The best toy organizer

From bestreviews.com
By
Megan Oster
BestReviews

Whether you plan to place the toy organizer in a rec room, nursery or bedroom, you should always account for the size of the space. Take measurements of the room's dimensions and compare them against the measurements of any units under consideration.

The best way to keep toys organized

As anyone who has children knows, their toys have a tendency to wind up all over the home. Items like dolls, action figures, blocks, games and puzzles can quickly take over your living space. Once you’ve determined you need a toy organizer, keep in mind there are different types. Options include box style, a unit with open shelves and a unit with cabinets.

Some toy organizers like the Mack & Milo Bratton Toy Organizer incorporate bins. This unit includes 16 bins in a variety of sizes mounted on steel rods to accommodate different types of toys. Solid storage and weight capacity make this one a no-brainer.

What to know before you buy a toy organizer

Using multiple toy organizers

The first order of business is determining how many toy organizers you need for your family. If you have more than one child (or just one large toy collection), multiple units are ideal, especially if each child has their own separate bedroom. This way, you can keep each child’s most treasured toys in their own dedicated organizer.

Size of the toy organizer

Regardless of where the toy organizer will be, you should always account for the size of the space. Take measurements of the room’s dimensions, then pay careful attention to the measurements of any units that capture your interest while shopping. The toy organizer should be spacious enough to hold your child’s toy collection, but not so big that it overwhelms or crowds the space.

Type of toys stored

The design of a certain toy organizer might be better suited for some types of toys than others. For example, if your child loves playing with dolls, you might want a unit that includes smaller compartments where you can store the dolls’ clothing and accessories. Alternatively, if your child has a lot of wooden toys, you might want a toy organizer that offers some form of protection against chipping and cracking.

Toy organizer features

Toy organizer materials 

Any toy organizer is bound to take a beating, as children aren’t known for gentle handling of their possessions. For this reason, it’s best to stick with kid-friendly, durable materials like high-quality wood, plastic and metal.

Toy organizer compartments

Toy organizers are designed with several different types of storage. A unit might incorporate bins, shelves, drawers or cabinets into its storage space. There’s also the classic toy box, which is typically a rectangular container fitted with a lid.

Open vs. closed toy storage

If a perfectly neat home is one of your top priorities, opt for closed storage like a toy box or a unit that has drawers or cupboards. This way, as long as the toys are in the organizer, no one will be the wiser.

Open shelves, cubbies and bins are a great choice if you’re more laid back about items being visible. Plus, open storage is very accessible to your child, which might encourage them to use the toy organizer more often.

Toy organizer cost

The majority of toy organizers start at roughly $50 and top out around $180.

Toy organizer FAQ

How do you encourage children to use a toy organizer? 

A. Try capitalizing on a child's tendency to mimic adults. Show them that you value the toy organizer and they’re likely to follow suit. Never use the unit as a form of punishment, as this will create negative connotations, and try to resist the temptation to bribe your child with a reward. You want them to view the act of putting their toys away as a daily activity, not as something that’ll result in a treat.

Can you repurpose a toy organizer when children grow out of it? 

A. You absolutely can repurpose a toy organizer. You might use a unit with bins as a laundry sorter or a hamper for dirty clothes. A unit with open shelves would be perfect as a bookshelf. Flex your creative muscles and don’t be afraid to think outside the (toy)box.

Which toy organizer should I get?

Best of the best toy organizer

Mack & Milo Bratton Toy Organizer: available at Wayfair 

Our take: Holding 16 plastic bins of varying sizes, this toy organizer can store a wide array of toys.

What we like: You’ll get ample storage space from this super-sized unit. It has a storage capacity of 11.67 cubic feet and a weight capacity of 48 pounds. Steel rods provide robust support to 16 differently-sized plastic bins. The versatile design will complement most decor schemes.

What we dislike: The most frequently-cited issue among a small number of buyers was the toy organizer’s lack of durability.

Best bang for your buck toy organizer

IRIS USA, Inc. Toy Organizer: available at Wayfair

Our take: If you’re working with a small space and need a moderate amount of storage, this toy organizer fits the bill.

What we like: The angled shelf at the bottom of this unit helps prevent toys from spilling out of the organizer. You can store toys, games or books on the middle shelf or top shelf. The generous openings allow your child to easily remove and replace toys. The white color feels light and airy.

What we dislike: A smattering of buyers were disappointed in the quality of the toy organizer, which they felt was cheaply made.

Honorable mention toy organizer 

Step2 The Lift and Hide Bookcase Toy Box: available at Wayfair

Our take: Keep toys tucked neatly out of sight with this robust toy box, which features a lid and sturdy poly construction.

What we like: The fun design of this toy box, which can double as a bookcase, will appeal to kids. The unit can handle a lot of wear-and-tear thanks to the durable plastic material. A back panel prevents items from getting lodged behind the bookcase.

What we dislike: The slanted lower shelf was a point of contention for at least one buyer, who disliked the way it made items slide to the bottom.

Megan Oster is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.