What is a toy organizer?
It’s a storage solution with more than one compartment so that you can separate kids’ play things in any fashion you like so you kids can find what they’re looking for. For parents, it helps keep the room tidy… at least that’s the plan.
Some are a series of same-sized compartments while others have different-sized compartments.
Both work; it really depends on the types of you need to store.
Take a look at the picture above, which is available at Amazon. That’s a best-seller because it:
- stores most kinds ;
- is very user friendly because provides easy access to kids with the angled bin design;
- is playful and colorful;
- is reasonably light-weight so it can be moved around; and
- is inexpensive.
can store most types, is playful, inexpensive and can fit in most kids’ rooms.
Quick-list of different types:
- Angled bin design (preferred).
- Cubbie-drawer design.
- Themed: Characters, animals, etc.
- Material: Most are made of wood, plastic and/or fabric. Often they’re a combination.
- Small and/or large storage options.
- Book storage.
User-friendly is very important
One important feature is how user-friendly it is. What I mean by this is how easy it is for your kids to access.
For example, the one at the top of this post has an angled bin design so kids can easily find what they’re looking for. This is better than drawer-style storage where kids have to pull out drawer after drawer to find what they’re looking for.
Also, the angled design makes it possible to offer more storage bins higher up because kids can reach inside and see what they’re looking for. With drawer-style storage, they can’t look in from the top.
Not only is this angled-design feature user-friendly, but it’s a safety feature too. Kids will be less inclined to climb up trying to peek inside a top-access drawer to get what they’re looking for.
Obviously it’s important it not be too high if your kids will be accessing it on their own. You don’t want to use floor-to-ceiling bookshelves for this purpose.
As you’ll see in our gallery below, we feature items that aren’t that tall so kids can have easy access.
How tall should they be?
30 to 35 inches is as tall as you want to go. That’s 2.5 to 3 feet in height which makes it usable by toddlers and young kids.
Organizers vs. Chests
For the purpose of this analysis, we distinguish organizers from chests. While both can store, they are different in that organizers attempt to both store and organize while large chests simply store. Chests are good for larger items and/or items not used much anymore.
The 10 Types (Photos)
The purpose of our gallery setting out 10 types is to help you get a sense of the different types. We do not feature every single design and option available. What we want to do is distill the key elements that showcase the differences. After all, not everyone needs the same type. Hopefully our list helps you choose the right type.
For each type below, we feature one or two examples that showcase that specific feature.
A free-standing option is one that’s like a free standing bookshelf. This is a very popular type (compared to hanging options). After all, as a parent I avoid having to hang things on walls whenever possible and I like the mobility of free standing.
Here’s an example (one of many).
You can buy the above at Amazon.
You can get models that hang on the wall or from the ceiling.
We have one that hangs from the ceiling. It’s not great because young kids can’t reach the higher-up storage locations.
The following hanging option (available at Wayfair) is quite good because the the top storage section isn’t that high off the ground.
The following is the hanging style we have (from Ikea available at Amazon). It’s not that great because our kids can’t reach the uppermost sections.
Finally, our last featured hanging variety hangs on the wall or on a door. I don’t think it’s all that great; it’s more for closets, but in the right situation, it could be a good storage item. Here it is (available at Amazon):
3. Angled Bin Design (Excellent)
As I stated above, in my opinion, the best type has an angled storage design so kids can easily access all the storage compartments.
Fortunately, many have this design. You have plenty to choose from. The following from Amazon is a good example using plastic bins:
The following angled storage design uses angled fabric bins (Amazon):
4. Cubbie-Drawer Design
We have a good number of drawer-style cubbie storage in our home. They look fabulous but not quite as user-friendly as the open angled storage.
Cubbie-drawer versions can be plastic or fabric. Here’s a fabric example from Wayfair:
Next is an example of a plastic bin drawer-style also available at Wayfair. I really like the clear bins so kids can see what’s in them without having to open the drawer.
Obviously you could use any old shelf for storage. Add some bins and you’re good to go. Actually, bins are optional.
However, you can buy some pretty cool shelf-style as well. Below is a great example of a shelf with storage for larger items (available at Amazon).
Some are all plastic. This isn’t necessarily good or bad. Usually I prefer wood, but the following Corvette model is a great option because it’s fairly large and has larger bins for larger items. This is all plastic.
The above is available at Amazon (it’s pretty cool).
I don’t mind fabric bins, but I’m not big on all-fabric. But, they are super light and so they’re very safe if they tip over. Here’s a good example available at Wayfair:
Some kids have piles and piles of small items such as Hotwheels and Lego.
If this is your situation, you need a small type. Fortunately, there are some pretty cool Lego storage options. However the multi-bin storage items will do a great job too.
Here’s a terrific small type from Amazon:
If you need something to store smaller items, check out the following from Etsy:
If you need something to store tiny items, consider cases such as (from Amazon):
If you have big toys such as large trucks and cars, you need large storage options. While I think most fail to provide large item storage, some do.
The following from Amazon is actually a really cool storage organizer because it has a massive roll-out wooden bin plus 3 angled bins plus a shelf for books.
Or something such as (Wayfair):
FYI, if you have a need to store a lot of big toys, consider getting a box.
10. Themed: Characters, Animals, Interests Etc.
One final consideration when buying a toy organizer is getting a themed one. This would be my last consideration because I think the functional considerations are most important. However, all else being equal, if you kid(s) have a particular interest in a character, animal, etc. why not get a themed one.
Here are some examples:
a. Mickey Mouse
b. Disney Princess
c. Blaze and the Monster Machines
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