Organize Your Child’s Toys The Frugal Way


Welcome to day nine of Organize your Home in 31 Days the Frugal Way!  Today we are going to tackle how to organize your child’s toys so they foster learning, actually stay organized and with little or no money.

For the record, I approach toys a little different than most people.  Being a teacher by trade and a homeschooler as well, I believe we should discuss the topic of toys thoughtfully.  My philosophy of toys is as follows.

  • Foster imaginary play
  • Teach developmental skills
  • Fun
  • Interest-based learning






Paper boxes (with lids)

shoe boxes

plastic bags

*0ptional spray paint (if you want pretty boxes)


Start by asking your children to pick their top three favorite toys.  Depending on their age you may have to pick for them.  These three toys should remain out in their rooms all the time with books of course.

  • Next, sort your child’s toys into like groups.  For example, Legos, Lincoln Logs, baby dolls and clothes, broken toys, and cars.
  • Pick out all the toys that are broken and throw them away.  It is never safe to have broken toys around.
  • Determine which toys are in keeping with your family’s toy philosophy.  Place all the toys that don’t match your vision of play and place them in the plastic bags to give away.
  • Now, the toys you have left will be placed in the paper boxes, shoe boxes or plastic storage tubs if you have some on hand.  Based on a number of groupings of toys, you should have as many boxes as toy groupings.  One box for Legos, one box for baby dolls etc.
  • Label the boxes.


Now, for the part that makes this system for organizing your child’s toys work…


Preferably, do not store these boxes out in the open.  Depending on the space in your home, pick the basement, attached garage or large closet to store the toy boxes.

I store my labeled toy boxes in the basement.

When it’s play time ask your child what toy he wants to play with that day?  Walk together and pick out the box.  When your child changes his or her mind and wants a new toy.  Have them clean up by putting the toys back in the box and return it to the basement where your child can pick another box.

No more toy messes all over the house!!  This method teaches children how to clean up their toys while fostering their decision-making ability.



How do your organize your child’s toys?




About The Author

Janelle Esker

Janelle Esker is the grateful wife of Michael and homeschooling mother of six amazing children. She lives with her family, 4 cats, 1 dog, 3 ducks and 12 chickens in scenic Ohio. Janelle received her B.A. in Education from Ohio Northern University. She is the author of CHOSEN: One Family’s Journey with Autism.