Friday, January 19, 2018

Hidden Toy Storage for Small Living Spaces

Happy Friday! We got back from our trip super late on Tuesday night and I’ve been dragging my feet ever since. I’m really looking forward to a nice long weekend of doing a whole lot of nothing!

I'm excited to share today’s post because it's is all about toy storage. If you have any little ones you probably know that keeping toys corralled can be one challenging task.  Even more so if you are limited on space like we are.

One day I would like to have a designated play room, but until that can happen I’ve had to get creative on toy storage throughout our main level. And it seems like the older they get the more we accumulate. Just when I think I have it somewhat under control, we enter Christmas or a birthday and I’m looking for new spots to stash stuff.

So this is what I currently use to keep the toys from completely taking over our house. All of them are hidden enough to satisfy this mama’s craving for order and neatness yet they are still accessible for those cute little chubby hands to grab from and make memories!

(Affiliate links may be provided for convenience.  For more info, see my full disclosure here.) 

1. Storage Bench

This storage bench the most recent addition and currently my favorite of all the toy storage areas because it is both functional and pretty at the same time!

I’ve wanted to put a seating bench in this spot for a long tome. Although we have working fireplace, we have never once used it so that area just seemed kind of like wasted space to me.

I thought about building our own bench similar to the one that we built for the end of our bed but then I realized that one that has storage would be perfect to hide the bigger toys.

When I saw this one at Target I was absolutely smitten with the warm gray color and the gorgeous tufting that it has. It goes beautifully against my stenciled fireplace tiles.

I was also pleasantly surprised to see how deep it was inside when it arrived. For some reason I was expecting it to be super shallow, but we can actually fit quite a bit in here!

The top is nice and lightweight so it’s easy for the kids to lift and it even has safety hinges that prop it open for them while they are digging for something which is a major perk.

2. Cubes and Bins

The easiest organizational item for toys are cubes and bins. The spot that I wanted to keep ours was a tiny awkward wall that backs to our staircase and the ones that you buy from the stores just weren't going to cut it.  So we built our own! (tutorial here)

The stair step design also makes it a nice decorative piece too.  I like to decorate it with fun items on top and it's also a good spot to keep their basket of wooden blocks. 

I love that we are utilizing as much of the space as possible and when I dump everything out every couple of months or so to reorganize it I am utterly amazed at how much actually fits in here!

I made some chalkboard labels for each one but I’ve also heard of people adding pictures to show what each bin holds to make it easier for the kiddos to help clean up which I think is an awesome idea.

3. Lidded Baskets

I found a lidded basket at Goodwill a couple of years ago for just $6 to keep on the bottom of our entry table and it quickly became a good spot to hide toys.

I use it to keep various train track pieces that don’t fit in the cubes.

I’ve noticed that baskets with a lid are usually a little more expensive but I’ve seen them at Goodwill often so you just have to keep checking. And don’t worry if they are a funky color because they can always be spray painted or whitewashed like I did to this one so that it fits in with your decor better.

4. Coffee Table with Drawers

I’ve wanted a coffee table that had drawers for a long time so when I decided to participate in the One Room Challenge last fall to revamp our living room I knew that it was the perfect time to bring my dream to life.

Meet my faux card catalog coffee table!

To truly appreciate this beauty you have to check out what it looked like when I first got it from Craigslist. Before I painted it I added faux drawers but it’s actually just two large drawers.

It's got plenty of room to store games and puzzles and it's nice to be able to just pull them from the drawer and put them on the table to play with.

5. Dressers

Yep you read that right, dressers aren’t just for bedrooms! This was another flip that I recently did and you have to see the before picture to believe me when I say that this guy was in need of some serious help when I found it sitting on the curb waiting for the trash.  You can check out the tutorial here.

I originally was hoping to use both drawers but as luck would have it the bottom one ended up being broken beyond repair so I ended up ripping the whole thing out. I then put some crates with drop cloth liners inside and they became the perfect spot for the boys to stash their Play Doh items since it’s right next to our table which is where they play with it.

I placed some cardboard boxes with liners made out of a bedsheet inside the top drawer to hold their Lego items.

I even have room at the back to file art items like coloring books, markers and crayons.

Oh and the floating sheleves that we built above it also come in pretty handy.  I use the baskets to keep things with small pieces that I don’t want Lucas to play with since that boy puts absolutely everything that he can find into his mouth!

Now don’t get me wrong, none of these will keep the toys from flying out of their place and all around the house on a daily basis, but there’s something therapeutic for me when I clean it all up and  put it all away in designated places at the end of each day.  Is anyone else like that or is it just me?

Thanks for stopping by today my friends I hope you all have a fantastic weekend and I'll be back next week!

Linking up to these awesome parties!


  1. I feel the same way about the toys, I have 2 young children and after Christmas was rough. I'm still trying to get it all together. I love your storage bench from Target. Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty

    1. Thank you Jenny! I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one that struggles with this!

  2. Great tips on maximizing your storage, Angela! I don't have kids, but this will be a real eye-opener to moms who struggle with finding places for their kids' toys. And, hey, it helps the rest of us find all those hidden places we can find storage for other things.

    1. Thanks Jelica! That is so true anyone could benefit from these hidden little storage spots! :)

  3. Wow Angela, you would never be able to tell you have all those toys hidden in that pretty room! My kids are older now, but I still need a ton of storage to keep their "stuff" at bay, and these are great tips!

    I will be featuring this post tomorrow at The Creative Circle link party! Hope you join us again soon!

  4. Very good idea. Thanks to this idea. The organizers are quite organized.

    Goldclub Slot


I appreciate all of your wonderful comments :)