Meredith of Overthinking Mom shared her one-hack-led-to-another epiphany about the usefulness of bookshelves as toy storage:
I'm a new mom and was a little naive about when babies actually start to enjoy reading. I had neatly arranged my 9 month-old daughters' books on her bookshelf, but all she did was toss them around and chew the edges.
Thanks to your site [and Rob! — Ed.], I now plan on making some rain gutter bookshelves to display the books, which left me with a strapped-to-the-wall empty bookshelf. I picked some toys and displayed them on the shelf and now she loves to spend time choosing a toy. She is much more engrossed in her play than when I stuffed everything in a toy box.
For very young children, a bookshelf seems more useful as a toy shelf.
I think this is true for older kids as well. Seeing toys leads to playing with them, hence the oft-repeated hack of storing half your kids' toys and rotating them every couple of months.
More: Toy storage hacks