10 Totally Brilliant Ways To Organize Legos

September 30, 2015

For all the playrooms and children’s bedrooms I’ve edited and organized, it hasn’t been until recently that the Lego issue finally reared its interlocking part.

The moms are texting and emailing and calling and sending the message by way of plastic, miniature carrier pigeons: “The Legos are taking over, help, Annie, help!”

Wikipedia says that since July of 2015, at least 600 billion Lego parts have been produced, and I’m willing to bet more than seven of you could swear you stepped on that many this morning.

Let’s do what seems the only sensicle thing, and that’s to gander at the brilliant ways other people have come up with to handle their Legos.

10 totally brilliant ways to organize legos... (#10 will blow you away!)

1. For the parent that cares most about children being able to play with their Legos, and then being able to swiftly thereafter pick them up in one fell swoop, please allow me to introduce to you the Lay N Go Activity Mat.

10 totally brilliant ways to organize legos... (#10 will blow you away!)

2. The self-named “unfussy” (and out of the way) system proposed by Parents is a winning one, in my mind: use a divided underbed drawer to store Lego parts, and keep current projects in tact. When play is done, push that sucker back under the bed.

10 totally brilliant ways to organize legos... (#10 will blow you away!)

Their vote is to ditch all assembly booklets after respective projects have been built, since children never actually rebuild, and even if they wanted to, the chances all those required original parts are still all together… But! For posterity’s sake, take a picture of creations once they’re made.

It might not be as meticulous as other organization systems in this roundup, and I kind of love it for its overall Simplicity.

3. Childhood 101 uses a divided underbed box for some broader-range Lego sorting. She then situates the box underneath a table.

10 totally brilliant ways to organize legos... (#10 will blow you away!)

4. Bentley Waters ensures Lego parts stay contained (and mobile!) by way of some Elfa drawers.

10 totally brilliant ways to organize legos... (#10 will blow you away!)

5. It’s no surprise that the DIY-minded parental figures of the world have inducted various IKEA products into the Lego Organizing Hall of Fame. Such is the case with the Lack table, as demonstrated (and very possibly pioneered by) Centsational Girl.

10 totally brilliant ways to organize legos... (#10 will blow you away!)

The storage bins she uses, each containing a category of Lego parts, including colors, figures, and assembly booklets, fit perfectly underneath the table–the top of which, itself, is a play/building surface.

6. The Trofast system is another favorite for Legos, and it’s clear why, as demonstrated by Hideous Dreadful Stinky‘s system (seriously, that’s the name of her site, not one of those times I’m trying really hard to be funny).

It’s a kind of drawer/bin hybrid, and the size of each lends itself particularly well to Lego storage.

10 totally brilliant ways to organize legos... (#10 will blow you away!)

7. So Much To Dew adds further evidence to the argument:

10 totally brilliant ways to organize legos... (#10 will blow you away!)

8. And if we’re heading in this direction, I must say that These Little Moment‘s iteration takes the cake for me:

10 totally brilliant ways to organize legos... (#10 will blow you away!)

A place for storage, for building, and for display. I can’t decide if that’s the ultimate kid’s dream, or parent’s…?

9. Lest you were starting to fear this post was headed in the direction of “Legos in full sight or bust,” Design Harmony comes to save the day. Her system is just as organized and play-enabling as the others, plus it offers the added benefit of camouflaging.

I mean, now you see it:

10 totally brilliant ways to organize legos... (#10 will blow you away!)

Now you Don’t with a capital D.

10 totally brilliant ways to organize legos... (#10 will blow you away!)

10. Finally, this from Board and Vellum. Which I first saw around two years ago and have been going, “WHOA. wow. Lot. That’s a lot. That’s intense.” ever since.

10 totally brilliant ways to organize legos... (#10 will blow you away!)

I don’t think I have or need words. Is it the definition of Live Simply? Or is it the opposite? You decide.

Hopefully these winning examples got your plastic wheels rolling.

And as far as whether To Sort or Not To Sort?

It’s sort of a toss-up in my mind whether it’s worth it to really meticulously sort of Lego parts. On the one hand, sorting the parts creates a workable and maintainable system–there’s a clear place for each thing to go, and thus, it can reasonably be expected to go back there.

On the other, I think part of the beauty of Legos is their smallness, and the fact that you can ostensibly create something with any random handful of parts.

Truthfully, I think it has to come down to whether you think it will be a help or a hindrance; a way to live with more order, or a battle you, as a parent, will have to wage unsuccessfully, causing you endless frustration.

