We LEGO every day. It’s our go-to creative outlet, math manipulative, and imaginative reality. So LEGO organization is vital for being able to find the pieces we need and keeping them off the floor.

Our LEGO organization system has evolved over the past year. We went from one small box of a few random pieces to a collection of several sets. In this post I’m sharing some advice for organizing your LEGO pieces so you can maximize your play. Of course every home will have different needs and what works for us might not work for you, but I hope these ideas can help you tame your brick pile.

Start with play.

Observe how your kids use LEGO to figure out what makes sense for your family. Taking a good look at how your kids play will inform your decisions on how to organize and what kind of space works best.

  • Do they follow directions to build sets or are they more into free building?
  • Do they like to keep their creations put together *forever* or are they cool with taking them apart?
  • Do they like to start a large project and add to it a little at a time?

For us, we have to consider the toddler in the house, so LEGO is confined to the table (yeah, the Table formerly known as The Dining Table) My kids like to free build mostly and do both small and large projects. They keep things built for a bit, but eventually modify and/or take apart their builds. So we needed storage for loose bricks and parts as well as a small space for built and in-progress projects.

The Sort: Color and Size and Function

Unless you don’t have many LEGOs, you’ll probably need to sort your pieces to make it easy to find what you’re looking for! The tricky part is finding the balance between easy to find and easy to clean up.

Some families keep one huge bin of LEGO and dump out the entire thing to find the piece they need. While this may work for some, it would be problematic for us because of the baby. Also, my son is not the most eagle-eyed finder of pieces.

Sorting by color is a popular method, but to my mind size and function are much more important. Unless you have a vast number of bricks, I don’t see much point is separating by color.

Don’t commit. (Until you’re ready.)

It’s really tempting to find a gorgeous storage container, buy it, and then try to make it fit your needs. But that’s backwards… and will probably backfire.

After you have made a preliminary decision about what you need, use temporary storage until you are sure.

We initially did a sort by piece size, which was working well. I had things separated out into plastic bins with lids that I already had. We figured out that the lids hindered cleanup and the boxes too up too much space on the table.

Eventually we discovered drawers as the perfect solution. We have these square-ish drawers. I liked them because of their broad and shallow size. It’s easy to rummage through the drawers when they aren’t too densely packed. I also liked their semi-transparent drawers and basic white color. Since they are in the middle of the living room, I didn’t want anything too garish!

It’s also convenient to use the tops as display for projects. Once it gets too cluttered, it’s time to take apart some stuff!

lego-display-01

Drawers are ideal for cleanup. We can open up all the drawers and quickly toss pieces in. Because the kids were part of the organizational process, they know where everything belongs. I do help with cleanup, I’m not going to pretend that this will be completely manageable for kids. But I really don’t mind lending a hand, to be honest. I like playing LEGO too!

We use LEGO in so many different ways. I plan to share some of the learning-type things we’ve done recently so stay tuned for that.

How do you use LEGO in your home? How is yours organized?

8 Comments

  1. Tricia

    We don’t have any Lego yet, but I think we’re close to starting our collection. This is a great idea for storing them!

    Reply
  2. frogs-snails-geckotails.com

    I love this system. There are so many different ways to organize Lego. I’m just about convinced that I’m going to have to convert my garage over to a workshop (since I don’t have a basement like the man upstairs) and Squishy is only 4!

    Reply
  3. Keep On Winking with Christi

    This looks great! Currently we don’t have the space to properly organize so each child has their own Lego bin in their room. I do love what you have done! I think if we were to use your idea I would have to glue a photo/identifier card in each area to remind them what goes where!

    Reply
    • Sarah

      I had planned to do that but it turned out we didn’t need it! I was also thinking of numbering the drawers so that when he asked me “where is the XYZ piece?” I could just be like “Drawer 2”

      Reply
  4. Theafterschoolhouse

    Our LEGO collection is growing fast! We could really use the clear drawer bin idea of yours. Besides, the pictures look fantastic!

    Reply
  5. swapna

    absolutely LOVE your collection! #practicalmondays

    Reply
  6. bekki@a better way to homeschool

    As a mom of five Lego Building boys, I can tell you Lego storage and management is critical to your sanity! Your ideas are terrific. I only have three to add:
    1. We never let the boys play Legos unless they were on a large blanket. This kept all the pieces contained and made Dump/Clean possible.
    2. We kept all their instruction manuals in 3-ring binders with those plastic protective sleeves. As the boys grew, they really, really appreciated being able to find the manuals.
    3. We never let Legos go outside or in the car. Just a personal preference. We never wanted to lose precious pieces!

    Reply
  7. Katelyn Jackson

    We have a ton of kits that were passed on from the grandparents who kept my husband and his brothers old kits. Lots are larger “city” building kits and thus aren’t taken apart often if at all. We have a playroom that stuff is supposed to stay in but that means the floor is always covered. We have drawers for different types of pieces but they don’t work if kiddo never wants to take anything apart. Honestly, Legos have come to be a major frustration for me and I’d love to go back and politely refuse all the generous legos gifts. I liked Duplos much better.

    Reply

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