Last Christmas was fruitful in building our…I mean Chase’s, Lego collection. Storing Lego sets in their original boxes in the closet downstairs was no longer cutting it. So… I did what any organized thrifty Mom would do and made a trip to the Dollarama to find some storage bins and baskets.
I took some time to think about what kind of storage bins would be ideal. Since I have a baby under foot, the thought of Lego on the floor gives me an aneurysm and I was having visions of Chase tripping over the vacuum hose and Lego catapulting across the dining room. I was quite pleased after finding some clear, medium-sized rectangle bins that stack, nest and come with a locking cover and handle.
My first plan was to sort by set. For example, my goal was to collect all the pieces that build the garbage truck set and put them into one container along with the matching instructions and repeat for each set. That was fairly easy with what we had in front of us, especially where most sets had specific color schemes. We began to sort but didn’t get to finish in one sitting.
Chase continued to play with Lego in the mean time and what I realized is that after a build with the instructions, he typically begins to transform and play creatively off that build which involves combining from different sets. Suddenly I felt like “the man upstairs” in the Lego movie. WHAT WAS I THINKING?! This was never going to work.
How could I organize a bazillion little pieces in a way that you can easily find a very specific piece when building sets from instructions AND allow for creative play in an easy to maintain organized way? If Chase wasn’t interested in building with the instructions, I would definitely dump it all in a bin and call it a day.
After sitting there thinking and staring at the bins filled with mismatched Lego sets, it finally came to me. We will sort by COLOR! So… back to sorting. I turned up the song, “Everything is Awesome” on my iPhone and Chase (my mini a-type in the making) and I began another sorting spree. Once we had all the colors sorted, I decided it made sense to group some colors together. We did this for blue & purple, red & orange and cream & brown, to minimize the number of bins for colors that we had less of. I grabbed some white circle labels I had lying around and had Chase and my BFF color the stickers to match the Lego colors we had in our collection. I stuck the stickers on the sides of the bins as labels and after adhering red and orange next to each other I realized they kind of resembled the studs on a Lego! Not planned at all, but how awesome is that?!
After having the opportunity to work on a build after setting up our color coded bins, it was clear this was the way to go BUT…something was missing. I needed to make some minor improvements to our system. Back to the Dollarama I went and home I came with:
- 1 large shallow basket
- 3 small shallow baskets
- 3 drawer container
- 3 ring binder
- clear page protectors
- a super cool lego head storage bin (this we actually received for Christmas but I now had an idea of how I would use this)
The 3 drawer container is where we stored minifigures, accessories and stands. The super cool lego head is where we put all wheels and tires. We filled the binder with clear page protectors and put the instructions for all of our sets inside the page protectors. The large basket is used to keep the mixed up assorted Lego pieces that are being used creatively and trucks and creations that we keep in tact for ongoing play. The smaller baskets are used for easy sorting and sifting through the color coded bins when looking for a specific piece. Hardcore? Yes. Fanatic? Yes? Super crazy awesome? Hell yeah!
Check out other posts in my Lego Series:
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