Sorting and Organising Toys

Sorting & Organising Toys

I sort and reorganise the children’s toys about twice a year, usually after Christmas, and then half way through the year. I’ve just re-done it this last weekend before school goes back for the new term. Below is the step-by-step process I go through:

1. Pull Everything Out

When I’m in the process going through the toys, I remind myself that it gets (much) worse before it gets better. I’m ruthless and pull EVERYTHING out.

organising toys

2. Sort                  

After pulling the toys out, I sort them into groups and the kids help me with this.  I always feel grateful that my children have so many toy options to play with when I see how many toys they have. There are particular toy items that I have found to be a winner for play and I’ve mentioned some of those things here: Products I Rave About.

Featured below is most of the toys in our house, besides stuffed toys which are kept in the bedrooms.

organising toys

3. Store/Give

  • Prioritise toys most played with.
  • Give away items the children don’t need or use.
  • Store some toys and rotate to keep things fresh. I stored toys (like the Little People toys) in a box on wheels in the garage.

4. Solve

I use the opportunity when sorting toys to reassess the play space to see if there are better ways to do things.  Last year I did a playroom project with Howards Storage because our systems weren’t working very well and the new system (with the drawers) is fabulous.   After sorting the toys, the kids and I put them back into the respective drawers and this is what it looks like:

playroom makeover

Toy Station

The toys are stored in general category drawers. I find this helps children find what they are looking for and it helps with packing up too. For example, we keep the play dolls in one, the doll clothes in another; the match box cars and other vehicles, plastic figurines, wooden blocks all in separate drawers.  These particular drawers are part of the elfa system.

elfa storage system -- organising toys

elfa storage system -- organising toys


The children produce a lot of artwork, and the fridge isn’t big enough!  I think this is my favourite part of the room, because I love seeing the children’s masterpieces on the walls.  To hang the artwork, I used three Command Hooks and skirt hangers so I can display and change artwork as the children do it and it gives this space a special and varied feel. There are heaps more ideas how to store children’s artwork here.

organising toys -- artwork

displaying children artwork



My children draw most days, and I keep the drawing supplies readily available in a mini bucket turntable. When the kids want to draw, they can grab a bucket, find a comfortable place, and go for it.  Other craft supplies are stored on the bench top in navy & red striped totes.

organising toys

art caddy -- organising toys


The Lego is kept in Lego storage bricks at the moment (they look really cute and add that splash of colour to the play room).  It’s working for now, but as our Lego collection grows (and grow it does) I will most probably move to a dedicated colour-coded drawers

organising toys -- legoPlay

I find the kids play with new vigour after we reorganise the toys and I enjoy watching and listening to their play.

Organising Toys

More Inspiration

Here are some pictures and links that may help.

Emma’s Toys

Emma uses the Ikea Expedit cupboard to store toys. Read my interview with Emma here: City to Country.

organising children's toys

Rachel’s Toys

Rachel did a beautiful home renovation and below is a picture of her daughter’s room. Read the interview I did with Rachel here: A Room for Everyone.

organising children's toys

Pilgrim’s Toys

I love Pilgrim’s use of colour in her home. It’s just gorgeous! Read the interview I did with Pilgrim here: Home — Bold and Bright.

organising children's toys

Sharron’s Toys

Sharron has a knack of mixing vintage and new items in her home.  I especially love the way she stores the cars. Read my interview with Sharron here.

organising toys

Nicole’s Toys

Read more about how Nicole (Planning With Kids) organises her children’s toys here: Organising Toys.

Organizing Toys

Pinterest Organising Toys Board

If you need more inspiration I have a wonderful collection of pictures and links on my Pinterest Organising Toys Board. Just click here: Organising Toys. And you can repin this particular post here.

pinterest organising toys / organizing toys


How do you organise toys in your home?

This is the view from my kitchen. It makes me happy and I enjoy having the children play so close to the central hub of the house.

playroom makeover


10 Tips for Organising Toys 

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Kelly loves life at both ends of the spectrum: wearing high heel shoes one day and hiking boots the next; sipping tea out of a pretty cup and slurping hot coffee from a camping mug; challenging herself physically and stopping for quiet unhurried moments to feel the wind on her face. Kelly and her husband Matthew seek to live a fun and adventurous life with their four children and pet bird.

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  1. says

    We are in need of a big toy sort at the moment, but I just haven’t had the head space to do it! Like you I am ruthless and like to pull EVERYTHING out. And right now I’m a bit scared of the “worst” phase, before it gets to the “better”.

    We’ll get to it at some point – I love it when everything is organised. I often get a bit deflated by how little it lasts for though.

    Having the toys organised into catergories is how things work best for my mental health (ha!) but I find my kids like to mix all there toys up and play really creatively with them that way. I don’t like to stifle this process, but it does do my head in!

    • says

      Haha. Yes, the worse bit is pretty scary. My kids mix up the play a lot but we find with this drawer system, that it’s actually quite easy to put things back into the right drawers (before we had them, it was a nightmare!). I’m surprised how the kids do keep them up when packing up and I find we only need to go through it twice a year now so all good!

  2. Toushka Lee says

    I used to be really good at toy organisation, but these days it’s just so overwhelming and they have so much stuff! I need someone to come and do it for me. I also need them not to get any more toys. Like ever.

    • says

      Yeah…I know what you mean. I’m really careful now about the sorts of toys I get my kids (because I know what has actual long term play value). But it can be hard if a lot of people buy your kids toys.

  3. says

    I need this – living in an apartment means toys are taking over our living room! Time to sort them out and store some of the baby toys that aren’t really age appropriate anymore.

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