Legos can provide endless hours of fun and creativity for kids (and adults) but the more you accumulate, the harder it is to build things! I learned this recently because my son wanted me to build a Lego candy machine that accepts money. We built it off a plan online and worked at it step-by-step. Instead of taking about 2-3 hours to make it - it took us well over 6 hours. The reason was because we had to dump out all his Legos and search for each and every piece we needed. It was a time-waster and that night I went online and bought some containers to store his Legos. Please note, if you have a massive amount of Legos already, the storage containers we used will not suffice. I will offer some great recommendations for you if you have larger amounts of Legos.
- First you need to dump out the Legos. You can start out by dumping all of them at once, or by dumping out a certain amount at a time, sorting and then dumping out more. We used a very large beach towel and dumped out about half of his Legos, sorted, and then did it again once those were organized.
- Next you'll need some storage containers. In my images, the containers used were: Stack-On 30 Drawer Storage Cabinet. I purchased two of them from Amazon.com - pretty good deal. I've also seen them at Menards - a variety of ones which are similar. If you have a ton of Legos already, these containers may only suffice for your smaller parts or blocks which don't have as many duplicates. Some better options for storage containers are: Sterilite Clear View 3-Drawer Organizer - 6-Pack. I think this is a great deal and I may get some of these for his larger pieces. Or, Large Akro-Mils Drawer Plastic Parts Storage. Once you have your containers, it's time to sort & organize.
- Organizing and sorting can be tricky. Some people may want to sort just by color. I found it easiest for me to sort by: brick type: flat, regular, 1 x 1, 1 x 2, 1 x 3, 1 x 4, etc. and 2 x 2, 2 x 4, 2 x 8, etc. So, I started by finding a brick of a certain type like 2 x 2 for example and I took all of the 2 x 2s I could find and put them all in a pile, with colors all mixed together. Once I could see that the pile became quite large, then I would further separate them by putting each color 2 x 2 into its own holder (see images - from white, yellow, green, red, blue and then black - and another container sometimes for mixed extras or weird colors or pieces).
I found all 1 x 1 pieces and put them in a plastic holder ( mixed because we didn't have so many of these). I had all holders lined up with 6 in a row - and after the 1 x 1s, I put all the 1 x 2s in the next holder. Our 1 x 3s and 1 x 4s were all mixed in their holders as we didn't have a lot of those bricks. We continued on with those down the line until we sorted all of them.
Next, we put all the 2 x 2 pieces in a large pile and then put each one in a holder according to the color.
Any weird shaped pieces were separated and put into a separate holder. All tires were put in a separate container as well.
It's also a good idea to label each container drawer on the outside.
- That was pretty much the entire process. Just sorting through his meager Lego collection, which I am assuming is much smaller than most people have - took many hours. And, it looks like I hardly did anything! :) I should have put up a picture of the pile we had dumped out on the towel the day prior. Anyway,, the sooner you help get the Legos organized, it's probably better - before you accumulate way too many Legos.
Now when my son wants to make something, it is much easier as he knows how to find the right pieces.