How Do You Store Your Legos, You Maniacs?

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Pile of lego.

My youngest brother, Jace, is about fourteen years my junior. I’m the oldest; he’s the youngest. Interestingly, FishBoy12 is closer in age to him than I am. Jace was the original Lego Maniac, if there ever was one. His childhood infatuation with Legos is the main reason that I held off ever letting my children play with them. I had very real memories of injured feet in the middle of the night!

His love of Legos is still quite real. Lucky for him he has four nephews who are equally enamored with the plastic brick. But, he’s become very particular about Legos being cleaned up. Thank goodness! And I benefit from this OCD behavior now that he’s moved in with us. He makes the FishBoys clean them up before their wrestling matches. Hallelujah!

(True confessions: I just shut the door — and a blind eye — on the playroom.)

LEGO creation on carpet.

My friend Jessika is a wealth of creative, good ideas. She recently emailed me a list of great Lego-organizing suggestions. With her permission, I’ve turned her email into this guest post. Perhaps it will help you put some order to the brick collection at your house.

From Jessika:
Thanks to the many moms who gave me storage solutions for Lego pieces and creations. I worked on organizing most of our Lego in May. I still have some work to do, but a friend warned me it may be a lifelong issue! At least we have a plan in place so everything can be put away, and my feet have been spared stepping on those sharp corners because we’ve used some of the great ideas listed below.

Some great storage options to tame the Lego Madness:

  • tall plastic storage towers with drawers that can be completely pulled out
  • sewing/beading boxes to sort out the smaller or more prized pieces (like swords, scuba tanks,heads and bodies,tiny tools) or to sort Legos by kind, ie regular, girl, technic, etc
  • one giant plastic box for all the pieces and room for creations on top of them
  • a tool box
  • a tackle box
  • homemade Lego bags – use heavy duty fabric cut into a circle, attach brackets and thread cord through them so it can be a play mat and then cinched up and taken back to the closet or storage area. These can also be painted to match a theme for the particular Lego set it holds.
  • under bed, shallow, flat storage containers
  • IKEA Gles or Trofast storage
  • bookcase, dresser or high closet shelf to store special creations away from younger siblings (OrgJunkie’s got a great one here.)
  • accordion files to store the instructions that come with sets. Laminate the instructions.
  • labelled baggies for spare parts from each set
  • flatten boxes from sets and keep for reference
  • a specific bin for pieces that have come off sets and need to be replaced onto the projects at some point
  • a sheet for putting down on the floor when the kids are working so none of the pieces get lost – sheet can be picked up and pieces dumped back in a bin at the end of building time
  • a bigger house with a dedicated Lego room

— Jessika Leonard is a crafty mom of two children.

A lego creation on the carpet.

How Other Mamas Do It:
Like Merchant Ships
Laurie @ Create Your Own Experience

What do you do to store Legos at YOUR house?

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    1. @Moira, I bought two of the box4blox a couple years ago. I think its a great idea for a child who has a reasonable amount of legos. My three sons have accumulated soooooo many legos at this point they won’t fit any more. I finally dedicated this toy storage
      for their legos. They are separated by color in each container. Even my two 4 year old children pick them up now. I have been using this system for about three months now and it is actually working. I think the key to its success is that there are no lids they have to take off or drawers to pull out.

  1. We use Ikea Trofast, but the flat ones that stack.
    They are in the closet in my boys' room stacked one on top of the other.

    There is also a smaller collection in my girls' room.

    Of course we have the all over the floor, and on top of the dresser creations too. 🙂

  2. Great idea! I really have been thinking about getting my uber-creative daughter a bunch of legos so I'll use this for sure.

  3. my generally "store" their legos all over their bedroom floor. very happy to just shut the door. too much work!

  4. I store my boys' Legos in plastic storage boxes and put them in a bookshelf in the game-room.!

  5. back in the day my brother and i use the same kinds of boxes from michael's that my mom stored her beads and embroidery floss in. we liked to sort out all the special legos (like the flowers and the lights and stuff)

  6. Finding a system to store and sort Legos has been an ever-evolving project in my house.
    First I attempted to keep the kits together with each kit in its own box complete with handle and lid, but then at clean-up we couldn't tell all the sets apart.
    I tried to consolidate kits to group types of kits together, but still it was a challenge at cleanup time.
    A few weeks ago I switched to using some shelves with open bins, sorting pieces by color, except all the people, who have their own box. This way anyone can help cleanup and the legomaniacs have even found that it is easier to build when they just look by color.
    So, far, we have found a success for us.
    It looks like you have a bunch of other great ideas listed… I especially appreciate the lego sheet idea to prevent stray pieces from getting lost.

