Twin girls playing in a playroom with open shelving.

13 Best Playroom Shelving Ideas for Toy Storage

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A playroom is a magical space where kids can explore, learn, and let their imaginations run wild. But let's be real, as a seasoned mom of three, I know how hard it is to keep this space organized. Whether you're squeezing your children’s toys into a small corner of your home or lucky enough to have a dedicated playroom, I understand the struggles of keeping things in order.

I've been there myself, navigating the challenges of limited space while juggling a plethora of toys. From the days when our toys invaded every nook and cranny of our living room to the moment we upgraded to a bigger house and transformed one of the smaller rooms into our kids’ playroom, I've discovered the power of smart storage solutions.

Small toys in clear containers and wicker baskets.
Image credit: Rachel Parcell
 

Navigating small spaces required me to think outside the box. I had to come up with clever shelving ideas to keep as much floor space as possible. With the variety and amount of toys my kids had (and still do!), I needed different storage options to help keep the chaos at bay, while making sure my kids had easy access to their toys. I discovered that using different types of shelves not only helped with storage but also added personality and style to the room.

In this blog post, I'll explore a range of playroom shelving ideas that suit various storage needs, such as art supplies, books and board games. Now, don’t worry - you don’t need to be a professional organizer or embark on a complete playroom makeover. The best approach is to start with simple steps, and build from there, finding what works best for you and your family.

So, without further ado, let's dive into the world of playroom shelving and discover practical playroom storage ideas.

 

1.   Art Supplies

A great place to start is with the creative corner of your playroom. Every young artist needs a designated area for their craft supplies. I recommend using transparent containers, and labeling them with colorful tags or labels, making it easy for your child to find and put away their art materials. Trust me, this setup will save you from countless "Mom, where's my blue marker?" moments.

Wall Mounted mason jar shelf filled with art supplies.
A wall mounted mason jar shelf. Image credit: Boldmfg via Etsy

Here are some awesome ideas to keep those art supplies organized and easily accessible in your playroom.

Wall-mounted Craft Organizer

Hang a pegboard or a cool wall-mounted organizer with baskets, cups, and hooks. It's like having a mini art studio on your wall! Fill it with paintbrushes, markers, and scissors, so your kids can easily grab what they need and start creating.

 

A wooden pegboard with baskets, cups, and hooks filled with art supplies.

Art supplies pegboard. Image credit: GetQuark via Etsy

  

Open shelving Art Supply Organizer

Another fantastic option for organizing art supplies in the playroom is open shelf storage. Invest in a sturdy and spacious art supply organizer with multiple shelves. This allows you to display and categorize art materials like paints, papers, and brushes. You can also use storage bins or baskets on the shelves to keep smaller items like stickers and beads neatly contained.

A white wooden open shelving art supply organizer with 6 compartments.
Open shelves art supply organizer. Image credit: Martha Stewart store on Amazon

Rolling Cart

If you want the ultimate convenience, a rolling cart is the way to go. Picture a sturdy cart with multiple tiers where you can store all the art supplies your little ones need. The beauty of a rolling cart is that it's portable. Your kids can take their art station wherever they want in the playroom without creating a mess.

A 3-Tier rolling cart with wheels with hanging cups and 4 Hooks filled with art supplies.

Art supplies rolling cart. Image credit: Pipishell store on Amazon

 

2.   Small Toys

Small toys can quickly become a chaotic mess if not properly organized. Here are some easy ways to keep small toys in order. No more hunting for that elusive toy soldier or miniature dinosaur!

Drawer Unit

When it comes to organizing small toys, a drawer unit is a lifesaver. With multiple drawers, you can easily categorize and sort the toys, making it super easy for your kids to find what they're looking for. You can find drawer units in various sizes and configurations to fit your specific needs. Some even come with removable dividers, allowing you to customize the compartments based on the size, color, or type of toy.

3 drawer units standing one near the other full of toys and art supplies.
Image credit: Project Nursery

Hanging Shoe Organizer

Who says a shoe organizer is just for shoes? A hanging shoe organizer can work wonders for storing small toys in the playroom. Hang it on the back of a door or on a wall and use the individual pockets to store toys and small items. The transparent pockets allow for easy visibility, making it simple for your kids to find exactly what they need.

