The Weekly Question #2

Parents: Where do you keep your children’s toys?

Toys. They come with kids. Or is it, kids come with toys? Almost 5 years and, oh, about a million toys later, I’m not sure any more. All I know is they can’t seem to exist independently.

Ever since my oldest was old enough to have more than a handful of baby toys (Christmas just before he turned 6 months, apparently), we kept his toys out of the bedroom. He shared our room with us until he was almost 17 months, so fitting a multitude of toys in an already crowded bedroom wasn’t really an option. And it was always easier to keep them in the living room rather than his room, which he didn’t seem to like for a long time.

When he did move into his room, he still preferred to play in the living room, so we only moved a few toys into his room and I did my best to remember to rotate them. Except he hated it when I moved his favorite toys into his room. Inevitably, they ended up back in the living room, and I basically gave up.

Almost 5 years later, my kids still have most of their toys in the living room. But as they get older, the toys seem to be getting smaller with even more pieces to them. We also have 3 different block sets that sometimes get dumped out all at once. My feet hate me. I just know it.

My daughter will be 2 soon and we’ll be getting her ready to go into her own room, just down the hall from her brother. I’m hoping they play in the hall so they can run back and forth between their rooms for toys, but I’m not holding my breath. If that happens, all toys go into their rooms and I get a tidy-ish living space back. If not, I’ll just be here drowning in toys.

I’m torn between keeping their toys in the living room, dividing them between their rooms, or splitting them 3 ways between their rooms and the living room knowing full well they’ll all end up in the living room. In my family, I’m notoriously bad at making decisions. The joke is I would definitely hang a jury.

So I want to ask all the parents out there: what do you do?

Even if you’re not a parent, I’d still like to hear from you.

Thank you.


  • Author A. R. Curry

    I’ve always found it useful to keep the most frustrating toys in their rooms, and the ones that are easy to pick up and presentable to guest out in other areas of the house. Kids will be kids, and they’ll drag toys all over, but if you can double their toys as decoration for a family home, it’s a win-win.

    • kat

      That’s a great idea, to use them as decorations! My son loves building things with all the blocks, so what a great way to use them, get them out of the way, and get a great conversation piece.

  • mothertherealist

    We’ve moved around, too. From what you’ve described, it sounds like you could use one of those shelf thingies with the drawers in your living room. You can keep stuff in their rooms if there IS room, but the drawers are great for quick ‘clean up.’

  • WhyMommaWhy

    Most of my daughter’s toys are in her room, but she brings some out into the living room often. She also has some shelves on our entertainment center for some things she can grab, if she wants to play with those.
    Don’t sweat the small stuff, though.
    I hate clutter, before we had an entertainment center, i had a basket in the corner of the living room that I threw toys into if she didn’t put all her toys away or I just got tired of looking at everything laying all over the place.
    Do whatever works best for your situation.

    • kat

      Thanks! I like the idea of keeping the toys in their rooms while giving some space for toys not best used in their rooms. I’m hoping that as they get older they’ll be better at cleaning up, or maybe piling toys on their beds instead of the couch will be more appealing.

  • bitsanddragons

    We have two shelves in the living room for my two kids. There we keep the board games, plus puzzles. Out of 8 shelves in total, the rest are filled with books, even their shelves are having children books. But most of the toys (miniature cars, Lego blocks, balls, etc) are in the common playroom. I managed to direct them there instead of having them trashing out the living all the time 🙂

    • kat

      That’s such a lovely idea. The sad thing is, they have a dedicated play area, but won’t play there. Though maybe I should just move their favorite toys there and hope for the best.

  • ourlittleredhouseblog

    My babies are all grown up now but I do remember the days of stepping on Legos and tripping on blocks. One time I messed my ankle up really bad slipping and going for a ride with a tiny hot wheel from my son. Be warned, those little cars are dangerous.
    I kept toys everywhere because my son always had therapists come over to help work on speech and OT with him. Most toys were kept in colorful boxes up on shelves with pecs cards. My son would have to point or ask for something if he wanted it. Then there were toys that I kept in large baskets around the living room, which kept cleaning up before company very easy. In their bedroom, there were large stuffed animals that they liked to crash into and snuggle with, a large, usually Wing back chair, a dresser with a few books stacked on top and a little table with chairs. On the table I had a basket of plain paper and crayons. I tried to keep things simple. I know what you mean about toys taking over. Those things do like to multiply. Have a great weekend and have tons of fun playing with those toys.

    • kat

      Simple sounds like the best way to go. I love the idea of having baskets, especially since there are so many lovely ones out there. I can’t wait to unload a lot of their toys as they get older, but I know I’ll miss these days. Perhaps if I could learn to float it wouldn’t be so bad.

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