Let’s face it, as parents to young children it’s easy for the number of toys in our house to spiral out of control, often without much warning.
From my experience the process is typically gradual but lethal, and goes something like this.
Your home starts out fairly tidy and well organized, but slowly as birthdays, Christmas and generous friends and relatives come and go, your kid’s toys pile up and the usable square footage in your house falls off a cliff!
At this point you might be tempted to splash out on expensive storage solutions to help restore order, but thankfully that isn’t necessary.
Cheap toy storage solutions do exist, whether DIY or off-the-shelf, and in this post I’m going to give you 10 ideas on how you can organize toys without spending a fortune.
What’s more, some of the solutions below are actually free!
Let’s jump straight in.
Table of Contents
10 Cheap or Free Ways To Organize Toys
1. Under the Bed
This one is a classic for a reason, which incidentally is why it features in our article on the best ways to organize baby clothes if you don’t have a closet.
Sure, you may have already thought of this, in which case you can skip to the next idea on our list.
But if you haven’t then I can tell you that the space underneath your child’s bed or crib can be a god send when it comes to storage, especially as it’s completely free.
Things that come in boxes like puzzles and board games are a naturally good fit for storing under the bed, but really you could put anything under there provided it fits.
Worried about dust or hygiene?
Just put the items in a bag or box first and you’re good to go.
2. Storage Cubes
If you are like me and prefer a minimalist style and want to hide your child’s toys out of sight, then you will probably love the idea of using storage cubes.
These are great because you simply fill the cube with your kid’s loose toys, and then you have the option of placing the cube wherever you want.
Some popular places to store the cube are on a shelf, in a closet, in or on top of a bookcase, or even stacked together on top of each other in your kid’s room, playroom or living room.
Simple, easy and budget-friendly – what more could you want!
3. Baskets or Bins
No article on the best way to store toys on a budget would be complete without mentioning baskets or bins.
Personally I’m a big fan of baskets because they are available in a range of different styles, shapes and materials, so I can always find something that suits the rest of the décor in whatever room I’m looking to add one in.
Woven and cotton baskets are nice, but they are typically more expensive than other options.
For this reason if you are on a budget and / or you’re planning to place the baskets out of sight, then you could go for simple plastic baskets or bins such as theses.
4. Foldable Baskets
If you’ve never thought about foldable baskets for storing you child’s toys or accessories in then let me tell you you’re missing a trick!
Lightweight, stackable and available in a range of colors, foldable baskets like the ones below are an easy and cheap way to organize toys like cars and magnetic tiles.
5. Hanging Racks
A wonderful, cheap and easy DIY storage solution for your child’s toys or other items is to maximize any vertical space that’s not being utilized.
Quite often that means making the most of the back of a door or any unused hanging space in a closet.
Chances are there’s some extra space in your home that’s just sitting there empty, but with an over-the-door rack or shoe organizer, it can be transformed into quite a lot of extra storage real-estate.
Believe me, it’s easy to overlook this solution in favor of more traditional ideas.
But if space is currently at a premium in your house, then you might be pleasantly surprised by just how much you can actually fit in the back of a closet or bedroom door!
6. Storage within Toys
Here’s another clever and free option you might not have thought of.
Ask yourself if your child has a large toy that includes its own storage?
What I mean by this is do they have something like a play kitchen, large doll houses or a similar item which could have precious storage space that you might not be taking advantage of.
Look at the play kitchen below and just imagine how many of your kid’s toys you could store away in the microwave, oven, cupboard and shelves!
7. Toy Rotation
If you are really struggling to organize toys and are after another free idea, then you may need to consider rotating your child’s toys from time to time.
I’ve had to do in the past with my daughter’s toys, and I’ll admit it can feel like a frustrating solution.
But rotating toys in and out of storage (for example your attic) can be an excellent way to free up space in your living room, playroom or other rooms in your house.
Yes, it’s natural that you might feel bad about putting some of your child’s toys away for a while.
But just think of their positive reaction and excitement when you bring out a box full of toys they had forgotten about!
8. Go Minimalist
While we’re on the subject of taking some toys out of the picture, one way to free up space and help organize your house is to reduce the number of toys your child has at any one time.
Aside from freeing up space, this will make it easier for your kid to find any toys they might be looking for, and help them better appreciate the toys they have on show in a calmer and more organized space.
9. Use A Closet
Just like our first idea this might be an obvious one, but if your child’s room has a closet then you should definitely use every space inch of it if you can!
This solution is budget-friendly because it’s making the most of something that already exists, and if you do need to “manufacture” some extra space, all it takes is a few boxes, bins or a shoe organizer like the ones above.
10. One In, One Out Rule
The one in, one out rule is as simple as it sounds, but it’s highly effective.
Whenever your child receives a new toy, they have to “give up” an old one to make way for the new arrival.
It’s a great way to teach your child about gratitude and the value of the things they own.
What’s more, you might also want to donate the old toy to a thrift store or charity shop to teach your child about compassion, empathy and generosity.
So there we have it, 10 creative yet cheap ways to organize your child’s toys.
Whether you opt for minimalism, plastic bins, toy rotation or any combination of the above, I hope the ideas above help you solve your storage challenge quickly, easily and most importantly of all within budget!