Hanging shoe organizer with transparent pockets that are full of small items.
Image credit: Sunlit Spaces

Floating Wall Shelves

Floating wall shelves are a great way to organize small toys in your playroom. They offer a clean and modern look while maximizing the use of vertical space. The first step is to pair them with clear, stackable containers to easily see and access toys. Another option is to use colorful storage boxes to add a pop of fun while keeping toys organized by type. Get creative with labels or pictures to help your child quickly identify what's inside and put away their toys independently.

Another good idea for storing small toys is incorporating wicker baskets, which bring a natural and cozy feel to the shelves while providing additional storage options.

 

Floating shelves with both clear and colorful containers, full of small toys.

Image credit: Historias De Casa 

3.   Board Games

Board games are a fantastic way to spend quality time with family and friends. If you want to keep them super easy to grab and save some precious space, I recommend storing them vertically on a bookshelf using book holders. You can arrange them by color or size for a visually pleasing and organized display.

Bookshelves full of board games sorted by color and stored vertically.
Image credit: Neat Little Nest

While open shelves are a popular choice for board game storage, they may not be suitable for everyone. That's why using a closed cabinet is another great option. Personally, I've found it to be the perfect solution for our playroom. By hiding the board game boxes behind closed doors, I can maintain the color scheme of the room without any worries. Plus, I don't mind if the boxes have a few minor damages.

Even though the boxes are hidden away, I still take the time to stack the board games neatly, with the box covers facing outwards. This way, the kids can easily spot and pick their favorite games.

4.   Toy Cars

If your little one has a fleet of toy cars, create a special parking spot for them! Car display shelves are the best way to showcase your little ones' car collection. These shelves typically have multiple tiers and individual compartments to hold each car securely. This not only keeps them organized but also prevents accidental trips and falls and adds an extra touch of fun to your child's play time adventures.

Make sure to install the shelf at a height that's easy for your little one to reach. We want them to be able to grab their favorite cars whenever they want to zoom around.

Now, as for finding the most aesthetic car display cases, Etsy is the best place for it. You'll find all sorts of unique and creative options that'll make your little car lover's eyes light up.

A truck display shelf full of toy cars hanged on a wall in a kids room.

A truck display shelf. Image credit: UnikdecoShop store on Etsy

5.   Display Area

I love seeing the joy on my kids' faces when they see their artwork, LEGO sets, and other precious creations proudly displayed. That's why I make sure to carve out a special spot in their rooms just for that.

When it comes to setting up a display area in the playroom, I've found that a wide surface works wonders. Just go as big as the size of your space allows, so you have enough room to showcase everything without it looking too crowded.

But here's a friendly reminder: if you have small children around, it's super important to keep the display area out of their reach. Trust me, I learned this the hard way. You don't want to witness your older kid's masterpiece turn into a pile of tiny shreds.

Here are my top three favorite shelving ideas that have worked wonders for us:

Corner Shelves

Corner shelves are a clever way to maximize space and turn those unused corners into a dedicated display area. They not only make the most of every inch of the room but also draw attention to the masterpieces.

Corner shelves displaying complete Lego sets along with clear container full with Lego bricks.

Image credit: withinthegrove

Traditional Bookcases

These timeless and versatile shelves offer the perfect combination of storage area and display space. You can easily organize your child's favorite books and toys on the shelves while showcasing their cherished artwork and LEGO sets alongside them.

House-Boxes-by Famille Summerbelle available in Pink Yellow Blue & Black

Image credit: Famille Summerbelle

Low Cabinet or Cube Organizer

For a clean and organized display area, I love using the top surface of a low cabinet or cube organizer as a dedicated display area for my kid's favorite pieces.

A wooden cabinet, which its top surface has a display area for kid's toys.
Image credit: My Scandinavian Home

6.   Favorite Books

As a parent, I know how important it is to nurture a love for reading in our little ones and having a special place for their favorite books can make all the difference. Personally, I love using floating bookshelves for this purpose. They may not provide much storage space, but they make up for it with their charm and functionality. They allow me to showcase the books facing forward to make it easier for my kids to see the covers and select their next adventure.

