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5 Simple Steps to Toy Organization

When it comes to toys, I think we can all agree that it’s a hard thing to keep up with! Toy organization is OVERWHELMING. I don’t know about you, but we seem to collect more and more stuff each day!

From favors at birthday parties, to kids meal toys, ALL the holidays, family gifts, prizes, gift shops, bribes to get out of Target without causing a scene (we’ve all been there) and if you have multiple kids…double or triple that! It is a lot.

We are in the process of moving more toys upstairs into a new set of built in shelves, so it’s the perfect time to follow these toy organization steps myself! Come inside and see what works for me when we are in need of a clean up and clean out!


Take inventory of your space often! The perfect time to do this is before Christmas, when seasons are changing or before a birthday. If a toy hasn’t been played with in a while, it’s time to go! If there are little trinkets that are one-and-done items, it’s time to go.

If something is missing pieces or broken, it’s time to go. If YOU don’t like that noisy and obnoxious toy , it’s time to go! Less is more. Kids really don’t NEED a lot. TIP: do this when your kids are GONE!


Arrange toys so that categories are in the same area. This might go without saying…but it makes it way easier to play and get creative when the trains/cars/tracks are together or little people are nestled right next to all their little people accessories.

This is also a great opportunity to use labels! Pictures are extra helpful for those that aren’t reading yet and VERY helpful for clean up time.


Create a system for your toy organization! Things you may want to grab…

  1. A cubby, shelf, dresser, chest to hold bins and baskets

  2. Baskets, bins, pouches and tubs for toys

  3. An area to house books and reading materials (maybe a cozy nook to read too)

  4. Labels or a clear guide for finding and putting away toys

  5. A craft station / Lego station / specific station to fit your child’s needs (especially if they like to keep an ongoing activity out)


This is my secret weapon! When things are feeling stale…it’s time to rotate. This pairs nicely with the ditch/sell/donate step! By moving things around, old toys become new again. It sparks creativity!

When I was a teacher, I would change the room around often. It was like Christmas morning when my students walked in! Everything was the same, but different! Give it a try. Move the baskets around, add new markers to the craft station, swap out books, pull out new puzzles or games and make tucked away toys more accessible! It works every time!


Cleaning up is the hardest part of toy organization! Especially when I walk away and come back in to see that every single toy and basket seems to be out. This is where modeling comes into play. Let me preface this by saying 75% of the time I end up cleaning up the toys because I am who I am…a clean freak…lol!

But, I also show them what I am doing, explain my steps, request (er, demand) their help before we move to the next activity and/or make it into a game! Play a song and finish by the time its over, sing a clean up song, turn it into a race or give a goal (pick up 5 things that are red, clean up all the blocks, collect everything that is soft)!

It takes extra time to get the kids involved, but I promise that is they only way they will contribute! When we do it for them, why would they want to help!? Start clean up 5-10 minutes before you think you should to allow for their valued help.

If you’re looking for more toy organization inspiration – check out my blog post on our playroom set up!


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