There are many toy stores and supermarkets that offer simple solutions to the toy organizer. However, it can be an expensive deal to buy different sized containers for various toys in your child's room. With a few simple materials, you too can have your very own the organizer and storage bin. Take a look at the instructions given below to build one that is between eye and waist level of your child.
Making an Organizer and Storage Area
First of all, you will need to categorize your child's toys according to the size and type. This will facilitate you in understanding the correct sizes for the organizer. Throw away all the toys that broken or are missing any parts. Clear the unnecessary clutter, and measure the area where the organizer will be placed.
- Table saw
- ¾ inch plywood
- Jigsaw or band saw
- Carpenter's pencil
- Clear instant adhesive
- Box of wall anchors
- Box of L-shaped wall mounts
- Clear acrylic wood treatment
- Tape measure, yardstick and ruler
- ½ inch by ½ inch stock lumber
- ¼ inch plywood
- Coarse through extra-fine sandpaper
- Power drill, ⅛ inch diameter bit
- Bright spray paint or highlighter pens
- 1 box of ¾ inch long, ¼ inch diameter wood screws
- 1 box of 1 inch long, ¼ inch diameter wood screws
Keep all the toys grouped according to their sizes and how much space they will take in the bin. Place each toy against a wall, and determine how much side to side space will be occupied. Also measure the height of the tall toys as well. If your household has more than one child, you will follow this step for each of them and classify their toys.
Always decide on building at least 2 shelves for each child in the house. You can divide the length of the organizer according to the needs of each child, and the toys. Let's say that a toy is taking up 8 feet of (side to side) space. In that case, the 2 shelves for each child will need to be at least 4 ft in width.
This step is for those who have more than one child sharing the organizer. Have them all stand against the wall with their arms stretched. Each of them will touch the other's shoulder so you can measure the height of the tallest shelf for all the kids. Take a bright marker, and color-code each child's shelf height. You can also use different colors for each child.
Now make them stand facing the wall, and have them stretch their arms again. Have them touch the wall with their fingertips, and mark this distance on the floor. This will decide the depth for each child's shelves. If any of the toys are too long or won't fit in this depth, they will have to be placed on the floor underneath the bottom shelf.
Take the ¾ inch plywood, and cut two side pieces. Be careful while working with the table saw. The piece in height and width will be depend on what your measurements are from step 3.
Now it's time to cut the shelves from the ¼ inch plywood. This length will depend on your measurements you got from step 4. The width of the cut shelves will divide the organizer into equal number of shelves for each child.
Take a jig or band saw, and cut ½ inch by ½ inch stock lumber. This will be as same as the depth of the shelves. The pieces will work as supports for the each shelf. Sand all the plywood, and lumber pieces with a coarse and fine sandpapers.
Now take the top shelf and keep it over the two side plywood pieces. Take a drill, and screw in ⅛ diameter pilot holes leaving at least 2 inches space. Just leave ⅜ inch of space in the beginning and the end of the shelf. The wooden screws will go in ¾ inch long and ¼ inch in diameter in all these holes. This will help keep the top most shelf in place.
Place the organizer in front of you on the floor so that the top shelf is on the opposite side. With the help of the carpenter's pencil and ruler (or yardstick), the inner sides of the organizer should be marked. Mark another line which will show you how thick each of the shelves will be.
Now take the instant adhesive, and apply a thin coat on one side of all the shelves. Let it dry for couple of hours. With a drill, screw in ⅛ pilot holes leaving at least 2 inches space. Just leave ½ inch from the back and the front end of the shelves. The wooden screws will go in ¾ inch long and ¼ inch in diameter in all these holes. This will help keep the top most shelf to the sides.
Slide each shelf in its designated space. They will go over their supports, and you will drill more pilot holes as you did before. These will go past through the shelves, and then down each of the supports. Just leave ½ inch from the back and 4 inches from the front end of the shelves. The wooden screws will go in ⅜ inch long and ¼ inch in diameter in all these holes.
Take more sandpapers, and finish sanding all the surfaces of the organizer. Smear 3―4 coats of acrylic wood treatment, and let it dry properly. Let the first coat dry completely, and then apply the next one.
Use the L-shaped wall mounts and anchors to place the organizer on the wall. You will leave at least 1―3 ft distance between the wall and the organizer.
We have another article on building a closet organizer that might give you more ideas. Make sure you have sturdy wall anchors as they will work as better fasteners than any other screws or nails. I'm sure you will have a great time working on the toy organizer and your kid(s) will definitely appreciate you for it. It is tough work, but in the end, you will have a great sense of accomplishment.