If your child’s play space often becomes a minefield of painful obstacles strewn across the floor, Erin Doland, author of Never Too Busy to Cure Clutter, recommends the Swoop Bag. This drawstring play mat provides a surface for creative kids to build on and, when they’re done, collects the bricks left on top into a sturdy carrying case. Pull the string to cinch the sack and store it away until the next building session. Opt for the smaller, table-top version (at right) for on-the-go play.
To buy: Original Swoop Bag, $44, and Mini Bag, $24; swoopbags.com.
If your kid wants to arrange her bricks by color, type, or set, Beth Penn, author of The Little Book of Tidying, suggests stackable drawer units. “They’re so easy to open, close, and label by category,” she says. Designate one color per drawer or, for additional sorting options, install clear plastic dividers to separate categories within each. This solution also helps limit the number of bricks that can live within your space. If there’s no more room and your child wants to add a new set, a purge is in order.
To buy: Rainbow 4-drawer units, $40 each; containerstore.com.
Prevent the Big Spill
Lisa Zaslow, founder of Gotham Organizers in New York City, likes a half-size under-the-bed bin that can be stashed beneath a sofa or stacked in the corner of a playroom. The shallow container is easy to sift through (no dumping the bricks all over the floor). Keep tiny pieces—wheels, windows, and other accessories—in a zippered pouch. Designate a surface to display Lego creations, but institute a rule that when the space fills up, your kids have to decide which projects to dismantle to make room for their latest masterpiece.
To buy: Stor-n-Slide Under Bed Box, $13 (small), and Zippered Vinyl & Mesh Pouch, from $2; containerstore.com.
Amuse the Mega-Fan
Cover walls in a play space with 15-inch square Lego baseplates to act as a building and display surface, suggests Andrew Mellen, author of Unstuff Your Life! The pro stresses that “the more challenging you make it for kids to put things away, the less surprised you should be when they don’t comply.” So make it simple and keep a large rolling bin nearby to collect the unused pieces and catch any designs the kids are ready to disassemble.
To buy: Advantus Rolling Storage Box, $40; walmart.com. Lego Classic Gray Baseplates, $15 each; shop.lego.com.