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legos are everywhere {and our way of containing them}

    If you have school-aged boys, perhaps you’ll identify with this one …

    Legos are overtaking my house.

    We’ve got ninjas on the coffee table

    a knight protecting the entry table

    randoms on the tv room chair

    this awesome dude parked on my desk

    They even hang out in the bathtub {deadliest catch, anyone?}.

    For my own sanity, I ask that the boys keep most of the legos upstairs. The ones that are left downstairs go in this drawer in the living room. It helps having a place for the stragglers rather than walking them upstairs.

    My kids are builders {and keepers of their creations} so most surfaces in their room are covered with all sorts of ships, speeders, robots, weapons and battle scenes.

    Their floor is usually covered with them too.

    The legos-everywhere part drives me crazy. Have you ever stepped on a lego with bare feet?!

    At the same time, I love that I have such creative boys and want to encourage them with this imaginative pastime.

    We’ve done our best to equip them with an organization system to keep things under control and it seems to be working pretty well.

    These three sets of storage drawers {from Target} are perfect for color-sorting legos.

    Each boy gets one drawer to hold their special things – you know, blue light sabers, Anakin’s hair, the monkey from the pirate ship.  The rule in our house is that they are not allowed to open their brothers’ drawers. We figure everyone needs their own place to keep their special things.  This has worked out great for us and has avoided lots of fights over who’s legos are who’s.

    We also have this big bin that has not been sorted. It is helpful for when we need to do quick pick-ups and they can just toss the pieces in here. Every once in a while we do a little sorting {mildly therapeutic, I will say}.

    So that is how we organize our legos. Someday I’d like to create cubbies for all of the creations to be stored in so that the dresser and bookshelves and floor can be cleared.

    Do you have a system for organizing/storing legos?

    The moms in the legos-are-taking-over-club would gladly take your suggestions!

    71 thoughts on “legos are everywhere {and our way of containing them}”

    1. Pingback: More Lego Storage Ideas - The Organised Housewife

    2. It has been many years since my boys played with Legos, but for storage and clean up, we used a big Rubbermaid bin lined with an old crib sheet. There was nothing to buy; when they wanted to play they just pulled out the sheet and built on it, and when it was time to clean up, all they had to do was fold in the corners and drop it back in the bin. Easy peasy…except the months before we discovered this system.

    3. We have a 14-year-old son who now RARELY plays with Legos.

      I long for the days of stepping on Legos and being driven crazy by the mess.

      Enjoy these precious days!

      ** TIP: I always gave my son a sheet to put on the floor first. Then after all the Legos were done being played with, it was a breeze to clean up. Just close up the sheet.

    4. My big brother is 32 and still puts Legos. Some might think that’s nerdy but I think it’s pretty cool. And what I love is that he has introduced my 2 year old to Legos. I have a feeling they’ll be all over my house in a few years! Great organization!!

    5. Thank you. Thank you soooooooo much for this. If it weren’t 11 pm, I would head off to Target right now and get those drawers. Legos are the end all at our house. I have four little guys, the oldest is about to turn 9. They adore them, but my 3 year old wants in on the action just as much as the oldest. I love their own drawer thing, that is perfect.

      I love your blog, your honesty, and your spirit. Thank you Emily.

    6. You may want to check out
      There are great ideas how people store legos, decorated with legos, and display their legos.

    7. We got the Lay-n-go! It’s great we don’t organize we don’t fret! We just lay it out and play and once we are done we bundle it up and put it away. We got the large one, but to be honest we might need 2 as the collection grows!

      I do not sell these I just really liked the product! :)

    8. We have a combo of three solutions:
      1. Bins labeled with the logo cut out from the box for each series – ie. Star Wars, Ninjago, etc. Special series-specific pieces are usually kept in these boxes.
      2. Giant flat bins for creation storage. They slide under the bed.
      3. Drawstring playmat for all loose pieces currently being played with. My mom made it from an old round tablecloth, then added a nylon casing at the edge and ran a nylon cord through, so it can be pulled and cleaned up instantly.