Floating bookshelves hung on a playroom wall near a house shaped display shelf.

Floating bookshelves near our Mint House Shelf. Image credit: home.sweet.lucas

However, if your playroom doubles as a library, book storage becomes a crucial consideration. In this case, I recommend going for a low freestanding bookcase or a wall-mounted one. These options provide ample space to hold a larger book collection. And here comes the best bit: you can get creative with the organization! Sort them by genre, color, or even size for easy browsing and a cool display.

Large Bookcase in natural wood finish, full with children books
Freestanding bookcase. Image credit: WoodzHome on Etsy

7.   Larger Kids' Toys

Here are my favorite toy storage ideas for all the larger items in our playroom.

Cube Storage Unit

A cube storage unit is such a versatile and practical solution for organizing larger toys. I personally love using these because they provide plenty of space to keep toys organized and even add new toys. I can easily separate items and keep everything neat by adding fabric bins or storage baskets that fit perfectly in the open cubbies. And to top it off, these baskets can be easily moved around, making clean-up time a fun game of "put it where it belongs".

A playroom with a cube storage unit and storage baskets that fit perfectly in the open cubbies.
Image credit: Neat Little Nest

 

Toy Boxes

Toy boxes are a classic choice for storing larger toys. I find them super convenient for quickly tidying up and keeping the playroom neat. They come in different sizes and designs, allowing you to find one that suits your playroom decor. I recommend opting for toy boxes with lids to keep the toys out of plain sight and create a clutter-free space. Plus, they double as seating, a coffee table, or extra surface space when needed.

A little girl picks a teddy bear from a gray wooden toy box.
Image credit: Melissa & Doug on Amazon

8.   Plush Toys

Cuddly companions deserve a special place too. Here are my top picks for the best playroom shelving for plush toys:

Net Hammocks

A hammock-style net is the perfect place to keep soft toys off the floor and give them a cozy spot to rest. Hang it in a corner of the room or against a wall. The net stretches and can hold a significant number of toys.

Macramé stuffed animal net hammock full with plush toys.
Macramé plush toys net hammock. Image credit: ANROYE Store on Amazon

Hanging Closet Organizer

Repurpose a hanging mesh closet organizer to neatly store plush toys. The various compartments provide individual storage space for different types of toys. Hang it on the back of a door or in the closet for a space-saving toy organization solution.

Stuffed animal Hanging Closet Organizer. Image credit: The FIOBEE Store on Amazon 

Stuffed Animal Zoo

A stuffed animal zoo is a creative and playful shelving solution. It consists of vertical bars or ropes where you can hang plush toys like they're in a zoo exhibit. Not only does it keep the toys organized, but it also adds a whimsical touch to the playroom decor.

A little girl near a stuffed animal zoo full of plush toys.
A stuffed animal zoo. Image credit: LittleZookeeper store on Etsy

9.   Collectibles and Action Figures

When considering how to show off your kids' precious collectibles and action figures in the playroom, you've got a few choices. However, I want to shine the spotlight on Lovely Little House's wooden display shelves.

Call me biased, but our shelves are seriously perfect for displaying all those favorite collections and mini toys. Our shelves really stand out from the crowd with their soft Nordic look, clean lines, and natural wood finish. They are built from high-quality wood and are not flimsy like the alternatives out there.

You can choose between a house or a castle shelf. Either way, they'll add a touch of magic to any playroom decor and become that special piece that completes the whole room.

Miniature action figures displayed on a Lovely Little House's wooden display shelf.

White House Shaped Shelf by Lovely Little House. Image credit: helloellie1

10.        Grocery Store

In my experience, setting up a grocery store play area in your playroom is so much fun, and I have a go-to choice for shelving: wire baskets! They're an absolute favorite of mine for creating a realistic and functional grocery store setup. Seriously, they add such a cool touch of authenticity to the whole play grocery experience. I found ours at a thrift store, but you can easily find a wide range of options online.

