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Organizing Wille’s Legos

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Last weekend I figured because the weather was so cold and dreary that I’d reorganize Wille’s Lego collection. Not only did I want to sort it all, I also wanted to minimize it so it would all go into those large bins instead of taking up four bins altogether.

 

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I figured that the bins the Legos were semi sorted into took up too much space in the larger bins so Ziploc bags were the way to go. The air could be pressed out of the bags before zipping them and then stacking them into the large bins.

 

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We did quite a big sort out a few years ago so we had a pretty good system already. The regular bricks were sorted by color, the little Lego men were sorted together with their hair-dos and outfits in one bin, the animals were in another etc. It was still a bit of a mess though and quite a lot was unsorted or just shoved in random plastic bags.

 

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Half way there but still quite a long way to go. Bonus and Mini made their regular inspection rounds to make sure the sorting was up to their standards.

 

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So the idea was basically to keep the original system we’d had but transfer the large portions into the 3L bags from the grocery store (WHY btw are they blue?! So annoyed when I opened the package and realized that.). Tiny pieces (like dragon’s flames, builder’s tools and gold coins) were sorted into tiny bags which I got in a stationery store in Hong Kong years ago. Luckily I had already started doing that last time around so now it was just a matter of getting the stuff out of those mixed bins and bags and sort those where they belonged. All the odd pieces (curved ones, printed ones, hinged ones etc etc) simply went into three large bags. Some sets that were already together in plastic bags were transferred to Ziplocs to keep them semi intact.

 

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It took me almost all day on Saturday but mission was accomplished! This is not a good system if the Legos are being played with but I love how it turned out for long time storage. I was able to fit everything into the large bins like I’d hoped and was left with a bunch of empty bins I can use in other places around the house instead.

 

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And there they are, the bins, fitting snuggly on the bottom shelf behind the curtain in the basement. We’re also saving four large sets (Harry Potter’s Hogwarts, Life on Mars and a couple more) in their original boxes which aren’t included here. Also all (yes, every single one!) the instruction leaflets are saved in two fat binders. Lego was such a huge part of Wille’s life for over ten years and he wants to keep it all but it does take up SO much space. I can see Wille moving to his own place one day and me moving into the city with limited storage possibilities for both of us and we’ll have to rent a storage unit just for Legos, haha!

38 Comments

  • Jakob says:

    Sorry, I like the “before” better :). Love your shelves!!!

  • kory says:

    aaah so many legos! it’s like family treasure 🙂

  • Emma says:

    HAaa ! Your son put his Detective Conan Manga Comic Books into storage ?! I still read mine, and they’re still readily accessible on my bookshelves. I just love them !

  • Jessica says:

    This is how I would prefer our Legos be stored, but my kids would never keep it up. They still play with them every day, though. We got a giant wreath container on clearance after Christmas and it holds so many Legos; before they were in a few Rubbermaid-type underbed storage containers. Unfortunately the only color they had was red, but it works.

  • Johanna says:

    Good job! Same here with the Playmobils… It takes for ever to sort all sets to their own bags. But oh, how nice it is to take something to play when you know that all you need for that particular set is for sure in the same bag/bags! I am also all for keeping the manuals. Greetings, Johanna

  • Jenny says:

    Ojojoj! Det skulle ta mig en vecka att sortera Rasmus lego. Förra gången jag försökte så tog det två dagar för honom att få sin egen ordning på legot igen, det vill säga huller om buller 🙂 Han har nästan slutat leka med det, det kanske är dags att långtidsförvara, hm. För jag har begripit att lego blir hur sunkigt som helst om man inte förvarar det väl. Men det får nog dröja några år.
    Som vanligt ett mycket läsvärt och underhållande inlägg, Benita!