      It works great….in theory. We still have pieces everywhere and stuff is constantly getting “lost” only to be found in the wrong box, swiped by baby brother, under the bed, etc. The only tried-and-true I have found to get EVERYTHING cleaned up is to tell him “I am vacuuming in 10 minutes.” Works every time!

    9. My lego builder is a freshman in college. I got tears in my eyes as I read this post and remembered all the legos everywhere!!!!!! Maybe I should send him one in his finals good luck packet!

    10. in 17 days away i’m due to give birth to my first bebe so not quite at the lego phase but boy do i appreciate a good organisation system………. i’m taking notes! :)

    11. I see some Ninjagos! Legos dominate my house, too! The little Lego-lover in my house tends to hide them in every room, so he can have them wherever he is! Love your home and posts!!

    12. Stepping on Legos brings out some crazy animal in me! Those little buggers hurt!!
      I love that Legos can keep my little ones entertained for hours, that they are so proud of what they create, and their imaginations get a workout. We have the huge Lego heads & they’re awesome! I got each boy one from Target & once you put the Legos in the top section of the head the appropriate sizes all filter down to their own level-instant organization! The top locks & there’s a handle for going upstairs/downstairs! Plus, they’re really cute for decoration!

    13. I need help with this too! Right now I just have a big rubbermaid that I keep dumping the legos in. I have a type case drawer hanging on the wall of my kitchen an I put the little lego guys in there if I see them laying around. Whatever system you figure out let me know – because I relate to the Legos everywhere thing oh so well!!!

    14. Wow, that looks like my house…and car…and sometimes my purse! I’m constantly threatening to vacuum them up, and boy, they get cleaned up fast. But like you, I’m thrilled that my kids ( ten year old boy and eight year old girl) are so creative with the legos.

    15. I have 4 kids. Boy, Girl, girl, boy. My boy is almost 8 and he has a huge train table that he uses for legos. The table is always covered in loose pieces, so he builds his creations on the floor, which means there are loose pieces all over the floor as well. He shares a room with 14 month old brother, so it is an issue. Your drawers look like a great solution–although it seems a rather large footprint for small rooms. Sorting by color seems logical. We have loose pieces from ninjago, star wars, pirates of the carribbean, space police, alien quest, etc., etc, etc. so there’s no way we could sort by style or theme.

      I stopped saving the instruction books a while back because once the sets were built and destroyed, the pieces were put to good use from his own imagination which is the other half of the fun of legos.

      We don’t save creations that are built–from instructions or from imagination. Too little space to display.

      My girls are now really excited about the new line of Lego Girl sets.

      Good luck to us all! Long live Legos!!

    16. We have two Lego lovers here and our collection is housed in one of the bins under our Pottery Barn Kids Train Table. The priceless creations make their way into the boys bedrooms. They are so proud and I love the creativity! I must admit, I have vacuumed up a few & kept on vacuuming!! I love the bins from Target! Cute idea! We have spent their college savings on Legos, but it is worth it–lol!!

    17. Have you seen Jen’s IKEA storage drawer system with color-coded labels at I Heart Organizing? It’s awesome! It’s so pretty, it makes me want to make some *just* so I can get my kids started on the Legos craze. :) I also love the look of white photo ledges mounted at kid heights so they can display their creations. If you or your hubby are crafty, Ana White has some simple building plans to make your own for $10.

    18. for a second there I thought you were taking pics at my house :) looks the same with random legos.. I just have a big clear tub.. have been thinking about some sort of better way to store.. and also wanting a way to store the ones that he doesnt want to destroy instead of them covering every surface of his room :)

    19. I love legos. They are such a great learning tool. My son grew up with them and I still have some of the original pieces he made with them. He is grown now, but he majored in Construction Management and is the Field Engineer on a huge subway project in New York. When people ask what he does he tells them that he plays with big legos. Some boys never outgrow those legos.

