Ways to Organize Legos

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A couple of weekends ago my husband got out his collection of Legos for Little Turkey to play with.  When I say collection, I mean a massive collection – 4 of the grey 10 gallon tubs full! There were a few sets bagged up but that was about as far as the organization went.  This hadn’t been a problem with our older foster boys who loved to dump all the tubs out into a pile and just build.  Turkey doesn’t have those skills yet, nor does he have the patience to hunt through so many legos for the piece he needs.

Before I tell you about the system we’re using here are a couple of tips for playing with legos:

Have your kids play on a blanket.  The contrasting solid color will help them find the pieces quicker and the blanket can be easily picked up and poured into a box or tub when it’s time to clean up.  A very useful tool for cleaning up Legos is a dustpan.  It will save you and your kids tons of time cleaning up pieces that aren’t on a blanket!

My husband attempted to find all the pieces for a few sets but it was taking longer than he thought it would to find the exact colors of pieces he needed. Seriously- he looked for one little piece for over 30 minutes without realizing it! I started sorting by color and a couple of hours later we had the bulk of them separated.  We’ve gotten a pretty good system going that’s made it much easier to find the specific pieces needed for each set.

We’re using clothing gift boxes and bowls for each color.  This allows us to look through a small amount and be pretty certain that we haven’t missed the part we need. There are some tiny pieces that we didn’t sort by color, so if we can’t find a tiny piece we’ll look in the “unsorted” box.

The majority of the people, animals and accessories are spread out on the table. The red tablecloth makes a pretty good contrast for finding pieces. When it’s time to clean them up we can pick up the tablecloth and pour them into a tub or use the dustpan to rake them off the side of the table into a tub.


To pull the pieces out for sets, we lay a blanket on the floor and put some of the gift boxes around the edges so they are close for searching.  We’ll pull up the parts list for a set and my husband and I will look for different colors until we’ve got the whole set pulled out.  Then it gets bagged up into a large ziplock (bought on Amazon in bulk) with the instructions and we move on to another set.  It’s going pretty quickly. Clean up is a snap too since we just stack the gift boxes in the larger tubs. Since we started using this method it’s been much easier and faster progress, making it much less stressful than before!

There are basically only 2 different ways to store legos:

  • storing all pieces by color and size (cons are that it would require micro-organization to clean up, too many storage units, and too much time to collect all the required pieces with this magnitude of legos)
  • storing each set individually in tubs (cons are not being able to free build without mixing the sets and cost of so many tubs)

You could use plastic drawer units, plastic tubs, screw/bolt organizers, or tackle boxes.  For us none of these were practical because Little Turkey is too young to keep up with such organization.  If he develops an addiction aptitude for Legos like his Daddy we’ll look into some of these other options in 5 or 6 years.

We’ve decided that when we’re finished putting sets together we’ll have 3 tubs with sets and instructions bagged up together.  Turkey will only be able to get one tub out at a time.  The set #s will be marked in permanent marker on the side of the tub.  If the sets get mixed up within the tub that’s ok because it will only be 1 tub and we’ll know what belongs in it.  The rest of the miscellaneous pieces will be stored in 2 tubs.  One will hold black, white, red and people/accessories.  The other will hold greys, blues, greens, yellows and browns.  The colors will be contrasting enough that it should be fairly easy to find what he’s looking for.

I’ve seen some pretty neat Lego rooms and organizational methods on Pinterest and other websites.  If you’ve also got a Lego lover in your family I’d love to hear/see how you’re organizing and storing them!


  1. lucinda says:

    I have 2 Lego fanatics in my home. We tried separating them by sets and then by color, worked fine until the neighbors came over to play…. After re-sorting them for the 3rd time we decided to just keep them in a big tub. Saved us all some frustration. So for now that’s how we’re doing it. I do how ever dream of the wonderful storage ideas from pinterest! Someday…..:-)

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