Storing Lego

sterilite 3 drawer Lego

Over the years I’ve come up with a method to sort and store LEGO bricks that allow me to find the exact piece I need in just a matter of seconds.  Getting to this point took a lot of work. The storage method I use takes up a lot of space.  If you are interested in the best lego storage solutions, read on!

Anyone who has ever stepped on a LEGO brick knows how frustrating it can be to try and find the piece you need in a giant pile of colorful bricks.

Fortunately, there are a variety of LEGO storage organizer options available to help keep all your pieces organized.

Build or Buy LEGO Storage?

If you’ve ever stepped on a LEGO brick in the middle of the night, you know that LEGO can be pretty tough to store. Those little plastic bricks seem to multiply overnight, and before long they’re taking over closets, drawers, and entire rooms. To get your LEGO collection under control, you may be asking if it’s better to buy storage containers or build your own.

There are pros and cons to both approaches. Store-bought storage containers are usually cheaper than built ones, and they’re often easier to find in the size and shape that you need. Custom built storage ideas can be more fun to make and can be customized to perfectly fit your LEGO collection. Additionally, they also tend to be more durable, since they’re not made from flimsy plastic.

As any brick architect can tell you, organizing your LEGO collection is essential for maintaining a tidy workspace and keeping track of all your pieces. There are many different ways to store LEGO, but one of the most popular methods is using brick architect lego storage containers. These containers come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and they can be stacked on top of each other to save space. Plus, the clear plastic material makes it easy to see what pieces are inside each container. If you’re looking for a neat and efficient way to store your LEGO collection, brick architect lego storage containers are a great option.

The Best LEGO Storage Ideas

Ultimately, the best LEGO organizer approach is probably a combination of the two. Store-bought containers can be used for larger pieces or for collections that don’t need to be sorted by color or shape. Built storage ideas are great for smaller pieces or for sorting LEGO by type. By using a mix of store-bought and built storage solutions, you can keep your LEGO organized and contained without breaking the bank.

One popular option is a sorting tray with compartments of different sizes, which is perfect for separating out smaller pieces like accessories or minifigures.

Stackable plastic bins are another popular choice, as they can be easily labeled and stacked on top of each other to save space.

Whatever lego storage container you choose, it’s important to make sure that it is sturdy and will withstand being knocked over by energetic children (or clumsy adults). With a little bit of planning, you can ensure that your lego collection will stay organized and easily accessible for years to come.

My LEGO Storage Ideas

At some point, it becomes necessary to sort LEGO to quickly and easily find the piece you need.  There are lots of different ways to organize the bricks, and I’ve tried most of them.

Currently I have 51 large Steralite drawers, and 384 smaller Acro Mills storage drawers separating LEGO pieced down to individual shapes and colors.

When I was just starting out, I only had a few sets, so it was easy to just keep all the pieces in a plastic  bin that I got from Target.  It wasn’t too big, had a removable top, and clear sides so I could simply see what was inside.

But over time, the number of sets I collected grew, and I quickly needed more space.  

At first I decided to get a few more, and larger bins like the one I had but it didn’t take too much time to outgrow that, too.

I needed a long term solution.

Something that would be good for both accessing pieces quickly, not take up too much space, and of course look good.

But before I got there, I had to try a few different variations, because I needed to see what would really work, for me!

All these different suggestions are  great ways to store LEGO bricks and sets, but ultimately I ended up with a solution that was pretty unique.

Over the years, my LEGO organization and storage changed – here’s the basic progression.  

  • Big bucket
  • Multiple Bins
  • Color storage drawers
  • Sort by shape and color

Basic LEGO Storage methods

Like I mentioned above, I started storing LEGO in a big bin.

After unboxing and building a set, I’d play with it for a while, maybe take some photos for my LEGO Instagram, and then put it on display or toss it into the bin to be used as spare parts.

While this system works when you have less than 10 sets, this isn’t the best term for making MOCs, long term storage, or overall LEGO organization ideas.

Using IKEA to Store LEGO

Lego Storage in Ikea Bins
Lego Storage in Ikea Bins

My second attempt at storing LEGO in an organized way was to use the Ikea Trofast system.  I’m not the first person to ever think of using Ikea to Store LEGO, and lots of people have used this method.  It has 2 parts, the bins and the frames, both of which come in different sizes so it is easily expandable as my LEGO collection grew.  I started with a simple series of small, and medium bins, but quickly outgrew that method into multiple large bins and several larger frames.

