How to Sort and Store LEGO Toys

Four Methods:Sorting Your LEGOsUsing Plastic Boxes or BinsUsing Storage Cabinets/DrawersGetting Creative

LEGO building bricks are a fun, creative toy for children of all ages. If you or your child have a large collection, though, it can be impossible to find the precise pieces you're looking for when you have to hunt through the massive jumble of bricks and other accessories. Sorting and storing your LEGOs in an organized system can save you time when you're working on a project, and allow you to enjoy your collection to the fullest.

Method 1
Sorting Your LEGOs

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    Separate your LEGOs by piece type. You can choose whatever categories you’d like, but some common options include bricks, plates, roof pieces, wheels, and windows. It’s also a good idea to have a miscellaneous category for any odds and ends that don’t fit into a specific grouping.[1]
    • While you’re sorting your LEGOs, you may want to have interim containers to separate them into, so you stay organized. Plastic grocery bags are an ideal option.
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    Separate the LEGOs by size. You can sort your bricks and other pieces by hand, eyeballing them to ensure that you get all of the same size together. Sometimes, it can be difficult to judge, though, so you may want to use a LEGO ruler and sorting worksheet to help.[2]
    • If sorting by size seems too difficult to do by hand, you can purchase a tool such as the BOX4BLOX[3], which sorts the LEGO through a series of trays that have different sized grids in the bottom. You won’t need to spread your LEGOs all over the floor or table because the pieces can be easily found in the individual trays, especially the hard to find pieces which end up in the bottom tray.
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    Separate your LEGOs by color and size or and color and type. Sorting by color alone can make it difficult to find specific bricks or accessories that you want, but dividing your collection even further can help organize it effectively. You might sort by color and type, so all your red bricks are in one spot and all your red beams are in another. You can also sort by color and size, so all of your blue 2x4 plates are in one container and your red 2x4 plates are in another.
    • Start by sorting the LEGOs according to type or size, and then further sort the pieces by color.
    • Sorting your LEGOs by color is best for collectors who like to build sculptures and mosaics.[4]
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    Sort your LEGOs by set. It’s easier to have pieces stored together when you want to build the original sets over and over again. If you’ve kept the LEGOs in their original packaging, you’ll easily be able to sort the pieces. [5]
    • If you haven’t kept the boxes from your sets, it helps to locate the instruction booklets from your sets because they include a listing of all the pieces from the sets, so you can identify the LEGOs that should be gathered together. Spread your LEGOs out on a large, flat surface to make it easier to locate individual set pieces.[6]
    • When you don’t have the original packaging on hand, you may want to sort the LEGOs into small containers before placing them in the larger storage system. That’s because storing them each in their own bin, basket, or other storage option may take up too much room if you have many specialized sets. Ziploc bags or other small plastic storage bags are inexpensive and work well.
    • It’s a good idea to place the instruction booklet from each set in the bag with the pieces. Not only will it prevent you from losing the booklet, it can help you identify which set is which when you have several bags in a single bin, basket, or container.[7]
    • Creative builders may be frustrated if they store their collection by set because it’s more difficult to locate specific pieces when you’re building your own creation.
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    Sort your LEGOs by favorites. You may instinctively know which LEGOs are your favorites, but it can help to keep track of the pieces you’re using for a week or so to give yourself a concrete idea. It helps to create specific categories, so you know how to sort the pieces. For example, you might decide on “Most Frequently Used,” “Used Regularly,” and “Used Rarely” categories.
    • Sorting by favorites or frequency of use is a good method if you’re organizing a child’s LEGO collection because it can help you identify pieces that you may be able to get rid of when your child needs room for other toys, books, or belongings.
    • Place the LEGOs into containers based on accessibility. You’ll want to put your favorite or most used pieces and sets in the bins or containers that are easiest to access. That might mean placing them on the top shelf of your storage unit -- or the lowest, if you’re sorting for children.

