Friday, October 28, 2011

173 Organizing Legos: Part 3 - Creating Organized Lego Storage

Welcome back to Part 3 of my little Lego series.  So far I have blabbed about the build buckets and the build table, but I know what you really have been waiting for.  What in the world did we end up doing with all of those big bins of  Legos?

Well, be ready for a picture filled post to find out!

First, I have to mention, we have been accumulating Legos for YEARS.  In fact, my husband had a giant bin of them under our stairs for the longest time, just waiting for our boys to grow old enough to play with.  Not to mention, as you know we have three boys, so what is always the easiest gift choice at holidays and birthdays?  Legos. 

This project started out with four large Rubbermaid bins full of Legos, along with the craft drawers we attempted to use as storage as well.  {we only had one small cart and it just wasn't big enough for our growing collection}.


My initial reaction was to sort out the pieces by type.  Bricks, boards, wheels, etc... The boys disagreed.  They wanted things done by color.  They were so nicely reminded it was going to be their duty to maintain whatever new system we implement and that the whole point was to make building easier and more fun for them.  So I let it be their choice on how things were done, and sorting by color won.

The next step was to come up with the best way to containerize all of the pieces by color.  I instantly knew the IKEA Trofast system was the way I wanted to go, but I did try and think up other alternative solutions... Cricket cricket.  I had nothin', so Trofast it was!


Then came the REALLY fun part.  The sorting.  OK, not so much fun.  But we tried our hardest to enjoy it.  We all sat together, surrounded by bins, watched movie after movie for an entire day and a half until it was done.



I had the boys help me for 75% of the time.  I figured if they were part of the sorting process, they would appreciate it more and be more apt to help maintain all their hard work.  It's been a couple of weeks now and I am happy to report, so far SOOO good!

When it came to labeling the bins, I sat on this one for awhile.  I wanted to do vinyl with my Silhouette.  SO badly.  And I wanted the words on the front to be the same color as the blocks in the bins.  So when I looked online and in stores at vinyl prices, I about had a heart attack.  10 bins at $7 minimum a color... um no thanks.  Shucks.  I did some research and heard about adhesive backed cardstock.  Again, $5 per color and not every color I needed.  Strike two.  Then it hit me!  I could use regular colored cardstock, cut the words out with my Silhouette, and adhere them to the fronts of the bins myself, all while saving a TON of moolah over the alternative options!  Whew, almost struck out, that was close!

So that's what I did.  I started cutting out letters from each color of cardstock.  The best part of this was that I could use shades of the color that I liked vs. the harsh, primary color that Legos usually are.


I used Dr. Seuss shaped font, it is for a playroom after all! 

To adhere the letters, I wanted something that would last.  And look clean and resemble the look I would have gotten with the vinyl.  So I went with Mod Podge in a matte finish {which is the same finish of the Trofast bins}.


I used some painters tape to give myself a straight line to work with and to ensure the letters were placed in about the same location on each bin.


Then, I used a brush to "paint" on some Mod Podge, stick the letter on the bin, and then Mod Podge over the letter to really make it stick.


Don't worry as you are doing this... it gets worse before it gets AMAZING....

{while drying}



Once all of the Mod Podge dried, you wouldn't have even known it was there to begin with!  WIN!




Totally stinkin' adorable.

The only items we didn't do by color were the boards and little people.  The boards got a large Trofast bin, the people got a smaller storage box.


So did all the manuals.



Again, I hashed out manual storage options.  I originally was going to binder them into plastic page protectors.  But I know my boys.  I imagined that over time, they would take the manual out and it wouldn't easily find its way back.  So they now just get piled in a storage box and it's done.  I am very OK with that since I want it to be easiest for them to maintain.

When it comes to the "builds" they create, sometimes they like to keep them for a little while {however, they play with Legos because they love to create and build, so they don't seem to be too concerned about keeping their sets together for long periods of time}.  I wanted to give them a place in their new playroom to begin displaying their creations, so we installed some inexpensive shelves above the Lego storage bins.



Up until now, they have never really had a place to display their projects, which is why you don't see anything up there right now.  But now they have a place should they want it.  For the time being, I just shopped around the house for items to prop up on the shelves as placeholders, along with some free kid's printable art I found through the lovely world of Pinterest.



Ready to see the whole Lego wall in all it's organized glory?





We are so incredibly smitten with how the whole entire project turned out.  We now have a place that the boys can build and create and the storage is both functional, yet dressed up to blend in and become part of the decor. 

And that my friends, concludes my Lego mini-series!  Until next week that is, when I will host a Lego Link Up Party and we can all swoon over all of your other ideas and Lego storage solutions.  I know there are tons of Lego organizing options out there, many of you have already shared with me incredible ideas that are working well for you!  Next week we will have a chance to share those ideas with all the readers!

173 comments:

  1. This is totally a dream play room for little boys. Love it! Persistence and patience paid off for y'all on this lovely organizing project!

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  2. Awesome work Jen! I love it! Makes me wish I had some lego to organise! I absolutely adore that font as well!! Too cute :)

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  3. I love it!! I will be curious whether they keep the colors in each bin. My kids would have them a mess!

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  4. Again, great organizing. So neat and colorful. I love it!

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  5. Absolutely wonderful! I love seeing the projects that you do! It's so very pretty and functional too! FYI. HERE (http://www.ohmycrafts.com/bythesheet.aspx) you can find vinyl for less that $2 per 12 x 24 in. sheet. They have a pretty large color selection and ship really fast. If you want a lot of one color they also sell 10 ft. long rolls (12 in. wide) for $8. Just thought I would let you know!