    20. i have a house full of girls and all of their tiny pink and sparkly stuff. man a dress up ring, a barbie dog or a tiny princess sure does hurt when you step on it! we also have legos around too (equal opportunity girls around here) and our organization is similar. Like toys in each bin. Each little miss gets a bin for their treasures (think rocks, beads anything small and shiny) and then the rest goes in it’s place. it works. most of the time. i am thinking the days when it is all organized are probably the days that i will think back on the mess with longing and absence-makes-the-heart-grow-fonder glasses! For now we do a 10 minute pick up before their dinner chores and it seems to stay contained!
      Good luck! And as so many wise women tell me, “enjoy every minute of it. it goes by so fast!”

    21. I have 3 boys and a house FULL of Legos. We have done a fairly good job of keeping them organized. We also have a set of bins, one for each main color, with some of the less popular colors sharing bins. We store all of our instruction books in a three ring binder. Each book is in a clear sleeve and the sleeves are divided into sections. Star Wars all together, Harry Potter all together, and so on. So far so good. Also helps to have a table in our family room dedicated to Lego building but they do creep into other rooms. I try to not get uptight about it. I know all too soon the Legos will be abandoned for teenager things like cell phones and iPods. I’ll take Legos any day of the week.

    22. I can TOTALLY relate! But it’s my HUSBAND as well as my kids! We have a large storage tub (20 gallons) where we keep all our duplo (not including the Lego toddler table and Lego dump truck that don’t fit!) and we tend to not sort the Lego Duplo.
      Then there is the new “girl” Lego that my husband has been newly buying for our 4 year old. She has 2 Lego boxes (made by Lego) to keep her Lego blocks in.
      And my husband has his Lego separated in clear plastic storage boxes. They are organized by color (even different shades) and size and type.
      His Lego people/accessories are separated in a fishing tackle box so that each type has their own little box that, no mater how much it’s shaken, won’t mix with others.

      So you could say we are a very Lego family!

    23. hee hee.
      This post has me giggling. Our house is becoming overrun as well. We have 2 boys, 1 girl, and another boy soon to be born.

      We have a similar way of organizing our Legos. Only we organize by sets instead of color. Each “set” goes in a container which then goes in a drawer much like the ones you have. That way all of the pieces should be able to be found for each set. (Ideally) Of course we have to go through every couple of weeks and reorganize them. At 5 & 7 they aren’t always diligent about putting them in the right containers. The boys help as I haven’t a clue which piece belongs to which set, plus I don’t play with them so I try to make it clear that it is ultimately their responsibility to keep track of them.
      The instructions for how to build are all put into a giant zip-loc & stashed in the drawer as well. I have contemplated laminating them as they do tend to fall apart after much use.

    24. I can relate to this! :) My little guy is just 4 1/2, so we got him a really big toolbox from Home Depot that has small compartments and works well to keep similar “guys” together. Although, I’m sure he’ll out grow it as he starts doing more of his own creations vs. making the small boxed sets. Very fun!

      Side note: where did you get the blue/white striped rug in one of the pictures?

    25. I bought the Trofast storage unit from Ikea for our Lego’s. You can mix and match the size of the bins. We sort by size and shape mostly (not strictly colour) as I find that is how my son plays with them. My problem is finding sufficient flat surfaces to display the sets on (even I have a hard time tearing them apart when they look so nice all built perfectly)! I have declared a moratorium on Lego kit gifts because of it. Plus he loses interest in playing with them not long after they are built. He gets way more fun out of his imaginative building (and it is much easier to break them apart).

    26. I love seeing all the Legos around your beautiful home! It is refreshing to know my house isn’t the only one sprinkled with toys. In my case it is Barbies and doll clothes! :-)

    27. We are not quite in the Lego stage yet, but this post caught my boychild’s eye. I am pretty sure it his favorite blog post.


      And I’m totally into organizing and sorting our toys, so I liked it, too.

      Nicely done.

