Pinterest To Shoppable Reality: Lego Storage

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Hey Gang!  Amanda’s back with a Pinterest-to-Shoppable-Reality post!

Shana asked me to find some awesome storage solutions for the Lego madness threatening to take over her house, and I was more than happy to oblige. The first thing I did was hit up Pinterest for some inspiration. Here’s what I found:

legostorage
Idea 1: Nicole Samuels
Idea 2: Apartment Therapy
Idea 3: The Organised Housewife

 

These options are great whether your kids are just starting their “collection” or Lego fever is well underway! They let kids have a central area for their stuff that’s easily accessible and looks cool enough that they’ll want to keep things organized…maybe? Keep in mind that these storage ideas can also be used for any toys with a million small, fiddly parts that end up underfoot (are there any that don’t fit this description?!) – in our home it’s currently Thomas & Friends and puzzle pieces.

Need a Lego command center to restore your sanity? Here’s how to make it happen!

 

Go Industrial – Cool

For an industrial-cool look that’s kid friendly, pair a metal cart with fun storage boxes. Extra organization points for matching Lego colors to the rainbow-colored boxes! The carts are on wheels, so just roll ’em out of the way when playtime’s over.
MetalCarts+Boxes

Room Essentials Metal Cart in Orange, Target, $56.99 (also in a fun bright teal!
Excel 3-Tray Tool Cart in Red, Hayneedle, $88.45 (also in cobalt blue)
Top-Box Storage Collection, Land of Nod, $8.95-$13.95
Circo Linen Striped Tote, Target, $12.99
Lego Storage Brick, Target, $33.99

 

 

Warm and Welcoming

For a warmer look (with a Swedish accent?) go for wood shelving with clear or colored boxes for easy sorting. The first option has a top shelf for displaying current creations or works-in-progress.

WoodenStorage

Toy Organizer with Casters in Natural, Unbeatable Sale, $126.90

Honey Can Do Storage Organizer, Hayneedle $74.95

 

 

Lego Storage Charmingly Disguised

Want your Lego storage to be a little more subtle? These Windham accent cabinets from Target do the trick, and they come in lots of colors (ranging from neutrals to cheerful yellow to moody eggplant) and multiple sizes depending on your storage needs. Throw Legos in some cute buckets or clear plastic containers and shut the doors – voila!
SubtleStorage
Windham Accent 2-Door Cabinet with Center Shelves, Target, $159.99
Windham Accent Cabinet, Target, $105
Party Tubs, Container Store, $14.99 each
Water Hyacinth Bins, Container Store, $6.99-$16.99
Latch Boxes, Container Store, $3.99-$5.99

 

– Amanda

Amanda lives near Boston with her real-life secret agent husband and spitfire redhead 3 year old Annika, soon to be joined by another bundle of mischief this fall. A software marketer by day and budget-savvy home decorating enthusiast the rest of the time, Amanda’s goal is to make beautiful interior designs livable. She thinks living with kids shouldn’t mean you can’t have a stylish home – you just need a few smart shopping tricks up your sleeve! 

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About Author

Shana founded The Mom Edit in 2008. She lives with the love of her life (his name's Mike) and their two crazy boys in downtown Philadelphia. She loves a good styling challenge (her engineering side shows eventually), appreciates kindness, and usually picks scotch over wine, sneakers over stilettos, and shorts known as denim-underwear, always.

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13 Comments

  1. Sorry, the color-coded boxes would never work! Those bricks get mixed up faster than you can say “everything is awesome”.
    There are some other good ideas here, so I’ll share with my hubby – we’re trying to figure out how to take the living room back from the LEGO monster!

  2. I agree with Renee! I tried doing the color code thing with my boys when they were little and it was an exercise in frustration for me and them! We have one just like the Honey Can Do and it does the trick for us. At 17, 19 and 21 they still play with it sometimes. I won’t ever get rid of it, great for little guests and one day grand babies. 🙂

    • Ok, I want more feedback on this topic. In anticipation of this post, Raines and I sorted all of his legos by color, and stuck them into tupperware containers for the time being (the cheap ones that you can buy in big packs). Just the fact that they were sorted kicked off a flurry of construction like we’ve never seen before. It was awesome. But I can’t keep up. Breaking apart their projects, re-sorting, etc. is driving me nuts. So. Now I’m wondering if I can implement one of these solutions (I’m ga-ga over the industrial cool one – nice job, Amanda!) but just stick random pieces in each bin? Does that defeat the purpose? Or….maybe one project per bin? Or maybe even one bin (or utility box organizers) for the small pieces? I mean…there’s got to be a happy medium here, right? I can’t spend the rest of my life organizing these things by color and remain sane (although, when R was young, we only had a fraction of the legos we do now, and sorting was fun)….THOUGHTS? Mamas, please weigh-in! I’m dying to know what you guys do….

      • Shana- my boys are 7 and 9 and have TONS of Legos- I am not kidding.

        My boys have tons of random Legos. We had Lego parties and bought pounds- yes, you read that right, POUNDS of Legos on Craigslist to use at the party, and though we sent kids home with tons of creations, we still have POUNDS of Legos! Then we have sets that the build and love.