    I love following you blog!

    Amanda
    www.kraftingkreations.blogspot.com

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  6. I buy all my vinyl from expressionsvinyl.com you can get a sheet of 9x24 vinyl for $1.59 each!! LOVE THEM!

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  7. I am in love..... Mental note for when my daughter comes along. Thank you jeanette for the great recommendation. I'm going there now.

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  8. Gorgeous! I love the Dr Seuss font =) I'm just printing off envelopes for my wedding invitations, complete with a very "us" Dr Seuss quote about love, so I can see that font having a place in our home one day!

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  9. This is so totally awesome and amazing I almost can't wait till my babies grow up and have legos just so I can do this (okay maybe I can wait). But for real this is awesome... You are awesome!

    Pink Lady @ Rosey Glasses

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  10. hi jen

    the letters looks embossed and not flat...is it because of your thickness of your cardstock?

    /jonie

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  11. This is FANTASTIC! And I can totally use these ideas for organizing our tool situation. Hooray!

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  12. Absolutely amazing! I am so impressed!
    You blow my mind everyday!
    xoxo
    Kerri at HollyMuffin

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  13. Way to go Jen!! This is so great!

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  14. LOVE! I just organized our Lego's last night :)
    http://smeiers.blogspot.com/2011/10/lego-solution.html

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  15. I love love love love it! You always blow me away with your organization! I am in awe once again!

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  16. another couple things about expressions vinyl. If you sign up for their emails they send out discount codes all the time (10-20%off!)you can also follow them on facebook and they post some on their too. I LOVE their customer service, once I was missing something in my order and with no questions they shipped it out the same day for me. They also have T-shirt vinyl -you cut it out and then iron it on to any fabric surface. It is more reasonably priced than the heat transfer that silhouette makes. **stepping of soap box now**

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  17. Adorable!!! It loooks so good. I really think I need to save up to purchase a Silhouette. I have so many things I would use it for.

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  18. our peeps!!!! ahahaha! I LOVE IT! The labels (you know i'm a label fiend!) take it to the next level and then some! love that you color coordinated the letters to the legos too - so everything can be chosen at a quick glance!

    girl you've outdone yourself this time! I'm not showing the hubs this. or he'll request more legos so he can have a wall-o-organized-legos. true story! =)

    xoXOxo
    Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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  19. This is why I heart you and Ikea so much!!! Great choice and I heart that you sorted by colors. Great idea!!! Your kids must love it to pieces. LOL!!! Sorry couldn't help myself. :)

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  20. AWESOME!! I will have to share this with my best friend. Her boys love legos.

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  21. that's amazing! i love IKEA bins!! Totally perfect for a playroom!

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  22. I see there will be a rush on IKEA by all mom's of boys owning LEGOs. I should send my dad as well- for my 18 year old brother's collection. It is in dire need of organizing! A trip to my sister in AZ might be in order so I can stop at the local IKEA and get some LEGO organization as well!
    I will be pinning this as soon as my comment posts!

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  23. I am so glad I found your blog, you are giving me so much information and ideas on how to organize!!! Thank You





    COME VISIT AND SAY IT LIKE YOU MEAN IT
    WWW.STAYYOUNGFOREVR.BLOGSPOT.COM

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  24. It's over? :( Just kidding (kind of). Seriously, I loved this serious. The little lego wall is beyond awesome. I love that everything is color coded (although, like you, I would have wanted them by part). I think part of it is that they know what color the certain part they are looking for is, so either way they should be able to find everything. I think you did a great job. It's super cute, and done on the cheap which is always the best.

    Have a great weekend!

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  25. I absolutely LOVE this idea!! The Mod Podge ended up working really well! Also, wanted to share with you a tool that I've found that does a similar job- the Xyron sticker maker! I love using mine with letters that I've cut on my Cricut.

    Keep up the good work! :)
    Candice in TX

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  26. Legos or not, this is a great storage solution for toys or crafts. I just pinned this to my playroom idea board. Thanks! http://pinterest.com/pin/400246772/

    Jodi @ Make Three

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  27. Love this!!!!!

    Question: where r ur white display shelves from??? Ikea also???

    Thx--amanda

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  28. Ummm..can I come over and play Lego? Looks so amazing! From a decoration point of view, sorting by colour is more pleasing to the eye.

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  29. This turned out so brilliantly! :) I just found out we are pregnant with boy #2 so I have a feeling that this project will come in handy in the next few years. :)

    On a side note, I love Expressions Vinyl for cheap sheets of vinyl! They have a ton of colors to choose from...different types (heat transfer, indoor, outdoor, printable, etc.) and it's all pretty affordable.

    http://www.expressionsvinyl.com/catalog/update/12x24-all.html

    Have a great weekend!

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  30. That's amazing!!! Seriously! I am so inspired by what you do. I want to bookmark every post you put up here. My little guy just turned four and I think it's about time to introduce legos to him. Thank you for sharing your talent with all of us!