    28. i have a boy who loves legos! they are all over his room as well. I occasionally find a luke skywalker or a pirate in my room. i’m at a loss for organzation. i’ve tried to group his kits like boba fett’s ship in a large ziplock along with instructions and then stuffed into a plastic tub. my problem is my husband has ALL his legos from his childhood which is pretty cool but i feel like it’s just everywhere!

    29. What?! No drawer for pink legos?! I guess it’s because my oldest three are girls. We still have legos taking over, but they’re mucher pinker in hue than your collection :). I look forward to seeing how that shifts as my fourth – the first boy – grows up and starts adding to the collection.

    30. I have a 7 y.o. that LOVES all things LEGO’s! I bought this bag

      for him to carry around the house and store some of the legos….THE BEST THING EVER!!! He can flatten it out and find the legos he wants to use to build his creations. When it is time to clean up…just pull up the handles! It is great to have for taking with us on trips or to the grandparents homes. The lego’s don’t fall out!

      I read a blog post (can’t remember who/which one) that organized their kids lego instructions in a binder so that they are easily found.

      I have a friend that organizes each set by a plastic bind along with the instructions with it. They usually have a few for the small sets in one bind.

      I have IKEA lack shelving for displaying a few of my son’s creations.

      Hope that helps!

      ETSY has adorable Lego’s invitations/crayons/etc for b’day partys!

    31. i have 3 boys and a girl as well. ;) legos are the toy of choice in this house, for sure. we keep them in an under the bed bin. that way they are really spread out and they can see what pieces they need easily. i do zero sorting, bc that is just too much energy for me honestly. and they never stay sorted. my boys are the opposite of organized. the big under the bed bin keeps them from dumping them out bc they can see everything. legos that end up downstairs just get set on the bottom step and whoever is going upstairs takes them up and drops them in the bin upstairs. it’s worked for us! :)

    32. This looks exactly like our house! We did organize by color, which helps, but we do have the issue of keeping the “special” creations somewhere. For now, the loose pieces are sorted by color in ziplock bags and put in a bin under his bed. The special items are in small plastic binds under the bed as well. I am planning to go to IKEA for a set of stacked drawers similar to yours (although more drawers in one vertical unit).

    33. Emily, you have truly inspired me in more ways than one! This entry hits TOO close to home! We have a 5 year old son who LOVES legos but always is wondering where “the piece” is. He has them all tucked in a bin. The sound of him going through that bin to find “the piece” almost always scares someone in the house. A little sister may come crying (because she’s afraid of the loud noise) or an adult may be caught screaming WHAT IS THAT? Ha ha. We’ve made a rule that ALL TOYS MUST stay in their rooms. If a toy finds its way in our living room we toss it in a basket near the hallway. We make sure that before shower time the basket is emptied. It has saved me SO much time (and irritation too). Our 3 girls (3, 2 and 8 months) have been bitten by the Lego bug just a few months ago. They, of course, get the bigger age appropriate ones. They too fight over “the piece” and their creations. I may have to set up a Lego station some where in our home. Oh great! Ha ha. Thanks for the ideas! My babies would LOVE that many Legos!!! It’s too bad my barefeet won’t agree!

    34. I was just looking at our floor and table and trying to decide whether or not it would be worth picking up the thousand pieces strewn about (a thousand might be a tad overestimated). I told myself not to bother and check email instead and found your post about ….LEGOS!

      I have a 5 yo (almost 6) girl who LOVES everything legos. We have 3 bins full of them and some of her creations are keepers, but most are rebuilt and/or upgraded. Her latest is a restaurant scene where the chef’s stoves and ovens have these cool buttons to shoot the “bad guys” who are trying to land their ship inside the restaurant. Love how creative she gets and how she always manages to add a touch of girly in it.

      I wish I had a real solution to keeping these organized, but I don’t. I do always try to keep them away from our 15 month old….those pieces are so tiny! I’m always afraid he’s going to stick them in his mouth and choke. For now, we keep her most beloved pieces (at the moment) out of her brother’s reach and the rest go into the bins when not in use.

