11 Nov
2013
Posted in: parenting, projects
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Controlling Chaos: LEGO Organization

LEGO tall bins and drawers, organization

My four children have a great love of any and everything LEGO. Figuring out a LEGO organization system became the Achilles’ heel of my organizational skills. The gift that shows up on everyone’s list for each birthday and Christmas is LEGO in nature. Six years ago when we bought our eldest son’s first LEGO set, we let the boys decide how to organize them. The storage choice at the time was to keep each set in its own container. This meant loads of different-sized Ziploc bags crammed with blocks. There was no organization, just chaos. Each bag was then stored in a large container. Individual pieces weren’t being utilized fully and the creative juices of the kids weren’t being allowed to flow.

LEGO small pieces organization

LEGO basement view, LEGO organization

LEGO wheel drawer, LEGO organzation

We worked as a team. Alright, the adults were eager to tackle LEGO organization, but the kids were easily sidetracked by the desire to build with the LEGO pieces. There was a lot of prodding the kids along. We dumped bag after bag of LEGO sets and painstakingly sorted them by color and type. LEGO wheels have a drawer. Small round pieces and dots have a drawer. Metallic pieces have their own spot. Star Wars minifigures even have their own drawer. You get the idea. My fingers were raw after tearing so many bricks apart.

The kids have an area in the basement now that is LEGO central. There’s a low table for the kids to build on and shelves for them to showcase their work. My memories of their childhoods will have a LEGO soundtrack — bins being rifled through and plastic blocks clinking against each other.

LEGO minifigures organization

We used a container with compartments we could customize to hold some of the minifigure parts. There are slots for heads, torsos, hats, legs, hair and accessories (bike, money, weapons, etc.).  Most of our minifigures, ones that are specific themes (Toy Story, Castle, The Hobbit, etc.) are housed in a bigger drawer. There are specific colors that alone have thousands of blocks, two being white and black. We found wheeled, lidded containers at IKEA to use for storage of these blocks. Those boxes fit under the table the kids build on.

LEGO black bricks bin organization

We had several ideas for organizing the LEGO set instruction manuals. We decided on binders and clear sleeves to hold the directions. Ultimately, I wanted the kids to be able to see the manuals easily without having to paw through every single manual. The spine of each binder is labeled for even easier access.

LEGO binders instruction manuals organizationinside LEGO instruction manuals binder organization

It’s completely ridiculous the number of LEGO blocks we have in our house, but LEGO is, by far, the most played-with item. I write it off as math homework. Sorting and spatial properties are math after all. This LEGO organization system has worked the best of what our family has tried and has worked well as the collection continues to grow.

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