It’s a scenario we all know too well. In the weeks and months leading up to Christmas, you spend hours shopping for the perfect gifts. The anticipation and excitement of Christmas morning may have lived up to your expectations, but as we ring in the New Year, you might be wondering what in the world to do with all the new toys and books accumulated over the holidays. Getting control of the clutter can seem overwhelming. But it doesn’t need to be! Here are a few simple steps to setting up a toy and book storage system that will work for you and your kids.

Clean Out and Donate

Before adding more toys and books to already crowded shelves and drawers, work with your children to sort through items that don’t get much attention. Sort items into a keep, sell, or donate pile. Work as a family to drop off donated items to Goodwill or a local shelter. A toy cleanout is a great teaching opportunity for kids!

Use What You Have

As fun as a trip to the Container Store or IKEA can be, getting organized doesn’t have to cost and arm and a leg. Look around your home to find underutilized storage areas. Built-in shelves, media center drawers, and storage ottomans are great ways to stash kids’ toys without shelling out cash for new storage systems.
Have a budding artist? Repurpose empty containers and jars to hold craft supplies. Young House Love suggests maximizing cubby space by grouping small toys into storage baskets and containers. Add functionality to your kids’ play area by creating accessible storage, like the baskets used to hold kitchen toys and play food in Hello Baby Brown’s playroom. Here’s an added bonus: the easier toys are to reach, the easier it will be for kids to put them away after play. Everyone wins!

Create Storage Space that Works for You

A quick Pinterest search offers all kinds of do-it-yourself storage projects. Some of our favorites include this beautiful DIY book bin and a functional toy bin on casters. Regardless of the storage system you choose to use, remember to keep it functional for the space and keep it accessible to your kids.

What are your favorite ways to store toys and books? We’d love to hear your creative ideas!