You are so going to love me after you read this.
Or you might send me hate mail.
But today’s post is so revolutionary, so insightful, so radical, and frankly — not to brag, but — so incredibly smart, that you are gonna wonder why I didn’t write about this sooner.
If you have school age children, particularly boys, you probably have Legos in your home. If you have had said school age children for more than three or so years, then you — like me — have millions upon millions of Legos.
Don’t get me wrong. Legos are great! They spark creativity in my kids more than any other toy.
But let’s be honest.
Legos will take over your house if you let them.
It’s no secret that I like order and organization. Since the beginning, I have worked hard to keep the toy clutter at bay.
- I’ve purchased fancy baskets, bins and shelves.
- I’ve made homemade printed labels to match the playroom decor.
- I’ve separated bits and pieces into neat categories and stacked them accordingly.
But Lego organization has always eluded me. How to organize them? By kit? By size? By color?
I’m embarrassed to tell you how many hours I’ve spent perusing Pinterest for the perfect solution.
But I always came up empty. Nothing seemed do-able. It all made me think Pinterest must be drunk.
And then I had my lightbulb moment.
I had asked the kids to clean up their rooms and I went in to inspect. The boys’ room had mostly been picked up, but there were still a few Legos on the floor. Instead of making a big to-do about it, I kneeled down to scrape them up.
And that’s how I stumbled upon the greatest Lego organization method ever!!
How to organize Legos
- Large clear plastic bin with lid (MUST be clear!)
- Vacuum cleaner with hose attachment
- Pretty handmade or store-bought labels (Optional)
Take the lid off plastic bin.
Scoop up all Legos off the floor and surrounding areas. Bonus points if you go and look for Legos in other areas of the house. Extra bonus brownie points if you succeed in having your kids actually do this part without whining about how hard it is.
Dump, throw, or toss giant handfuls of Legos into open plastic bin.
If you have babies or toddlers at home, place lid on top of bin. If not, leave the lid off. Slide it under the bed or behind some furniture.
After standing up, upon realizing you missed some Legos over next to the baseboards or buried in the carpet and you are too tired, old, or lazy to bend back over, use the hose attachment on the vacuum to suck up remaining Legos.
If desired, attach cute label to the side of the bin so that kids (and husband) can now see that — clearly — “Legos” go here. This step is not necessary because the bin is clear. (See what I did there?) But if it satisfies your–ahem–control freak tendencies and your urgent need to please the Pinterest gods, then slap that pretty label on. It’s a coping mechanism I use frequently.
(See what I mean? I might have a problem. My husband actually got laughed at on a camping trip for that last one. Poor guy.)
Smile and pat yourself on the back for a job well done. Now go and enjoy your day by doing something more fulfilling and worthwhile than sorting Legos.
Okay, deep breath.
I know what some of you are thinking. Particularly you younger mamas who have just started your Lego journey. You are shocked.
Believe me, I understand the questions running through your head:
- “But how will the children play with the Legos if they can’t find what they need?”
- “How will they ever rebuild Harry Potter Hagrid’s Hut if the pieces are all scattered?
- “I could never vacuum up toys that cost so much!”
- “How will my children ever learn responsibility and organization if I don’t teach them the proper sorting techniques?”
I understand your concern. So as a seasoned mama, let me offer these nuggets of wisdom.
Your kids will find the pieces they want in that big ol’ bin of Legos. First of all, it’s a CLEAR bin, remember? (I know. I’m too smart for my own good.) And you see, much to your horror, they are going to dump the Legos out every single day. Then they are going to rake through all of them until they find the pieces they need. It’s not a problem for them at all. It’s only a problem for you.
They’re never going to rebuild Hagrid’s Hut. Never.
You can vacuum up tiny pieces because A. you have a million more, B. the grandparents are going to add to your collection this Christmas, and C. your child will never notice.
Disclaimer: Except for the mini-figure parts. These are the ones the kids WILL notice and you don’t want to be responsible for sucking up the only decent Han Solo head in your collection. You know, the one that only comes in that $300 Millenium Falcon kit? Yeah, save that one.
They ARE learning responsibility when you tell them to put their Legos in the bin or they will get sucked up in the Shop Vac (the Legos, not the kids. . . hopefully).
And as far as organization goes, you ARE teaching them! “Legos go here” is a perfect method for organization! Now they know not to throw their dirty socks or cereal bar wrappers in there. That, my dear readers, is sorting!
Here’s what the finished product will look like. Except yours will look better because you’re teaching your kids to sort, remember? Mine is like an “I Spy” game. Can you find the Luke Skywalker Angry Bird, the pencil, a jack, 2 Nerf darts, 1 actual dart, a Ninjago trading card, and a marker in there? Yep, my kids are awesome. Come to think of it, everything is awesome.
And there it is. The revolutionary new way to organize Legos.
You know, life is a lot like Legos.
It’s made up of millions of tiny parts and problems, and they tend to scatter all over our brains like so many Legos.
I’ve tried all the organizing methods to deal with my emotional and mental clutter.
I’ve compartmentalized and scheduled and sorted and labeled. Every app, every planner, every method. . . you name it, I’ve tried it.
And yet my thoughts and to-do lists still seem to get out of control. . . almost on a daily basis. . . sort of like Legos.
But my Lego solution has taught me some things.
- The Legos will always be there. Trying to over-organize and remain hyper-vigilant over the sorting and arranging will only cause headaches and stress — for myself and the people I live with. Nobody likes Lord Business.
- Sometimes you have to learn to let little things go. Just suck them up with the vacuum and move on.
- All the stuff in my brain is best used when I am creative and relaxed, NOT when I’m worrying about making a mess or finding the instruction manual. The whole point is to build and create and have fun. Then pick up (or suck up) the pieces afterward and move on.
So today I’m giving you permission to let this one go.
Cue the Frozen soundtrack.
You and your bare feet will thank me later.