How to Organize Backyard Toys


Recently a friend came over for a play date and asked about my backyard organization.   It was a project we tackled last year (July 2016) and this week it’s been exactly a year since we implemented the new toy system.

Today I will share how the system has held up during the biggest rainy season California experienced in 20 years plus our typical 110+ degree summer temperatures. The shelf has ZERO protection and receives a lot of direct weather assault.     I was so surprised at how well it worked…I decided to share!

July 2016

The outside had become a chaotic mess and visually disturbing.  I had just delivered my 3rd baby (July 2) and the backyard was completely neglected.   The toys, balls, bubbles and tools were driving me crazy.   I didn’t want them inside but everything was cluttered outside.

I looked around and most of “solutions” looked nice…but lacked functionality.  I didn’t want open containers (wind /rain/leaves) and wanted something the kids couldn’t destroy.

This was my solution.

The shelf was $40 and has remarkably withheld the brutal summer heat and hasn’t rusted in heavy rains. I picked this one because it’s coated and made from steel. We also attached the frame to the wall. Absolutely mandatory with small kids.

The four buckets were $14,  weather proof, rust proof with LOCKING kids. They are available in 4, 6 and 10 gallon sizes.   The 6 gallon buckets is what I used.   The lids were key (for me) because most ideas I saw involved open containers. I didn’t want water, leaves, dirt etc accumulating inside.    And the younger kids can’t open the containers themselves…which is a bonus in my book.  Once they are closed…absolutely no dirt or water can get in!

The letters were $6 and were the hardest part actually. Lining them up, finding the right spacing and figuring out what to include was tricky. The letters are permanent and designed to be used outside.   Again – so many of the “cute” pins I found were entirely impractical and wouldn’t last a month outside. And I’m happy to report, a year later…. NO letters are lifting or peeling.  I’m completely impressed.

I left room for more buckets / storage later as their toys and interest shift.  So far this has been incredibly effective.  It’s really easy to pick up the backyard and the kids know where everything goes.

This entire system cost about $95. It took my husband maybe 15 minutes to assemble.

And 12 months later, our backyard is still easy to keep clean.

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