25 DIY Storage Ideas to Help Corral Your Kids' Clutter

Kids may be small, but their stuff takes up a lot of space! Make sure their gear is easy to find and well organized with these unique storage solutions.

Everything In Its Place

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kid organization kids storage

Among the sea of toys, books, DVDs, and craft supplies, calm amongst the chaos of kids and their stuff may seem impossible. Before laying out more cash for great organization solutions, consider DIY storage options that can be used wherever kids congregate: playrooms, bedrooms, or finished basements. Keep reading to check out some of the best DIY kids’ storage ideas, from toy organizers to wire baskets and cube storage.

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Up Against the Wall

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wall storage kid room

Hang planter baskets (available on Amazon) on the wall to store odds and ends that are cluttering the floor. Planter baskets come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. Galvanized models (available on Amazon) may not even be obvious planters. When your kids outgrow this storage system, you can return the baskets to their flower-containing duty.

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Crate Idea

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crate storage kid room

This cheap and cheerful solution starts with picking up simple wooden crates at a craft or big-box home improvement store. Customize the crates with paint or stain, and stack (or hang) them in a configuration that works for you. Use smaller storage bins and baskets to organize art supplies and other items inside the crates.

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Auto Show

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magnetic strip kid storage

Mount a magnetic knife strip (available on Amazon) to the wall, and you’ve got a place off of the floor to store all those craft supplies or toy cars! A fun and lively visual display, this approach also saves you from stepping on toys (ouch!) in the dark of night. The bonus factor comes in when kids can store pretty much anything else that’s magnetic on the strips, too.

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Reach for the Sky

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pulley system kid organization

With a storage hoist, you can turn dreaded playtime cleanup into an exciting game. An added perk is that using a rope-and-pulley system like this one (available on Amazon) offers an engineering lesson about simple machines and mechanical advantage. It also removes visual and actual clutter from the floor so it’s open for other activities.

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Book Nook

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magazine holder kid organization

Use magazine holders to organize that jumble of skinny books on the shelves of the playroom. Label the holders by topic for quick and easy access. This is a helpful way to store both odd-sized books and titles you may want to switch out seasonally. Sorting books also is a way for kids to help with the organization process.

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PVC Pipe Dream

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pvc pipes kids room

PVC couplings can be glued together in different combinations to hold any number of bits and baubles. Wide-diameter couplings are best used to hold larger items like stuffed animals. While you can leave the pipes white, spray painting them (with a paint that adheres to plastic) is a way to coordinate this solution with the colors in your kids' room.

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Action Figure "Condo"

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over the door actio figure condo

An over-the-door shoe rack (available at The Container Store) serves as a "high-rise condominium" for action figures and other toys, making them easy to see and reach. Every superhero in his—or her (right, Wonder Woman?)—place saves tons of time searching through a clutter of toys.

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Pegboard Panache

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pegboard kid room organization

Perhaps the ultimate flexible DIY storage solution is a pegboard (available on Amazon). With holes spaced over the entire surface, you can easily redistribute the hooks to accommodate new playthings as storage needs change. Boldly painted boards that go with the room’s theme also function as wall decor.

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Vertical Hold

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vertical hold kid organization

A wall of adjustable shelving (available on Amazon) can be used to create little desks for youngsters as well as space for all of the supplies they need. It’s also a solution that can "grow" along with your child’s interests and height. With the evenly spaced notches along the steel frames, it’s easy to keep raising the shelves higher.

Related: Kids Crammed In? 10 Great Ideas for Your Kids' Shared Bedroom

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Drawers Under the Bed

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under bed drawer

Repurpose old drawers as under-bed storage for clothing (or more toys). Add casters beneath the drawers to make them movable. Paint the drawers to match the other furniture in the room, and add labels to help kids stay organized.

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Creative Corner

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corner storage kid organization

Control the chaos! A wall-mounted tool organizer (available on Amazon) is helpful for corralling Lego bricks and art supplies— and mounted file holders keep coloring books and magazines neat and tidy. When you can move storage from the floor to the wall, you’re making more room for play.

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Dress-Up Cabinet

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dress up organization kid

Remove the doors on a thrift store TV cabinet and install a clothing rod inside. Add a little paint or decorative paper, and you have a splendid dress-up cabinet. Better yet, purchase a cabinet designed for this very purpose (available on Amazon). Tutus and superhero capes are at the ready!

