Lego storage is a concept most parents struggle with and kids tend to rebel against.
Either way of you don’t have a system you both agree on, a fun Lego building occasion can turn to stress and frustration for all.
Lego Storage Solutions
Lego is one of those toys that requires a little bit of thought when it comes to packing up. While there are a number of different ways to approach storing all those small Lego pieces, as a parent you generally have to decide on one strategy and stick to it so you don’t find Lego all over the place.
For our family we have been through different stages with Lego storage.
The methods evolved as our son became older – his needs changed and his ability to manage his own toys grew (as did his Lego collection!).
Lego Storage Option 1 – The Quilt And Tub
We started with a quilt and a big tub.
We would store all the Lego in the tub then tip it out onto the mat when my son played with it.
When play was finished we simply used the mat as a funnel to get the Lego back into the tub and packed both away.
It sounds simple but this is a very effective method of playing with Lego and then storing it away. Especially useful for younger kids as the Lego is confined to a definite area and won’t wander and pack-up is a breeze. Simply pick up one end of the quilt and use the other end to tip the Lego into the tub.
A Lego zipbin can also fulfill this function and kids love them.
Lego Storage Option 2 – Color Coded Boxes
Our next option as a family were color separated boxes so my son could sort the Lego by color. This method made it easier to find pieces if he was constructing a model and needed pieces in one particular color.
Children tend to make more life-like models as they get older requiring a large quantity of the same color.
Each Lego piece of the same color went into the appropriate box. It didn’t matter the size or shape of the piece, if it was red it went into the red box, green to the green box and so on.
We then stacked these boxes one on top of each other but also had the bigger tub where he could put pieces he wasn’t ready to sort yet.
The big tub is important as kids don’t feel like sorting back colors each time they finish playing Lego. They might also have constructions they have spent hours on and don’t want to break them apart.
While some models can go on rotating display on specified shelves others, if your kids are prolific builders, will need to go into “the big tub” before they are finally taken apart.
The Isis brand has some wonderful Lego Storage Boxes to choose from, otherwise just use lunchbox-style transparent plastic boxes (transparent so can see the color inside).
Lego Storage Option 3 – Segregated Boxes
The method we use presently is more refined but requires a high level of discipline from both children and parents.
The method we use presently, is cases with removable dividers and a clear lid, like those designed for storing screws and such, where he sorts by both color and shape. We have about two dozen of these boxes which are stored on a shelf in his cupboard.
We still have a big tub where he can store unsorted pieces for now but then once a week we have a morning where he has to sort that box into the color coded boxes.
These are the style of boxes we use but give a couple a try with your family before investing in dozens.
Which Method Is Right For Your Family?
Each method had advantages and disadvantages and it really depends on the age and character of the child.
Some children prefer to have each color and style of piece segregated so they can construct models from their imagination or from instructions easily. Other kids are more free flowing so like the all-in-together approach.
This latter method also suits young children and those less inclined to sort each piece methodically.
Through all the stages we have gone through, the quilt and the big tub for unsorted bits have remained as standard tools for any successful Lego building occasion.
Amazon have a range of storage options for Lego or if you are after other a portable, stackable storage solution that kids can also use as a playmat, also check out the Lego Zipbins.
Love your site, Inger! Great posts! I have been eye-ing those new LEGO tubs myself! 😉
Thanks so much.
I love your blog -you have some wonderful ideas and guides for those new or reacquainting themselves with Lego.
Nice design too- Thesis…sigh!
We tried sorting by color, but recently gave up on it. It seems that once a quarter or so, I was spending hours resorting the legos by color. My son is only 6, and didn’t seem to quite have the discipline necessary to sort by color.
I wonder about combining the quilt and color method, though… I’ll have to think about that.
This is a great post. My 4 year old son loves LEGO as well and i’m trying to teach him how to organize his bricks. Some great suggestions 🙂
Your site looks interesting.
Will have to check it out to!
We do the color coding and it makes re-building sets REALLY easy, using 8 identical crates. We also have a ‘people’ box which contains everything related to minifigs… Hair, tools, oars, boats, cups, wands, etc. When we go on holidays to visit relatives it’s often the ‘people’ box, with a couple of small vehicles added for good measure, that also comes with us. We’ve had Lego sorted like this for years and it works a treat. One tip though… Our boxes can easily slide under beds ensuring we don’t have a tower of boxes in our way!
Thanks Lisa, great tips.
Having the boxes able to slip under a bed is a major bonus, also portable so a couple can be grabbed “on the run”.
We have an extra (small) box that the kids can put special pieces in for trips away.
What goes into that box varies from week to week.