    35. With two boys into legos we have quite a collection. I spent a nice chunk of time last summer organizing all the legos. I separate them out into those clear shoebox totes according to type. We have wheels, people, wings, angles piece….and the list goes on. I’ve those pencil boxes you can pick up super cheap at staples for the smaller pieces like jewels, hinges, tiles. All of those boxes store inside the big under the bed boxes which for some reason are never under their beds but in my living room, lol! Thats ok because at least they’re somewhat organized now.

    36. This is a timely post! I spent Monday morning organizing my 6 year olds legos. We converted his old train table into a Lego table by painting the top a nice dark blue and covering it with the various Lego building plates. the 6 drawers underneath are organized the following way; 1. idea books and the plans that come with sets 2. regular “4 year old” and “8 year old” bricks 3. all single row bricks from “2 year old” on up 4. all flat building pieces 5. teeny tiny specialty parts and 6. larger specialty parts. I was tempted to sort by color but soon realized if you are looking for a specialty part it is just too hard to find it amongst all the same color. I also put a cute tall 5 shelve piece in his room to keep his finished projects on. NOW if I can just get him to keep it this way!

    37. This just made me laugh. My 16 yo son still loves his legos, although not quite as much as he did a few years ago. I still find legos all over my house, and yes, stepping barefoot on those colorful little bricks hurts. :)

      As far as organizing them, nothing seemed to work will for us as he always had them out. Always. We tried several different organizing systems. Nothing worked. I finally just gave up and designated a corner of his room as the place for the permanent lego pile. About four times a year, I would pick them all up, vacuum under them and then dump them back out into their corner. He was a happy camper and that made me happy. :)


    38. Megan Trowbridge Hartley

      My boys, ages 5 & 9 love Legos as well. As I was reading your post, my youngest was watching over my shoulder shrieking with excitement. I do love that they can be so creative and they will spend hours playing together without too much fighting. If it just didn’t hurt so much to step on them!!

    39. I can so relate…large logo blocks for the 15 month old, small and medium for the 5 year old. They are everywhere! Many have become victims to Sully our Boston Terrier. I love that the baby enjoys dropping the legos into every drawer, cabinet, toilet, bin and any other hidey hole she can find….however, I can’t wait until the day she understands where they actually go! My feet will thank her. :-)

    40. My boys loved, loved, loved Legos. We kept them in storage bins under the bed. And yes, I have stepped on them with bare feet. OUCH! Thanks for sharing this post. You gave me a great memory of my boys and their Legos.

    41. I don’t know that there is a better way to organize them. You are doing a stupendous job! I am not a lego mom yet, more of a big blocks/duplo mom. I myself was a lego lover and just kept them in a giant bucket. Half of the fun is dumping them out and digging through them!

    42. I love the storage system you came up with! Legos totally do not go with your decor, but that is kids for you. I have a girl who is crazy about Legos and she has infected the rest of us. We are putting together all the different Hogwarts sets together. For storage, I have a small divided bin with a lid that flips up that has all the little special bits in it, then she has another bin with a lid that just has everything in it. I may try your way. We had her legos in a three drawer container before, but I think it was multicolored and you couldn’t see what was in the drawers. I don’t think there is a better way than what you have come up with. Another thing we have done is buy the stackable little containers that snap together in a tower. That was great for keeping sets together (when we used to worry about that). My daughter has a big set of cheap shelves in her room that have her put-together models on them, and her building bins.

    43. I have three boys and I have just given up! All of our legos ( at least the ones not scattered through the house and in dresser drawers, etc.) are in one big bin. I finally just put it to rest and realized that someday, quite soon, those Legos would not be so important to my little guys and I might even miss them laying around!!!

    44. I found a thing that sort the legos by size which we find very helpful…it called box4blox. I think we must have a million legos and they usually end up everywhere. We sort them at cleanup time by putting them in the sorter and thn dumping the different sizes into bigger size sorted bins. Each boy also has his own “project box” for stuff they are working on or hoarding.

      I love the idea of putting all the ones that travel downstairs into a drawer!!