        This is what we have done the past 3 years or so. They build sets and display them on the top shelf of a book case. Then we have two big clear flat rubber maid bins of the random pieces. They also each have two smaller latch bins to keep “special” pieces- they determine what is in that. To me it looks like a bunch of random stuff- to them it’s like liquid gold- small clear bricks, levers, wheels- you name it. Then we have two fabric bins- that keeps things that they are building on their own.

        When they want to build a new set, or display a new creation but don’t have space on top of the book case, they break down an old one. If it was a set they want to save for the future to build again, we put it in a baggie, label it and it goes into a HUGE rubber maid bin for storage. The good part of this? We have tons to use when it is cold and snowy and they want to build- and they play with them.

        I’d say that they are right now more into building their own creations, but it goes in phases. It is also the saving grace when other kids come over- we can easily have 6 boys here and they are quietly entertained- you read that right- quietly entertained building their own creations. So when the nerf gun wars go awry I pull out the huge bins of Legos and VIOLA it’s a bit calmer. I have cookie sheets with edges on them that the boys will pull out to build on and sort things- makes it easy when there’s more kiddos.

        So if you have tons of Legos, don’t worry about sorting them- truly. Maybe if Raines has special pieces get a bin for those. But you will make yourself crazy- and I find that part of what keeps my kids busy is looking for the pieces in the bigger bins!

        Helpful? Yes? No?

        • Insanely helpful. SO INSANELY HELPFUL. Beth, I’ve read and re-read this several times AND TOOK NOTES for cryin’ out loud. This is my solution. I’m going to mix this in with Amanda’s industrial cool stuff and BAM. Thank you SO freaking much. This will be my sanity. Solidarity, sister.

          • Glad it helped!

            One other piece we did- that may or may not be fun/helpful. My boys will take photos of their creations (not the sets, but their own creations that they build from imagination). We print the photos out and they will then make sketches of them, or glue on paper and slip into clear sleeves to go into a binder- and make notes about what it was, or write stories. When they were younger I had to act as scribe, but I have to say that I found it is much like your creativity table. More often than not it helped extend their imagination and creativity- and kept them busy!!!

            Solidarity is right- in Legos, as the mama of two boys-and in the belief of CPW! (Which by the way the boys use against me with more expensive Lego sets 😉

  3. We also use those utility box organizers (aka loom bracelet organizers these days) for all the super tiny pieces. Manageable for 4, 7 and ahem, 38 year olds.

  4. Great feedback, ladies! The color-coded boxes may work if your kid likes their stuff super-organized or if they’re young enough to think that sorting is a fun activity – my 3yo thinks it’s the bees knees 🙂

    Frances – the utility box organizers are a great idea!!
    -Amanda

  5. We are dealing with the same thing. I agree that getting everything reorganized spurs a new interest, but its a nightmare to keep up with and maintain. My son is 7 and we have a modified sorting system. We have three sliding drawers for black, white and gray pieces…this covers a big chunk of our stash. Another bin has blue and red, another has all the remaining colors. Last, a small one holds all lego people and their accessories. So 6 total. This works for us…most of the time. It also serves as a lesson in discipline…for all of us. We try once a week to re-sort any pieces not currently attached in a project. And all pieces must be on the lego table in his room (the top of his Ikea bookshelf) every night. No stray pieces in the carpet! If the Lego table is full of partial projects and there is no more room…its time to clean up and re-sort.

    Also, occasionally, we spend time putting sets back together in a bag with the instructions and sell them on FB. He can use that money to buy a new set. This keeps us at a pretty manageable volume but allows new sets to come in. (Bonus: it is teaching him about budget and money.)

    • Abi, thanks for sharing this! We don’t even have that many legos, but I tried the sorting by colors thing and it has proven to be a major source of frustration for the entire family. I think we will try the modified sorting system. I also like the weekly sorting; my kids love to leave their creations on display rather than break them down right away this sounds brilliant!

  6. We have found that bins don’t work, generally – Legos tend to get dumped out when our son (5) can’t find a piece he wants. What DOES work? A drawstring bag. It spreads big enough that the pieces can all be seen. It is easy to keep all (well, 98%) of the legos on the bag surface. And cleanup takes two seconds. The best one we’ve found is this one: http://www.layngo.com/products.php#large It closes up totally tight – even the tiniest pieces can’t escape. (And they make a small one, too, which is perfect for travel.)
    There is also a Swoop bag, which I want to recommend, because it’s a mama business, but it’s not as g ood – it does not close up thoroughly around the drawstring, so pieces can fall out.

  7. I now have three in Lego and we’ve tried various things. What we have now is a large underbed rolling storage box with a lid that holds all loose pieces. Each boy has a small plastic lidded box from Target to put special pieces/creations in. Because papa puts the big boys to bed there are still Lego all over the floor at night but this has drastically cut down on the all-out Lego spill on the floor.
    BTW I have those colorful Land of Nod boxes and I like that they stack and fit in my Ikea nice and snug but I don’t like that the lids do not securely connect to the box. And with my rowdy crew we’ve lost a few boxes. I’m also finding that they don’t hold enough (Playmobile, Lego, marble run, etc) so we had to size up to some latching colorful Target bins.

    Good luck to everyone with Lego organization. We are all fighting the good fight here!

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