  7. Thanks! Great post. My 8 year old is really into Legos lately and they've outgrown their current storage container. Since the baby will be mobile soon and will be sharing a room with him, I need a workable storage method. I love the ideas of laminating the instructions and using a sheet on the floor.

  8. My son is in love with Legos too! I bought him a rubbermaid tote to put them in. It works great because his little brother can't open the lid yet, so they're safe from little hands.

  9. Fabulous list! I'm currently using the shallow underbed storage method and it's working great!

  10. Here's how we store Lego under the bed when not in use.

    I recently removed all the Lego as a consequence for my son's behavior. In doing so, I realized that we had given him too much, making it too hard to pick up and too hard to play with any sense of appreciation. Now that he has a simple set earned with his own money, he is careful to pick up the pieces and seems to enjoy playing with them more.

    Anyone else find it as hard as I do to balance the fun of putting together a new Lego set with the growing pile of older pieces?

  11. After reading this I'm afraid my Lego storage isn't going to hold out much longer! I have 4 boys, who are all into the same type toys. So we have a central toy storage in the hall pantry. I have 5 sterlite storage bins, with designated toys in each: Legos, cars, animals, blocks and action figures. My boys are still into the Duplo legos though since we have so many little ones who would still try to eat the Legos lol.

  12. MY 12 year old son occassionally still gets a Lego fix so we have ALL his Legos stored in a covered roller bin (Target) stored UNDER his old train table in the playroom. He just rolls it out when he needs it. Whatever you use, be sure it's either larger than the quantity of LEgos or in clear containers. Reason: finding just the right piece is difficult if you can't move pieces around easily or see thru the sides. We also have smaller containers within the large rollout for small pieces and another one for unique pieces. Lately, the neighborhood kids have all converged on our front porch (rainy days) so a portable tote was made for "porch" play & design. You should see what they create!

  13. My 8 year old loves his legos. I just got him a big rubbermaid container at Goodwill. It doesn't have a lid but that is all right. I love being organized but my son doesn't (believe me I have tried to organize his room) so for him I think it is easier to put them in one big container.

  14. We have a growing LEGO problem in our studio apartment – and no kids. 🙂

    This article had plenty of storage ideas that I will share with my spouse!

    We save the original boxes for our LEGO sets. When we are done with the set, we store the pieces in zipper bags and put them back in the boxes.

    The boxes then go into our storage unit. It takes more room, but it's MUCH easier to find the pieces we need!

  15. All i had when the girls were younger and had lego was lots of clear plastic containers that had clip on lids (need these sort of lids so that they don't suddenly fly off and dump lego all over the place)
    The girls used to have different stuff in different containers and they just all stacked on top of one another in a corner of their bedroom

  16. Thanks for the great ideas! When my son goes on a "building" spree his room looks like it was hit by a hurricane. I'm going to try some of these things to tame the chaos.

  17. Ugg. Lego storage is the bane of my existence. They're all over the place. It's something I wish I could get a real handle on. Some creations are on shelves, some pieces are in boxes, some are upstairs (son's Mars Mission pieces), some are downstairs (hubby's Star Wars collection). It's all quite maddening. Thanks for the suggestions. I'd love to see pictures of the first two types of bins.

  18. We have a book shelf that we keep some of the sets on…my husband (a kid at heart) likes to keep them on display, and tends to get a little upset if the kid's play with them (especially the old ones he played with as a kid). I always joke when the kid's ask to play with them, "Legos are not toys, you know!" We also have a flat storage bin that slides under our bed, because we live in a small house the legos are not played with often, but on days when the house is clean the kid's get the bin out and play in the living room with them…and if daddy's not around they get the sets down from the shelf and play with those, too (although not the expensive sets from the 80's!!!).

  19. eh, the lego room would make me weird out…. I am glad my boys love legos (one is 3 the other is 10) it's creativity for sure… our oldest can become VERY consumed with it. Often I'm amazed at what the youngest can make just from scratch!

    We use 10 galon storage bins for now… but I like the IKEA set up!! Thanks for the ideas!

  20. Oh, Legos, Legos, Legos.

    My 10-year old has Legos coming out his ears. Usually they are all over the place in his room, but when they are picked up, they are stored in a set of Sterilite storage boxes. One thin box (wide and deep) contain most of the pieces and slide under his bed. One separate box stores all the Bionicle type legos. A tackle box stores the Mindstorms. A few food container boxes store the special parts mentioned above (mini-figs, swords, robot parts, heads, helmets, etc.) Special creations are usually displayed high on top of the dresser.

    Thanks for the great post.