Organizing & Creating Systems

Simple Playroom Storage Ideas to Keep the Mess to a Minimum

May 20, 2022

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One of the toughest things to keep tidy in a house is the kids’ area, whether it's a playroom or a bonus room. These simple but effective playroom storage ideas will help you and your kids keep stay organized AND have fun! 

One of the things I get asked about ALL the time is bonus room/playroom organization. Anyone out there that lives with children is nodding their head right now, I am sure of it! Kids' junk has a way of migrating all over the house. Sometimes I swear it crawls around when we aren't looking (I always felt like Toy Story could be true). Even though my girls are 11-years-old now, we still have our fair share of toys and stuff that we have to keep organized. And since I recently gave our bonus room a full makeover I've been getting questions about the storage and organization we have used, so I figured I'd give you a complete tour of our playroom storage! Plus I'm also sharing the best playroom organization ideas that I've seen out there, so you are sure to feel inspired and find solutions that will work in your own home.

You can take a short video tour of our playroom/bonus room storage below before reading the post :)

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Click here for my full disclosure policy.

Our Bookcases/Cabinets/Storage Units

One of my biggest tips for playroom storage is to use as much closed but accessible storage as possible! It allows you to hide all the clutter but it's easily accessible by your kids. That's the best of both worlds. And WHOA… I get asked about our bookshelves and cabinets soooooo much. They are the Eket series from IKEA and we do absolutely love them. We have had them for about 18 months now and we are super happy with how they are holding up and how well they function for us. The price is great, especially for the quality. They hold a ton and allow us to hide a bunch of stuff away.

colorful playroom space with storage cabinets

One of the cabinets holds things like our Lego instructions, origami paper, etc. in these inexpensive paper magazine holders (which are one of my favorite ways to organize random stuff!).

playroom organization ideas

There's no real magic to how we use our shelving units, other than to point out that we store like items together (like this big bunch of bracelet-making stuff).

playroom cabinet organization

Board Game Storage That Saves Tons of Space

This is one of those questions I get asked the most, so let's talk about it! About a year ago, I made the bold decision to remove our board games from their original packaging and put them in these awesome zippered pouches (they come in several different sizes). I have ZERO regrets. Board games are sooooo bulky and take up so much room. But not anymore! Our board games used to take up more than 2 entire cabinets. Now they fit on 1 cube in our bookshelves + 1 floor basket (for the games that are a bit bigger). We have only 2 games that absolutely would not fit in even the largest zippered pouches so they are in the cabinet pictured above. I made sure to put the instructions for each board game in the zippered pouches and then labeled them with my beloved label maker.

playroom bookcases
Those are BOARD GAMES in the zippered pouches!
board game storage solution
We keep a few of the larger board games in this basket so they don't overhang the bookshelf.

My Favorite Storage Bins WITH LIDS for Taming Clutter

This next tip is one of my favorites! Invest in lidded bins that can stack and store pretty much anything. It goes back to the idea of playroom storage that is closed but accessible. That is the winning combination. We happen to use our lidded bins for legos, which has worked incredibly well. These IKEA Kuggis storage bins are inexpensive, sturdy and they come in different sizes but are designed so that they stack perfectly on top of each other. They are large enough that my girls can keep their lego sets largely assembled when they put them away. See how nice and unobtrusive they are in the background?

playroom storage bins and baskets

Well, this is the mess of legos they are hiding inside.

lego storage in lidded bins

I love that the lids hide the mess and allow these storage bins to stack so nicely, but the other big bonus is that my girls often use the lids to build on, which makes it super easy for them to move around and clean up when it's time. Case in point–I walked into our bonus room this morning and found this on the floor.

lego storage in playroom

Portable Storage for Art Supplies

This is a solution I recently figured out. My girls LOVE to draw and color, but they don't always want to sit at their desk behind the sofa to do it. So while we do store “normal” stuff in the desk drawers like scissors, pens and pencils, I found that they usually wanted to color and draw at the coffee table. And it was kind of pain for them to move all of their pens and crayons back and forth. I know that because they were just leaving a mess of art supplies on the coffee table allllll the time. It finally occurred to me that I should just find storage for their art supplies that is easily portable. PROBLEM SOLVED.

colorful playroom
portable art supply storage for kids

Use Storage Baskets for Oddly Shaped Stuff

For things that are oddly shaped and don't fit easily in my favorite plastic bins, I'm a big fan of storage baskets. I also love the natural texture that storage baskets add to any space, so that's a bonus. We use them to store what would otherwise be a mess of Magnatiles. We also use them to plop our cycling shoes in.

storage basket for magnatiles
storage basket for cycling shoes

Getting Creative & Using What You Have

I wish I could tell you that we had a perfect solution for storing things like our girls' 24-inch dolls, their horses and all their clothes, but we don't. And since I'm pretty sure my girls will soon retire them all for good very soon, I didn't really want to “create” anything special for doll-stuff storage. So, we use a giant canvas bin for all their doll clothes and accessories. And we have shoved it under our foosball table along with their horses, etc. Hey, it may not be pretty, but it works!

colorful family bonus room

Now that I've shared our bonus room/playroom storage solutions with you, let's take a look at some of the other amazing ideas I've seen!

