Organizing the Legos

In two short weeks we will begin school around here. I am in organizing mode. Most of my curriculum is new to me so I have been studying, loading computer programs and working on lesson plans. I bought a new planner, which I love.  I have also been thinking about how I can better organize the boys. Some of them need a little more “help” than others…

Under our stairs, we have a large storage closet. Right now, the Legos live there. Since we moved here a year ago, I fantasized that the Legos would stay beautifully organized if they had a specific home. With a door. So the boys might forget about them periodically.  It didn’t happen.  Now the Legos also have a vacation home in C’s room. Some are “in transit” on the stairs. I would like them to consolidate their dwelling places.

Under the stairs, we have our 9-square cubbie-organizer thingie. I think it’s going to make the move upstairs to Mr C’s room. The Legos have taken over.  They are out of control. More came to live with us this weekend after making the 2+ hour roundtrip to Toys R Us (“where ALL the good Legos are, Mom.”) Yes, that was the main purpose for our drive to the “city” on Saturday.  Well, that and a donut shop.  I know –  we know what’s important in life. Going without a real donut shop is painful. I dream of Krispy Kreme….I digress.

Listen, there is nothing worse than stepping on a rogue Lego in the dark. It hurts, people. It hurts enough to make you throw it madly into the trash, not caring that it might be the elusive 5132 minifig that is no longer in production. At that moment – it doesn’t matter. You will curse the Danish ingenuity that came up with those plastic building pieces.  I know this to be true. I am not making this stuff up.

I have a friend who organized the Legos by color. Seriously. Pull-out plastic storage bin drawers, each happily screaming at me, “look how organized we are, Janna! We will make her boys imagination play like never before! No one will step on us in the middle of the night!”  I tried that system right after I saw it at her house. It lasted 1/2 day.  The boys said they just “couldn’t build that way.” Their sad, sad eyes convinced me and we tried to organize the Legos by type…minifigs in one container, accessories in one, bricks in another….that lasted 3/4 of the next day.  We tried to out them in series order: Star Wars (our most favorite Lego genre) in the largest bucket (and how did the boys know which brick went to what group? I’ll never understand it.) That final system lasted 3 days. Since my attempts at organizing the Legos, we have been using the “free for all” system. We just throw the Legos into the buckets and call it a day. I am embarrassed.  I feel the Lego shame…

So today, I will move the cubbie-thingie upstairs and we will pretend that we have a system as we throw Legos into those fabric and cardboard basket/drawers.  I will dream that they will stay in neat and tidy land.  I will tell the boys to keep those Legos that way and talk to them about the importance of cleaning up after each building session.  I will earnestly describe how they can look through the bins without dumping them out. I pray that the Lego misfits won’t find their way to the soft spot on the bottom of my foot…



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Tracy
    Aug 02, 2010 @ 10:29:03

    I have several Lego solutions. My brother and I started with Legos when I was 6, he was 4 and my Mom still has our legos (almost 30 years later) and they still have their pieces! Here is her secret, She keeps the legos on a sheet in a bag or box. When we would play with legos, she would pull out the whole sheet with all of the legos and her rule was that the lego had to stay on the sheet. She didn’t try to organize into sets because half of the fun is making your own creation. She did keep the instruction manuals in a large zip lock back because once the manuals are gone, you can’t build that creation. She still has the manual for our original Lego set for Christmas of 1981!!
    However, in my own quest, I have not been as successful as my Mom, partly because I do allow the built Legos to leave the lego sheet. I do have all of my manuals in a ziplock bag and that has kept them which is great. I think the key is to be fairly militant about Lego not leaving the sheet. Right now I am watching my son play with his Lego tower on the living room couch… so, I am not exactly enforcing that rule, but if I had a two story home, I definitely would. I do continually make them put all of the Lego back in the tub. It is only allowed to “live” in one place. I think that might help you.
    On a note… I did try to organize the Legos by color and into large plastic bags a few years ago. I thought that would make it easier for building the actual sets, but my kids just saw the whole thing as obstructions to fun. They don’t want them color coded, they want to play 🙂 Hope this helps.


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