Lego Storage Help Needed

One of Nicholas’ favorite toys are his Legos. Every Christmas and Birthday, he has asked for Legos. It’s just a given that it will be on his wish list. Last Christmas, Grandmother gave him two huge sets from the Lego Miners series. They are really big sets so Daddy worked with him to be sure he figured out all of the instructions but he let Nicholas do most of the actual building. Daddy even took pictures of each and every step so that “someday” he can put them together for a stop motion video of their build together.

Nicholas loves his Lego Miners and he always shows them to his friends that come over to play. These and a few other Lego kits stay in their intended built form.

But many of the Legos kits eventually get taken apart to use for pieces to build other new creations.

We had them all in a box but thought that it might help Nicholas find the pieces better if we sorted them out by color. So we bought a few bins and got colorfully organized.   It looks cool but the bins are really full and still require a lot of digging to find the right piece.

Recently our dear neighbor gave us a huge tub of used Lego pieces. Seriously, it is huge!

Nicholas and I took on a challenge to count all of the pieces. We quit at 3500 and we were only about half way through the tub.

Now we don’t just have a lot of Legos. We have a TON of Legos.

And they won’t all fit in our little color coordinated bins. When Nicholas wants to play with them, he dumps out the entire tub, spreads them out on the floor so he can find the pieces he wants, and starts building. It’s like a Lego bomb exploded and scattered Legos everywhere.

Who wants to clean up 7000 Legos at the end of the day?

NOT ME!

There has to be a better way.

So we talked about sorting the contents of the by color and combining them with his already color-sorted Legos. But there are problems…There are far too many new Legos for the size bins that we currently have. Plus there are unusual colors that we didn’t have before so to sort by color we’ll have to combine colors or get more bins.

But this problem has got us thinking…do we really want to sort these by color? I mean, if you are looking for a 2×2 black brick, is it easier to find it in a bin of all black pieces or would it be easier to find it in a bin of just 2×2 bricks that are all different colors?

So now we are thinking about sorting them all by shape instead of color. But how do we divide them up and just how many bins will we need then considering all the different shapes and sizes of Lego pieces that are out there?

Here are some Lego storage ideas I found looking from a quick search online.

Iris Lego Project Case Chest, $57.99

Iris Lego Project Case Chest

Kid Kraft Lego Table, $95.58

kidkraft lego table

Lego Stack Basket, 4 piece set, $48.99

Iris Lego Stack Basket 4-pc. Set

These are all cute storage ideas for basic Lego bricks. However, they are just big storage bins and don’t really allow for a lot of sorting by shape and size. It seems like with the numerous different sizes there are that you really need to divide the storage up into lots of smaller sections. I think I just need to go down to Home Depot and get something like this…

LEGO small parts storage cabinet

…Or perhaps a giant fishing tackle box or tool box.

To make quick work of sorting out different Lego pieces by size, here is a great idea. It’s called Box4Blox and it costs $39.95.

BOX4BLOX - Lego Toy Storage Organizer Box

There are four trays (hence the four different colors) and within each are different size grids which help to sort out the different size bricks and miscellaneous pieces

I love the Box4Blox idea but the big tub that our neighbor gave us is full of Legos from some rather advanced kits and most of the pieces are really unusual. Here are just a few that I grabbed.


I don’t think these would sort out well in the Box4Blox and just how am I supposed to divide these up by shape anyway? We have hundreds of these unusual shapes. I think we may need a few “Miscellaneous” bins.

I’d love to hear your ideas on Lego storage. What works for your child? What doesn’t work? And do you hate stepping on Lego bricks when you’re barefoot as much as I do?

For more post about Legos:

Lego Mania at the Lewisville Library

How To Throw   A Lego Party

Lego Advent Calendar

Lego Mini Model Build

 

4 Comments

  1. We use ziploc bags for all our eleventy-thousand Lego bricks and pieces. First sort by color. Then if there are more Legos of one color than will fit in a sandwich bag, sort by style: square bricks, flat bricks, specialty pieces, pieces with rounded edges, angled pieces, etc. Black, white, and the two grays will have several bags each.

    We have a bag for wheels, a bag for windows, and the little people have their own system of bags. (We have hundreds of the little people) Those are bags for hats, hair, heads, bodies, legs, weapons, etc. Then, all the ziplocs and all the booklets that tell you how to build each set are kept in one of those big rubbermaid tubs.

    This system makes it easy to find all the pieces to go back and build a particular Star Wars ship or Harry Potter building without too much digging.

  2. We don’t have nearly as many Lego bricks as you, so I don’t have a great stroage solution. However, I do have a clean-up and not-stand-on-with-barefeet suggestion. When my son plays before he dumps the bin out, he unfolds a twin sheet and spreads it out. Clean-up is super fast and easy. I remind him to keep the bricks on there so that I know where is safe for my feet!

  3. We have a very complicated Lego storage system, but with as many Lego pieces as we (and you!) have, it is necessary. My son inherited all my husband’s (and 2 uncles) pieces in addition to every Lego CITY, Lego Star Wars, Lego World Racers…you get the picture! The boxes mentioned below can be bought at Target. They are the storage boxes with removable lids.

    *A “set” has a box for each major color with an additional box for the odd colors.

    1. A set* of large (~12″ x 15″ x 6″) boxes for “bricks”. “Bricks” are regular pieces.
    2. A set* of small boxes for “mini” special pieces – these are 1 x 2 or smaller.
    3. A set* of small boxes for “small” special pieces – these are all ~ 2 x 2.
    4. A set* of shoe-size boxes for “medium” special pieces – these are between 2 x 2 and 2 x 8.
    5. A large box for all “sheets”. “Sheets” are the very thin pieces that are 4 x 4 or larger. All colors go together.
    6. A large box for big, unusual pieces.
    7. A shoe-sized box for people.
    8. A shoe-sized box for wheels.
    9. A shoe-sized box for windows and doors.

    Because the boxes were purchased together, they stack very nicely on a wooden shelf. When the Lego pieces are all put away (which is rare!), you would never know how many thousand he has!

    When a set is new, we keep it in a Quart ziplock bag with the instructions. Once my son gets tired of building and rebuilding a set, we add the pieces to the sets listed above and add the instructions to a binder with clear page protectors.

    I hope this helps! : )

  4. Wow! These are really some great ideas! I love the thought of having a sheet on the floor to keep all of the little pieces in one place. And you guys have great storage ideas. thanks for sharing.

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