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  31. Oh my! I have girls, so we have no legos, but now I (almost) wish we did! What a SUPER CUTE idea!! Maybe I can incorporate this into doll clothes storage...hmmm

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  32. Amazing! My boys are still to little for legos, but I am keeping this idea in mind for when they get older! Quick question: do you have the link as to where you found that adorable printable on pinterest? Love it :)

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  33. LOVE this!!! My kids are still a bit young for the small Legos (they have the Mega Blocks for now). However, this gave me a great idea for how better to store all my husbands' Star Wars Legos(which he had displayed all over the house before we got married, lol)

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  34. Beautiful job! We don't have any legos, yet, but with two little boys I'm thinking we will before long. Thanks for taking the time to share another great idea!
    Nikki

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  35. Great minds must think alike! :) We sorted our legos by color just last week. Right now they are in ziploc bags in a large rubbermaid bin. I love that storage you got from Ikea. I am bummed we don't have an one, so I am going to be on the lookout for something else that will work like that in my small town.

    And just thought I would share, I had recently been looking for vinyl for my Cricut and came across this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00331S0GO/ref=ox_sc_act_title_5?ie=UTF8&m=A34GNK14M5XGGE

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  36. Great storage solution, great to look at, too!! :) And love those shelves. Off to check out your pinterest boards....

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  37. Jenny AKA frogmamaOctober 28, 2011 at 3:17 PM

    Gaahh! Everytime I think about sorting Legos, I am reminded of the week my grandparents stayed with us and my grandma INSISTED we sort all all the bricks smaller than 2x2's because she was afraid my little brother (3 or 4 years old) would put them in his mouth and choke. ....I think she just wanted to keep us busy at something while our parents were gone!!

    I have two girls and I have to admit, I fished out all my pink and purple "Tyco" Legos out of my parent's Lego bin for my own girls' Lego bin :D I love Legos!! Nice sorting! I especially like the manuals. Ours are getting so ruined because the kids just toss them wherever so they can get to the good suff (the legos).

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  38. That looks so nice! Keeping legos under control is a constant battle in our house. We have SO MANY legos that we would need at least 2x the storage bins that you have, maybe even more. My boys are lego maniacs :)

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  39. You can pick your own vinyl value packs at Oh My Crafts for very reasonable prices! Deals come on occasion, as well.
    Another alternative, is a Xyron Create-a-Sticker. Once you try one of these babies, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it! I have 3 of them in different sizes!
    Thanks for the tips!

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  40. That is totally stinkin' awesome!! I am so going to steal this idea (and if I actually get around to doing it, I'll send you pics). Could you give us the link for where you bought the manual/people boxes?

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  41. Ditto on expressionsvinyl.com! Have used their vinyl for a number of projects and their prices are the best around :)

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  42. So incredible! My son is not that into legos but if that changes, I will know where to look. Great job!
    Tara Caracciolo

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  43. I am loving this series! I also have 3 boys (5,3 and 1). Mr 5 is Lego obsessed. I too have organised the Lego into colours in the Ikea Trofast tubs! People think I am a little obsessed, but it works!! And so easy for the kids to keep organised too, as simple.

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  44. Fantastic! This idea is so wonderful I may have to set up something similar in the playroom! Thanks for the great ideas =)

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  45. I HEART the "lacy" bin. Where did you get it?

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  46. I don't know what to say, I am speechless... Well, maybe I have a few things to say. FREAKIN AWESOME!!!!! You are my hero and I am not exaggerating! I am so motivated to get organized, I just don't know where to start. You are amazing!!!

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  47. Jen,

    I love how your legos were organized. I used plastic shoe boxes, but I didn't think to label them. i think that would be a good idea.

    Rebecca G.

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  48. That is seriously cool. I love the colour coded labels on the front... off to find some things I can modpodge labels on to.

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  49. Jenn, does the trofast unit come in white or did you paint it??

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    1. I'm not Jenn, but I shop at Ikea a lot. It comes in white. They also have different configurations.

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  50. okay, what a wonderful idea for lego! this would be perfect in my childrens' playroom. though i have girls, so it would likely be used as a way to organize barbies, ponies, doll clothes, etc :)

    you can see pictures of my playroom on my blog, and perhaps give me some sound advice! lol.

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  51. love this lego idea! would love to see the whole layout of your playroom. we are finishing our basement for playroom/family room so i would love to get more inspiration from your playroome hehe.

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  52. WOW. That's all I can say. Great solution to your lego problem Jen!

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  53. Fantastic! I have four boys who adore Lego - and have lots of it!! Love the "Boys" subway art - is it featured on your Pinterest page? I'd love to find it.

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  54. one question, How do the drawers hold up with the weight of the legos? I tried this once before with at different drawer system and the weight of our legos was too much. These IKEA drawers look like they solved the problem of sagging that we had.

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  55. This is truly amazing. You are so inspiring!

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  56. Jen,

    I love the lego organization! I think this would also work well with multiple small children's toys. I am going to use this idea for organizing my son's toys. He is still a newborn, but we are already receiving toys for him and I'd like to keep everything organized so he can continue on with that principle as he grows older. I want to teach him the importance of keeping a clean room and staying organized :)

    Thanks so much for sharing, I love your blog!!

    ~Jennifer @Bliffsully Ever After

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  57. Legos, Legos, Legos, where for art thou Legos? My kids and my clients' kids love Legos and we have tried everything from organizing them in carrying case, by type of piece (6 circles, 4 circles, square, rectangle), and by color (black, brown, red, etc.).

    All and all, sorting by color seems to work the best for the kids on average. They can manage keeping it organized way better than any other method. Your bin idea works great for this purpose (as you discussed). The only issue I noticed is the bins are taken from room to room so they can 'build their masterpiece' in a new environment and sometimes it doesn't make it back right away.

    Thanks for sharing! I love your step by step photos. I think they help anyone understand how to make this system more efficient.