Ikea Trofast for Lego Storage
Ikea Trofast for Lego Storage

A Trofast unitl like the one above costs around $60, and will easily fit into a standard size bedroom.  There are 6 drawers, and space on top to display completed sets.

But as my collection kept growing, It wasn’t long before I needed a new, better storage method.  

Using Sterlite Drawers for Lego Storage

About the time I was filling multiple Trofast units, I began to work on my city, creating MOCs and custom builds.  

I was wasting too much time looking for pieces, and not enough time building!

There had to a better way. I wanted an expandable system that was not too expensive, and easy to get.  I also wanted drawers that were removable, see-through (so I could easily identify the LEGO parts inside), and I wanted the drawers to be more shallow, and not too deep. Sort of like a removable tray that was easy to dig through.

That’s when I saw this video by JangBricks.

It looked like heaven!  Look at all that plastic storing plastic!

He uses a ton of Sterlite drawers to sort his LEGO collection into colors and general style.  

Each drawer has a specific color, or specific shape, or particular style of piece.  He also uses some clear plastic dividers to sub categorize items within each drawer.

I thought this was the perfect method, and I began the reorganization process.

How to Store LEGO Models

One question I am often asked is how I store the sets that I’ve already made. You know, like if I don’t want to display it anymore, but don’t want to take it apart.

It’s important to be very careful when storing LEGO Models. Over the years I’ve learned some important things that help keep everything organized, together, and clean.

Many Lego enthusiasts build elaborate models that can take hours or even days to complete. Once these models are finished, the challenge then becomes how to store LEGO models so that they can be enjoyed for years to come.

  1. The first step is to find a sturdy box or plastic bin that is large enough to hold the model. It is also important to make sure that the container has a tight-fitting lid to keep out dust and debris.
  2. Once the model is inside the container, it can be helpful to wrap it in bubble wrap or foam pads to protect it from bumps and scrapes.
  3. Finally, the container should be labeled with the name of the model and the date it was completed.

By taking these simple steps, Lego enthusiasts can rest assured that their prized creations will be wll-protected for years to come.

While I usually break down all the sets I don’t want to display, I do keep my LEGO Christmas Display put together and bring it out every year between Halloween and Thanksgiving to display.

First attempts at storing LEGO models

My first attempts to store built sets was pretty much a failure. I had a handful of Holiday sets that I simply took off my display table and tried to carefully put into large Sterlite Drawers.

In each drawer I could fit 3-4 models, but that was a mistake.

The sets didn’t fit nicely in the drawer, and as I placed them into it, I could hear parts breaking off and falling apart. This happened no matter how careful I was.

The next year, when I went to create my display again, it took HOURS to put everything back together, and even though the sets were in the same drawer, I still lost some pieces (who knows how that happened).

Best way to store LEGO Models

How to Store Duplo

If you have Duplo bricks, it is best to store them in a separate container from your regular LEGO bricks.

Duplo bricks are twice the size of regular LEGO bricks, so they can easily become mixed up and lost in a large LEGO collection. In addition, Duplo bricks are not compatible with regular LEGO bricks, so it is important to keep them separate to avoid frustration when building. There are a variety of ways to store Duplo bricks, including sorted by color or size, in stackable containers, or in zippered bags. Ultimately, the best way to store Duplo bricks is in a way that works for you and helps you keep track of your collection.

Now, I use those large Sterlite Drawers to store my Duplo Lego. The larger drawer size is great for the bigger bricks, and it doesn’t need to be super organized either.

How to Sort LEGO Bricks

Moving from a single bin Lego Storage to multiple drawer units took a lot of time.

 I started by buying a few of the drawer units Jangbricks uses.  At first I bought a couple at a time from Target, but when I needed more I turned to Amazon and started buying the 3 drawer storage units in bulk.

I started with just 2 3-drawer units.  Each drawer is approximately 32 x 32 cm, and about 6.5 cm high.  I had 6 drawers, and way more LEGO than would fit in them. But I had to start somewhere and so I began the first great sort

To begin sorting, First I filled an old shoe box with several handfuls of bricks from the Trofast bin.  There were all kinds, shapes, and colors of bricks, minifigs, plates, slopes, and special pieces mixed in together.

What I needed was a quick way of sorting.

