Use this storage idea for large toys to keep them neat and tidy. This storage solution for big toys can be modified to work in almost any room!
If you have been reading this blog for long, you know that we do not live in the biggest house on the planet. Our home is a 3 bedroom townhouse, and it may not be the fanciest thing ever, but it’s ours and we love it. 🙂
Though we don’t have a dedicated toy room, we have a large living room area, so one side houses the couch, coffee table, and TV, and the other half is toy heaven. When our boys started accumulating a lot of toys, we purchased an EXPEDIT (which has since been replaced by the KALLAX) from IKEA, labeled some bins, and called it a day.
But then something started to happen. As the boys got bigger, so did their toys. Things that didn’t fit in the cube unit were put in the “toy corner,” and eventually, we ended up with this:
It was a big hot mess of toy clutter that was driving me crazy. And this was a good day. Sometimes it was all just thrown in a pile– eeek!
So when Christmas happened and was closely followed by Connor’s birthday which meant that even more big toys made their way into our house, it was time to do something about the toy situation. (I got rid of a bunch of toys, I promise! They just really like the big ones! 😉 )
The Easiest Way to Store Large Toys
I went on a search for some sort of storage something that would tame this craziness, and I stumbled upon the perfect thing at my oh-so-trusty IKEA. I should have known they would have a solution!
We ended up bringing home two HEJNE shelving units, which were technically from the pantry section but were a great size for the toys we had as well. (And they were pretty inexpensive too!)
Donnie put them together for me and we were in business! Except… the raw wood wasn’t really doing it for me. Around here anything that can be painted usually does get painted at some point, and these little babies were no exception.
Because they are in our main living area that we use all the time, I didn’t want any crazy colors or kid-themed designs even though they were going to hold toys.
I also knew that with as much as I change things around, I would want to be able to use them for something else if I needed to. Ultimately, I decided to whitewash them and (spoiler alert!) I really love how they came out!
How to Whitewash Unfinished Wood
I had done a little whitewashing before, but I wanted to make sure I was doing it the right way. So I checked out several different tutorials before I got started and each one recommended something different!
One said use two parts water to one part paint. Another said use two parts paint to one part water. A third one said that I should stain before I whitewashed. And yet another one recommended glaze. I think I ended my research more confused than when I started!
Fortunately, I found this process pretty forgiving and after trying several different methods, I found that what worked for me was to do a mixture of about 60% paint and 40% water. I painted it on my surface with a brush and then used a rag to wipe off some of the excess.
The result was the exact look I was going for: softer and lighter than the plain wood but still allowing some of the wood grain to show through. I snapped this photo when one of the units was painted and the other wasn’t so you can see the difference:
(Just ignore the fact that there are toys everywhere and some of my Christmas decorations are still up in the background, mmmk? 😉 )
I finished painting the second storage unit and I had two beautifully whitewashed toy shelves! Yippee!
Storage Solution for Big Toys: Final Thoughts
These truly ended up being the perfect pieces to hold all of those big, bulky toys. Everything is super easy to find and there is no more toy explosion in the corner of my house, so that’s a plus.
Tips for storing toys
Before brainstorming toy storage solutions, declutter first! Over the years, kids accumulate a lot of stuff. Getting rid of broken toys, ones with lost pieces, and those that aren’t played with often will make organizing much easier.
3 Other Storage Ideas for Large Toys
If these storage units won’t work in your space or you prefer something different, here are a few ways to store bigger toys out of sight:
Ottoman and Coffee Table Storage
Not only could can the toys be hidden, but here’s the chance to add a new piece to the living room that looks nice but is also functional.
Shop Coffee Tables and Ottomans with Storage
If there’s room to add an armoire, this is genius. Sometimes there can be found for a fairly good price at thrift shops and yard sales. It would only take a little work to rearrange the shelves inside to accommodate bigger toys.
Shop Storage Armoires
There may be a closet in the house that is in need of reorganizing where the larger toys would fit perfectly. It’s also possible that shelving could be installed to maximize that space, without totally giving it up for toys.
Toy Storage: Frequently Asked Questions
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[Psssttt… You can find ideas for organizing every single room of the house in this post!]
What is your system for storing big toys?