What's so great about wire baskets, is that they provide plenty of space to display and organize different food categories like fruits, veggies, and pantry items. Plus, the open design makes it super easy for young children to access and play with the play food items.

A grocery store setup in a playroom, with 2 sets of 3 wire baskets hanged on the wall.
Image credit: Porche & Co.

11.        LEGO Bricks

One of the best options I've found for organizing LEGO bricks is using toy organizers. I personally love using modular toy organizers with open removable bins, like the IKEA Trofast. These organizers come with different-sized bins in bright colors. The frame has several grooves, so you can place the bins where you want them and change them at any time. It allows you to customize the layout based on your child's preferences and the size of their LEGO collection.

2 Ikea Trofast units stand one against the other in a boys room, with a LEGO creation is . on top of it.
Image credit: Emily's Project List

These toy organizers offer a dedicated space to store and showcase all those colorful little building blocks. They make it so easy to sort and separate the LEGO pieces by color, size, or type. To make life even easier, you can use chalkboard labels to label each bin. These labels are reusable: the chalk can be wiped off with a damp cloth, to be used again and again. No more digging through bins or struggling to find the right piece!

A kid writing using liquid chalk pen on a chalkboard label attached to an Ikea Trofast bin

Chalkboard labels. Image credit: Hackea via Etsy

One thing I really appreciate about these organizers is that they don't come with lids. This means that cleaning up after playtime is a breeze. Just toss the bricks back into their designated bins, and you're done!

I also recommend dedicating a large bin specifically for those random unsorted pieces that haven't found their proper place yet. It's a convenient way to keep them all in one spot until you have time to sort them.

And here’s a great hack that I’ve seen and can't wait to try myself in our kid’s spaces: attaching LEGO baseplates to the top surface of the storage unit, so your little ones can build and display their creations right on the shelving itself.

Kids playing with LEGO on LEGO baseplates that are attached to the top surface of an Ikea Trofast unit,
Image credit: The Aloha Hut

12.        Wall Art

One of my favorite ways to add style and personality to the playroom is by displaying wall art. Here's a great idea that has worked wonders for me: picture ledges. Picture ledges are long, narrow shelves specifically designed for displaying framed art, photographs, and even small decor items. You can go with just one or two ledges, or go all out and cover the entire wall with them for that wow factor.

These handy shelves have become a go-to solution for me, and here's why: With picture ledges, you can create a dynamic and ever-changing gallery wall. They allow you to rotate different pieces to keep the space fresh and inspiring. I find it exciting to switch out the art regularly, giving the playroom a vibrant and personalized touch. It almost feels as if I am the creative director of our playroom... 

Framed kids artwork displayed on 2 picture ledges that are hung on the wall.
Image credit: Simply Framed

13.        Game Pieces

If you want to keep your game pieces from going missing, I recommend using small drawer cabinets. They're way better than just tossing everything into a storage bag.

The cool thing about drawer cabinets is that they come in different sizes and styles, so you can pick the perfect one for your playroom. You can go for cabinets with lots of little drawers to store small parts like cards and dice. Or, if you have bigger game components, there are cabinets with larger drawers that can hold them all.

The best part is that these cabinets can be easily tucked away or displayed on a shelf, depending on what works for you. And guess what? They're stackable too! That means you can save precious space in your playroom by stacking them up.

A drawer cabinet with 24 compartments, each filled with small items..
A 24 drawers cabinet. Image credit: IRIS USA on Amazon

Conclusion

In this blog post, I've shared a few playroom shelving ideas to inspire you. My goal is to show you that with the right shelving unit, you can make the most of your storage space, create a display that catches everyone's attention, and ensure your kids toys are within easy reach.

You don’t need to be a fancy interior designer or playroom organization expert to create an amazing playroom. The key is to find a shelving unit that's both practical and welcoming. You want something that can store lots of toys but still feels cozy and inviting.

Remember, the best toy storage ideas are the ones that make your playroom a happy place for both you and your little ones.

xxx

If you have an interest in kids' rooms, I've written another blog post specifically on fairy-themed bedroom ideas for little girls. Feel free to check it out and get inspired!

Playroom shelving ideas infographics
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