Sunday, March 22, 2015

How to Organize Legos

All month long, we've been discussing ways to keep your son's bedroom organized. Well, today, I want to talk about the "L" word.....Legos!
My son is 7, but has been interested in Legos since the age of 4. We knew early on that we wanted to store his Legos in his bedroom instead of the playroom. (The biggest reason for this was to keep the Legos out of his younger sister's hands - and mouth!)
Back then, he only had a box of miscellaneous Legos, we were able to have a small table like this with rolling storage underneath (the green bin), and that was sufficient.
Fast forward 3 years and now my son can put together 1000+ piece sets in a few hours. And he asks for them every birthday and Christmas! Obviously, I had to expand his Lego storage system.
Currently, this is the Lego corner in his room:
 Both of the drawer systems were purchased at Target. And my son decided he wanted to sort his Legos by BOTH color & by set. So I bought a ton of small red bins from the Dollar Tree, to act as drawer dividers. For each (small) set he has, I cut out a piece of the box with either a picture or name of the set & taped it to the bottom of each bin.
And then, in another part of my son's room, we have larger bins that hold the larger sets. Same idea - I cut out a piece of the box that shows a picture or the name of the set & taped it to the bins.
 This system is working for us right now, but I can't help but drool over these other options:

{1.} The IKEA Trofast system, with custom labels:
{2.} A mobile Lego center, made from rolling drawer units, a 4 foot board, and a few Lego mats glued together. Genius!

Because of my son's Lego obsession these past few years, 
I consider myself to be a Lego expert :)
Here are a few tips when organizing your child's Legos:

1. Allow room for growth.  Like I mentioned, I did not do this at the beginning. Which is okay, because I didn't know how big of a role Legos would play in my son's life. I started simple and then added onto the system once his collection expanded. And there is still room for more bins in his cabinet, so I feel like we can still accommodate a few more birthdays....

2. Designate a small bin as a "drop zone." My son has to clean up his room every night before bed, but I'm not such a stickler that has to be in the correct colored bin every night. I have a small red bin in his drawer system that he can put miscellaneous pieces in, and then periodically go back to sort them & find their "home."
3. Displaying is important. No child wants to work hours on a creation, only for you to tell them to take it apart or put it away the next day. My son displays most of his creations on his desk, and also has a shelf above his bed. (Once they get too crowded though, I insist that he take few apart.) And here is another cute display option:
4. Get your child involved. Ask if they'd rather have their Legos sorted by color or by set, and plan accordingly. Like I mentioned, we sort by BOTH color & set, and that was at my son's insistence. (He likes to be able to take apart a huge NinjaGo temple, put all the pieces in a bin, and know that when he's ready to rebuild it, all the pieces are already together. Clearly he got my OCD gene!)
5. Keep those manuals. I am the crazy person that keeps every single manual that enters our household.....for electronics, for toys, for appliances, you name it. While that may not be 100% necessary, I do know that those Lego manuals are important to keep! Sure, everything is online these days, but it's nice for your child to have them at their fingertips when needed. My son has his in the bottom drawer of his storage system, but I love this idea of putting them in a file box & using hanging folders to organize them:

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