Of course, HINT HINT the more refined a collection of any thing is, the easier it is to manage. So maybe, keep editing those Legos.

Force and plastic bricks be with you.

Lead image credit: JeeYoung Lee

3 Comments

  1. Michelle F. on September 30, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    My daughter loves the Lego Friends, so we have each “set” seperated into an individual clear/sealing container with the instructions included. My pre-schooler son meshes all his legos together, so I sewed a mat for him like you showed. Since all his sets are from the Jake and The Neverland Pirate, I sewed an island, jungle, ocean, and lagoon onto the the mat for added fun.

  2. Steve Bauer on May 7, 2019 at 10:49 am

    With the exception of the last one I can tell these were all designed by someone who does not “play” with LEGOs.
    I was hoping to find something that has a medium sized bin/container with multi compartments.
    I am in the middle of sorting 20 plus years of 4 kids LEGOs, Mega Bloks, Duplo and TYCO block kits.
    You need to be able to first sort them by brand, color and then by the 3 major/common blocks.
    4,6 & 8 double row, then you need to sort by
    single row, longer double row
    thin, plates what I call them. Takes 3 to equal the height of a standard block.
    Base Plates, there’s a bunch of different sizes anywhere from 1.5 inches square on up.
    Specialty plates like for trains, planes, boats & automobiles. Helicopter, rockets and space ships.
    Special parts like connectors between jeep and trailer, pivots etc.
    Special items like door & window frames, major formed components like the side panel of a van or skate park ramp.
    AND PEOPLE.
    A large bin with everything thrown in of one color is frustrating because it takes so long to find the piece you need to make it work, resulting in the child getting bored. Yes there are times when it’s good to wing it but if you want to rebuild a LEGO kit and you have directions and all the pieces are mixed up it is nearly impossible in a limited time environment.
    I started trying to build some things with my 4 year old grandson and we had to reschedule and allow me to sort them.
    When your 4 year old grandson says “Let’s build this popaw.” I got tired of telling him we have to find this part.
    I will get back to you on this when I find the right containers with compartments.
    What’s a popaw to do.

    • Kat on January 2, 2020 at 8:21 pm

      Steve,
      Did you find a great solution? One of my kids likes to build just from directions. The other does directions and random parts. I’d love to organize their legos better for them.

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3 Comments

  1. Michelle F. on September 30, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    My daughter loves the Lego Friends, so we have each “set” seperated into an individual clear/sealing container with the instructions included. My pre-schooler son meshes all his legos together, so I sewed a mat for him like you showed. Since all his sets are from the Jake and The Neverland Pirate, I sewed an island, jungle, ocean, and lagoon onto the the mat for added fun.

  2. Steve Bauer on May 7, 2019 at 10:49 am

    With the exception of the last one I can tell these were all designed by someone who does not “play” with LEGOs.
    I was hoping to find something that has a medium sized bin/container with multi compartments.
    I am in the middle of sorting 20 plus years of 4 kids LEGOs, Mega Bloks, Duplo and TYCO block kits.
    You need to be able to first sort them by brand, color and then by the 3 major/common blocks.
    4,6 & 8 double row, then you need to sort by
    single row, longer double row
    thin, plates what I call them. Takes 3 to equal the height of a standard block.
    Base Plates, there’s a bunch of different sizes anywhere from 1.5 inches square on up.
    Specialty plates like for trains, planes, boats & automobiles. Helicopter, rockets and space ships.
    Special parts like connectors between jeep and trailer, pivots etc.
    Special items like door & window frames, major formed components like the side panel of a van or skate park ramp.
    AND PEOPLE.
    A large bin with everything thrown in of one color is frustrating because it takes so long to find the piece you need to make it work, resulting in the child getting bored. Yes there are times when it’s good to wing it but if you want to rebuild a LEGO kit and you have directions and all the pieces are mixed up it is nearly impossible in a limited time environment.
    I started trying to build some things with my 4 year old grandson and we had to reschedule and allow me to sort them.
    When your 4 year old grandson says “Let’s build this popaw.” I got tired of telling him we have to find this part.
    I will get back to you on this when I find the right containers with compartments.
    What’s a popaw to do.

    • Kat on January 2, 2020 at 8:21 pm

      Steve,
      Did you find a great solution? One of my kids likes to build just from directions. The other does directions and random parts. I’d love to organize their legos better for them.

Leave a Reply Cancel Reply





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