Method 2
Using Plastic Boxes or Bins

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    Purchase enough plastic bins to hold your LEGO collection. Many brands, including Rubbermaid and Sterlite, make plastic storage containers that work well for LEGO bricks and other pieces. Depending on your needs, you can find both open and lidded varieties. To maximize your storage space, though, stackable bins are a good option.[8]
    • Clear bins or boxes work especially well because you can easily see what’s inside. However, if you’re color sorting your LEGOs, you may want to color code your bins. For example, choose red bins for your red pieces and blue bins for your blue pieces.
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    Place your LEGOs in the containers. When you’re sorting your pieces in your bins, you don’t want to overload them or it will be difficult to find pieces when you’re working on a project. Having the LEGOs in a single layer in each bin is ideal because it makes it easier to see all of the pieces.[9]
    • It helps to buy bins in a variety of sizes, so you can customize your storage based on the size of the pieces. Small pieces, such as Technic pins, clips and hinges, can get lost in large bins, so smaller boxes are a better choice.
    • If you are storing small LEGO pieces in a larger bin, you may want to place them inside a Ziploc or other plastic bag to make them easier to locate when you’re building.
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    Find a place for your bins. One of the benefits of using this type of storage for your LEGOs is that they’re versatile. You can stack the bins on a bookcase or shelving unit, stash them in a closet, or even tuck them under a bed to keep them out of sight. In a child’s bedroom or playroom, you may want to simply stack them on the floor, so it’s easy for your child to access them.[10]

Method 3
Using Storage Cabinets/Drawers

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    Purchase a storage cabinet or drawer system. Depending on the size of your collection, you can opt for simple plastic drawer sets that only have a few drawers to more elaborate cabinets with many drawers that are usually used to hold crafting or hardware supplies.[11]
    • As with the plastic bins, storage cabinets that feature clear drawers are the best option because you can easily see what LEGO pieces are inside.
    • Look for drawer systems that provide different size drawers, so you can easily organize your collection based on the size of the pieces.
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    Add drawer organizers. In order to maximize your space, it may make sense to store multiple types of LEGO bricks and pieces in a single drawer. To prevent them from becoming mixed up, it helps to have a drawer organizer with different compartments, so you can separate the pieces based on your chosen sorting system.[12]
    • Drawer organizers are available at office and home supply stores. They come in a variety of sizes, and some are even customizable, so you can create the ideal storage for your LEGOs.
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    Label your drawers. Even if your storage cabinet has drawers made of clear plastic, it’s a good idea to label them with the contents, so you don’t have to go searching for a certain piece in the middle of a build. For the most organized collection, be as specific as possible when creating the labels.[13]
    • A label maker is obviously ideal for creating labels for your drawers, but you also easily create custom labels on your computer as well.

Method 4
Getting Creative

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    Use a tool, tackle, or craft box. These types of containers are usually divided into several compartments, which makes it extremely easy to sort your LEGOs and keep them separated. You can store the boxes on shelves or tables, but they’re also portable, which makes them ideal for taking LEGOs on the go.[14]
    • A tool, tackle, or craft box works best for a small collection. If you have many pieces to hold, you may need multiple boxes.
    • Avoid boxes with removable dividers because they are usually flimsy, and your LEGOs may end getting mixed together when you move the box around.
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    Use kitchen canisters. The containers used to hold dry pasta, loose cereal, and other food items can work well for holding LEGOs, and because they’re usually clear, you’ll be able to see exactly what’s inside each canister. You can also easily fit them on shelves, bookcase, and other furniture.[15]
    • If you have old Tupperware or other food storage containers that you’d like to recycle, they can work well for small collections of LEGOs too.
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    Use a shoe organizer. When you’re short on space, a hanging shoe organizer is an ideal option for LEGOs because you can make use of wall or door space. The organizer’s pockets make it easy to keep your sorted bricks and pieces separated, and the clear plastic allows you to see what’s inside.[16]


  • Don't try to develop the perfect sorting and storage system with purchase of your first set. Let your system grow as your collection does.
  • When you’re sorting your LEGOs, it helps to work in small batches, particularly if you’re organizing based on size or type, because you can easily see each piece.
  • Cut the small pictures from the original boxes to use to identify what is in your collection and keep an inventory of what you have. Laminating the pictures will help increase the durability.
  • Storing instruction booklets as your collection grows is sometimes difficult. Try using 3 ring binders and clear inserts for binders to store the instructions. Label each binder by LEGO theme and it makes it easier to keep the instructions organized and in good condition, not stacked up and disheveled.


  • Small children can swallow LEGO pieces and can choke. Be sure to keep your LEGO out of their reach.
  • Manufacturers of storage bins change their molds often. If you want all of your storage bins to match, you should purchase them at the same time. Bins bought at a later date will be from a different lot and may not match, even if made by the same manufacturer.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic bins or boxes
  • Storage cabinets
  • Plastic drawers
  • Drawer dividers
  • Tool, craft, or tackle boxes with compartments
  • Kitchen canisters
  • Shoe organizer
  • Original LEGO boxes
  • Ziploc™ bags
  • Plastic grocery bags
  • Labels

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