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  58. Oh happy day!! I discovered you through pinterest to your organized kitchen post. And well, I am extremely unorganized, but it was my goal this year to declutter and get organized, and I'm closer but not quite there (before we could have been on an episode of hoarders, almost). My husband is a lego fanatic, and while he leaves his castles built, he still has 2 gallon ziplock bag-fulls of each color lego. Right now they're tucked out of sight in a very disorganized cupboard, but I'm totally going to get his opinion of doing this! If the blocks were accessible our girls could actually use them!!

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  59. WONDERFUL! Now to just drive 8 hours to the nearest IKEA :/
    another question: the lacy bin thing? where is that from?! Love it too ;)

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  60. Be still my heart. I love it. It totally appeals to the organized OCD part of me.

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  61. Really great idea. We struggle with Lego overload, too. We have tried organizing by color before, but not in a great organizing system like you used, but it didn't work. I think my greatest challenge would be getting them to play with them in one room and putting them back in the correct bins. But I love it. For someone like myself, who is organizationally challenged, I find your blog to be very inspiring.

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  62. Omg Jen! This is SO COOL. I love it! Do you have an IKEA near you or do you order online? Do they have coupon codes? I need to order this. We have a major Lego issue here and I need to do something.

    Also, I love the shelves! Are they also from IKEA?

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  63. Your posts make my heart palpitate!! But this one makes me want to go out and buy Legos, just so I can do this! I am so itching to get our 4th bedroom cleaned up and dedicate half the space to all the STUFF I've got piling up from DIY projects! I know I'll be consulting here!!!

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  64. oh yay! I already have the Trofast system - just need a run to IKEA to get new bins. And that is what I am going to do tomorrow!! Thank you Jen!!

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  65. LOVE this system!! Ours are sorted by color in drawers because I was using what we had on hand. I am thinking with the amount of Lego's we have that this would be a better idea and the pieces easier to get to. Hmmm, perhaps the next time I get to IKEA I will have to pick these up. I was wondering if the large boards fit into the bins. We have some 15 inch square boards. Oh and another question? Did you keep some of the sets together? My son likes to keep his castle pieces and city pieces separate form what we call the "everything" Lego's. Such great ideas!

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  66. This is beautiful, Jen! Love that shelf storage system. Awesome job!

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  67. Well done! Just showed my son and I could see the wheels spinning. Color sorted legos are in our future!!!

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  68. Love this post. We are not in the Lego stage, buy was very curious where you got the shelf? I love your blog and get so much inspiration from it.

    Thank you!

    Gahuertas@frontier.com

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    1. Hi Amy!

      The shelves are also from IKEA.

      xoxo!

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  69. Not sure how long you think your boys might be in to lego but one idea that I started to do was to immediately go and get the pdf version of all the lego manuals I have. That way if one tears or something spills on it I can just print off another set of instructions.

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    1. Smart idea! Love it, thanks for the tip!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  70. I dont think mine would stay colour coded for long, but I love the idea fab! and the manual box I need one my boys are all getting ripped and ruined.. must do this soon!

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  71. Thought you might like to know that 16 (!!!) people have repinned this idea since I added it to my Pinterest board.

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  72. Love it! My son is just now getting into Lego's and I feared that day. After reading your Lego blogs I feel I can keep this pain in the feet under control. Thanks for sharing.

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  73. Thankyou!!!!
    Off to Ikea right now! on a side note .. any chance you will sell some 'lego letters' for those like me who don't own a silhouette?
    {posted on the wrong post earlier - whoopsy}

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    1. Hi sam!
      Right now I am just sticking to printables, I would love to expand the shop one day to labels and vinyl, but I just don't have the capacity at the moment. Thanks so much! xoxo!

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  74. I went to IKEA last week! I made a special trip to see my sister in Phoenix just so I could go. I bought the Trofast system for the Legos and put it together today. It is so nice! Thanks for sharing!

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  75. What a great play room..with the way you have it painted and decorated, who would feel like they are "in the basement?" Our first house had a basement and it was a fixer upper and it didn't have any outside entrance, the only natural light came from the basement windows/wells and that wasn't much. The previous owners had kids living down in the basement and it was not a pleasant place to be. We didn't know how to fix it up and my husband was working two jobs 5 days a week so I could be a stay-at-home Mom so there was not time or money. I did the laundry down there and ironed down there and got stuff out of the freezer. The kids only played down there when it was raining or snowing. They hated it too. You have made it very pleasant surroundings for them to play and you are teaching them organization as well among other things. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

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  76. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  77. Just finished!! I *so* loved this projects and the boys (7y, 5y, & 22m) all helped sort. :-) My OCD couldn't be happier (and I think I'm newly-addicted to modge podge! HA!)

    Thanks SO much!!

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  78. Friend, this is nothing short of AMAZING! You've made my world so much easier with this suggestion. We already heart the Trofast system in our basement playroom, but this LEGO part beats it all! I've been so worried about what to do since my oldest (6 years) is loving Legos now and the baby (8 months) is loving putting everything in his mouth! Beautiful solution, Jen! Thank you :)

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  79. Awesome idea. I did something very similar with my son's lego collection. You can read about it here: www.controllingcraziness.blogspot.com
    I'll be mentioning your blog too.
    Thanks

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  80. I just referenced this on my blog, hope that's ok! Can't WAIT to do something similar for our little guy! :) Thanks Jen, you're awesome!!
    http://alwaysaparty5.blogspot.com/2011/12/im-such-kid.html

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  81. Love this idea... you need hhsignsupply.com for your vinyl needs. While I love silhouette and still purchase directly from them... for projects that need a lot of colors without a ton of yardage... this is the way to go.

