I get asked about organizing Legos a lot. A LOT. My previous blog posts with tips for organizing Legos are in the top 5 most popular blog posts I have ever written (the other most popular blog posts I wrote were about organizing stuffed animals). So I decided rather than doing a Google search to see what the latest and greatest Lego organizing products are, I would cull through the archives of our national organizers association listserve to see how organizers around the country are managing Legos.
I found exactly 100 posts (well, we are organizers after all) dating back to 2007 on the topic of organizing Legos and other small toys. Here is what I found (responses have been rewritten, truncated and/or condensed/combined for efficiency and privacy):
TO DETERMINE THE BEST STORAGE FOR YOUR FAMILY
Find out how your kids (or spouse!) play with Legos to determine the best storage method for them:
- Do they build the sets and then display them?
- Do they build the sets and then tear them down to be built again later?
- Do they build the sets and then tear them down and mix up all of the pieces to build entirely new creations?
- Do they build with Legos in one spot or do they tend to build in different spots around the house?
WAYS TO DISPLAY LEGOS
- Build shelves around the top perimeter of the room. Shelves could be made of clear Plexiglass so the finished creations are more visible. The widest Lego set determines the width of the shelves, while the tallest Lego set determines the height of the shelves. Mount and angle spotlights to showcase the finished sets even more. Have a gazillion finished sets? Build a double set of shelves around the perimeter of the room.
- Raise the child’s bed, add a light (maybe one of those touch LED lights), and put a scene such Lego Lord of the Rings or Lego City under the bed.
- Suspend the finished creations with fishing line (probably will work and look best with creations that are supposed to be “flying” such as Star Wars ships
- Mount floating shelves from Ikea on the wall
- Use the Ikea Expedit 8-cubby or 16-cubby unit to display finished pieces (will only work for small-to-medium-sized creations). You can even store loose Legos in cubby bins that fit in the bottom cubbies
- Display them on a regular ol’ bookcase or on top of a dresser
WAYS TO STORE LEGOS
- Store all of the separate sets in gallon-sized Ziploc bags complete with each set’s directions. Store all of the sealed Ziploc bags in a bin labeled “Legos.”
- Store all of the Legos in one big bin. Put a smaller bin in the big bin to hold Extra Special Pieces such as minifigs, weapons, hinges, etc.
- Make a wide under-the-bed box on wheels with drawers, so the child can pull the Legos out and build on the surface of the box. Extra Legos get stored in the drawers.
- Purchase a Swoop Bag or make one yourself: Basically, take a round, 60″-wide piece of fabric, sew a drawstring around the edge and have the kids play with the Legos on the opened piece of fabric. When it’s time to clean up, simple draw the cord on the drawstring so the circle folds up into a bag. Hang the bag on a hook in the child’s room.
- BOX4BLOX Lego Toy Storage Organizer. (I don’t actually know of anyone who has used this product. If you have, let me know know what you think of it.)
- Get clear plastic shoeboxes for each set and one small box to hold the Extra Special Pieces.
- Store Legos in a clear vinyl over-the-door shoe organizer
- Store in rolling under-the-bed bins from Ikea or store under the coffee table
- Stick all similar pieces together into one big brick (e.g. stack all of the 2x2s together, all of the 1x1s together, etc.) See here for details.
HOW NOT TO ORGANIZE LEGOS
- By color, by size or by type into kajillions of tiny boxes
- By color, by size or by type into compartamentalized plastic boxes or tackle boxes (that might seem like a logical way to store Legos to us adults, but it’s a system that most kids will find too complicated and time-intensive to maintain.)
ADDITIONAL TIPS FOR MANAGING LEGOS
- Designate ONE spot in the house for building and storing Legos. This will cut down on the number of Legos underfoot throughout the house and lessen the number of lost Legos (thus saving you an entire ruined afternoon with a cranky and sobbing child.)
- Some organizers advocate using a dust pan to scoop up Legos and put them away.
Have some tips for managing Legos? For the love of all that is good, don’t keep those tips to yourself! Share them with all of the other desperate parents and organizers in the world by leaving a comment below.
Image courtesy of www.someecards.com.