The Hardest Part of Moving – Organizing the Lego Collection

Although our family is not a military family, we move around the country as much as some of our military friends. When your main bread winner is employed by the Federal Government, any state is a potential place to move some day. Right now we are transitioning from spending five years in New York, to setting up a (hopefully) permanent home in Colorado.

The logistics of moving a house full of stuff, accumulated by six people, can sometimes be tricky. But one of our hardest challenges, every single move, is getting the Lego collection transported across the country.

Our Lego collection, before packing began.

First there’s the problem of how to pack dozens (I’m not exaggerating) of models that were already built. Most are unique creations, made from one of my sons’ imaginations, with no ‘rebuild instructions’ available.  After having ‘the talk’, about how some pieces will fall off in transport, we finally settled on the solution of zip top bags. Smaller creations were tucked into the sandwich size, larger ones in the quart size. Before they got ‘stuffed’, they were diligently photographed (to help us remember the original creation, but I also have plans to make a fun photo book in the future, documenting the many interesting things they’ve created through the years).

I see this as a two pronged solution. One, the pieces to each creation stay together. And two, I know my sons’ will stay busy for months, slowly dumping out each bag and seeing if they can re-create that specific creation. Some of them will become new builds entirely, as new inspiration is sparked.

Now that we’re on the other end, and that huge truck will soon show up in our driveway, loaded down with all the things we love (I get my sewing machine back!), it’s time to figure out where the Legos will go, and how they will be organized. In our old house they migrated, from covering a huge ping pong table, to covering the entire play room floor. This time around I’m trying to be more proactive.

Beyond the individual creations, we have four large tubs of 'assorted' Legos.

I found a few great websites online, that give tips for keeping your brick collection in line. Some people recommend the stacking method. You can also choose to buy storage bins, of many kinds, to keep your colored bricks sorted out. Wiki answers has some interesting ideas. The ideas in this post seem to be the most logical, when it comes to how our family builds.

We’ve sorted our huge collection by color, in the past, but they only stayed in their assigned tubs for a brief time. Too many hands (sons, friends, neighbors) dug through them and found the piece they wanted, neglecting to return them to the pile when building time ended. I can’t say I mind. The purpose of our piles of Lego bricks is, after all, to encourage building and creating. It ruins some of the fun when drill seargent mom demands everything be put back in its rightful home.

So for now we’ll welcome our boxes and boxes of Legos, as they’re unloaded from the moving truck. The boys will dig in and soon the carpets in our new home will be dotted with color. I’ll let them get some of their excitement out, before I insist we settle on ‘a system’. But I’d love to ask you, fellow Lego owners…how do you organize your collections and does it really work? Do you ever, ever, get to actually vacuum that carpet, where most of the building takes place?

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