Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Keeping the Lego horde at bay.

Anyone whose has a child who loves Legos*, knows where this post is going.

What started out as a few of Hubby's old sets has in a few short years morphed into an entire cupboard of Lego sets. Space ships. Planes. Trucks. Houses. We have a lot of Legos.

Believe it or not, the photo you see below represents what used to be a really good Lego organization system. I know it looks messy, but when we first introduced Miss C. to the magic of Legos, she was about four years old and all she wanted to do was assemble the sets using the instructions over and over again. So we bagged up each set and stored it in its original box. Everything stayed nice and neat (or at least organized).
And then Master W. grew out of toddlerhood and wanted to play with Legos too. His first Lego love was the green garbage truck. He played with it non-stop and for a long time was content to play with the assembled cars, trucks and space ships as-is. 

But in the last few months something has changed. Master W.'s love of the Lego is still going strong, only now he likes to smash disassemble them and leave the little pieces everywhere. Putting all of those loose pieces back with their original sets was becoming impossible... they all started to look the same. And there were so many of them!

Something had to change. I knew we needed a new system, but I couldn't bring myself to simple throw all of the pieces into a big bin. That would only lead to dumping... and really, who wants to clean that up?

So I start combing the web for Lego storage ideas. My favorite was the lady who used a metal tool chest to sort the pieces by color and type. We checked the prices on metal tool chests... let's just say they were way beyond my tiny budget. Yikes!

I switched to Plan B: If all else fails, check JoAnn's. 
Score! Using my trusty 40% off coupons, I was able to pick up three ArtBin storage containers with moveable dividers for $12 each. My budget was $43 (all proceeds from selling some toys and clothes the kids had outgrown).


I spent a few nights sorting our Legos out by color and I'm in love with the results. Amazingly, the kids have kept it very well organized. They can find the pieces they need, which I think has led to more creative creations, and everything is much easier to put away.

And while I still find some Legos on the floor (ouch!), it's much better than it used to be.

*Yes, yes, I know they're technically called Lego Bricks and one should never, ever refer to the as Legos. But I grew up with three brothers who loved Legos... and that's what we called them... and darn it, old habits die hard. I just can't bring myself to call them Lego Bricks. Sorry, Lego.

15 comments:

  1. Love this idea for storage - I'll have to track down some suitable containers. We have one big giant tub and you're right - it's a pain to clean up (though it does have to get tipped onto a quilt which makes it a bit easier to tidy up!).

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    1. I'm glad you like it! My mom used to employ the blanket strategy for clean-up too, and I remember it worked very well. The only disadvantage to the big tub is that you can never find what you're looking for. So far, these bins have made that a bit easier. I'm just crossing my fingers that it stays this organized!

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  2. I have the same problem and wow this is an awesome way to store them! We call them Legos too! ^_^

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who can't help but use the taboo name! LOL :)

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  3. I think you're right! This is the way to go. You've given me courage here. I'm nervous about splitting up sets... but at this point, you are right. It would totally encourage more exploratory play organized this way.

    You've convinced me, Im going to put this project on my to do list!

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    1. You should do it! I was pleasantly surprised by how neat and tidy Master W. has managed to keep it. xoxo

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  4. Yes! Our legos are organized the same way, but color. Though I have my MIL to thank for that. She took on the job herself and even brought over the plastic drawer bins. I did NOT get in her way!

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    1. Smart girl! How awesome of her to come and take over that big task! xoxo

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  5. Makes me "almost" miss the chaos of toys just to try out your great storage idea. "Almost!!!"

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    1. Hahahaha! Well, there's always those future grandchildren, right? xoxo

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    2. Hmmm... . I hope my daughter and SIL know the difference between "grandkiddies" and "grandkitties"!!!

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    3. Hahahaha! Hopefully you get those grandbabies soon! :)

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  6. I've managed to avoid tiny Lego bricks for now. My littlest is still content to play with her Duplos, and I have a bin for those, but I know this will change soon! She loves Legos too much! I love this storage idea. The thought of it makes me think having tiny bricks in the house won't be too bad, if I can organize them some way. Now convincing her to keep them organized might be another story...

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    1. It really isn't too bad anymore. Now I just toss all of the loose pieces I find around the house into a small bucket and put them away when it gets full. And I've been pleasantly surprised by how well Master W. has managed to keep everything organized. Let me know if you try it – I bet your girls would love it. :) xoxo

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  7. How nice post. Its relay informative post. Its help everyone .Thanks for your sharing. For more information lego storage australia .

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