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Art Caddy

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art caddy kid organization

Don’t put the six-pack holder in the recycling bin with the beer bottles. Instead, dress it up in some pretty paper to create a traveling art supply caddy that can go wherever the artist wants to create. It works equally well without the makeover—the pockets are ideal for holding markers, paintbrushes, pencils, and other creative what-not.

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Sports Equipment

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bins kids organization

Modify an existing bookshelf or build a plywood cabinet or display shelf to keep sports equipment corralled. Bungee cords keep balls in their place, yet easily accessible. Skateboards can occupy a short shelf, while bins with small accessories like knee pads and shin guards live on a larger shelf.

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Bath Basket Storage

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hanging wire basket

Hang a three-tiered, wire fruit basket (available on Amazon) on a shower rod to hold bath toys and shampoos. The toys will be up and out of the way until you need them. Plus, the open frame lets toys quickly drip dry after use.

Related: 7 DIY Bathroom Storage Solutions

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Mount Cubes

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mount cubes kid organization

Square bins and open shelves hold a lot of toys and art supplies, but they also clutter up the floor. Mount bins to the wall to create DIY cube shelving. Attach the bins to wall studs using fasteners to make sure the cubes are secure and safe for kids. There also are plenty of cube basket and shelving options online (this one is on Etsy). 

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Repurposed Side Table

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kid side table organization

The small size of a side table often works well with kid-sized chairs in a child’s room. Kids can use the table for writing, drawing, tea parties, and Lego building. Side tables that have shelves or drawers underneath offer even more room for storage.

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Divide and Conquer Cube Storage

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cereal box kid organization

Boxes and bins can easily become a messy stockpile of Lego parts, cars, and whatever else finds its way to the depths of dark storage. Cut up cereal boxes to create custom dividers for bins (or even drawers). Subdividing the storage can help make it easier for kids to find their stuff when it’s go-time.

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Corkboards

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corkboard kid organization

Attach a corkboard or two (corkboard squares on Amazon work well) to the wall, and instantly, kids have a place to display artwork, awards, and leave notes. Mix boards of different shapes, colors, and sizes to customize the display area.

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Bench Storage

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bench storage kid organization

Storage units aren’t always originally designed for storage. Transform a bench into a useful storage unit by adding a shelf underneath, and place baskets on it for toy storage. With this update, the bench pulls double duty as a place to sit and read and as a space to reduce clutter.

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Lockers

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lockers kid organization

You can buy lockers new, but there may be some at a local garage sale. Actual used lockers, rather than new lockers made to look old, add character to a storage space. Personalize the locker and its look with some wire baskets for keeping items tidy and stenciled letters or numbers to the front.

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Cubby Storage

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cubby storage kid organization

Kids love cubbies (available at Wayfair), and so do many parents. Keep the storage flexible for changing needs of kids by leaving a few squares open and filling others with baskets and bins. Depending on the construction, some cubbies also can be used as benches or window seats. Others have modern designs with different sizes of cubbies for shoes, boots, and books.

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Rope and Twine

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hang art kid organization

Kids always seem to need more space to hang artwork. As they get older, that artwork may turn into awards and photos with friends. A simple piece of rope, twine, or laundry line hung on the wall can do the trick to help display many of these. Use clothespins painted in bright colors to enliven the space. The best part is that this is adjustable, and kids can keep adding clothespins to the line.

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Industrial Pegboard

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industrial pegboard kid organization

Workbench-style pegboards bring a new level of durability to the storage game. Kids can adjust shelving and hang hooks as they desire. Parents get assurance that the board will last through the wear and tear of kids at play. Some pegboards (available on Amazon) come in different colors and finishes to match the room’s decor.

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Retired Kitchen Tools

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baking tins kid organization

Cutting boards, rolling pins, and muffin pans can all be repurposed as potential storage. An old cutting board can be used as a shelf. Attach a rolling pin to the wall, add hooks, and you’ve got hanging storage. Muffin pans (available on Amazon) can organize and hold beads, jewelry, and other tiny knick knacks that kids tend to collect.

Related: 10 "Zero Dollar" Storage Hacks

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