I have spent the past week looking at toys containers to wrangle the extensive toy & book collections of my 4 children. I actually had it down to a final plan and then, Christmas hit (silly me forgot about that one) and we are back to square one. For me, because I’m an overly nervous nut, and because my children are insane, the most important thing that I look for is that all of our various toy holders be as soft as possible, yet still be able to hold up to the job and make getting to the toys easy for my children. If they fall on it, hit one another or knock one tipsy topsy and it hits them in the face or toss it at the computer (by accident, of course), I want there to be no lasting damage to anyone or anything. After that, I’d like it to look nice. We recently changed the layout of our playroom, removing 2 long low bench shelves that housed the toys and replaced them with a sofa. The result, a comfy place for them to sit (or jump from) and much less space for the toys. We are also getting the house prepared to sell in the Spring, so it all needs to look pretty, pretty and neat & tidy. Finding the perfect toy bin is more difficult than one might think. Finding a sturdy well sized toy bin that looks good, doesn’t scream cutsie-baby, actually works well for a child and the toys and is not wildly priced is hard. But, it’s not impossible. Here are some of my favorites:
3 Sprouts offers some very cute choices for toy storage. I have been using the Caddy for months and adore it. It’s prefect to pick up stray toys all over the house and tote them back to their home and is great for holding Duplo’s or small cars the need a smaller home that can be carried around for playtime. Their other options are just as cute and handy. My favorite is the Racoon storage bin, big enough to hold lots of toys, yet soft, sturdy and small enough that even my 2 year old can find what she needs. The wall pockets are quite cute too and the storage boxes are sized to fit into most cubbies. The prices are a bit higher, but these are made from organic cotton canvas with eco-spun felt appliques (recycled from soda bottles). Plus, they are really adorable and durable. These lovely bins can also be found at giggle, Land of Nod or Amazon.
Land of Nod offers some really great options for Toy Storage. Not just functional, but great looking and fun too. I did say that I look foremost for super-safe softer toy bins because I’m a nervous nutter, but I also cannot stand to look at the typical products designed for Children’s storage. The colors always suck, the design seems poor and they rarely hold up well under daily use. I’d rather set all of our toys free than put them in a flimsy baby blue container and so many of the primary colored pieces just seem jarringly out of place. We don’t really have a playroom, but more of a play house, so wherever our toys are and whatever they are in has to work well into our daily lives and that means it is almost always in my line of intolerant and overly sensitive sight. Land of Nod always offers options that I would be happy to look at whether they’re tucked away into the playroom or migrating out into the living room and dining room. I can always find colors that please me as well as designs that hold up and work for my children. My current favorites are the I Think I Canvas Mega Sorter, the Totally Tubular baskets, the A Tad Plaid bins and the Striped Strapping Floor Bins. Also available are so many other great options ranging from locker bins to lovely rattan baskets for floor, shelf or wall, so you’re bound to find the style and color that will suit your needs.
DwellStudio has a less expansive line of storage options and the are absolutely at the pricer end, but if you have a bigger budget and want a clean modern design coupled with a durable fabrication, this will be for you. These bins come in 3 sizes, small, large and the cylinder (hamper) sized and are made from a coated canvas, so they will stay pretty longer. My favorites are the Transportation and Owl Sky, both shown above. Plus because Dwell is a design studio, you can find all sorts of coordinating products, from wall decals & toys to lunch boxes & rugs if you want to easily pull together a look for your little one. These can be found at many retailers, such as giggle or Amazon or directly from DwellStudio.
I love Vintage containers, even though most break my soft sided rule. I have just broken it myself, though for the first time and housed 4 bins full of books in a beautiful old wicker laundry basket. It’s so big that, when full, my children can barely move it and only so slowly that they don’t think it’s worth the effort. They do however like to lounge on the books and jump form it, which is really not what I had in mind. But it does look very nice or it did when I first filled it and neatly arranged all of the books by size. Now it’s overflowing with new books and needs a friend. I also love galvanized tubs, wire and wood milk crates, old wooden cheese boxes, locker bins and old baskets. And, now it’s fairly easy to find brand new versions of each at many retailers, and of course, Etsy is a great source for Vintage originals if you’re not lucky enough to have a great junk shop or flea market nearby.
Canvas Buckets & Tool Bags
If you want something functional & inexpensive this the way to go. These are sturdy options, built for hard work, yet well suited to daily toy lugging. The color options are very limited and are more utilitarian, but the price and durability can be worth it. A basic canvas bucket, like te one above, will give you a very neutral tote with a handle, so that they’re great for moving around the house and for clean up time. Tool totes, bucket back & parts organizer totes can be found in a variety of sizes, styles and colors. Though geared obviously towards the more utilitarian options and appearance, these still can work well in may places. The Bucket Boss Chutes Parts bag above offers 6 divided pockets with a string closure and a top handle to keep little toys like cars, trains, Lego’s or action figures safe in their own compartments. Another version, the Pro Parachute Bag (shown above), offers a total of 18 interior and exterior pockets for even more organizational options. Made to be stacked inside a 5 gallon bucket from 600 Dernier Nylon, these totes are well sized for little hands and very durable (all of 3 these can be found at Amazon for under $15.00 each, search through for other brands and sizes of totes as well). Other utilitarian options are grooming, craft or gardening totes which offer different sizes, shapes and often, a wider color variety. If you want something with a definite industrial look, but a bit more upscale, the Klein tool totes, also available at Amazon (seen below), are perfect, heavy duty natural canvas with details like rope handles and leather bottoms and a nice black “Klein Tools” logo on the side. The Olive 10 compartment Drawstring bag is pretty great too. I want some of these for me too actually.
Etsy is another great place to look for bins, buckets, totes and toy storage of all sorts. To see more of our Etsy toy storage picks, click through to this week’s ETSY picks post.
Disclosure: GSB has an affiliate relationship with Land of Nod, Amazon & giggle, but I’m too lazy to add any affiliate links, all links placed in this post are just direct links to the sites, so this is all just me, my personal opinions & my love for toy storage paraphernalia, nothing more…