How to Organize Toys in the Living Room

Good morning friends!  Did you have a great weekend?  We made it through the first week of school!  It was a little rough adjusting to the morning routine of getting James up and out the door on time.  And Jordan was not a fan of her big brother going off to school and leaving her behind!  We all miss him, but I’m a creature of routine and thrive best on a schedule, so it’s kind of good for me. And now that we’re a week in, I think we’re better.

I wasn’t as organized last week as I wanted to be, but I got my groove mid-week with a major GSD day (Get Stuff Done) and that always feels amazing!


Today, I’m showing you a small update to our living room decor, along with how I keep it organized- especially all the kid toys.  It’s the biggest room in our house and where we spend the most time, so it has to function for both adults and kiddos (we have an 8 and 2-year old).  I want it to be pretty and a nice, clean space to relax.  My kids want to play with toys.  I feel like we have a happy compromise (and a little secret you might not be aware of, but you’ll see below!). I wanted to share how to organize toys in the living room knowing some of you might be running into the same problem!

how to organize toys in the living room

Similar Rug • Coffee Table/Ottoman • Cloche • Similar Leopard Blanket • Similar Pillows


First up, you might notice we got a new ottoman/coffee table. Since having babies, I wanted a soft ottoman as a coffee table to reduce the chance of accidents.  Wobbly toddlers tend to fall a lot! We ended up liking this style with a tufted upholstered top (it feels good when you rest your feet or legs on it), so it’s stayed even though our kids are older now.

how to style a coffee table ottoman

We had a navy one, but I was excited to trade it out for a lighter shade with wood tones that match our round end table.  It also has a gorgeous silver nailhead trim that dresses it up.

how to style a coffee table ottoman

I was surprised to find it at The Home Depot because I didn’t realize they carried home decor pieces!  We always just go there on the weekends for things like plants, lightbulbs, paint, and hardware.

Now, you can shop online by room, which is how I found our coffee table.  It was in the “Natural Classic Living”  living room and each room has a clear photo and then links to all the items in the room so you can get the exact look for yourself.  Cool, right?

living room fall decor

We keep the coffee table decor minimal with a large tray to contain everything, a few decorative coffee table books, candle, and glass cloche.  One of my favorite ways to relax in the evening is to dim the lights and light the candle after Jordan (the 2 year-old) has gone to bed.


living room fall decor

It feels so good to cozy up with soft pillows and a cozy blanket and just relax after a busy day.

living room fall decor

And on Saturday mornings, this spot on the couch is exactly where I like to nestle into and read my favorite magazines.

living room fall decor

The cloche is also from The Home Depot and I’ve always admired them, but never had one.  They come in lots of different styles and sizes and you can change out the decor inside with the seasons.  How pretty would Fall leaves be or a bunch of mini pumpkins?!

living room fall decor

living room fall decor

Living Room Coffee Table decor

how to organize toys in the living room


Our media cabinet is what really does the heavy lifting when it comes to staying organized.  Ours is a built-in unit, but I saw this media center at The Home Depot that looks similar and functions the same.

built in media cabinet

The bookshelves are decorated with a combination of books, faux plants, decorative objects and special photos.

how to organize toys in the living room

how to organize toys in the living room

I’ve gotten lots of questions about our media cabinet over the years, but I’m not sure I ever opened it up and showed you inside!  Let’s take a look:

We’re slowly encouraging potty training with Jordan, but she’s not there yet, so we keep diapers and wipes in the top drawer, along with her hairbrush and hair bands.

diaper storage

Next to that is battery and candle storage, with candle holders underneath.

candle storage

Taper Candles • Tea Lights

candle storage


Now on to how we organize the kids’ toys throughout the living room!

Jordan has a drawer dedicated to her crayons, coloring books, and play dough in the media cabinet. I have to watch her carefully with the crayons and markers though because she’s already drawn on walls, cabinets, and toys!

