Ask Design Mom: Kids Toy Storage

March 6, 2007

Ask-Design-Mom Question:

Hello Gabrielle, I just discovered your blog and thought – who better to ask this question? Do you know of any good resources for attractive, contemporary but not too pricey kids toy storage? It could be either a toy chest or a small bookshelf unit. I’ve checked all the usual places: Target, Pottery Barn, Land of Nod. I haven’t found anything I really like. I found a really cool toy box on Spacify (the Fuji) – but it costs $420 – more than I can afford to spend on a kids toy box. Any ideas??? Thanks so much! Micaela

Design Mom Answer:
Hi Micaela. Good-looking affordable storage is a tough one. The short answer for affordable, good-looking furniture is (always) Ikea. They have a dozen options either adaptable for toy storage or made specifically for toy storage. I love this paintable/stainable option:

Also, thanks for the link to Spacify — new to me and looks like it has some good stuff. I couldn’t find the Fuji toy box you referenced, but I thought this storage was interesting, available in white or natural for under $90:

I’m digging this translucent storage cube (only $40!) from the Container Store. A few of these set strategically around a playroom could be great.

When checking out the usual sources, don’t forget PBTeen. Their locker storage makes for good toy organization:

I think I just found the Fuji storage at Sparkability. I can see why you like it — it’s gorgeous. Their P’kolino Kubes are also fantastic and more affordable.

If you’re up for a project I would take inspiration from this picture:

I posted about adapting a set-up like this for my own kids here. I can see from your blog, Micaela, that you’re a green-conscience mother and this kind of flexible set-up, using and repurposing many found materials, might be perfect.

Design Mom Readers, what are your best affordable toy storage solutions?

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 love.boxes March 6, 2007 at 11:07 am

I purchased some white powder coated shelving from K-Mart like that that is pictured at the top of this post for my studio. I love it. It holds a lot of weight and the cost… $40-70


2 Bek March 6, 2007 at 11:34 am

THose are all great options and I hadn’t seen any of them (except the IKEA) ones. I am getting ready to do this too…so thannks for all the links!!


3 Jenni March 6, 2007 at 12:18 pm

I will add that I had a big wicker toy box at one point and it didn’t seem to work well for us because the kids had to dig to find the toys at the bottom and rarely played with anything in there after awhile. If the toys can be seen and are easy to access, they will be played with and put away with ease. I use little baskets that hold a small amout of toys. You can also use the wooden wine boxes that the liquor stores are throwing away(free). They can be painted and used for a variety of toys/supplies.


4 Micaela March 6, 2007 at 1:31 pm

Thanks so much for the quick response to my question and all the great ideas! I’m in love with the P’kolino Kubes – now if only Ikea would knock them off and sell them for cheap! Maybe I’ll send them an email. I like the idea of crates too. They are versitile and could make the transition from toddler toys to big kid stuff. Thanks again – you’ve got a great thing going!


5 Bek March 6, 2007 at 1:57 pm

Ikea DOES have a clear “crate” type thing that would work (I saw it there today..). It is a square and fits into their LAK shelves with the cubbies. Last year they only had the baskets, but this year they have a clear cube and a red/pink one…. the don’t have a lid, but it is a start. I didn’t check the price, but I am headed back there today….


6 Ton March 6, 2007 at 2:03 pm

I LOVE that desk. Awesome.


7 Marlet March 6, 2007 at 4:49 pm

My secret to kids toy storage also includes minimization. If the toys don’t fit into your storage unit, get rid of the toys. There is nothing that says you have to keep every toy given to your child.


8 m July 17, 2008 at 2:37 am

Thanks to the picture in your blog that lead me to the container store site that then lead me to my own quest…I bought a 6 tier shelving unit $80 and some storage bins various sizes $40 at costco to replicate the more expensive container store version…THANKS A BUNCH


9 kitten91303 August 13, 2008 at 1:41 pm

Where is the little table from????? It looks so perfect for my little artists!


10 Pulp October 8, 2008 at 4:42 pm

I just found the table at the Container Store on accident. Here's the link:


11 Containers December 6, 2009 at 9:05 pm

This is a great post covering a lot of information. I actually tweeted it.What a good read. Keep writing things like this as I enjoyed this a lot.



12 Mary December 12, 2010 at 8:52 pm

I bought great modular storage units from, I combined several modules and chose bright colors and the result was amazing! a bit pricy but high quality and definitely worth the price!


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