’re currently reading along one of the shelves. If you have children of different ages, assign one shelf per child to keep their reading groups separate. If you don’t currently have storage under the stairs, you can build shelving into your existing staircase.

06 of 26

Add Simple Storage for Shoes

basket for shoe storage
Adam Albright

Rather than use a traditional shoe rack (they aren't ideal for smaller footwear anyway), contain tiny pairs of shoes in an open wooden bin. Give each child their own bin with a label and handle for convenient maneuvering. While we can’t promise that no shoes will be left on the floor, this method increases the chances that shoes will be put away neatly. Just be sure to knock out any dirt and dust every so often.

07 of 26

Conceal Clutter

toy cabinet storage

Werner Straube

If toys, games, and puzzles need to be stored in the living area, consider using a tall cabinet. This way you can easily hide it all away behind a door when you have guests over. Pull-out drawers make smaller items, such as playing cards, quick to grab and will ensure they don’t get lost in the back of the cabinet. Use labeled open baskets on higher shelves to contain things like blocks and make for easy reaching. This organizing system will make family game nights a breeze to put away.

08 of 26

Create a Grab-and-Go Bin

kid toy bin

Jason Donnelly

If the kids are frequently heading to playdates or visiting family members, make toy transportation a seamless process. Invest in a sturdy canvas or vinyl bag with a wide opening and handles. (One per child is ideal.) Toss in their favorite things to play with and keep the bags in a corner of their room or the playroom while they're at home. When it’s time to send them off, they can pick them up and go. Add labels with their names to each bag so there’s no confusion as to whose toys are whose.

09 of 26

Make Space for Bedtime Essentials

kids bedroom with crate storage

Marty Baldwin

Nighttime routines are important for people of all ages. Kids benefit from the structure just as much as adults, and deserve to wind down at the end of a long day. Set them up for success with a nightstand full of their favorite bedtime books. Include a table lamp and a flashlight, so they can read even if the rest of the room is dark. Get crafty and simply secure two crates together, one on top of the other, to make a bedside storage table. Or put your DIY skills to work and build a wall-mounted nightstand.

10 of 26

Colorful Bin Storage

Kids storage cubbies

Kim Cornelison

Whether you use them for toy storage or out-of-season clothes, bright bins will help your kids stay organized. Arranged at a child-friendly height, this grouping of bins fits snugly into an oversize organizer. The gold hue and metal finish are reminiscent of lockers. Include labels identifying the contents of the bins for an added layer of organization.

11 of 26

Wall Cubbies

kids bedroom storage shelves


Display cubes make for excellent kids' room storage. They can be painted any color and arranged in any configuration for a custom look. This stack of storage cubes utilizes a small wall and vertical space, and is filled with the child's precious keepsakes.

12 of 26

A Case for Storage

modern colorful playroom with storage

Placed side by side, bookcases with large bases become storage central. Toys can be displayed on open shelves, while built-in drawers below stash unsightly items. Painted a creamy white, the storage space works for any age, from toddler to teen. Choose a bold accent wall to add a spirited pop of color.

13 of 26

Under-Bed Storage

Under bed storage

Biz Jones

Simple rolling bins replace a typical toy box in this kids room. This storage solution fits perfectly underneath the bed, and its out-of-sight, out-of-mind tendency makes cleanup a breeze. A lightweight design and casters allow the bins to be easily pulled out for playtime.

14 of 26

Thrifted Storage

Bedroom locker storage

Anthony Masterson

A child's bedroom doesn't have to lack style to stay organized. In fact, these spaces can be the perfect receptacle for funky flea market finds. This metal locker unit, for example, holds extra toys and clothes in both open and closed storage while adhering to the home's overall industrial design style.

15 of 26

Personalized Cubbies

Kids bedroom storage

Jay Wilde

A basic cubby set gets a custom look with smart storage add-ons. Large white bins hold larger items, while smaller plastic containers keep tiny items like crafts supplies tidy. The generous counter space keeps important items close. Meanwhile, picture frames outfitted with elastic straps hold books in place near a reading nook.

16 of 26

Wall Mounted Storage

Bedroom book wall storage

Jay Wilde

Wall-mounted crates turn otherwise wasted wall space into a valuable storage center. A narrow-yet-durable design is perfect for holding books and magazines. When installing crates near a closet, as shown here, make sure there's plenty of clearance for the door.

17 of 26

Playroom Storage Solutions

Kids playroom

Brie Williams

Your child's siblings and friends will love that there's a space designed just for them. A chair, bean bag, bench, or window seat all fit the bill. Look for a furniture piece, such as the bench shown here, that doubles as storage space for your kids' room or playroom.

18 of 26

Use Decorative Shelves

Coral bedroom

David Tsay

Whether your furniture is new or used, unite the pieces with color. Pink in various shades is carried throughout this small space. The storage-savvy shelving unit is dressed in a pretty white to ensure the piece stays timeless while your child (and her taste in decor) grows.

19 of 26

Add Built-Ins

Nursery book shelf

Jay Wilde

Installing a bank of cabinets in unused wall space provides oodles of storage. The cabinets hide diapers, clothes, shoes, and other items behind closed doors. A set of open shelves on the wall provides a display area for more precious items.

20 of 26

Bedroom Storage

Bunk bed storage

Brie Williams

This shared kids' room takes advantage of its small layout thanks to built-ins under the bed. Pull-out drawers hold books, stuffed toys, and other nighttime needs. The bunk-style beds free up floor space elsewhere in the room. Additional baskets can be used to keep clutter at bay.

21 of 26

Transform a Nook

Pink and white kids bedroom

Alise OBrien

An awkward nook of space gets a storage redo with a few simple tweaks. A basic cube organizer doubles as a bookshelf and toy box, while the top shelf holds treasured collectibles. A cozy chair encourages your kiddo to curl up with a book.

22 of 26

Basket Break

Basket toy storage

Steven McDonald

Open baskets make any mess look instantly more organized. This allows any kiddo easy access to their favorite toys. A collection of different sizes and shapes is perfect for corralling stuffed toys, knickknacks, and other small items. Fun pops of color add a touch of whimsical style.

23 of 26

Detailed Dresser

Colorful dresser

Jay Wilde

In a room that's large enough, a dresser can be a great addition. Add personality by creating an ombre look on each of the drawer's faces. Get varying shades of the same hue and paint light to dark. Fill with clothing, electronics, or games.

24 of 26

Hiding in Plain Sight

Baby room

Large white wicker baskets offer handy storage for bulky items like diapers and wet wipes. To cut down on dust, look for storage bins with lids. Or nestle them in a freestanding organizer. Place next to the crib to have all the essentials within in arm's reach of your baby.

25 of 26

Sneaky Storage

Pink kids bedroom

Emily J. Followill

Sneak storage into your kids' room anywhere you can. In this room, drawers built under the window seat and bed provide handy places to keep toys at child level. A large built-in shelving unit displays favorite collectibles.

26 of 26

Kids Room Window Seat

Kids room shelf storage

Adam Albright

A window seat flanked by two large shelves is the perfect spot to retreat with a good book. Deck out the space with comfy pillows and stuffed toys. Baskets beneath the window seat hold favorite reads. The built-ins hold tons of fun, including board games, plush toys, and decor.

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