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  82. I am curious to know where they actually do their Lego builds? Do they just pile them up on the floor or do they have a table of some sort? Thanks!

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  83. @Anonymous - you can find the answer to that here: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2011/10/organizing-legos-part-2-creating-table.html

    :)

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  84. Amazing! I have 2 boys who are totally into Legos. I have legos bins everywhere. I was trying to find a creative way to store all their legos. You are a lifesaver. I love what you did! BTW, where did you get your shelves? I love that you said that they were inexpensive but they look expensive. Thank you for sharing your lego organization system.

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    1. she got them at IKEA. They are called Trofast

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    2. The shelves above the Trofast system are also from IKEA.

      They are the EKBY shelves and brackets, I think they were $15 per shelf set for a total of $30 for both.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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    3. Hi Jen,
      Noticed you use both trofast and expedit. Which do you think is better for general toy storage? I have 3 girls age 0-4 if that makes any difference! Thanks
      Michelle

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  85. I just finished this project and it looks AMAZING!!! Thanks so much for such a brilliant idea!

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  86. hi, i found your blog around dec and i read the whole thing, it's that good, love it :)

    can you please tell me how you joined the trofast together?

    x

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    1. They are actually just floating. They fit really well in the space/nook we had, but I haven't attached anything.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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    2. But they are so straight! Not fair!!!! ;) We have two and they go off at different directions.. I thought for sure yours were attached together or at least attached to the wall. Perhpas it's because the ones we have are really tall. Actually they aren't together, maybe about 15cm apart and the one I think goes off to the side could just look like that because the alcove they are in isn't as straight as it should be. Wow, bore you much with pointlessness. I hope the new ones we get when we move are nice and straight like yours (well if I get them again, for months that's what I was planning then all of a sudden bookcases come into my mind!).

      Thanks for taking the time to respond :)

      x

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    3. Just tested it out. It is the wall not the Trofast!! *faceplam*
      x

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  87. Love this! We used scrapbook storage bins but sorted by part. So far that has been pretty interesting. I need smaller containers for sorting the very small pieces so I hope to go to IKEA to look for some soon.

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  88. I'm curious to see how your Lego system evolves as your boys grow older. My boys are age seven and seriously into the kids. Sorting by color is simple and easy when kids are young and into the basic, primary color bricks. But once we entered the world of Lego Kits, the 270 to 1000 piece kids of all sorts of shapes and sizes, it gets a lot more complicated to store. You can no longer sort by color. So what to do? Sort by theme (Star Wars, Ninjago, Harry Potter) or by brick function? And how to display these fragile, 1000 piece brick creations when one has a small space and rambunctious kids? I look forward to seeing your post about these more advanced Lego storage and display challenges!

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    1. Meant to say KITS not KIDS (random typos!)

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    2. Maybe by kit type? We are starting to gain some kits as well, I will be brainstorming!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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    3. My son is 10 and he generally only makes the kit once and then uses the pieces to make his own creations. Not sure how typical that is, but it is how he has always done it. We are using a version of your idea (thanks!) and another we saw by using the Trofast wall mounted storage as we are moving his toys with small pieces from the playroom to his bedroom in anticipation of kiddo #2. As his collection grows, we may move to the floor units, but for now going with the wall space. He is excited about sorting by color and feels he can find the pieces he wants that way.

      Delete
    4. After building the kits in our house, the legos get sorted by color just as Jen does. However, we used Tackle Boxes organizers (the clear containers that you insert into a tackle box to separate the tiny pieces from the big brick-type Legos. So all of those little jewels, flowers, light fixtures all get sorted (again by color) into a tackle box so those are easier to find. We also separate our Lego people into tackle organizers as well as their accessories. Great system you have their Jen. I really like the display area. We also have 3 boys...and I'm pregnant with maybe the 4th boy! We didn't find out. Anyway, happy organizing! Your blog is awesome.

      Delete
  89. We have used the color coding system for about a year now with 2 boys 5 and 6. The only thing they do is play Legos and the color system works for us great. They like to eventually rebuild their old sets so they get their directions and look in the back at the piece lists and know what bins to go find the pieces in. For Christmas they did get 2 1,000 piece sets ( 2 Castles) but so far they have kept those displayed.. I hope they stay that way! lol
    I am going to go to IKea to get that system because it is so much prettier than my dollar store buckets! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  90. This is a great way to organize, I can't wait to do it. Would you share where you purchased the blue boxes for the manuals?

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    Replies
    1. I found the boxes at Walmart in the office supply section. Love them!

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  91. I have found orginizing by color useless. With my small kids we sort by a few categories: plates, bricks, slopes, rounds and other. I used to subsort by size into divided hardware bins. I'll teach this to my kids when they are older. It is much faster to find a particular pixel this way because given a bin of same-shape pieces it is fast to grab the one of the color you want.

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  92. I have a question about the mod podge. I bought the Trofast this past weekend from IKEA and I mod podged last night. This morning the drawers look great except I can see where the paint is on the drawers, make sense? Can you wipe that off? It may just be me being anal about it and maybe yours isn't showing up in the pictures, but your drawers look clean. I have only used this stuff one other time in my life and it was to cover an entire surface LOL

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful idea. My sone is so excited!

