Instructables

How to Sort & Store Legos

Picture of How to Sort & Store Legos
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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.
I do the same thing! Some people I knowneed to now how to sort Legos this would be great help! I try to help them but you explan it better!
pablo66741 year ago
When I sort my parts I sort them all out by color, then I put them into this lego storage and organization shelf with enough drawers to hold all the basic colors of lego. Sorting through 3 and a half 15 or 20 gallon tubs does not take a short amount of time! It took me about a week, working on it about 2 and a half to 3 hrs a day!
With that few pieces I would finish in an hour
HollyMann (author)  Wyattr551231 year ago
That's awesome!
Nice post, this is pretty much the same method I use but I don't have any of the Akro Mills small drawer things yet (drool haha).

I actually just spent two hours sifting through 8 tubs of lego to pick out all the 1x2s because I've tossed everything into the tubs instead of putting them back into their sorted areas. Once I get everything back in place maybe I'll take a few pictures to show how I organize my collection.
HollyMann (author)  sherrycayheyhey2 years ago
Wow I know how much work that is! :)Def. take some pics when it's all done! :)
CementTruck2 years ago
I tried this same exact thing with my son, but the process was too time consuming for him and he never used it. I got several of the ubiquitous 5 gallon buckets and bought lots of yellow bucket stacker inserts. The buckets hold 4 or 5 stackers, depending on which brand you buy. He now uses the stackers for bulk storage, where each stacker holds bricks of the same shape, but not necessarily by color. It actually gets used.

I still like the little drawers though, so I use them in my workshop to hold all my little nuts and bolts, odds and ends that don't really belong anywhere else, etc. His loss is my gain.
HollyMann (author)  CementTruck2 years ago
That sounds like a great way to do it - for the bulk of the pieces. These drawers are good for the smaller ones or ones with less pieces. :) And if I end up getting bigger containers like yours - I'll leave my son with one of the stackers with little drawers and I'll keep the other one!
barista2 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
RSV262 years ago
thats so true about searching i some times dump my lego on the floor , leving some in the box. biger picers on the floor and the smaller in the box .
PitStoP2 years ago
I kinda like looking through the pile myself. As I see them I kinda start building from what I find and getting more ideas as I find them. At the end of my build I end up building something I didn't plan to. But it's true when you need that one part to build what you want can take alot longer to find in a big pile. It's like looking in a big bucket of bolts trying to find the size you need when you knew that you saw it a few days ago and then not finding it..
If you have alot of legos then another good way to store them would be stacking bins. They come in different sizes and colors and you can buy as the legos grow... And if you want to go a little extreme with collecting legos then you can get the bins that go on a rolling cart.
Lego collections can get really big when everyone who knows you have them and love playing with them keeps giving you more and more as a gift for birthday,Christmas gifts and so on... It's an easy gift to give a kid!... Who doesn't like more legos? =) Everytime I go to Dontown Disney and pass by the Lego Store I go and build me something with the kids. They have a few ramps for racing down the KoOL cars you build! Awsome Fun!!
<<<< Big kid here!..
Jayefuu2 years ago
I thought half the fun of playing with Lego (yes, no S) was finding the right part! I think my mum's insistence that this was the case lead to increased playing time since I had to sift through the pile to find the right part first.