Let me just begin by saying people like me should never EVER tackle Lego sorting. I'm the type of person that gets caught up in details. Too caught up. While this is probably an asset in some endeavors (I could have been a book editor in another life), more detailed decision making can drive me over the edge. I've avoided the brink by living a very simple life that requires few decisions. For instance, in the grocery store when the bagger asks if I want paper or plastic my standard reply is, "Whatever." And when the checker asks if I want my milk in a bag I always say, "It doesn't matter." This must be some sort of defense mechanism for people like me. Anyway, the kids and I have been doing some spring cleaning this week and for some reason I'm now deeply regretting, I decided we needed to organize the Legos. I realize organizing Legos probably means different things to different people. Sorting by type (duplo, regular, bionicle) and color is pretty straight forward. But what about all those specialty pieces? I start out sorting a particular type of piece one way then change my mind then change my mind again, double guessing myself all the time. For instance, windows and doors obviously go together, right? What about shutters? Since they go with windows, I put them in the windows category. Well, what about aircraft/spaceship canopies? Here we have "glass" pieces, but for a different function completely. So I give them their own section. Then there are hinge pieces and rotating moving pieces, and specialized rotating moving pieces like little antennae or radars. You've got the curved pieces, the right angle pieces, the ventilated pieces, and the irregularly shaped pieces. By the time I finished I had the Legos sorted into 13 drawers and subsorted into about 25 ziploc bags. I have to admit, though, toward the end of my little project I was much less discriminating than I was in the beginning. I even threw a few specialized pieces into their color-coded bag instead of painstakingly locating the appropriate subcategory for them. Let's just say I was covering my bases:). Now no matter if someone is looking by color or by function, the piece in question is sure to be found! At least that's what I kept telling myself.
Actually, my first choice for Lego storage is to keep the entire contents of a box set in a large ziploc with the original instructions. Believe it or not we have many sets that are being stored in just that way and many more that are on display in Monk's room. This little collection of Legos pictured above is our overflow. For a variety of reasons, mainly little siblings and friends of little siblings, my ideal system has been corrupted in some instances, thus our overflow. We also have all my Legos from when I was a kid and of course my Legos were all jumbled together into one container. (My mom thinks sorting Legos is insane and we didn't have any of these handy-dandy clear plastic organizing drawers back then, or at least not in our house.)
Anyway, for what it's worth, the Legos are now organized and in their new home. And when Monk was looking for a hinge piece this afternoon I pointed him to the correct drawer and ziploc and he found it immediately. You gotta love having a system, even if it's a flawed one:).