Luckily, we were able to clean it off with Magic Eraser! It’s sooo funny because the first time I used a Magic Eraser, I didn’t realize you were supposed to get them wet, but y’all were quick to let me know on Stories! #thankyou

how to organize toys in the living room

Underneath are two big cabinets with shelves for games and puzzles.  It’s perfect that they are easily accessible by the kids, then clean up easily.

how to organize toys in the living room

how to organize toys in the living room

SweaterJean Shorts

Right now, Jordan is obsessed with this little pizza that we’ve had since James was a toddler.  I often find it in the microwave!

how to organize toys in the living room

how to organize toys in the living room

how to organize toys in the living room

I’m happy to report that we have an empty drawer and cabinets.  Over the years, I’ve learned to limit what we bring into the house, mainly because I already feel like I spend so much of my time managing our “stuff”.  I’m over it to be honest with you, so I shop wisely and purge often.

how to organize toys in the living room


Where do we keep the rest of the toys?  We want Jordan to have easy access to her toys, so we keep them in woven buckets that are pretty to look at, but keep the toys contained.  I don’t really worry too much about what toys go in which basket, we just toss them in!

how to organize toys in the living room

And she has some books in a basket for easy access.

how to organize toys in the living room

James keeps his books on the console behind the couch.  Did you see his book recommendations?

how to organize toys in the living room

Behind the couch is our little secret- lots of toys- mostly balls and bigger items hide back there. I try to avert my eyes to this area, but I’m glad we have the space to keep these toys (mostly) out of sight.

We have some big containers to try to keep these toys organized, but we snapped this picture as is so you’d see how it looks on a day-to-day basis!

how to organize toys in the living room

Did you notice Jordan’s artwork?? ;( 


But back to the books, I like that there’s a bottom shelf underneath the ottoman where we can keep more of Jordan’s books on a big rattan tray.  It’s easy access to them and also looks good.

how to organize toys in the living room

As a mom who often feels like she’s losing the electronics battle, I encourage reading as much as possible.  Having lots of books around makes it easy to pull one out for a snuggle and story.

how to organize toys in the living room


We have a two-story home and I swear I’m showing my age because it can be a pain to be running up and down stairs all day.  How is there so much stuff that needs to go up and down?! 

And, we have a baby gate, so it’s not super convenient to open while you’re holding something, so things tend to accumulate on the stairs until we have time to take them up.

how to organize toys in the living room

My solution is stair bins.  We’ve had these for so many years that they’ve actually started falling apart and I just duck taped them back together! I’ve found some really pretty storage bins at The Home Depot that are similar – maybe these would hold up longer!

how to organize toys in the living room

Now we have three bins.  One for James & Jordan, one for Mom & Dad, and one for laundry.  The one for James & Jordan has anything that needs to go into one of their rooms or the playroom. Mom and Dad’s bin contains anything that goes in our room, bathroom, or my office.  Of course, laundry goes into the laundry room.

I wish I could say that I’m diligent about emptying these bins, but I’m not.  Often things sit in them for a long time before I finally clean them out.  The laundry (usually dish towels or socks or clothes the kids take off downstairs) goes up fairly quickly through!

how to organize toys in the living room

how to organize toys in the living room

I hope you enjoyed this peek into our living room and that it gave you some ideas on how to organize toys in the living room!  Do you keep toys there??

Thanks to The Home Depot for sponsoring today’s post!

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Meet Megan

Hi! I’m Megan, mom to a thoughtful teenager and spunky young girl. We call Houston home and recently moved into our dream home. I traded my lawyer hat to become a full-time blogger in 2010. I love sharing my passion for affordable fashion, home decor, organization, & fitness to help inspire you to take care of you!


  1. We keep toys downstairs to a minimum and I also use baskets to keep them contained and the area looking pretty and neat. Think I might need one more basket. Baby is downstairs a lot and I need to rotate his toys a lil more.

  2. I like all these ideas. We keep a ton of kids books under our coffee table also, but I like your tray for organizing them. We don’t have a huge media cabinate so I have a basket w all the diapers and wipes. We keep a few riding toys in the living room and have a toy area in the kitchen nook w a kid rug and just got rid of that table since we have the dining room table (town house) so we needed a toy room.
    I didn’t know home depot had all these items, good to know, I love ur rug!
    Also Idk if u have My Gym in TX but it’s a lot of fun for 2 yr olds. We just joined my son loved it.