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    Replies
    1. It may be the sheen that you used? I used a Matte finish, which seemed to match up with the bins fairly well. I also tried not to use too much and even it out the best that I could. I can see it if I look really close, but I was quite impressed that it dried so nicely.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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    2. Thanks. I used the matte and the sun was shining directly on it this morning and I was right up on it so I will just back away and admire from a distance. Thanks again for sharing!

      Delete
  93. I am SO in love with this idea!! Brilliant! :) Right now my son's are also sorted by color, but they are in plastic shoebox containers on top of the toy shelves...they look so messy and cluttered. I want to run out and do this TODAY! :)

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  94. I LOVE this solution!!!!
    We have something like this from Ikea. I'm totally doing this for his legos. Right now it has train stuff in it, but I'm trying to phase that out.

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  95. This is complete craziness. From a developmental psych point of view....kids need to be kids, and this is a perfect example of holding them to adult expectations. Most boys couldn't give a rats ass about whether their red legos go in a bin that says "red." In fact, that's just going to create frustration. They just want to make stuff. I grew up with three brothers. We had mountains of legos that all ended up in (gasp) ONE bin...all parts and pieces living crazily together in there. And you know what? We made up our own creations. So funny, too, because now one of those brothers is a space biologist at NASA.

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    Replies
    1. As I mentioned in the post, I completely let my kids pick the system they wanted to use {and at first I even doubted their choice}. They picked by color because it was easier for them to find the specific pieces they were looking for when using their instruction manuals. And, I love that my younger ones make a sorting game out of it at pick up time.

      It's just what works for us and we have been extremely happy with the system. They also have project bins that are a big jumbled mess of pieces for projects they have in the works and a fun play table to keep their creations out on display. It's a happy home here...

      xoxo,
      Jen

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    2. My very creative five year old loves having his Legos separated by color...when he is making his own creations, he knows exactly what he wants and now knows exactly where he can find it (for example, the black propellor is in the black box.) it eliminates a lot of frustration for someone his age, when finding a specific piece was nearly impossible when they were all in a big box together. We also have a "dump it all in" box for quick clean up...and from a "developmental standpoint" preschoolers need to learn skills such as matching, sorting, and categorizing, as well as being given the opportunity for creative play. Less time searching equals more time for creating. My son's ability to find what he needs independently is an added bonus. Thanks again for the idea Jen! We are using see through drawers and it's working out wonderfully!

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    3. While I don't agree at all with the "bluntness" of the post from Anonymous, I was worried if the "color typing" would work with my 11 year old. His room is a battleground of Legos and he has told me he didn't care what system I used,to make things better he didn't want them color coded. He has ADD/ADHD and I know at best I can cope for is that the pieces are off the floor. I think I will borrow a page from you and let him figure out what works for him but with using these drawers..our current state isn't working for either of us.

      Delete
    4. I didn't believe in the color coding at first either, but I think it is working for us because I let the kids select how they wanted it set up. Over a year later it is still working great, and pick up time is quick and easy. Hoping you find a solution that works well for your son.

      xo!
      Jen

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  96. This is absolutely perfect!!! Thank you for sharing! I'll be heading to Ikea soon to attempt to contain our lego disaster...

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  97. This looks great! Thanks for the idea. Where did you get the storage boxes for the manual and people?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Andrea!

      They are from Walmart, you can find them in their office supply section.

      xoxo,
      Jen

      Delete
  98. Hi Jen,

    I would like to do this for my 3 year old legos. DO you think this would work if I just sorted it by lego type? For example he has Toy Story Lego, Little people lego, hot wheels lego? Then maybe when he gets older I can sort by color. What do you think?

    Alex

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    Replies
    1. I think that would be a great idea! Maybe just tape a small picture of the "type" of set to the front of the bin and then you could always switch it up down the line.

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  99. I just wanted to thank you for the inspiration for my sons lego organization. I gave you link credit in my post about it: http://www.project-create.com/?p=9

    Rachel

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  100. Thanks so much for this post-- my kids are 12, 6, and 1, and we have oodles of legos-- and I anticipate 12 more years of legos at least. We drove 6 hours for a wedding this weekend, but the highlight of our weekend was hitting IKEA. I also did lids for the bins since our youngest still is so little. He stays out of the legos now, and there is no longer a sea of them all over our playroom floor. As my 12 year old said, "Jen, you rock!"

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  101. I am beginning to be overwhelemed with the legos everywhere and really like your ideas! Did you seperate small pieces and put them in containers within the drawers? I find these the hardest to keep track of!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did - and it helps that they have less to dig through now when looking for specific pieces, however, I am still considering putting just the little ones in their own bin to make it even easier.

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  102. Love your system and thank you for the inspiration!! I assume you have wheels including in your black section? Does this seem to be working for your boys?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sara!

      Yes and it has been working out pretty good for us so far! :) We have been considering taking some smaller pieces out for additional sorting, but haven't 100% decided and everything has been working out so well, we may not change a thing.

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  103. Inspired by your project, I purchased a trofast system for our lego area! My guy is still pretty young, 5.5 yo, but I see this growing with us for years! I actually think I'll grab another set of trofast and drawers to put in the closet for when we grow. :) I did add a mini fig drawer and a "wheels" drawer as those are terribly important around here. :) We also have the yellow sorting head thingy which we adore for "shaking out" the smallest parts. He is LOVING his new set up. Thank you for the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have no idea how happy that makes me! :) So happy you stopped by to share!