I took out all 6 drawers and arranged them in a rainbow in front of me on the floor.  Each drawer would get a specific color, or specific kind of brick. Here’s how I filled the first 6:

  • Black pieces (all kinds)
  • White pieces (all kinds)
  • Grey pieces (all kinds, and all colors of grey)
  • All other colors (all kinds)
  • Minifigs
  • Special Pieces
Sorting Legos
Sorting Legos

I should also note that I separated every single brick.  There was nothing saved. No sub assemblies, no special builds, no Mocs, or sets.  If it was in the bin, it got taken apart into the smallest LEGO unit possible. Single pieces.

I hand picked everything.  I’d first go after all the white bricks until they were gone.  Then I went to Black bricks.  And on and on.

The first drawers each had a color in them, or at least a color theme.  If a piece was black, it went in the black drawer. If it was white – into the white drawer.  This included plates, bricks, odd shaped pieces, technic, clips, doors, windows, whatever. If it was the same color it went in the drawer.

Grey was a bit different – I followed the same basic rule – ignoring shape, but focusing on color.  This included light grey, dark grey, and very light grey. 3 grey colors in one drawer. As you can imagine, this drawer filled up the fastest.

Sterilite drawer full of minifigures
Sterilite drawer full of minifigures

Minifigs got their own drawer.  Complete minifigs, as well as minifig parts that may have been separated: legs, torso, arms, hands, heads, hair/hats.  I debated about putting weapons, or tools in this drawer, but decided these should instead go in the Special Pieces drawer.

The final drawer was the special Pieced drawer.  This included pretty much everything else: trans and clear bricks and plates, things minifigs hold, wheels, large odd shaped pieces, fabric pieces like sails or carousel canopies, printed bricks, bricks with stickers.  If it didn’t fit into one of the 5 drawers above, this was the catch all for everything else.

Special Lego Pieces
Special Lego Pieces

Once a LEGO Drawer is full

As I filled a drawer completely, I would then buy another set of 3 drawer Sterilite units for Lego storage.

It took a few weeks of sorting to get through my big bin of parts. I’d spend a few hours every night after dinner filing drawers.

Soon I had 3 drawers full of minifigs.

My Special drawer began to get full, and I broke them out into Power functions, boats, and trains.

When I had 3 or 4 full bins of color bricks, I began to sort them into their individual colors:

Red, blues, greens, oranges, pinks & purples, yellow, and all others.  It was a beautiful plastic rainbow.

Quickly I went from 6 drawers to over 40.

And when my Lego Ikea storage bins were empty, I sold them on Craigslist.  That’s when my final phase of sorting began.

The absolute best way to sort LEGO

Now that I had a room full of LEGO bricks sorted by color into individual Sterilite drawers it was a thing of beauty.  But it still took too long to find a specific part. Going back to YouTube I saw a video by Kevin HInkle, and how he sorts his bricks:

This was perfect!  I would be able to quickly find any piece I needed in a matter of seconds!  

Look at all those Akro-Mills 64 Drawer Storage units!

Every drawer has one type of piece. 

It might be a white 2×4 brick.  It could be a red 1×6 tile.  Or a 2×2 L-shaped plate.

Really, when you are looking for a piece, you aren’t looking for a specific color, but instead you are looking for a particular shape.  Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could find all the 2×4 red bricks in a few seconds? What if you needed a blue one, or a black 2×10 plate?  Or the ever hard to find 1×1 grey plate, or a blue 1×2 jumper. With this system I could get any of these immediately, and in quantity if needed.

Of course this meant I needed to invest in an entirely new type of storage drawers.  I found these 64-drawer storage units by Akro Mills on Amazon. Each drawer could hold between 8 and 100 LEGO pieces depending on size.  Each 64-drawer unit would hold one color – 64 different pieces, sorted into its same shape, and color.

Acro Mills 64 drawer Storage
Acro Mills 64 drawer Storage

Since I already had done the hard work of sorting into color, I thought it would be easy to sort into shape.  Not so! It takes me about a week to sort out a full color into one of these units. Every week I order a new unit from Amazon, and when it gets filled, I simply order another.

