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How to organize toys in a closet

Want to organize your kids toys in a closet? Here are my best tips for getting your playroom organized once and for all!

Our playroom is awesome. It’s the third floor of our house, it’s all alone and is free to be as messy as it needs to be.

It’s a kids playroom – so if people come to visit, they aren’t surprised to see toys every where.

But I still like to keep it relatively tidy.

Whether you have a dedicated play space, or a small space in your family room, toy organization can be overwhelming.

One of the best ways to organize toys is by creating a dedicated toy closet. That could mean an old linen or hall closet or a dedicated bedroom-like closet.

If you’re wondering how do you organize toys in a small closet, I hope that these tips will inspire you!

playroom closet before
playroom closet before

How do I convert a closet to toy storage?

The easiest way to convert a closet to toy storage is to add shelves! You could add freestanding shelving units or build in shelves yourself.

We added strips of plywood to the wall as braces and used project boards that are 12 inches deep to create the shelves in our play room closet.

playroom closet with shelves

You can add additional storage such as hooks, rods, or even a shoe organizer over the back of the door, depending on what types of kids toys you need to store. Don’t waste a square inch!

To determine the height of your shelves, measure the toys or toy organizers you plan to use. Add about 2 inches for clearance and make that your shelf height! Don’t forget to account for the thickness of the shelf boards themselves when planning!

See a step by step tutorial for making this type of closet shelving!

how to organize toys in a playroom closet

How to organize toys in a closet

When storing toys in a closet, the most important thing is to have a plan and a system. It needs to be a system that can be used and implemented by both you and your kids.

Here are my best playroom closet ideas!

Baskets and bins

If your kids are anything like mine, they have tons of small toy clutter. I hate tripping over little plastic toys and I really hate how messy they are.

By far the best solution for small toys is bins or baskets, grouping like items together.

For example, we have bins for cars, trains, crayons, coloring pages, play doh, blocks, dress up clothes – and more.

I suggest soft bins that can handle a beating. These are the ones we use.

It’s important that bins be easy for gets to get down, empty, fill, and put back by themselves. For that reason, I don’t use bins with lids. If your kids are older, you can use bins with lids that are easy to put back on.

zipper bags within bins for storing toys

Use zipper bags within bins

Storage boxes are great, but sometimes even they can be a mess. I like to store things within each bin in these zipper pouches.

I am honestly obsessed with these pouches – they are one of my favorite storage solutions.

They are also great for organizing puzzle pieces or any set of toys that goes together.

messier toys high up out of reach

Keep messier things up high out of reach

This applies to things that are messy (like paint), dangerous (scissors), or anything you want your kids to have to ask first (small, chokey items that my 2 year old can use but my 1 year old can’t).

Put them on upper shelves. Put them in non-see through bins so kids are less tempted to climb. And put plenty of good stuff down below so they have no need to try to reach up.

Wine racks work great for dolls

Organizers meant to hold wine bottles horizontally are great for barbies and similar dolls and large action figures!

Caddies are perfect for craft supplies

I love caddies (buy them at the dollar store or similar stores!) for craft supplies. They are especially good if you have multiple kids and they each have their own “set” of pens or crafting stuff.

Be sure to check out all of my ideas for how to organize crayons and how to organize markers.

playroom with organized shelves

Other toy storage ideas for playrooms

No playroom closet? No problem! Check out our DIY tutorials for:

Any other toy closet ideas?!

Need to get your playroom organized?

I get it – it is SO HARD to keep play spaces clean and tidy! In my FREE 6 Day Playroom Organization Challenge, I walk you through exactly how to purge and clean up your playroom!

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Wednesday 15th of September 2021

I know longer have small children, however, I love this idea so much, that I will use some of these for my pantry. Thanks for sharing

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