Toy boxes seem to be a thing of the past. They aren't often sold as toy boxes, and parents don't always appreciate cumbersome, wooden boxes impeding their living rooms. There are many alternatives to the traditional box with "toys" etched on the side.
1. Shelves with removable bins leave a lot of storage options. The shelves are divided into square compartments into which you can easily slide baskets, bins, or even photo boxes. Designate each bin for a different type of toy, and label the outsides with names, and even pictures. Your kids will find it easier than ever to put each toy exactly where it belongs. This method is great for super-organized parents.
2. Media cabinets and armoires are good options for toy-storage, because they may already be in your home. Using cabinets and armoires will remove the problem of boxes that change the look of your room; the toys will blend right in. Use the cabinet that already holds your DVDs or television, and designate half as a space for your kids to keep their toys. It may also be helpful to put smaller boxes in your cabinets, so your toys don't get scattered too much.
3. Storage seating is useful for storing toys. It is available in the form of ottomans with hinged tops, and benches with seats that you can lift. Seating with built-in storage is very multi-functional. When your guests are using the ottoman to sit, or kick up their feet, they'll have no idea that your child's toys lie beneath. If you have a sectional, or large sofa, you can find fairly large ottomans with liftable lids that provide a ton of extra storage. Benches, on the other hand, may have less room for toys as the seats tend to be narrow and shallow, but they are useful for other purposes as well as storage.
4. Hampers and laundry baskets are large, and very portable, making them useful for toys. If you can get your child to occasionally pick up clothing and drop it in a hamper, then why wouldn't they do the same with their toys? Hampers have a lot of room for toys, but contain them in a small area that can be stored in a closet or bedroom. Although laundry holders aren't easily stackable, they are compact and can easily fit side by side.
5. Mesh bags are a nice alternative to boxes, because they make it easier to find the toys that your child is looking for. They can also be incorporated into the room by being hung from the ceiling, or the back of a door. Mesh, drawstring bags come in a ton of sizes and colors that your child will love, and they are versatile in what they can hold.
Don't feel prisoner to a chunky, wooden toy box. Get creative, and find all sorts of storage containers that can hold your child's most cumbersome toys. Just because it was made for something else, doesn't mean that you can't use it as a toy box!