  • Marie says:

    Hello. Your ziplock bags are probably blue as they’re freezer bags. Therefore made of a thicker plastic that helps stop “freezer burn” ice crystals from forming on your food. Clear ones are thinner. Incidentally, I rather insanely bring back actual freezer Ziplock brand bags from the States to the UK every summer, and theirs are clear! I prefer them as they store things (such as sharp cornered Legos) without ripping as easily. And don’t get me started on the XXXL ones. They’re fabulous for long term storage. Bed linen, sports equipment etc…

  • MelD says:

    I find that with the plain blocks that my grandson has, at least, actually clicking the bricks together saves space. So far, he’s only 4, he just has basic bricks in a small tub in a drawer at my place. No doubt that will alter later or at their house! At the moment he’s totally into trains and has tubfuls of Duplo train bits… and a large bedroom (luckily!).
    We also have the Harry Potter Hogwarts (my middle daughter won a trip to Legoland in Denmark when she was 11 on the German TV show 1,2 oder 3 and it was her additional gift! – her claim to fame LOL!) that is just in a tub – my eldest daughter found the instructions online when it came to rebuilding for my grandson… she had great fun (she’s 28!).
    Otherwise, my 3 girls all had Playmobil rather than Lego, so it takes up two large underbed tubs. We didn’t keep the sets separate (farm, circus, Indians, operating theatre etc.) because they would use bits from other sets anyway while playing. Those tubs are now ready for my grandson and granddaughter to dig in when they are a little bit older and can manage the tiny parts.
    I use the ziploc bags from Ikea for everything, but especially knitting/wool projects, and like the different colours to code – they seem to change them every couple of years, so I have blue, green, red and yellow and I think at the moment they’re doing purple… I can find wool weights and projects easily in a large tub this way.

  • Judith says:

    Goodness gracious, this is my future…Roffe’s grown son has a ton of Legos that I can imagine the next generation will soon want to play with, and I’ve had itchy fingers for a while wanting to sort them. I’ll plan it for a nasty, grey weekend when we don’t want to be out and about!

  • Leena says:

    I too have kept all my old playmobil. Those fill up two big storage bins, similar Ikea bins as yours. I’ve sorted them too into ziplock bags inside the storage bins. I do hope my possible future kid wants to play with those, otherwise I’ve stored them in vain. But like Wille with his legos I cannot part with my playmobil.

  • Viv says:

    Snap! I have been doing our toy boxes this week but the larger Duplo version rather than the Lego – but mine are toys kept to hand in case of tiny visitors. Our Lego collection is still in the original boxes in the loftspace, we had a general version as well as the Airport, Fire Station, Hospital etc etc and they quite neatly stack left like this, though I like your modified storage solution. It is far too good to part with and I am sure it will all be payed with again with a future generation. I quite enjoyed playing with it myself as I was sorting!!
    PS My freezer zip lock are clear but ordinary freezer bags blue – drives me mad too as the blue reminds me of something rather medical!

  • Louise says:

    Bonjour,
    My three kids loooove their Lego. Our dining table is a permanent Legoland… How did you store the blocks when your son was still playing with them?

  • Caro Style says:

    What a fun project for a cold winter day! My son’s old Lego is stored unsorted in one big bin. I feel that I am ‘earning’ some Grandchildren, someday, by storing it for him. But now I’m thinking it would be fun to do some sorting.

  • Yamila says:

    Glad Willie still plays with Lego.
    My 5 year old boy Joaquin loves Lego, we currently have lego out everywhere around the house but when we moved to Argentina we packed it all up in plastic ziplock bags and labeled the bags with what was housed in each bag(i.e. Lego ambulance etc).
    My two year old daughter plays with it as well. We have a lego table that my father built but it was originally for Thomas trains and tracks, it has no legs so we need to add legs.
    But like you and everyone else i find it so hard to store Lego especially with smaller kids who just “chuck” pieces in the pile when they are finished.
    Hopefully Willie will store his Lego for when his kids one day will want to play with them. We still have boxes of Lego at Joaquin’s grandparents house in Australia that belonged to my partner.

  • Kristin says:

    I can only dream of this, since my 16 year old still “uses” (not “plays with”) his Legos!!

  • Suzanne says:

    No Legos in this house, but SOOO in awe of your shelves behind the curtain. This is my DREAM!

  • Tina says:

    OMG!!! Jag är så jäkla avis på din ordning&reda. Även om jag tycker att du är lite tokig 😉 så får du gärna komma hem till mig och fixa!!! Ha en trevlig helg! Kram Tina

  • Man kan köra Legot i tvättmaskin! Antingen i ett ihopknutet örngott eller i en tvättpåse, sån där till underkläder. Alla vara basbitar fick sig en omgång när vi stuvade undan det första gången. Supersmidigt!

