Kids toys. They’re everywhere, right? They can (and do) take over your house and can make any attempts at minimalist home decor completely fruitless. I have a love-hate relationship with all the baby and toddler stuff around my house. On the one hand, these toys keep my kiddos occupied for short little periods so I can check a few items off my never-ending todo list (or drink my coffee in relative peace because, you know, priorities). On the other hand, I love a clean, minimalist house and I just don’t want to look at toys everywhere all the live long day.
My solution? Storage bags and baskets. They can be moved around from room to room, depending on where we’re currently playing. They don’t take up a lot of space and can be hung on the wall if needed. They don’t look out of place in rooms that aren’t the nursery. Toys are both hidden and visible at the same time (aka kids can still easily find their toys but from most angles you can’t actually see them. And it makes clean up quicker because you just toss the toys in there. But, most importantly, they look good. There are so many options out there that you can absolutely find something that fits your style. And the kids could care less what they look like because it’s what’s in them that matters.
I have very little room for traditional storage furniture. Our house is pretty small and very open concept (which I love) but that also means very little wall space. Most wall space is used up by doors + windows or the necessary larger furniture items like beds + sofas. On our main floor I’ve put exactly one piece of storage furniture – the IKEA Stockholm glass cabinet – which, since it’s glass, I can’t exactly stuff whatever I want in there. So storage bags and baskets have saved my sanity. I put all of our frequently used outdoor gear in baskets (helmets, picnic blankets, that sort of thing). I have a basket for hats and scarves. I put all of the kids shoes in one basket. I have a basket for stroller accessories and baby carriers. I’ve placed some on the stairs. I’ve hung some on the wall. Basically anywhere I’ve got a teeny little bit of space, there a basket. (I have 11 on my first floor alone. I counted.)
I’ve spent hours and hours scouring the internet for pretty storage bags and baskets that can withstand not-so-gentle toddlers and don’t cost a fortune. Here are some of my favourites, both ones I own as well as ones I’m currently drooling over.
House Doctor grid laundry bag | Tellkiddo bear paper bag | Olli Ella belly basket | Ferm Living half moon basket | Tellkiddo superhero toy sack | House Doctor stripes storage bag | Oyoy large triangle bag | H&M large felt basket | Be-Poles Le Sac en Papier | Ferm Living triangles basket | IKEA FLÅDIS basket | House Doctor triangular bag | H&M jute basket | Oyoy small b+w bag | HELLO Henry bat paper sack | H&M small felt basket | IKEA VIKTIGT basket | Tellkiddo dot fabric bag | House Doctor numbers basket | Target basket
You wouldn’t think paper bags would be a good choice to store toys but I love them! The kraft paper material is durable and is both structured and pliable at the same time. Plus I love that wrinkled, used look and being able to fold the top down to get exactly the height you want (and help protect the top of the bag). My absolute favourite is the “Le Sac en Papier” one, which I started seeing everywhere on Pinterest and sparked my love for paper storage bags. Tellkiddo also makes amazing kids ones and there are hundreds of small shops on Etsy that sell fun, modern prints.
Laundry baskets are great for so much more than dirty clothes. I actually think they make for the absolute best toy storage out there. They’re usually structured so they hold their shape well, they’re nice and tall to keep toys more out of sight, and there are sooo many options available because it’s become such a bathroom style staple. My absolute favourite brand is House Doctor. Their baskets are nice and wide, made of a really durable material, and they have the prettiest Scandinavian prints. They also make some smaller ones with just one handle which are perfect for hanging on the wall. And, best of all, they are priced SO WELL. Scandinavian design is usually pretty pricey but these baskets are all under $20. Such a steal! I own all but one of their smaller + larger fabric baskets, that’s how perfect I think they are. (And I’m eyeing that last one. Slash hoping they come out with new prints. So obsessed!)
Another great option is felt. It’s just such a beautiful + modern material that fits really well into my Scandinavian aesthetic. Muuto and SNE Design makes gorgeous ones that really are works of art but they’re unfortunately out of my price range. H&M is a great alternative, but they switch up their stock so often that you won’t always find them. Patience is key!
To get some natural warmth into your home, think jute, seagrass, or wicker. Olli Ella have beautiful belly baskets (love the dip-painted ones) and absolutely gorgeous lidded baskets, although they’re not exactly cheap. IKEA has really upped their woven basket game this year. Their FLÅDIS, VIKTIGT + ÅSUNDEN baskets are gorgeous and cost a fraction of their designer counterparts (they carry belly baskets that are very similar to the Olli Ella ones for 1/4 of the price).
What are your tips and tricks for keeping toys under control and not taking over your entire house?
In this post:
(top photo) Tellkiddo bear paper bag | House Doctor stripes basket | Ferm Living rug, pillow + flag | Society6 pillow | IKEA toddler bed + wall shelves (similar) | (bottom photo) Grida Studio plus paper bag | Tellkiddo toys paper bag | IKEA glass cabinet