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Hey, friends! It’s finally reveal day for the playroom. Well, at least how we organized the toys. A few months ago we had really good intentions of doing this when we purchased these shelves from Ikea. We even stained them and then it stopped there. So, what exactly happened to create this hot mess of a toy situation? We didn’t stop and think how we could store and organize the toys on the shelves. Which resulted in this:

Although we picked the toys up every evening before bed, it still felt chaotic in this space. So much, I realized that Oliver wasn’t playing in here as much as he used to. I knew something had to change which meant giving these shelves a complete overhaul.

How to Organize Toys on a Shelving Unit

1.Determine how you’re going to organize them.

This was the easy part for me to decide because I knew I wanted baskets on the shelves to organize the toys. The difficult part? Finding enough baskets that not only worked for the space but also didn’t blow the budget. I finally found these on Wayfair that came in a 2 pack (1 small, 1 large) and they’re perfect for the space.

The smaller baskets allow Oliver to safely remove them from the shelf without being too heavy. The larger baskets allow for ample storage for those bigger toys or toys like legos where they are a lot of pieces. And overall, the baskets provide decor while also concealing the toys.

2. Use Home Decor to Display Electronics and Educational Activities 

As a former Kindergarten teacher, I have a love for interactive educational games and activities. Which means I also needed a place to store these items while being able to quickly and easily grab them as I work with Oliver during the day. For his electronics, I found these adorable book ends where I can easily display and grab his digital books, LeapFrog pad, and tablet. Plus, it helps us keep track of them.

For the hands-on educational games, I displayed them in a metal basket. There are a few reasons why I love this type of basket for these activities: I can easily see what’s in the basket, I can quickly grab an activity and it adds a little design to the space.

3. Use Toys as part of the Decor

Not all toys need to be hidden (like the 20 stuffed animals we have). There are some that are very cute to display on the shelf. They add a sense of playfulness to the shelves and the whole reason why the shelves are even there: to provide interactive play for kids. I placed a few of Oliver’s wooden play sets and his airplane on the shelf and love the whimsical touch they add.

4. Add Decor

Who said every shelf has to be designated for toys? I love to design a space that is functional and one that we will love to spend time in. Since the top shelf isn’t practical to place toys on (Oliver nor I can reach), I decided to have a little fun by decorating it. A few pieces of framed artwork, a robot clock and an industrial fan was all that it took to complete the space.

So, there you have it! We took Oliver’s playroom toys from a chaotic mess to organized bliss. And the best part? He’s spending more time in here than he ever has since getting it organized.

Since every toy has a place to go or a basket to be tossed in, clean up is a breeze! It has also been easier to guide and teach Oliver where his toys go. So much, he’s starting to do it on his own. This type of organization in a playroom is a win for both kids and parents! I’d love to know how you organize the toys in your home, especially books.

Shop the Space

Shelving Unit

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  1. Lea says:

    Love these! What stain did you use?

  2. Hi! I love this look so much! Which size of the shelves did you get? I am debating between the 35×19(
    and the 35X11 ( Are they pretty sturdy?
    Last question: I cannot find similar baskets anywhere! Did they ever come back in stock?
    Thank you!

  3. […] Organizing Playroom Toys || Within the Grove. Read more at […]

  4. […] for more playroom inspiration? See how we organized toys, installed board and batten, and installed a roman shade in […]

  5. Hailry says:

    This is a great space and given my lots of inspo for our playroom.

    What are the shelves called from ikea. Having a hard time finding them and hoping they are still in stock

  6. Barbara says:

    I love the shelves! The link for the shelves just takes you to Ikea. What is the name of the shelves?? Thank you!

  7. […] playroom organization project is worth to go look at just because of the before picture. If you have kids you know how hard it […]

  8. Lisa says:

    Hi! Can you please list where you got the giant bean bag chair with the numbers on it? Super cute!!

  9. Lisa says:

    Where are the shelving units from?

  10. […] via via […]

  11. Kerrilee says:

    Love this all. I have found the shelving unit and wicker baskets, but where is the small black wire basket from?

  12. Gigi says:

    Where oh where did you find those amazing shelves?! They are exactly what I have been looking for? This space looks great.

  13. Am I missing the link somewhere? I feel stupid, but I can’t seem to find the link to the baskets… 🙂


  14. Meg says:

    LOVE this space! The baskets are on sale so I’m going to jump on it. Can you tell me if you sanded and stained the IKEA shelves? If so, which stain?

    Thanks in advance, can’t wait to try the faux cabinet for my utility sink also 🙂

    • ElizabethRishel says:

      Hi Meg!! So excited they’re on sale! I didn’t sand them before staining. They were already good to go! The stain I used was Ash by Varathane. It may be discontinued but double check!

      I’d love to see your shelves and faux cabinet turn out too! Thank you SO much for checking out this post!!

  15. Pat says:

    Looks great! My daughter keeps the books on IKEA cubes and smaller toys go in bins. It’s easy to guide my granddaughter in cleaning up her playroom.

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