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Pinterest-inspired DIY ideas for organizing outdoor toys

Warm weather means lots of outdoor playtime for kids and parents alike, but no one wants their lawn to look like a tornado of toys touched down. Keep the backyard clutter-free with these organization ideas for balls, bats, ride-on toys and more. Summer fun never looked so good!

Chalkboard-labeled galvanized steel buckets

The Wilson World

Galvanized steel buckets can withstand outdoor elements as well as rambunctious kids. Add some chalkboard labels to group toys and set the buckets on a covered shelving system where the kiddos can grab them and go. Get the details at The Wilson World. See the pin.

Kiddie parking garage

Mom Endeavors

Stop your lawn from looking like a toddler junkyard by building a kiddie parking garage for their ride-on toys. Corrugated plastic roof panels on a frame of PVC pipe protect the vehicles from the blistering sun and summer showers, while a drop cloth curtain hides them from sight. It’s not too early for youngsters to learn the phrase “valet service.” Get the instructions at Mom Endeavors. See the pin.

Hanging milk crates

Life Your Way

Keep outdoor toys off the ground but within kids’ reach by hanging milk crates off of a lower fence board. Use one crate for bats and balls, one for trucks and one for kiddie pool toys, or whatever sorting system works best for your family. Plus, rain water will run over and through your stash giving them a nice rinse. See the tutorial here. See the pin.

Ball corral

The Family Handyman

Let kids easily grab the balls at the bottom without unloading all the ones on top with this bungee corded ball corral. Add plumbing hooks and short gutter troughs on the outside to stash smaller balls, helmets and mitts. Get the directions at The Family Handyman. See the pin.

Stackable baskets

Use Beautiful Home

These stackable plastic baskets are narrow enough to fit against a garage wall without block your parking space, and no lids or latches means preschoolers can handle clean-up on their own. Create your own system with these printable labels from Useful Beautiful Home. See the pin.

Homemade toy box

Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
TODAY Show: Home DIY projects to declutter your children's toys. -- July 1, 2015

Assemble this easy-to-transport toy box and there will never be an excuse for a mess again!

Supplies:

-2 pieces of 2-foot by 2-foot sanded plywood-3 pieces of 2-foot by 4-foot sanded plywood-4 wheels and screws to attach-Screws, drill bit and power driver for pilot holes-Paint to decorate

Directions:

Assemble the box portion of the storage unit. The 2-foot x 2-foot pieces are the end pieces with the longer pieces being the sides that over lap the smaller piece.

Cut 1½ inches if using ¾-inch plywood or 1 inch if you're using ½-inch plywood, off the 4-foot side of a 2' x 4' piece. This is your the bottom piece.

Start by assembling two of the sidepieces. Use a nail set or nail gun to hold the pieces together before you screw them together. Pilot drill a hole so the wood doesn't split while driving the screw in. Counter sink the hole so the screw head goes below the surface. Attach the bottom panel.

Attach 4 swivel wheels to the underside.

Now's the time for some fun! Decorate the exterior of the toy box however you like. Paint a summer scene or a fun and colorful graphic; the toy box is your canvas. I like to add a name for the toy box in stencil letter or fun handwriting to help the kids know exactly what goes where.

Fabric book holder

Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
TODAY Show: Home DIY projects to declutter your children's toys. -- July 1, 2015

Keep those books in a tidy spot that's easy on the eyes with this DIY.

Supplies:

- 2 double rod holders, for drapery

- 2 wooden dowels, make sure their diameter matches with the rod holder

- 1-yard fabric

- ½-inch stitch witch, or other fusible bonding

- Iron and Ironing Board

- Damp towel

Directions:

Decide how wide your book holders are going to be. Cut your wooden dowels to that width.

Mount your curtain rod holders to the wall. Mount them so that there will be an inch of rod overhang on each side. Be sure that they will be level, Use proper anchors for your wall type to support the weight of the books.

To create the fabric holder you will cut your fabric to the desired width of the book holder plus 1 ½ inches to give you room for the side seam. Fold you side edge of the fabric over 1 inch, be sure to fold it over on to the back side of the fabric so you have a clan front side of your fabric, and press with iron to create a clean line. The fold that same edge over 1 inch again. This time you will place a length of the stitch witch between the two layers. The stitch witch will create a bond so you get a clean "sewn" edge without the sewing. Iron the layers together with the iron set to wool, use a damp towel between the iron and the fabric to help fuse the layers together. Follow the directions for whatever fusible bonding you use. Do this for the other edge as well.

Now we need to create the pockets for the two rods. Start by folding over 1 inch be sure to fold it over on to the back side of the fabric so you have a clan front side of your fabric, and pressing place to give you a clean edge. Then fold fabric over 2 inches to allow for the size of your 1-inch rod to travel smoothly through the pocket. Place the stitch witch at the edge of the fold over and secure in the same way as earlier. Do this again for the other edge to create the second pocket.

Slide the fabric onto the rods. Make sure the correct side of the fabric faces outward.

Place rods into brackets and fill with your child's favorite adventures.

Art supply organizer

Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
TODAY Show: Home DIY projects to declutter your children's toys. -- July 1, 2015

Supplies:

-Over-the-door shoe organizer

Directions:

Simply hang the organizer over a closet door and fill with all your little art supplies to keep things super organized and right in sight. Can also be used to organize small toys, dolls and more!

Ellen Sturm Niz is a New York City-based editor and writer with a passion for home design, entertaining, and parenting. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.

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