Best Way to Sort Legos

Updated on October 26, 2010
C.M. asks from Saint Paul, MN
25 answers

My two boys have oodles of legos in two flat bins on wheels--it's a dump a thon in both of them! Do all of you sort them by color only? Size and color? Size only? We need a way better system!! Please let me know what works for you!

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all of the input everyone! My boys are very interested in helping sort them all out so they can more easily find the pieces they need. Although that shake sorter looked really awesome (!) we decided to go with the plastic shoe boxes and are going to sort everything out by color to begin with. We are looking forward to less digging around and more building time!

My boys are 10 and 6

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answers from Dallas on

LOL! Sorry, I had to laugh on this one. Organize Legos? I could actually go thru the PIA factor of organizing them but that would never last in my house! It's a dump-a-thon here.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Don't bother! You're going to spend a lot of time and effort to sort them and then have to resort them over and over and over again.

Sounds like a good time to teach them about cleaning up when they're finished with thier toys :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

Get bins with lids.....sort them by size and shape....much easier....and then they have the same size in one box if they are looking for something specific.......Legos are fun......hope they enjoy them a bunch...

Take care.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from San Francisco on

When my son was old enough, he inherited our family box of Legos from my brother. It was all the Legos my siblings I had growing up, and it filled a trunk! There was never going to be any way to actually find any piece you want because there were just too many to look through. So I took a weekend (or two) and sorted them. It's been several years now and they are still *mostly* sorted, enough to make good use of.

I got clear plastic shoe-sized boxes with lids (all the same so they'd stack), put labels on them, and sorted the Legos about this way:
6 boxes for colors (mixed sizes): black, white, yellow, red, blue, gray
1 box for people and animal pieces, included helmets, treasure chests, horses, etc.
1 box for transportation pieces, included steering wheels, car wheels, car bases, windshields, boat pieces, etc.
1 box for doors and windows, trees, flowers, other building pieces
1 box for all those clear pieces (like the lights on cars), and pieces that have printed things on them (like computers or spaceship controls)
1 box for anything that was a hinge of some kind (surprising how many of these we had), and other specialty pieces

I guess the way you sort depends on how many you have. Hope you find a method that works for you.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

My kids have tons of Legos....
I keep them in plastic tubs.... any ol' tub... empty food containers etc.
The "men" or figures, goes in one tub... and the bricks go in others... and the do-dads like windows/flowers/microscopic pieces/accessories goes in another tub.

The thing is... my kids, per me... WILL put them away by "category." They will. Believe it or not.

Then, with a Sharpie... I label each tub with my kid's names. So they know which ones are theirs. Otherwise they fight over it. BUT the thing is, among the MILLIONS of Lego pieces... they DO know, which one is theirs or not... then they will give the pieces back to each other.

So, we actually don't have a problem with it... and their many pieces.
My kids are 4 and almost 8.

all the best,

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I couldn't even imagine attempting this! Just keep them in the bins!

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answers from Wausau on

we do sort sadly, we put them in bins mean't to store screws from the hardware store, you can also just have them dump them onto a sheet and then just fold the sheet up when done and pour back into bucket, that worked for us for many years easy quick clean-up. My hubby and I are huge lego freaks lol so we sort now to make it easier to build fun things. I hate having to dig through to find the right piece now we know where it we have a hignes sorter, angle pieces, people pieces, etc

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Putting them in the trash! Ha!

Sorry, I hate those things...they hurt so bad when you step on them!

I don't sort them, my kids love's a dump-a-thon at my house too!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I tried sorting Legos once into plastic boxes with little compartments. But my son wasn't invested in the system so it didn't work. Now we are trying four clear plastic bins with lids. I put the big flat bases in one bin, people and their accessories in a 2nd, and the 3rd/4th bins are just a jumbled mixture.

There is no point in doing extensive sorting if the kids are not interested in keeping it that way.

For K'Nex that don't have as many specialized pieces, we got some hardware store bins with open top sliding drawers and dividers. We drew a picture of each type of part in its actual color. This system has lasted well. We use the same bins for toy soldiers because DS likes to keep his soldiers sorted by which war and which side the soldiers fought on (ex. Civil War North, Civil War South, WWII separated into British, American, German, and Japanese, Alamo (Mexicans and Texans searated), Revolutionary War, etc.)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

We have some generic-type ones in a bigger bin. The more specialized sizes we have sorted out in fishing tackle boxes. -- We also have a few bins of lego kits that have crumbled and not yet put back together.