Other Genius Playroom Organization Ideas

Organize Lego Kits by The Homes I Have Made. Legos can be a SERIOUS headache, especially if your kids want to keep each lego kit together. Small stackable storage boxes with labels and pictures to keep each one separate is genius!

lego set storage

Printable Labels and Playroom Storage Organization by Bless'er House. Open baskets are the simplest and most effective way for kids to dump out and then pick up effectively. I love these woven baskets with hangtag labels that keep everything accessible but hidden!

playroom organization

Dress-up Rack by Small Fry. Play clothes get out of control quickly1! Whether you have a spaceman-cowboy-super hero problem or a princess-fairy-ballerina problem, or even more likely a mix of it all, creating a spot for easy hanging is a great idea.

Dress Up Storage by At Charlotte's House. It is so easy to lose all those precious dress-up accessories when you stuff them all away. Creating a dress-up wardrobe with space for hanging, baskets, and bins for all the fancy dress “extras” is a great idea to keep it tamed!

dress-up clothes storage in playroom

Wooden Doll Clothes Storage by At Charlotte's House. Do your kids come to you constantly that they can't find a tiny boot or the shirt to an outfit for their American Girl? Creating a mini storage wardrobe is a great toy organization solution for all the little bits and baubles that come along with loving a doll!

DIY Lego Table by me :) Our girls have always loved legos. When they were really young and we were still in our old house we hated seeing them spread out all over the place. So we created this super easy lego table (it's an IKEA hack!). We loved that it doubled as storage and a play surface and they were able to easily wheel it around by themselves. It worked well for years until they outgrew it.

DIY lego table

DIY a Dresser into a Dress Up Closet by Rambling Renovators. Another clever storage idea for dress-up clothes–repurpose an old dresser into a dress-up closet! Then you have space for hanging and built-in drawers.

dress-up clothes storage

Nerf Gun Wall by Thrifty Nifty Mommy. I hear lots of my friends talk about Nerf guns and how they seem to multiply. Create a nerf Gun wall easily out of pegboard. Your Nerf soldier will LOVE this and you will love that they are all organized!

Closet Organization by Crate and Kids. This smart way to repurpose hanging closet storage is perfect for a playroom closet or any closet in your house that you are storing toys in!

playroom organization and storage idea

Lego Minifigure Storage by Apartment Therapy (Image credit: flickr user Barron Fujimoto). Kids that collect Lego Minifigures are obsessed. Parents struggle with finding a cool way to display these tiny little buddies. This would also work great for Shopkins, LOLs, or any other tiny collectibles!

lego minis storage for playroom organization

Organized Playroom Closet by Life by Leanna. If you are lucky enough to have a big closet in your playroom, use it smartly by optimizing your toy storage. This system that is labeled and easy for kids to use is playroom goals for sure!

Cool Tote Storage by Play Chic Interiors. Think outside of the box, literally! These classic tote bags with embroidered labels are genius and super cute!

Wall Mounted Book Shelf by The Ragged Wren. Are your kids' bookshelves overflowing? I love this idea because it allows you to see the beautiful covers and turns your children's books into decor! Not to mention it is really easy for kids to put them back up.

DIY Toy Hammock by Bowdenisms. Stuffed animals are hard to wrangle (anyone else ever had a beanie boo explosion on their hands?) I love this simple hammock with basket bins below it. What an easy fix to a huge toy problem!

Bean Bag Chair Pattern with Toy Storage by Sew Can She. I have seen these advertised, but you can easily make your own! This simple DIY makes an easy place to stash stuffed animals.

stuffed animal storage

Wall Basket Storage by Crazy Wonderful. Create storage that doubles as decor! I love these baskets hanging on the wall for texture and easy storage.

wall basket storage for toys

Wall Mounted Toy Rack by Lesley Colvin for Design Mom. I have always thought these little animals are the cutest. At one point my girls had lots of them. Use simple small open shelves and line them all up to create your own cute little zoo display!

wall mounted toy storage

DIY Book Bin by Helen Milan. Tired of overstuffed bookcases? This book box is GENIUS. Simple to organize, it allows little hands to flip through their books quickly and easily. Bonus– it looks super cute and is so easy to customize!

playroom storage for books

Repurpose A Shoe Holder by Chatelaine. Barbies and other small dolls can get out of control very quickly. This is the easiest fix I have ever seen–pop a shoe rack up and let you kids do all the work!

Magnetic Bar Toy Storage by Keeping Up With The Souths. This IKEA hack is another genius idea. The magnetic strips for knives are perfect for metal cars! Smart and cute is my favorite kind of organization.

Toy Box With Cubbies by Ana White. Sometimes you need to just toss it all in and you need a spot that keeps it contained and looks great. This DIY has plans for a toy cubby that is great for playroom organization.

Aren't these ideas amazing? I wish I had known about all of these when my girls were younger. Even if you don't have a playroom, keeping the toys in your house organized is important (probably even more important actually!). Once you have them organized, make sure it is easy to keep it that way for little hands. You will be so thankful when they can find their toys and clean up with minimal supervision!

Wondering how I approach transforming rooms and spaces in our home? Check out Designer in a Binder®.

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