    45. We tried doing the sort/store method but they still end up on the floor spread out while looking for the best piece. :-) The storage looks so nice but micro-managing legos is not one of my son’s interests.

      We use an under the bed storage box on rollers and have a small dust pan/brush set that we throw in also. Twice a week we pick up the legos, sweep and dust the floor and then it starts all over again. He has two small lego organizing boxes for mini figs that he throws in the box also.

      It is the display space we need! :-)

    46. I love this, we just did this for my boys and it really makes clean up much easier. Having a place for “their” special pieces was crucial. Thanks for the post. I love that I am not the only mom out there battling the Lego organization, cleanup chaos.

    47. I just wish they had a lego vacuum. Something like what they use to pick up golf balls on a driving range. Maybe I just had my million dollar idea.

    48. We have two large, under-the-bed storage boxes. They are wide and long, but not very deep so it makes looking through them to find just the right piece easier then when they were in deeper containers. I really like your idea about having their own special drawer for creations, though. Right now, we have one large shelf in the playroom (dubbed “The Special Shelf”, how creative, right?) that gets more and more packed as the days go on. I just shift through it every now and then. But I think having their own drawer (and the rule about not being allowed to open the other’s drawer–important detail!) is great. I’ll be doing this. Thanks for the tips! Legos on bare feet–OUCH!


    49. at the lego store they have little boxes (i’d say 6×6 or maybe even an 8×8) but they are shaped like legos and they are all different colors. i told my hubby when ours really gets into legos we will be getting him those. you fill them up with legos (from the loose bins) so it might not help as much with y’all’s legos, lol! he is just mildly into legos right now, more into whatever the lego is (ninjago, power rangers, etc)

    50. I am envious of your little guys’ affliction with Lego. I think it is really lovely that they are so creative and you must be proud of their little models.
      I only have one boy and the rest are girls and no matter how much I have tried (he’s my only boy and I am new fangled with boy behaviour, clothes, traits etc!), he is just not into it.
      My little man doesn’t seem to have much of an attention span for anything like that. He is 4 years old. If he hasn’t got the Lego bug by now, does that mean he never will?

      1. I think 4 is probably a bit young to be really into it. My son is 6.5 and he has only really been obsessed with it for the last year at the most. It is the sort of thing that is fun from there on in though. I have fun doing it too and you only need to look at YouTube to see how many teenage (and older) boys are still going strong.

        1. This is very good news ladies that there is still a chance my little man might indulge in such an awesome past time, many thanks! x

    51. Yes, even with just one who is hot about legos, they are everywhere. What works best here is letting my little guy know that I get it. This is his creative outlet, just like I have mine. And my space is organized in a way that works for me, but if anyone else were to look at it, he or she might just see a mess. But the key is in having space to do your thing, right? So we try to make that happen with space for the “keepers” in his room. Another hint is the Box4Blox. It’s amazing, and it keeps so many legos in such a small space. You have to order it from the manufacturer online, and it’s totally worth it.

    52. I can relate! My oldest turned 5 back in Jan. and this is his new obsession. It’s all he ever wants to do or talk about mostly. He’s good about keeping them in his room but they are spewed EVERYWHERE and I’m constantly stepping on one *ouch*. i think we will be giving this system a try! Thanks for sharing!

    53. I can TOTALLY identify- and we have only one in Legos (the other has another affliction- John Deere tractors and combines!). Our problem? We (meaning my son) can never find “the” piece he needs for one of his creations. Good luck!

    54. The great thing about Leggos is that you never have to think about what to get for your boys for holidays for years (and years). I think my boys wanted them through high school. They are late 20’s now, and STILL love to play with them with the younger family members. The “little kids” are just an excuse to play with them.

    55. Legos are fun except when cleaning them up!!

      I LOVE the idea of colour coding our lego but I know that my son would never keep that up so in order to try to make it easier on both of us we only use one big bin. And every week the downstairs clean up means dragging the stragglers back up to his room.

      But we did create a simple lego table that allows him to keep his creations together.

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