  3. I really enjoyed this post! Mostly because it was nice to see that others use the same toy organizing (read: hiding) tricks that I do! We have one of those IKEA Kallax shelving units in our family room with some nice looking bins that we put all the kids coloring books, markers, toys, etc, in. When they were in diapers it was also where we kept diapers and wipes! 🙂 And just like you we have a “behind the couch” area that is basically free-reign for my 5 year old – she loves pretend play and so that is her little area to go into by herself to play with her legos and shopkins without anyone being able to see the massive mess 😀

    Love your new decor too, we still don’t have a coffee table (too many dance parties still happen in the middle of the room!) but would love one just like that in the future. Good to know Home Depot has nice options!

    PS – where is your couch from? It looks like it is holding up SO WELL. Ours is a similar style, and after 5 years looks like we’ve had it for at least 15 🙁

  4. Morning Megan,

    I can’t believe how fast Jordan is growing up. She is adorable just like her mother. I loved the way you have organized their toys. I always feel, it’s a battle to win when it comes to kids toys. We have had very similar media center in our old home and, I know how handy those cabinets could be. I loved your new Ottoman as well. Give my love to Jordan.


  5. I love this post! It’s so refreshing to see that you let them keep their toys in the living room too! I often feel overrun with toddler toys in the living room. In the past you offered your sleep training advice, if you have any potty training advice I would love to see that too! Our daughters are just a couple months apart and we are slowly potty training too. I feel so much pressure to have it completely done and she’s just not quite ready. 🙂

    1. Yeah, we aren’t there yet either. We keep asking her if she wants to sit on the big girl potty- sometimes yes, sometimes no. Not pushing it, but when it happens, I can share tips. 🙂

  6. I don’t have to worry about toys anymore (which is kinda sad) but I do love seeing how people organize and decorate their living spaces. I love your color palette – especially the hints of blue – love those lamps!
    Thanks for sharing!

  7. We organize our toys downstairs very similarly (we have a 4 and 9 year old). Another awesome idea – we have a faux leather storage bench that opens up and hides a ton of toys. I love that I don’t have to worry about any organization, just throw it in and it’s hidden!

  8. I loved this post! As a mom of a 16 month old I relate to the toy storage! I’d love a post on some of your daughters favorite toys. A lot of my daughter’s are “baby” toys and we need to start buying her a few new things now that they no longer hold her interest.

  9. I needed this post! I have a 2 year old and 4 month old at home, so the toys are starting to take over the living room. Awesome idea on the stair bins, we are definitely going to start doing that at home. Where did you get the woven baskets for Jordan’s toys?

  10. I LOVE your new coffee table and I was so surprised you got it from Home Depot! I love that they are carrying furniture. And the price is so good! We currently have a leather ottoman that is looking a bit tired and I think it might be time for an upgrade! I also store a majority of my daughter’s toys in our “formal living room” which we never use. It’s the perfect space for her to set up her giant Playmobil collection. I tried moving the toys to the basement or her room, but she doesn’t like to be on a different level of the house when she is playing. So I conceded defeat and figured out how to store it all in our cabinets, that way if we do have people over and I need the room to look decent, I can whip it into shape pretty quick!

  11. This was a super helpful post! My husband and I are expecting our first baby (a little boy!) due any day now and I’ve already been trying to think of how we can store his toys and things in our living room without it becoming overwhelming. This post gave me lots of great ideas 🙂

    xoxo, SS

    Southern and Style

  12. Hi Megan!
    Thanks for the great tips. I’m interested in your rug. Does it clean/vacuum well? I’ve been thinking of getting a similar style for our living room which has a Greyish brown sectional and dark wood floors.

    1. Hi Jessie, I forget the name off the top of my head, but if you do to the DECOR tab, then PROJECTS, you’ll see a post with all the paint colors in our home. 🙂

  13. Your home is beautiful! Would you mind sharing where you purchased the framed print that’s hanging behind your couch? Thank you!

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