Updated: Oct 20
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Well, here I am, starting a blog after 8 years of contemplating. Wow. I guess you can say I have found my voice on what I want to talk about and share with the world.
It all started in 2018 when I bought a small lot of Friends LEGO. This lot was well priced at $200 for 24 sets. Little did I know the actual value of this lot. I had no clue how I was going to keep this organized. My goal was to keep the sets organized in a way that would allow my two little girls to take out a set and build it.
Did you know? LEGO helps kids use their imagination, and creativity, build critical thinking skills, practise communication when working with a partner, and gain self-confidence.
In this article, I'm going to outline my 5 best pieces of advice when it comes to kids under 8 and LEGO.
I started by organizing each set by putting it in a ziplock bag with their instructions. It didn't matter if the set was complete or not, I just needed to get the general bulk of the pieces into a separate space from the rest of the sets. I did this with each set.
Then I had bins with all of the pieces that were loose and didn't make it into the bags with their appropriate sets. That's OK! We left those pieces for free-building time. Whenever we wanted to build a set we would take the bag and the instructions, break it down if needed, then start building. If we were missing pieces, we knew where they were - in the loose piece bins.
Here is what I use in my organization method;
Snack Ziploc Bags - teeny tiny parts that go in bigger sets or polybag sets
Sandwich Ziploc Bags - Small Sets with a small booklet
Medium Ziploc Bags - Small Sets with large pieces
Large Ziploc Bags - Most sets under 700 pieces fit in one bag with the instructions
2. Play/Build Space
We started with two tables - one coffee table for complete sets and one building table. My girls were 2 and 4 at the time so I was able to find a small table that had 2 sides to build on with LEGO. This worked extremely well when the kids wanted their own space to build independently.
Play Table/ Storage - This is my favourite out of all the kid tables we had since it could be split into two for individual play space, as well as had 4 bins for storage. Click the picture to find this table on Amazon.
The building table we used had 4 bins under it to help with general organization. Having 4 bins also allowed the kids to each have a bin of their own to put their creations in and the other 2 bins were for loose pieces (one large parts/one small parts).
When we reached a point where it was hard to find certain pieces in the loose bins we had to adapt. I started looking for storage solutions online and came across Akro-Mils parts organizers. I bought two to hold most of our 3,500-piece collection.
These worked well for two reasons:
1) We could find the pieces we were looking for really quickly
2) It taught us how to organize efficiently.
4. Clean Up
This one is easy to overthink, but in reality, we parents don't want to spend our time cleaning up after our kids.
Clean up LEGO quickly in these 3 simple steps:
1. Everyone contributes to cleaning up
2. Everything loose goes into the miscellaneous bin
3. Leave the creations and complete minifigs on the table and be on your way!
The point here is to focus on the positive takeaways from spending time together playing with LEGO and not make it feel like a punishment afterward.
Here are the 3 best sites I use to identify, organize, and evaluate our collection.
This site is like the stock market of LEGO. Here, you can look up each set by its number in the search bar at the top and find out what it's worth, as well as order any missing pieces you might find yourself in need of. There are so many helpful things to learn on this site that I go into more detail in my ebook.
You can create a list of all the sets in your collection and it will automatically generate a value based on prices from Bricklink, eBay, and other sites. However, this only generates a new condition value, so the numbers may not be as accurate as creating your own record-keeping document.
Brickeconomy appeals to people who are a little more serious about their collections. It has tools to track your investments, shows you your year-over-year gain on a particular set, sales made, plus much more. It can also help you appraise sets based on a new and used value while pulling these numbers from various different platforms. Again, there are so many helpful tools on this site that I go into more detail in my blog.
While the prospect of having any size LEGO collection can be daunting for some, it doesn't have to be if it is well managed. We focus on the positive outcomes of each play session such as the executive functioning skills we learn. We practice applying those skills in other areas of our lives. LEGO doesn't have to be overwhelming and we are here to help. You got this!