Garage Toy Storage Made Simple

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Your kids accumulate a lot of toys, and you may need help finding a place to store them all. Even if you keep your kid’s toys in your garage, they should be organized properly.

Unfortunately, creating a garage toy storage system takes a lot of trial and error. Nevertheless, it all becomes worth it when you can walk around at night without stepping on a Lego.

Read on for a detailed guide to storing toys in a garage.


Get Rid Of Excess Toys

The first step to decluttering your garage is to get rid of everything you don’t need. 

That can be really tough when your child’s favorite toy is involved.

Kids form strong bonds with their toys, but so do the parents. 

I still have a few toys in storage at my mum’s house from when I was a kid. That said, I have a lot more that I bought as an adult, but that’s a different therapy session.

My first toy is a small rocking horse. It’s been collecting dust for years, but I keep it because it’s my very first toy.

Your child might not have played with it in years, but it means a lot to you. 

Toys aren’t just toys. They’re reminders of happy times growing up. 

That makes it really hard to part with them.

The key here is to realize memories won’t go away just because we get rid of the toys. 

Once you’re okay with that, it’s time to get started.

Knowing What Toys To Get Rid Of

Let’s start with the easy stuff first.

Look for any old party favors, Happy Meal toys, or anything tiny and cheap that your kids forgot about five minutes after you gave it to them.

Next, start looking for broken toys, especially if you have been keeping them around for a while. If they can’t be fixed, toss them. If they can, but your kid hasn’t been playing with them, you can try to fix them and then donate them. 

It’s a good idea to enlist your children’s help if they’re old enough. I remember a few times growing up when my mum threw out toys that she thought were broken but weren’t.

Now comes the more complicated part: toys that are still good, but your kids have outgrown them. 

Successful parents recommend donating toys when: 

  • Your child hasn’t played with it for over a year
  • It’s not appropriate for their age
  • If your kids won’t even notice it’s gone

Even if it was given to them by their favorite grandparent, it’s better to give it to someone who’ll use it than have it collect dust in your garage.

Another Option: The other way to go about this situation is to look at this from the opposite perspective. If you only keep the toys your kids are playing with, you’ll end up with fewer toys to store.

Keep, Donate or Throw Out?

No matter what method you use, group your toys into three piles: one to keep, one to donate, and one to throw out.

Once everything else is gone and your “keep” pile is ready, decide which toys you’ll keep in the house and which can be stored in the garage.

Naturally, anything your kids are super-passionate about should move to the house. However, you may be surprised at how much you can store in the garage instead of in their room.

One tip is to remove all toys except for the most important ones. Then you can rotate them in and out every week or so to find the toys your kids can’t live without.

More on that later.

Congratulations! That was the hardest step.

Now you have to find garage storage for kid toys that are left.


Choose the Right Garage Toy Storage

Space is hard to come by in your garage, and it might be hard to carve out a slice specifically for your children’s toys.

But once you’ve got the toys organized, you should be able to quickly find the toys you’re looking for.

Usually, the best location for garage toy storage would be near the door but far away from any power tools or anything else that’s dangerous.

That way, if your children are old enough, they should be able to get the toys themselves.

Of course, you’ll want to keep some toys out of reach.

Try to keep large or heavy toys off the ground. This could include bikes, Power Wheels, or any outdoor toys. This can be in overhead storage or hanging bikes and scooters on the wall to save space.

Put anything that’s not used very often or requires adult supervision as high up as possible. Here’s where overhead storage could come in handy. 


Garage Toy Storage & Organization

Now that you have a space for the toys, you need something to put them in.

There are several excellent options, ranging from basic to stylish. Fortunately, most of them are very budget-friendly.

Once you’re packing up and organizing your kid’s toys, be sure to label the bins. That way, both you and your children can read what’s inside. That will help you keep your organization plan going long-term.

Here are some ideas for garage storage for kid toys:

Storage Totes and Bins

Plastic storage bins and totes come in all shapes and sizes. The best ones to store toys are clear plastic ones.

You can get various sizes at most big-box stores. Recently, I did a test to find the cheapest place to buy plastic storage bins that you can find here.

I recommend clear plastic bins so you can quickly tell what’s in them, even if they’re not labeled.

They have sealed, water-resistant totes for storing any stuffed animals, dolls, or other toys made primarily of fabric. They cost a little more, but they help keep moisture out of your storage totes that could ruin your toys.

Cloth Baskets

Cloth baskets are a great way to store plush toys or cute play outfits, but they don’t belong in your garage. Fabric bins are susceptible to moisture damage and ideal nesting areas for mice in your garage.

