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10 best toy storage solutions for keeping playroom clutter at bay

Home looking a little like a ransacked toy store? Here’s our rundown of the best storage options that are both child friendly and easy on the eyes

Rebecca Moore
Thursday 04 March 2021 10:25
<p>In our search we looked for style, sturdiness, ease of use and portability </p>

In our search we looked for style, sturdiness, ease of use and portability

After the umpteenth time of stepping on a piece of Lego, or fighting with a book pile that now resembles a game of Jenga, you may find yourself scouring the internet for some decent toy storage. Wouldn’t it be lovely for your child to take responsibility for their own toys and belongings?

Well, a good place to start is putting some savvy storage solutions in place. And the good news is, many of the designs on the market look so good they can go in any room in the house – music to the ears for those not fortunate enough to have a separate playroom that you can shut the door on.

Read more: 11 best kids’ wooden toys that will inspire their imagination

We found some of the best looking toy storage options on the market, and with the help of our four-year-old reviewer, we gave them a thorough testing.

As these nifty storage solutions could end up anywhere in the house, style really was high on the list, but with style has to come substance so they’re also fit for purpose.

We were looking for the right size products that allow children to play independently, which means no stiff openings or heavy lids to lift.

Just like the toys our children possess, toy storage is likely to get a lot of handling so we needed sturdy solutions. Your toy storage might also move from room to room, so portability garnered extra points too.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Boori tidy toy box

After 20 minutes of assembly time this tidy toy box from Australian nursery furniture brand Boori was ready for action. Multifunctional products are a godsend for parents as they save space and money in the long run – we were delighted to see this is not just a toy box but a bench too, and just the right size for our four-year-old tester to take a well earned rest. Unlike most toy boxes, the internal toy box is separate and can be pulled out as it’s on wheels, meaning no heavy lids for kids to lift (the wheels work well on wooden or tiled floors, but are a little trickier to use on carpet). The box itself is sizable so all matter of toys can inhabit this space, and it’s not too deep so children can play independently. We love the two-tone style, and the quality is second to none,  using premium timber with child-friendly paint. The almond bench top is also very tactile, with a wonderfully smooth finish. There’s a three-year guarantee which is testament to the quality, but we think this’ll be around in the family home for much longer.

Avery Row large quilted storage basket

Lounge, dining room or nursery... quite frankly this large quilted storage basket from Avery Row is so easy on the eye that you’ll want one in every room in the house. But with style meets substance; at 42cm high this basket is roomy enough to store plenty of your child’s clutter. Made from 100 per cent organic cotton percale, it’s soft to the touch and wonderfully lightweight. We also love the mustard lining which is detailed on the practical handles too, adding a pop of colour.

Play&Go world map storage bag

Do you ever wish those toys strewn across the floor would just disappear? That’s how it felt when we first used the Play&Go world map storage bag. Picture dollies, cars and building blocks, all swiftly cleared away with just one pull of the black cords, which was even managed by our somewhat independent four-year-old tester. Measuring an impressive 140cm in diameter, the storage bag offers double the fun, as it’s also a play mat with a reversible design; one side is a world map, then on the flip side there’s a simple star design. Made from a cotton canvas fabric it feels incredibly durable, and is wonderfully portable too, but best of all we love how it makes the endless chore of tidying up a doddle.

Rice elephant storage basket

This elephant storage basket proves that storage doesn’t have to be boring. Made from seagrass and raffia, like a real-life elephant it’s pretty big – 40cm at the widest point – therefore accommodating plenty of toys, books or even blankets. Due to its composition we did worry it might be a little flimsy, but it offers a rather sturdy storage solution. Handmade in Madagascar, this friendly chap adds a natural touch to any space and we love the elephant features, complete with trunk, big ears and a tail!

Gulliver toy organiser

Grab yourself a screwdriver (and a spare half an hour) and you’ve got yourself a swift toy organiser from Great Little Trading Company. The Gulliver is the perfect home for toys and books, as there are plenty of different sections to fill up. It’s the perfect size for our tester to pack and unpack independently, yet it’s small enough to live anywhere in the house. You can also buy additional storage baskets to place in the middle and complete the look, although for the time being our tester likes this space to hide her dollies. It’s great quality, and it’s so heavy there’s no fear of it toppling over.

Sass & Belle sweet dreams basket

Belly baskets are filling our Instagram feeds, and the attractive toy storage option make a pretty place to stow your child’s bits and bobs. Sass & Belle has a huge range of beautiful baskets, and we love how it has a child-friendly touch with this adorable smiling face while staying stylish. Woven with seagrass, it has a diameter of 35cm, so there’s quite a bit of room to store toys, though we were dubious of cramming too much in as we didn’t want to tamper with the seagrass and cause it to fray. Keep their bedroom tidy with this basket and your little ones are sure to have the sweetest of dreams.

Done by Deer powder pink elphee roll-up storage bag

Made from nine plastic bottles, this sweet storage bag from Done by Deer makes an ideal home for small toys – we’ve been using it to store Sylvanian Families, so think handheld toys rather than hefty plush ones. Easy to use independently, it closes with a roll-down top and secures with a buckle – our four-year-old tester loved chauffeuring her toys from room to room. There’s also a name label inside so the owner can scrawl their name and take ownership of their possessions.

JoJo Maman Bebe striped canvas storage cube

This cube feels like a Mary Poppins bag – it just kept on giving as we managed to squeeze in an abundance of toys in this 37cm diameter space! Available in navy, pink or neutral, the design of the basket is simple yet timeless, and the nautical theme is topped off with rope handles, which not only finish the look but allow it to be easily transported. For £12, this offers plenty of storage for little spend.

OYOY storage box round set of three multi

They say three’s a crowd, but not when it comes to storage – you can never have too much. Effortlessly cool, we think this set is great for keeping the lounge spick and span without compromising on style. In three sizes (small, medium and large), the largest being 32cm tall with plenty of space for toys, there’s a faux leather branded tag on each lid for easy access. We were impressed with how sturdy the cardboard is – demonstrated well when our four-year-old tester decided to sit on the biggest one. 

Pom Pom metallic gold storage bag

This metallic storage bag from Next will give your child’s clutter a new shiny home. At 37cm wide there’s plenty of space to store toys, and the integrated handles mean it can easily be moved out of sight, although we’re fairly sure you’ll want to keep it on show. It’s super durable so you can cram plenty in there, and we love the pom pom details.

The verdict: Toy storage

While it may be the most expensive of all the toy storage we reviewed, Boori’s tidy toy box is well worth the money; not only is it a beautiful bench and toy box all in one, but it’s so well made that it’ll store childhood toys for years to come – plus it’s stylish enough to live in any room in the house. For portability and creativity, Play&Go’s world map storage bag comes highly praised too. 

Want more ways to keep your little ones entertained? Read our guide to the best smartwatches for kids that have games, cameras and trackers

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