  • I used to bring the thicker clear Ziplocks back from the States too but didn’t have nearly enough for this project. I still think they could make thicker clear ones here too :).

  • We stored them in the two under bed bins in the photos. Those smaller tubs were stacked inside each other as in the first photo. We did have two more of the same bins though where we stored projects in process too though. That way it was pretty easy to clear the floor at night.

  • Wille doesn’t still play with it, I got it all out to sort it to better store it :).

  • Goneril says:

    Am I reading this right, you wash them in the washing machine in a lingerie bag?! That’s great!
    What temperature and setting, warm delicate etc? I gotta do this. Thanks!

  • Yes, you can wash Legos in the washing machine at 40 degrees C. You pop them in a pillow case which you tie up with a string or in mesh laundry bags (the type you use for lingerie. If you don’t want them to rattle around too much during the wash cycle you add some textiles like towels. After washing you empty them out on terry towels and let them air dry. Don’t put them in the dryer or they will warp.

  • Sarah says:

    Förväntar mig att du kommer över och styr upp saker och ting (och med saker och ting menar jag lego) här. Typ pronto. 😉 Kram!

  • Nicole says:

    You make the most mundane tasks so fascinating! I finished reading the post before realizing that I have no use for this but I loved every word and picture! You are an inspiration.

  • Corina says:

    We are many years away from putting our LEGO into storgae! In the meantime I have a variation on this too- same large bins with shoebox sized bins inside-sorted by colour.Then one large bin and several smaller bins for the special bits, extra small pieces, LEGO men etc. As MelD said- clicking the bricks together saves space and makes it easier to find the bricks you need for a project, and to snap them apart easily, they are best clicked together in an overlapping pattern. I found this out by reading all the tips from AFOLs online (Adult Fans of Lego) who have whole rooms dedicated to their LEGO colletons. I spent an evening just last week with some wine, my new labelmaker and cleaned up the latest LEGO mess. It was very satisfying and now that it is all labelled my girls will be more likely to be able to sort it themselves one day. Well..that’s the plan anyway.

  • Marie Holmes says:

    I love being organized! My husband got the Legos in the divorce(holding them for grandkids). I got the Brio train set. I’ve also used ziplocks for the small pieces in that set. The people, etc. I have so many Brio pieces; I was able to keep 5 kids under 7 happy for hours at the family Christmas party. It all fits in a fairly large tub.

  • jja says:

    Wow! My ex-husband hat a similiar collection.
    “Half way there but still quite a long way to go. Bonus and Mini made their regular inspection rounds to make sure the sorting was up to their standards.”
    :-)))
    Great work!

  • Emily says:

    Could you tell us about that litter box in the background? 🙂

  • Do you mean the cat head shaped thingy? It’s not a littler box, it’s a cat bed from Whiskas. We got it on Ebay years ago as they don’t seem to make them any longer.

  • Clare says:

    You’ll be glad of it when he pulls them out for his own children. My children have just hit lego age and our parents have brought out the lego collections. Such fun!
    I could tell you were sorting for storage when you sorted by colour! We began with colour-based sorting, then moved to brick shape once my oldest started freestyle building. It has made an enormous difference to their constructions – bigger and more interesting. Give it a try, you’ll be amazed. We use IKEA Variera drawer inserts – a whole sorting system for under $20.

  • Ali says:

    Ooh! I have such a love of Lego’s! My two boys and my daughter love playing lego’s! Thanks for the inspiration picks on how to store with this decade of lego’s ends for our family! Great job storing the lego’s!
    ~ Ali

  • Ali says:

    instead of “picks” I meant “pics’ 🙂

  • Ali says:

    instead of “with” I meant “when”

  • kristina says:

    Tusen tack för tips och inspiration och BILDER – tack vare detta inlägg har jag i helgen ägnat 6h åt att sortera, rensa och organisera vår gigantiska legosamling och det är nu så fint och överskådligt samt i mycket bättre förvaring för ev. framtida barn. Det blev SÅ bra, tack vare dig 🙂 Har dessutom läst igenom dina 48 bloggsidor under “organizing” – vilken skatt!

  • Jessiejack says:

    I love love love the cat bed shaped like — a cat!