6 Ways to Organize And Store Small Toys

Cleanup is a breeze with these organizing tips for small toys. Kids can help with picking up toys after play time, and storing them away. Make cleanup a part of everyday play with these storage ideas.


storage for kids toys

This post contains affiliate links. Privacy and Disclosure


Does everyone groan when it's time to clean up? 

Maybe you don't want the play to end. Maybe you want to avoid the chore of putting things away. Maybe there are just so many loose pieces to gather up!

Playing with blocks, toy cars, and manipulatives is lots of fun and great for fine motor skills. But eventually you have to clear away the mess.

Don't despair! Organizing small parts is easy - and part of the fun! - when you are set up to succeed.

How to organize small toys

Why even bother trying to organize toys?

Why not just dump everything into a box and done?

How you benefit from storage solutions

1. Kids learn to take the initiative to clean up after play time.

This can be better accomplished if storage is accessible and clearly defined.

  • To encourage kids to help with clean up, make it a part of the activity: read labels on storage containers; sort toys by color, size, or type; sing a cleanup song.

2. You'll have less stress, and more motivation to provide play activities.

Setting up art sessions and invitations to play will be welcomed by you if materials are organized and ready to deliver.

  • Preparation for arts and crafts opportunities will be less stressful and less time-consuming if supplies are at your fingertips.

Related: Make Your Own Craft Box for Art Activities

Tips for small parts storage

The more the merrier is often not the case when it comes to kids toys.

  • Keep toys and materials to a minimum to reduce stimulus overload, and cleanup time.

  • Rotating toys from time to time instead of having everything out at once can reduce clutter, and maintain interest in things you have on hand.

  • When reusing containers for storage, the size of the container will determine which toys go where, and the amount of each toy or game available for play time.

Simple storage solutions

The containers we chose are all recyclables. Some are ready to go as is, others perform better with a label.

Any of the containers can be decorated or labeled to extend the fun and learning.

The sizes of the containers you choose will determine which toys go where, and also the amount of the item available for play time. Do you need all the building blocks out at one time?

These storage ideas may inspire you to examine other possibilities that can be upcycled as storage containers.


organizing and storing tips

1. Plastic peach basket

These plastic containers with handles are perfect for wooden blocks or toy cars.

They can be carried conveniently from the play area to the shelf.


Storage options using recycled containers


2. Coffee can

These sturdy cans are perfect when you want a container with a lid. The cans can easily be labeled with text or a picture to identify the contents.

  • Cover the cans with construction paper, either plain or in different colors. Add images to indicate the contents. Plain paper can be colored or decorated by the children as an art project.


Recycled container for storing small parts


3. Seasonal cardboard box 

This small, open box is packaging from holiday napkins. It's sturdy enough for small manipulatives. 

  • Plain cardboard boxes can be covered with decorative papers, or labeled with text and images.


Store small parts in recycled tissue boxes


4. Tissue box

Recycle tissue boxes for small game pieces. The cardboard in tissue boxes is often lighter than shipping boxes, making them useful for mini parts.

Tissue boxes come in different sizes and shapes. Collect several of the same size so they line up side by side on a shelf.


Divided trays can be used for organizing craft supplies


5. Divided tray 

Fruit or vegetable trays from the produce section of the grocery store have lots of recyclable options.

Items that can be sorted and stored include:

  • craft or art supplies for a small group activity.

  • mini toys like sea creatures or farm animals for small world play.

  • seashells or stones for a playdough activity.

  • felt pieces for collages and sewing projects.


These trays often have lids, and can be stacked on a shelf for convenient storage.


Upcycle a frozen treats maker to hold craft supplies


6. Plastic ice pop mold 

This container is used for making frozen juice pops. It's ideal for sorting and displaying materials in the art corner.


Organize desk supplies


Change out the contents of the ice pop mold and use it as a pencil caddy!

Groan no more! These simple storage options will make crafting, playing, and everyday living easier.


organize kids toys


How to store pieces of felt 

How to organize and store felt pieces



Follow our Organizing Board on Pinterest for more useful tips and ideas!

Share this page

Share this page