      Delete
  104. Could you tell me where you purchased the blue storage bins for the mini figures?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello,

      The blue bins were from Walmart a few months back. I found them in the office supply department.

      xoxo,
      Jen

      Delete
  105. I have recently discovered your blog and was inspired by your Lego storage system to create a similar system for my 3-year old son. I have blogged about it and posted a link to your blog. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  106. Hi Jen! I was just wondering how the shelves have been holding up almost a year later now? I'm considering doing this for my little guys legos since now that he is older he seems to have acquired quite a big collection. He is quite rough with his things though and I'm worried that these shelves might not hold up! :) Thank you!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lauren!

      Our boys play Lego almost daily and our setup looks just as it did a year ago. That is why IHeart IKEA, seems to be very kid friendly!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  107. hi Jen!!

    I have been following your blog for a few years now. This was not my first project I have done and it will not be my last. I live in a TINY apartment. organizing is a MUST. I went to Ikea today and bought everything. I sorted my sons legos in about 2 hours. now to get a new shelf for the sets that are still together. They are on one BUT it needs to move out of my living room and match his room. Thank you for another inspiring post!!

    Jenn

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  108. The last few months my son is obsessed with Legos (just turned 4) and I am on a mission to find a way to keep them organized and this is perfect. I found your site by googling, ""how to organize Legos". Thank you so much for the idea and I am so thankful to find your blog...I will be back!!

    ReplyDelete
  109. hi there. . .

    do you know/remember what size font you used?!

    thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry mem!

      I have no idea since it was far too long ago. I just played around until I got something that looked about right.

      xo!
      Jen

      Delete
  110. I love this! Did you just cut out the letters with scissors?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I actually used my Silhouette craft cutting machine to do the letters for me. It was a huge time and sanity saver.

      xo,
      Jen

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    2. Nice! Would you be willing to make me some and ship them for a fee? Let me know! JSDabish@gmail.com

      Delete
  111. Hi Jen,

    Can you give us the scoop - mom-to-mom - if your boys actually do put them back in via color. I am looking for a solution but I know my kids. I would have to instill in them WHY they want to be able to find the colors. It's hard with one that is seven and one that is four. One is meticulous and one isn't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They sure do! It's super simple. They have build buckets and places for their current projects, the rest easily get put back into the colored bin. If you are concerned, just do what I did and let them select how they want their Legos organized. Mine thought color would be easiest and it has worked great for over a year now. :)

      xo,
      Jen

      Delete
  112. I just came across your blog and found this idea! I absolutely love this and I am going to keep this in mind when designing my son's room!

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  113. Dang, I wish I had an Ikea in town!! I need to make the hour trip to get one of those systems. I have two boys and Legos are pretty much all they play with (I guess that makes them easy to buy for)! Adding this to my list of projects for sure - thanks!

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  114. Half the fun was looking for them...

    looks good though!

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  115. Great article and blog. Not so sure about your organizing priority though.

    I would personally organize the Lego's by type or shape. Trying to find one yellow part, amongst hundreds of other parts all of the same color won't be too easy. But if you have everything organized by part, it will be that much easier to find a part, of a certain color.

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  116. I love your ideas for all your legos. My son is 6 and I am in the middle of revamping the playroom to more of a big kid playroom and lego storage for completed projects is my issue. Completed ones are now everywhere and take up so much room. Ugh. This is my January mission, to get Lego's under control :) Thanks for the ideas and inspiration.

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  117. Hi Jen-
    Just did this project for my kids' Lego storage. It is awesome. I was able to buy vinyl labels for the bins on Etsy since I don't (yet- fingers crossed) have the Silhouette. Your website is a big inspiration for me- it's helping me feel empowered to get my life more in order. And I just purchased some items from your Amazon list- which is such a great idea. Thank you so much!!
    Sarah

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  118. Hi Jen,
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog. I read daily! I just finished assembling our new "Trofast" system today. The sorting starts tomorrow. I was wondering if you would be willing to make a set of the labels for me (for a fee of course!). I live in Stillwater, MN. Thanks for all your great ideas. I'm starting to feel like my house is getting in order!!!

    ReplyDelete
  119. Jen,
    I love your system and inspired my son's lego storage. I am hoping for your help with my system...my son doesn't have a huge collection yet, so we actually have 2 colors per trofast drawer/bin and I want some type of divider to put inside the drawer so that the 2 colors do not combine. Any thoughts on what I might be able to use?
    Thanks for your input and I look forward to your response. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cheryl!

      I wonder if you couldn't use some sort of expandable drawer organizer, similar to these: http://www.containerstore.com/shop?productId=10028015&N=&Ns=p_sort_default|0&Ntt=drawer+divider

      xo!
      Jen

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  120. Hi Jen: After reading this when you posted it i thought, "my son would never manage that!" because he does not like cleaning up at all. I started noticing that he wasnt playing with his legos like he used to even though it was his favorite past time. So, i showed him your pictures and asked if it would be easier if i did that for him. he said he was willing to keep it cleaned up because it would be so much easier to build things rather than searching so long for one piece all over the floor.
    Thanks for the inspiration!! - it has been working GREAT and he actually cleans it all up without complaining!! (my hubby was shocked!)

    Thanks Jen...keep up the great work - we are so blessed that you let us into your home!!

    xoxo

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    Replies
    1. YAY! That is so awesome to hear! I guess my kids were onto something, lol. :) It really makes me happy to know that other kids find it simple as well! Wahoo!

      xo,
      Jen

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  121. I have the storage system from ikea already, i'm not really using it so I can not wait to do this. Right now my son are in a plastic 5 drawer storage bin and its working, but I love this idea. Off to buy modge podge...:)

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  122. This idea inspired me and now my son and I have copied you :) Love it!!

