Creative Toy Storage Solutions for a Clutter-Free Living Room

One of the most common reasons people move is to accommodate a growing family. Families move not just to accommodate more family members but also all the stuff that comes with them — more furniture, more clothes, and lots and lots of toys.

But before you move across the country for a house with bigger closets, it’s worth considering some innovative storage solutions in your current home. With a bit of creative thinking, you can easily and discreetly triple or quadruple your living room’s storage capacity. Guests who come over to watch the big game won’t even suspect that the sectional sofa they’re sitting on, the coffee table they set their drink on, and the ottoman under their feet double as secret toy storage.

Read on for our best suggestions for creative toy storage solutions in your living room.

Custom Built-In Storage

Custom built-ins can be a little pricier than buying freestanding shelves, but they’re a much more effective use of space since even small alcoves and nooks can be turned into maximally efficient storage space. Well-constructed built-ins provide a convenient place to put your toy clutter and are nice to look at, too.

Built-ins can also increase the value of your home. Storage is among the first things many home shoppers look at in a house, making homes with lots of custom-built storage very desirable — so desirable that you might even be able to sell them without a realtor.

Comparison shopping between different contractors often brings down the price of built-ins quite a bit, and crafty homeowners can explore further cost-cutting measures like buying the materials yourself. As long as they’re well done, built-ins generally provide an excellent return on investment.

Behind-Door Storage

One key to finding creative storage solutions is to figure out ways to use neglected space. And when it comes to unused areas, the back of a door is generally prime territory. Consider hanging racks or organizers on the back of doors; these vertical organizers are perfect for items like books, shoes and slippers, and small toys.

A Multipurpose Media Console

Most families have a media console in their living room, whether for relaxing with some weeknight TV, catching a football game on the weekend, or even letting your teen make spending money playing video games online. So why not opt for a slightly more expansive one that can double as storage?

Several styles of media consoles can work here, from smaller ones with open shelves on the bottom to larger cupboard-style consoles to very large units that combine open and closed storage with extensive shelves and cubbies. While many of these were designed to store libraries of physical media, the digital streaming era has removed much of the need for DVD and Blu-Ray storage. With this in mind, repurposing this space for your kids’ stuff makes sense.

Hidden Storage Ottomans and Sectionals

An ottoman or two is a must-have for the family living room. Ottomans provide a convenient place to put up your feet (along with extra seating in a pinch), and they’re generally soft-cornered, padded, and childproof. They can also provide a wealth of hidden toy storage. Many furniture companies now offer ottomans that open up to offer a surprising amount of easily accessible storage — especially useful if you have to quickly clean up the living room for unexpected guests.

In that same vein, you can also buy sectional sofas with similar hidden storage compartments. Depending on the size of the sectional, you may have several large storage spaces at your disposal.

Replace Your Coffee Table with an Antique Chest

If you have a toddler, you may already have gotten rid of your glass or wood coffee table and its breakable materials and sharp corners. Replacing it with a round or padded chest is a safe, kid-proof alternative that also flips open for use as an impromptu toy chest.

You can also buy various coffee tables with hidden storage inside. They come in many sizes and shapes, including square, rectangular, and round tables.

Use Baskets

Sometimes, the most straightforward solutions are also the most elegant ones. A few big woven baskets make for convenient, nice-looking storage; simply toss toys and books into the baskets and push them into a corner or closet. If you want them out of sight, consider a system of baskets that slide into console shelving, or think vertically, with woven baskets placed on top of bookshelves. They’re all aesthetically pleasing ways to keep clutter out of sight, out of reach, and out from underfoot.

15 Common-Sense Tips for Designing a Shared Kids Room

5 Creative Kids’ Playhouse Ideas You Can Make in a Day

Awesome Shelf Ideas for Kids’ Room