Toy Storage: 10 Reasons to Ditch the Toybox and Get Shelves

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Montessori shelves
Toys are beautifully displayed on a cubed shelving unit.

There is an alternative to a toybox

Before I discovered Montessori, I just sort of went with the flow as far as toys go. My first child was young and we were lucky enough to have a family and friends that gave us lots of hand-me-down clothes and toys…lots and lots of toys. Did I mention toys?

Too many toys

Toys filled the toy box in her bedroom, toys were in bins in the living room, and toys were on the floor all over the house. Lots of plastic, lots of lights, and lots of noise! The mess drove me nuts and the noise drove me even nuttier. (A blog for another day!)

I’m sure what I’m describing is the norm, and not the exception.

Now, before I try to sell you on the idea of tossing your toy box in exchange for a shelving unit, I want to say something important: Not every child is the same. My daughter has always been very focused and creative with her play, and I didn’t see the toy box interfere with that. Every single, seemingly useless, little plastic McDonald’s toy that was lumped in with the mounds of toys that we’re gifted her, did get played with…and in some pretty creative ways.


Calmer kids and a cleaner house

I don’t hate toy boxes, by the way. But since learning about Montessori, and implementing our shelves (after re-gifting a ton of toys), our home is calmer, cleaner, and my kids, (which have since multiplied in number), are more calm and focused than ever!

Here are 10 reasons to try out shelves for you child’s toys!

1) It makes putting things back in their place more appealing, maybe even fun; part of the activity.

2) It is easier to teach kids to be tidy when everything has a place.

3) Kids can see the toys this way; no favorite toy gets lost or forgotten about at the bottom of a toy box.

Kids get bored with toys

4) Toys are easier to rotate out…keeps thing fresh.

5) It is easier to see what your child is interested in, and follow up on it with other activities.

6) Your house will be cleaner. Even when I end up doing the cleaning, I find it’s easier when things have an assigned space.

7) Small parts are more likely to stay together, encouraging longetivity for toys that come in sets.

8) It is more visually appealing.

How many toys does a child really need?

9) It allows you take easy stock of how many toys you have, decreasing the feeling of needing to buy more.

Encourage independence for your child

10) Your kids will play more on their own. A well-prepared, beautiful, clean space that is set set up with their needs in mind won’t go unrewarded, if you catch my drift. They will be drawn to it, I promise.


Shelves for toys is a Montessori thing, but I would encourage everyone to use them instead of a toy box! A cleaner house and busier kids…goals, am I right?

And you don’t have to give up the idea of a box of random toys all together. We have a small bin next to one of our shelving units with all the randomness kids crave in it.

Give it a try! You won’t be disappointed!

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