LEGO organizing

Organizing Leads To Fun And Neurosis

I’m organizing my kids LEGO collection because I decided that having them all in one giant box was taking away from my kids’ ability to play to the fullest fun LEGO offers.

I originally planned to do this in August, but my brain didn’t make boxes appear for eight months. My house projects are like that as in my bathroom is still decorated with butts’ farting, but we almost painted it on Sunday except wanting to paint it didn’t make paint appear.

After watching my kids play for a while, I decided to organize their LEGO bricks by color except when a piece is a character, a wheel, a LEGO direction packet and a specialize piece like door or a bow — both kinds. I counted up all the colors (although I forgot clear at first) and bought 15 boxes plus used a few I had lying around from some other attempt to create fun though organization.

LEGO organizing
A rainbow of LEGO organization.

I began sorting, at first with my kids, then by myself.  As it turns out, sorting LEGO bricks is the greatest mediation on Earth. I could do it all day, and I probably will be because we’re almost two weeks in and I still have one-third of the main box to go.

So many LEGO bricks to go
I’m going to be levitating by the time I finish this project.

However, it hasn’t been everything is awesome all day long.

I purchased the cheapest boxes I could find just in case I didn’t actually follow through with this project since I’m much more organized in my head than in my home, but they are a decent size so I figured we’d be set for at least another birthday present cycle until gray appeared and appeared and appeared. I was genuinely surprised as I picture LEGO in primary colors but our blue and red and yellow are lacking in comparison to gray with black and brown running second and third. I was also genuinely surprised that my brain wasted space having preconceived notions of LEGO brick colors when I can’t remember to bring my library card to the library.

So much gray, brown and black LEGO bricks
I already had to size-up the gray box, which makes the rainbow of boxes not match. (shudder)

While the box crisis was looming, I ran into even more complicated problems. LEGO pieces with stickers on them. Some make white bricks into mail or make buildings into banks or just provide some decorative siding for a castle. But where do I put them?

  1. Do they belong in the base brick color box because they would be easy to find when following packet directions?
  2. Do they belong in the speciality pieces box because they represent a specific LEGO creation that adds to any building project?
  3. Do I create a special box just for them so the speciality box doesn’t get too crowded with random sticker pieces?

The correct answer is three.

Sticker LEGO brick box
I love getting things right.

Speaking of correct answers, my husband tried to help sort until we got into a fight over whether dark red pieces are red or brown as if the brown box needs anymore pieces. I probably would’ve let it go if he hadn’t mocked me for putting yellow and gold together. Doesn’t he understand that I’m trying to fight the urge inside me to create smaller and smaller categories until no one could sort the LEGO bricks but me over the next three years?

Red, dark red, yellow, gold LEGO bricks
Keep it simple-ish.

Despite my thousands of neuroses appearing between my zen-like sorting meditation, I will proudly point out that my daughter is building more now that the LEGO bricks are mostly sorted, and I didn’t freak out when the box of characters got dumped out and scattered throughout the house. And my son just requested a separate box for already built LEGO creations to which I happily obliged.

Daughter building with LEGO friends
N’s most recent LEGO creations, which can definitely go in E’s newly requested box.

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

5 thoughts to “Organizing Leads To Fun And Neurosis”

  1. Sigh, your post has just reminded me of the very scary task awaiting me in my diningroom/current playroom…the LEGO is multiplying and slowly taking over! Must be contained.

    I have big plans to dismantle most of the currently “built” items and putting them into bags with their instructions and then sorting the remaining loose pieces we have. My girls haven’t really played with it lately so might as well get it out of the way.

  2. I have found that, in life, the correct answer is almost always three.

    Especially when the question is “How many brownies can I eat without being TOO disgusted with myself afterward?”

    But I can’t believe you organized all those Legos. I just….can’t.
    Once again, you amaze me. Times three.

  3. I loved this article and can totally relate to the zen like quality of the sorting itself and the many sub sub categories that come up. I’m thinking of getting small boxes for each set we buy or doing a color sort to encourage more creativity. Not mentally at a decision yet though. Thanks for sharing!

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