The Perfect Solution to Organizing Toys

The Best Way to Organize Toys (at least a really awesome way)

Little did I know that the perfect solution to organizing my son’s toys had been in my garage for eight months.

Last spring, I stopped at a yard sale on my way to wherever I was supposed to be going and found these:


Actually there were three of them leaning up against a fence, and when the guy said $5 for all three, I snapped them up. I figured I could take them apart and make something else with them eventually. But there they sat taking up valuable real estate in the  garage.

I already cleaned these before snapping this photo. They were really dirty.  They probably came out of  his workshop.

Let me give you an idea of how the organization in Brennan’s room was working for us before:


Um, not so much.

After Christmas, it’s always a struggle to find new homes for all the toys, especially because Brennan’s room is so small. So I tried to help that along before Christmas by bagging up three bags of toys between his room and my older son’s room; one to donate and two to save for our annual neighborhood yard sale.

Here are the plastic bins I used in an attempt to organize the new toys that Santa brought…


The bins kept migrating back down the living room…which was then spread out on nearly every available surface…


I needed a way to organize his toys so that they all had a home for easy clean up and so that they were easier to play with. Brennan also needed a surface in his bedroom on which he could play with all of his toys, so he wouldn’t want to keep bringing them all downstairs.

Then while cleaning the garage I came across the old dirty yard sale shelves, and a had a light bulb moment!

With a good sanding and a fresh coat of paint I already had leftover from other projects in his room, I found the perfect way to store Brennan’s favorite toys!

Organize Toys with Shallow Display Shelves

Pulling the table to center of the room allowed us to use that wall for the shelves.

Organize Toys with Shallow Display Shelves

Now he can see all of his favorites all lined up:

Organize Toys with Shallow Display Shelves

He can reach them easily and they have a home at the end of the day.

Organize Toys with Shallow Display Shelves

I still utilized some of the clear bins for play doh and little pieces and parts that get lost easily:

Organize Toys with Shallow Display Shelves

I used bigger bins across the bottom for costumes and such:

Organize Toys with Shallow Display Shelves

There are two bins missing because Brennan wanted to play with what was in them and I made him go to his brother’s room so I could take pictures. Mean Mom.

Keeping the table clear gives him plenty of room to spread his toys out as he’s playing with them.

Organize Toys with Shallow Display Shelves


Organize Toys with Shallow Display Shelves

I don’t have a tutorial of course because I bought these already made, but building these would be so simple. Here are the approximate dimensions of mine just in case this looks like a storage solution that might work for you:

Organize Toys with Shallow Display Shelves

Of course you could customize this anyway you wanted.  I ended up attaching the third shelf to the end of my work table in the garage. It holds a ton of supplies that were once just stacked across the back of my table.

Organize Toys with Shallow Display Shelves

I’m especially happy that Brennan’s toys now have a home!

Shallow Shelves Make Perfect Toy Storage!

Our Get Your DIY On  theme was organization this month. I shared 10 Tips to a Better Closet:

10 Tips to a Better Closet

Did you catch the  organizing bug this month too?

Several of my friends did…feel free to check out what they’ve been organizing lately as well!





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  1. love the idea of shallow shelves, just wide enough for toys, but not taking up floor space~great solution!

  2. What a great find! I never do find shelves that nice in my area, and my son still loves his collection of toys at the age of 15. I wish I had a space like this when he was little…excellent solution to a very common problem. Shared on G+ and tweeted!

  3. Shallow shelves…so smart!! This is the perfect solution for small toys and a kids collection of treasures. Lucky you finding them for $5 too!

  4. This brought back memories of trying to keep my son’s room organized. Excellent solution and can’t beat that price too! I bet he loves having his toys laid out on a shelf where he can see them and a table with room around it to play with them.

  5. Christy, how perfect is that?! You had the shelves all along – I love when that happens. I can tell by your sons’ toys that he would get along great with my boys – they love their superheroes and Transformers! Great idea- thanks for sharing!

  6. I know you were thrilled to find both and inexpensive and efficient way to store your son’s toys. And I’ll bet that he likes being able to see his toys lined up when he chooses which ones he wants to play with.

    I can think of a lot of ways that you could use shelves that are this size.

  7. I am amazed at how awesome Brennan’s room looks now with his new shelves, what a great use of space. What a lucky boy!

  8. I love when those thing happen! Perfect toy organiztion si so hard to figure out, and you did it Christy. Thanks for the inspiration. You are awesome!

  9. Love this storage solution! I don’t have kids/toys but I have plenty of stuff that could work just like this, so, thanks!

    • Thanks, Elyse! I can’t believe it took me so long to come up with not one, but two great places to use these…and I have a tiny space of my garage back. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  10. Wow! What a difference it makes in the room! The shelves look great. The toys look like fun and colorful decorations on the shelves.

  11. That looks like the perfect way to organize all those toys. And he can see them too! Great idea.

  12. This is great. I wish I had this idea when my son was young. Love!

  13. Wow what a difference, i love the idea of the shallow shelves like that, never would have thought to do that for toys it’s brilliant!

  14. You are just so clever. All of those treasures are right at his fingertips. Love it!

  15. I think you need to come help ME! I really like how you organized all of those toys. I only have one son that still plays with toys and his room is unbelievably messy….I clean and organize and within a week it looks like a cyclone tore through there. I close the door now and just walk away!

    • Oh my gosh, Mary Beth…I feel your pain! Mine would scatter his toys all over the house ten minutes after I just cleaned them up! It has been an ongoing battle for sure. This has helped so much!!

  16. Love it, what a great idea! After Christmas is terrible. So many toys EVERYWHERE! I love your solution, and your little guy’s room looks so nice and organized. 🙂 Woohoo!


  1. […] last storage idea isn’t mine but I had to share the creative way that Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer organizes her son’s toys (click for the DIY […]