Wall Storage

A wall storage system is easily the best option for organizing your kid’s toys and your entire garage.

Bikes can quickly be mounted on the wall, so they’re out of the way. Sports equipment can be organized on the wall to keep them out of the way while airing them out.

Many systems even have bins and baskets for garage ball storage. This helps keep basketballs or soccer balls easily accessible and organized.

These systems require very little planning upfront and let you configure them down the road as needed. 

To help keep me organized, I have two different systems in my home. In my roundup article, you can see my recommendations for the best wall storage systems for your garage!

Overhead Storage

Overhead garage storage is an excellent solution for anything you want to keep organized and don’t use daily. Not only does it keep your garage organized, but it also helps free up valuable floor space.

Storing your child’s car seats and old toys is no exception.

Power Wheels and other motorized toys can easily be placed on a rack to keep them out of the way. They can weigh up to 100 lbs, so you’ll want to check how much weight your garage ceiling can hold before you start.

Shelving Units

A basic garage shelving unit is the cheapest way to store your kid’s toys. You can get plastic, three-tier shelving units at Walmart for as little as $25. We used them in our old apartment, and they held up great to almost constant abuse.

Metal shelves are more expensive and can cost over $100. However, they’re much more durable and will last you for years.

If you choose shelving, you’ll still need a container system, like totes. Loose toys on a shelf can be almost as bad as having loose toys on your garage floor.

Outdoor Toy Storage

This may trigger some people, but I do not recommend outdoor toy storage.

It goes without saying that any electronic toys, like Power Wheels, should never be stored outside. Rain and snow can easily seep in and damage the motor or electronics.

Similarly, bikes and scooters can rust if left out in the rain.

That said, I’ve seen some amazing ideas on my community Facebook page.

One parent constructed a weather-proof “Power Wheels Garage” for his kids. It’s on a raised platform to protect against flooding, and the roof is insulated against rain.

It’s a pretty cool idea for garage toy storage that gives his kids easy access to their toys without needing to take up valuable space.


How to Keep Your Kid’s Toys Organized 

No matter how you set up your garage toy storage system, the most challenging part can be keeping it organized – especially if your kids can access it.

The occasional toy will inevitably make it back into your house, so keeping them organized will take some work.  

Toy Rotation

One of the most popular toy storage systems is toy rotation.

This is when you bring out a new box (or more boxes) of toys every week (or every day, month, etc.) while putting the previous one back on the shelf. 

Once you bring out the new box of toys, most children will play with it as if they’ve never seen it before. 

Kids get bored with the same old, same old, and they’ll appreciate something fresh once in a while, even if it is just their old toys. 

Obviously, if your child has a favorite toy, that one should always stay in rotation.

Seasonal Rotation

You can also use a seasonal system, but that can lead to many toys being out at once.

Another option is to keep all the toys in the garage and then only take out a few at a time, usually the ones your kids ask for most often.

Some creative parents base them on a particular theme you come up with for them.

Grouping Toys

The most common way to organize your kid’s toys in the garage is to group them together.
Like with like.

For example, you could have all their Legos together (which makes sense) or all their stuffed animals together.

Another option is to group them by season. However, that could make it difficult to find what you need.

For example, is baseball a spring or a summer toy?

Finally, you can also group them into themes.

For instance, everything your kids need to recreate a small town in one box or everything they need to play kitchen in another. This is a creative approach, and it can make for many fantastic play opportunities.

However, it could be tough to set up, and your children might need help understanding how the system works.

This is a great opportunity to get your kids involved and teach them how to properly keep their toys organized.


Wrapping It Up

To organize your kids’ toys in the garage, you should try to reduce the number of toys they own, gather the remainder in labeled bins, hanging baskets, and boxes, and store the remaining toys in organized groups (perhaps on shelves or stacked against the wall) where they are easy to reach.

It may take an afternoon to organize your kid’s toys in your garage, but it’s well worth it.

Trust me, you’ll feel a lot better afterward.

Remember that your kids may want to keep some of the stored toys close by once you start rotating them or using a system.

It’s okay to let them keep one or two as long as they are playing with them. But as soon as you notice boredom set in, put the toys back.

With these tips, garage toy storage and organization can be simple.

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Tim Wells

Tim Wells, the founder of Garage Transformed, has been featured in dozens of home renovation publications, including BobVila.com, Home Stratosphere, House Digest, Livingetc, and SFGate. Since 2018, he has helped over two million people transform their everyday garages into something they can be proud of. He lives in Central Florida with his wife and bulldog.

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