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  123. We have been using this system now for a year, and my kiddos are able to keep everything off the floor of the playroom. I love that it's simple, and we can all sit down and sort together when the build buckets get obnoxious. My 12, 6, and 1 are now 13, 7 and 2-- I know we will be using this for many years to come... Thanks again!

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  124. Hello!

    I am wondering if the sorting by color is still working? I tried to sort "by type" & they are all in a huge heap on the Lego table. I am thinking of trying to sort "by color". I personally would think that way would be harder for me find pieces(the one who likes things organized, lol), but I am thinking "by color" is easier for the kids to maintain.

    Thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
  125. Hi Kimberly!

    Yes, it is still working great. They definitely have to dig for pieces, but they always know which bin to look through since it is all done by color. And it is super simple for the kids to understand, which is a huge help for mommy at pick up time!

    xo,
    Jen

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  126. I've been considering the switch from Legos sorted by individual kits to the color system, and my search led me to your blog. My oldest son loves to create things, but also still loves to foloow instructions to build one of his many kits. When your children go to make a kit from instructions, do they have to pull out all the drawers and scatter them around the room to find all the necessary pieces? Or how do they manage to find what they're looking for without undoing all the neatness?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, sometimes they will take the bins out and spread them around the room. They slide in and out so easily, that taking them out and putting them back is quite simple. They sift through them, but still find that knowing where to look for a specific piece is easier than a giant bin of chaos. :)

      xo!
      Jen

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    2. Thank you for replying! The one giant bin definitely doesn't work for us. My son likes keeping them sorted by set, but it's hard to keep them put away in the correct box when the sets get mixed and matched. He's not keen on the color idea yet, but I think we'll give it a try. :)

      Delete
  127. I absolutely love your site. I am new to the site and I am totally inspired to organize my house. I can't seem to find those blue storage boxes that you used in the lego center. Where can I find them? Am I using the right term? Thanks so much!!

    ReplyDelete
  128. Hello again!

    I just found a previous reply where you said where you got the blue boxes. Walmart in the office section. Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  129. Hi, lego lover here - if your kids love building their own creations, of whatever comes to mind, or if you have maybe 20 or so lego sets' worth of lego, then this color sorting system is quick and easy. You can therefore skip the rest of this really overly detailed comment. :)

    If they like trying to build specific things - either specific kits, or because they have something in mind they're trying to make up and want to find a specific piece - sorting by color can make things pretty frustrating. Put it this way: it's much, much easier to find a yellow brick that is 1 dot high and 2 dots wide, in a bin full of 1x2 bricks, than it is to find the 1x2 brick in a bin full of yellow bricks. :)

    Generally what's worked well for me includes these categories:

    - clear pieces
    - wheels or hinges (including windows and doors)
    - minifig bodies (torsos and legs)
    - minifig heads, hats and gear
    - minifig equipment
    - 1x1 plates and 1x1 bricks
    - 1x2 plates and 1x2 bricks (seperate from the 1x1, otherwise too hard to tell apart)
    - 2x2 plates and bricks
    - 1x3 plates and bricks (seperate from the 1x4, otherwise too hard to tell apart)
    - 2x4 plates and bricks (since that's a really common size)
    - angle pieces (roofs, wings, etc.)
    - "technic" pieces (specialized pieces with gears, or holes in the side, etc. - the sets that make models of steerable cars and such)

    ...and the list can go on from there depending on your # of bins and how fidgety you are. :) My main exception to this is green and brown pieces; I don't know if it's my collection specifically or just holds true in general, but there tend to be an awful lot less of those than there are of the other colors, so rather than sort them out by piece I have any green or brown piece at all in one bin. And for some of this, like the minifigs or the technics, you can find smaller, narrow/shallow containers to kind of 'nest' within the existing bin, to seperate it without too much extra effort.

    Also, I try to combine very different size-and-shape in one bin to save space yet still keep sorting simple. E.g. my bin of 1x1s also has a lot of the long pieces in it (like 1x6, 1x8, etc.) since those will still be easy to tell apart from each other.

    And your bit about manuals all in one other bin is good. I do the same for the large baseplates that look like roads.

    Breaking out the lego this way does seem like a "what are you doing with your life?" sort of moment :) but honestly, if you're sitting down say to watch a sports game or just have your favorite tv show on anyway, it's a mindless thing to do with your hands anyhow. I've tackled the house lego collection this way before with a baseball game or two on in the background and put my baseball watching time to good use. :)

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  130. I started reading your blog about 6months ago and have LOVED all the posts. I have worked my way back and when I found this post I knew this is what we had to do with our giant Lego collection. Our nieces and nephews are getting to the ages that they really enjoy Lego, and my husbands lego collection was just stored in the basement! Inspired by this, I sorted all the Lego, ordered the shelfs and buckets and just finished setting it all up! All that's left is to label them! Thanks for the inspiration, the new storage will be tested out next week at our Lego Party with our newphews! :)

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    Replies
    1. Love hearing that so much Keltie! Thank you for taking a moment to share and congrats on the Lego organization!! I hope the nieces and nephews have a great time at your super awesome party; such a fun idea!

      Delete
  131. OMG I am in love with what you did with the legos! I just discovered your blog and am hooked! My OCD self is always trying to figure out new inexpensive ways to organize but my lack of the creative side of the brain keeps from coming up with great ideas so Thank you for helping me out!

    ReplyDelete

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