Legos rock!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

I wouldnt have the patience to sort them I would dump them all in one bin and say its good. let them sort them as needed :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

To date... we only sort when we're building from directions. OTW they're just all in one 2x3x1 bin

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

It totally depend on the volume you are dealing with.
Early on zip lock bags worked well (by size).
And then the collection grew.
It's currently taken over the playroom and a few ships, jets and helicopters occasionally escape into other parts of the house.
I wouldn't throw them away.
Many a person sells them by the pound on eBay and there are plenty of people who will buy large collections just before the holidays.
If you don't want to bother with eBay, many people will donate them to daycare centers. The older kids all love Legos.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I wouldn't even try to organize all of them since the kits in recent years have had so many specialized pieces.

Rather, keep most of them in the big bins, but get one smaller plastic box or tackle box for the real treasures, like the minifigs, accessories, weapons, that the kids like to really play with and otherwise will get lost or sink to the bottom of the big bins.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Great question! We tried to keep them by set, but it hasn't really worked so I will be saving all of these responses. Our Legos are currently taking over a spare bedroom now known as "the Lego room." )-:

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

We do not sort them here either. They're just in two large, flat plastic bins with lids. Well, and some special ones (according to my son) go into a smaller tackle-box type of box.

One other option that no one has mentioned yet is this: We do not actually own this, as I do not care enough to spend the money, but they do look cool.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

I just wanted to say that even though I can understand why some wouldn't want to go through the trouble of sorting Legos, I've found that sorting the Legos in our house has made it MUCH more enjoyable to actually build things with our boys. We chose to sort them in clear, plastic storage boxes that snap together and we labeled them by color. Not only did this help my older son understand the value of organizing his toys, but it helped reinforce colors with my 2 year old! We also use one of those storage boxes just for the directions of different sets. (My son got a few sets for his birthday last year). Lastly we have a little clear storage box for the little people/ or accessories that go with the people like swords/lightsabers, etc. My cousin laughed pretty hard at me when I told her my plan to sort Legos. She wasn't convinced it would make any difference and it would get messy again anyway. Well, I have to say that it has made HUGE difference in our house! Good luck and have fun with your boys. :) These are the snapware boxes we used and we got these at Walmart.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

we keep the sets together. they go in a zip lock bag with the instructions then into a bin.


answers from Bakersfield on

My vacuum cleaner sorted a big part of them ;)
We didnt sort, they all went into one big, special Lego pail. They always poured out the whole slew when they played with them.
If I was to sort, it would probably be by size, not by color. But trust me, dont even waste your time.



answers from Minneapolis on

Sorry to add to the list, but I laughed out loud when I read your post!

I have the same problem. Why do Legos seem to multiply?

Here's my solution. I vacuum once a week. 30 minutes before vacuuming, I tell my 5-year-old, "Hoovers coming out today! Better get all your Legos in the bin before Hoover comes out!" ("Hoover" is what we named our vacuum cleaner.)

If any Legos are left on the floor, I vacuum them up (really!) and throw them out. I've only had to vacuum a few of them. It's really not stressful, and quite effective. We've made a game out of it!



answers from Omaha on

I found that to be a losing battle ages ago. We do have this hand held thing lego makes that it is kind of like a Lego vacum. The kids just run it across the floor and this big vacuum like wheel picks them up and throws them in the back of it... as if it was a true vacuum it's just not electric. Then just dump it back in the bins.

But the kids think it's fun to use their Lego vacuum so problem was solved.



answers from Austin on

I just put them in a lidded container. No need to sort. It would take too much time to try and sort them in any real way. As long as they aren't underfoot and are put away when they are done, I don't stress about it.


answers from Washington DC on

Get a giant bin and put 'em all in there. If they want to find something special, they can dig through... Do not organize Legos... if you want to keep the sets together in zip lock baggies, that's one thing, but really... organizing Legos?? You've got better things to do than that!



answers from Des Moines on

We kept them all in a lidded five gallon bucket. If the kids were doing a special build, they got to sort. It made playtime last longer!

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