Here’s the pattern I follow for each 64-drawer LEGO storage system.  Remember each is a single color

PlatesPlatesBricksBricks TilesTilesSlopes
1×12×2 L-shape1×12×2 L-shape1×1 Round Brick1×12×2 L-shape1×2
1×22×21×22×22×2 Round Brick1×22×31×2 inverted
1×32×31×32×31×1 round plate1×32×41×3
1×42×41×42×42×2 round plate1×4 1×3 inverted
1×62×61×62×61×2 round tile


2×2 round tile

1×6Technic RodsCheese slopes
1×82×81×82×81×2 jumper1×8Technic



Double cheese
1×102×101×102×102×2 jumper1×10Technic



1×122×121×122×12 1×12Technic



2×2 inverted

Now, not every color comes in every shape, so those drawers stay empty, but maybe someday LEGO will make that shape, and I’ll have a place for it.

Obviously some things don’t fit in the tiny drawers.  Thinks like base plates, LURPS, longer pieces, 5×6 wall plates, fences, odd size slopes, lamp posts, and so on.  These stay organized in their specific color drawer. It’s still super easy to find the piece I need because I don’t have to sift through so many pieces to get to the exact one.

Overall I’m very happy with this storage method.  It has taken me a long time to sort and organize everything, and I’ve spent some money of drawers, but not as much as I spend on LEGO.  

But I have saved a lot of time.  I can find any piece I need immediately.

Plus it looks pretty cool, too!

LEGO Storage for Kids

If you’re the parent of a LEGO-loving child, then you know how quickly those colorful bricks can take over your home.

Fortunately, there are a variety of lego storage containers available to help keep all your pieces organized.

One popular option is a sorting tray with compartments of different sizes, which is perfect for separating out smaller pieces like accessories or minifigures.

Stackable plastic bins are another popular choice, as they can be easily labeled and stacked on top of each other to save space.

Whatever lego storage container you choose, it’s important to make sure that it is sturdy and will withstand being knocked over by energetic children (or clumsy adults). With a little bit of planning and some clever lego storage solutions, you can take back your home from the LEGO invasion.

How to Store Unopened LEGO Sets

While most people open the boxes, and build the sets, there are some collectors who never open the sets.

Over time, unopened LEGO sets in prisinte undamaged packaging can appreciate in value significantly.

The hard part is keeping the boxes safe, and undamaged.  

I keep some of my sets in my basement on shelves raised up from ground level. I also have some in a closet in a different room of my house.  Thankfully my collection of unopened boxes isn’t too significant – yet.

But I know people, and have friends who rent out storage units to keep their collections.  They have thousands of unopened sets.  Of course the locations of these storage units is kept very secret.

  1. First, make sure to keep the box in a safe place where it won’t get damaged. A closet or drawer is usually a good option.
  2. Second, if the box is starting to show signs of wear, consider wrapping it in paper or plastic before storing it. This will help to keep it in good condition for future use.
  3. Finally, if you have multiple sets, consider organizing them by theme or size. This will help you find the right set when you want to build something specific.

By following these simple tips, you can enjoy your LEGO sets for years to come.

Final Thoughts

There are a variety of lego storage ideas available to best suit your needs. If you have a small space, consider a zip-up storage bag that can be stored in a drawer. For larger collections, a toy chest or toy box with multiple compartments may be necessary. Another option is to use plastic totes with lids that can be stacked on top of each other. To get organized, sort legos by color, theme, or size before storing them. For easy accessibility, place frequently used pieces in gallon-size bags and store them within reach. Whichever method you choose, make sure to label everything so you can easily find what you’re looking for!

How do you store your LEGO collection?  What is the best way you’ve discovered?  Do you use a LEGO  table, or have some other more organized way.

3 thoughts on “Storing Lego

  1. I just got into the Holiday sets last year. The first sets were Christmas gifts so my kids and I decided to wait until this year to build them. I grabbed Santa’s Sleigh, the Christmas tree, set, and the 2022 winter village for this year. How do you store the built sets from year to year? Do you pad them with anything? Do you dismantle them and build them every year (sounds like a fun tradition but tedious to take them a part and stay orderly)? I’d love to see your holiday village in its entirety up and on display.

    1. Hi Chris- Great Question – I store my sets individually, in large bags, and then in large Rubbermaid containers. No padding, just careful placement. If I have to transport them sometimes I use padding. I used to take everything apart and re-assemble and that worked well when I had 2-3 sets, but now it’s too much. You can read more here

      1. Thanks for the reply Eric. I appreciate your help! your page is fun. Thanks for sharing.

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