Get the scoop on smart toy storage, courtesy of our friends at Houzz

Kids are collectors of just about anything: erasers, seashells, rocks, Lego models and whatever else fits on a shelf (or floor). Their treasures can turn bedrooms into a mess quickly, especially if you haven’t given children a place to put everything. The designers of these rooms figured out how to tame the chaos without shoving stuff in a closet, an opaque storage bin or — where you might really want to put it — the garbage can. Using a few key tricks, you too can create an inspirational space that honors your child’s favorite things.

1. Create a backdrop. It all starts with how you dress the bedding, walls and furnishings — the things that don’t change.

Toy Storage: Cool Places for the Kids’ Favorite Things
22 Interiors

In this room, 22 Interiors designer Lucie Ayres kept the fixtures in the room black and white to showcase a 10-year-old’s collection of figurines and stuffed animals displayed in clear Lucite boxes.

2. Put toys on display. To handle your child’s buckets of toy cars and trains, think about going vertical. These custom-made shelves were fashioned using stock material from a lumber store and bolts as a decorative touch. You can also buy picture ledges, which are the perfect width for most toy cars and trains.

Toy Storage: Cool Places for the Kids’ Favorite Things
Evaru Design

They’re also well-suited for handling your child’s books, which, when displayed like this, act as a graphic element in the room.

3. Tailor the space to the interest. Parents everywhere have stared down a tower of Legos or an intricately built model and asked: Where am I going to put this?

The answer: in a place set aside for kids to display and create, says Simplified Bee designer Cristin Bisbee Priest, who emphasizes the importance of including your child’s interests in a room’s design.

Toy Storage: Cool Places for the Kids’ Favorite Things
PlumLily Photography

This ledge runs along the room’s perimeter and is the perfect spot for this child’s enormous collection of Lego models.

4. Group collections. Legos are one thing, but what can you do with the rocks, seashells and plastic trinkets your kids gather?

Aaron Christensen, owner of Embellishments Kids, suggests putting similar things together in see-through containers to keep things visually organized and make the collections more powerful. For young children, avoid glass and use baskets made of wicker, plastic or wire to hold items.

5. Distract attention. Bold shelving can help take the focus off what’s inside, Christensen says. In this room, he designed colorful hexagonal shelves for a boy’s video games and controllers.

Toy Storage: Cool Places for the Kids’ Favorite Things
Embellishments Kids

6. Practice editing. Priest suggests having kids evaluate their interest in objects every so often to weed out stuff they’re no longer interested in seeing every day.

Designer Stephan Howard of Flik by Design used a hutch to display a child’s favorite Barbies and bunnies. The rest were stored.

Toy Storage: Cool Places for the Kids’ Favorite Things
Flik by Design

“Kids’ rooms I always find challenging, as there are lots of items they want out. I embrace the items but showcase them in a specific palette,” Howard says. “It allows everything to be seen that they actually love, but it’s also very appealing to the eye.”

~Jennifer Christgau-Aquino, Houzz

Houzz is a platform for home remodeling and design, bringing homeowners and home professionals together in a uniquely visual community.

For more kid-friendly interiors and inspiration, check out the below!

Find a Shelf to Display Your Kids’ Toys
9 Ways to Create a Playroom Kids Will Love
Try Another Kids’ Space Design Solution