LEGO Organizing Ideas for Real Families

LEGO Organizing Ideas for Real Families

posted in: Large Family, LEGO | 19

Post contains affiliate links. 

LEGO organizing ideas for real families.

If you have children and more than one LEGO set, then I am willing to bet you have scoured the internet for LEGO organizing ideas. Chuck and I both played with LEGO as kids and have been thrilled to pass that love onto our children. Because we believe in the value of this toy, we have bought many, many sets over the years and plan to buy many more. Each set that comes into our house, however, magnifies our need for organization. 

Ultimate LEGO organization system for families.

We have tried a few different LEGO organizing ideas in the past. For a while we used three-tired plastic drawers. These were stored in the boys’ room…which meant for the girls to play, they had to go in the boys’ room and this caused endless fights. 

I wanted so bad to have a beautiful LEGO studio like this set up for my children. But the thing is, we live in our house. I needed to find a way to organize our LEGO that worked with our home and our family.  I have learned from experience that in our family LEGO gets played with more and for longer if it is in a central area…in this case our living room. I started by finding a place to store them…I cleared out two shelves in a large shelving unit from Ikea. I then measured to inside to find out exactly how much room we had. 

LEGO organizing ideas for real families.

While the outside measures 14 inches, the inside is only 12 inches. These were a bit smaller than I thought when I ordered them, but they ended up working perfectly. 

Next, I looked at nearly every storage bin out there until I settled on these Sterilite bins. I chose these because I like the latch (no spilling LEGO), the size (14 inches) and because they are stackable and modular. I started out with two six packs and then ordered a third when it was clear I needed more room (for a total of 18 bins). 

I also ordered one set of four deep Sterilite bins (these are twice as deep as the standard ones) and one set of four small bins. Since they are modular, they stack perfectly. A must for LEGO organization. 

LEGO organizing ideas for real families.

We chose to sort ours by color. We have enough gray that it fills two of the deep bins! One deep bin is filled with black and the other LEGO  Bionicle and Hero Factory pieces. We also decided to keep wheels and axles together in one bin. LEGO organizing ideas for real families.

In another we have windows, doors, fences, etc. The 12×12 base plates barely fit in the bins. I took this picture to show you. We do not keep the plates in there, but they are almost always in use anyway. We use another one of the bins to store our LEGO instruction books.  LEGO organizing ideas for real families.

The small bins contain our: mini figure pieces, LEGO Technic pieces, teeny-tiny assesories and tiny rod/axel connectors. How did I decide which pieces to separate? I observed how my children play with LEGO and tried to make the pieces they search and search for easier to find. They especially love being able to find those tiny connector pieces!

LEGO organizing ideas for real families.

You might be wondering…but can they maintain this system? The answer, yes. Taking apart creations and sorting the pieces only takes a few minutes, compared to the initial sorting. And, I am not interested in perfection. Anything is better than two huge drawers filled with random LEGO pieces. 

We always, always have LEGO creations outing our living room. We use a train table we purchased from Pottery Barn 12 years ago. It is always covered with their latest creations. The platform they are using in the top picture here? That is an trundle bed Chuck made years ago. It is the size of a crib or toddler mattress. It is on wheels and contains the “overflow” creations. We don’t always have it in our living room, but pull it out as needed. 

LEGO organizing ideas for real families.

This bottom picture shows what our LEGO set up looks like in the context of the shelf. You can see how easy it is to access the pieces. Close the doors, and the bins are no longer visible. 

Okroo play mat is part of our LEGO organization system.

For playing on the floor, we use these Okroo play mats

What are your best LEGO organizing tips? For more LEGO inspiration you can follow my LEGO Pinterest board

{The LEGO you see pictured here are the family LEGO. Most of the kids have their own collections, that they keep in their rooms.}

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19 Responses

  1. The struggle is real! We had to switch from a 3 tiered sterilite drawer thingy to 3 underbed storage bins. Not great for being able to find things but it works with our current space. I’m always on the look out for new ideas. I may have to check Ikea for a cabinet that could work somewhere in the house.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Yes, this isn’t our first attempt at organizing, but I think this will last. It is in a central area and we now have enough bins and enough room. The kids will literally just grab a couple of bins and start building. So simple!

  2. These are such great ideas! I run a summer camp and we have so many legos!
    Kari
    http://www.sweetteasweetie.com

  3. You’ve inspired me! Right now we keep LEGO in the kids’ bedrooms, but the living room is where they mostly play with them. I can clear off some room on the shelves in the living room so they can store them there. Why didn’t I think of that? 🙂

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Brilliant! It has never worked all to have the LEGO in bedrooms. They share most of them and they want to play with them in a central area. So glad I was able to offer a bit of inspiration.

  4. thanks for post. i love this! legos were my favorite toy as a kidi am curious how you handle it in bedrooms and the special sets individuals have. our trouble lies within the special sets that they keep in their rooms (they share rooms)…

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Ah, yes, so complicated! I am actually planning a series of LEGO posts and this topic will be covered. Probably next week.

  5. […] LEGO Organizing Ideas for Real Families […]

  6. I have two little boys, ages seven and four. We haven’t yet gotten into the craziness of so many Legos, but we are right on the cusp! Maybe I can head off the craziness by starting out organized! 🙂

  7. Legos have been my most challenging toy to keep organized, and like you, I can’t stand having all of them in one big bin. The kids have to dump the entire thing out to find the littlest pieces, and then my floor is covered in death traps! Your organizing idea is genius!!

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Yes, get a handle on it now. You’ll thank me later.

  8. A question for you. How do you manage your kid’s builds? My kids build stuff that they want to keep built forever. Some are kits. Some are just things they’ve made. Storing/displaying them is painful. There is only so much space. And they gather so much dust. At the moment my aim is to get them to take things apart on a semi-regular basis. But I’m super inconsistent on this, I have to admit. Would love some tips.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Great question! I am working on a blog post to answer this in detail; its a struggle for sure.

  9. I am LOL’ing at the pic of your boys building! My son (only boy of 7 kids) sits with his knee up like that EVERY time he builds! And I thought we were the only ones who called them “creations” 😉 He’s always bringing me something. Often he tries to see just how FEW pieces he can use to make something. And almost everything has a dual purpose! I am loving just browsing your blog today for some inspiration <3

    • Thanks, Sarah! Yes, sitting with one leg up is a definite favorite and even Apollo (6) calls them LEGO creations.

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