Wednesday, August 3

Help a sister out

What you're about to see is shocking. It's an actual, unretouched photo of a room in my home. Right here, under my roof.

First, some background. My youngest son, Lee, is better known as LegoLee329. He has his own YouTube channel on which he publishes reviews of Lego sets. He's quite good, if I do say so myself. If you ever need the low-down on a Lego set, you can trust LegoLee's reviews.

But now steel yourself--here's what LegoLee's studio (bedroom) looked like just a few days ago:

Told you it was shocking.

So what's a mom to do? I mean, really, what would YOU do??

I took Lee on a trip here:

It was the first time I'd been to IKEA since 1987. I'm not kidding. And now I have very heavy boxes of things that are not yet put together. But I have hope.

You IKEA veterans: any tips for novices? Anything I should know before I tackle assembly?

And you organizational gurus: any tips for helping a 14-year-old get his things in order?


  1. Good luck with the organization project! That's neat that he does reviews.

  2. Your are not a real mom if you don't have at least one room like this in your house. I am ashamed to admit I clean my kids' rooms up myself quite often b/c I know I can do it quicker and more efficiently myself. But then, it often looks like your son's room very shortly after!

  3. containers that can be put away, that's my current solution. and, uh, you mean, they're still this messy at 14? i have a 5 and a 6 year old and i'm going batty with the legos and dinosaurs here!!!

  4. Well, my last child, a 4 yr old little boy, loves legos. I am sure his room will look like this as he accumulates more sets. Yay for IKEA!! They have great organizing items!! I haven't had any issues with putting things together from there. I do know of someone else in the blog world who has a son heavily into legos. His closet is full of the little drawered plastic sets, sized for each lego set. I know your son is much older, so that makes a difference. I am sure it will look fantastic when you are finished like the rest of your home!!!

  5. Oh my goodness!!! Seriously, your son's room is like a dream come true to my Lego loving son! Even with it all as a mess...he might love it even more seeing it all over the floor since that is how his Legos usually are. LOL! We finally got so overwhelmed with them that I bought a storage system with individual bins so they could be color sorted which makes it slightly easier to find pieces. I really wish I would have kept his sets together but he mixes and matches so much it is almost impossible. I can't wait to see what you end up doing in there since this is like a little glimpse into my future! :-)

  6. Oh my goodness! Even though it looks a mess, I'll bet that Lee knows where everything is. Good luck on assembling your Ikea purchases.

  7. Girl, that is NOTHING compared to what lurks behind the door of my teenager.......the smell alone is enough to make you gag. I have a much better solution for you - shut the door.

  8. Everything we've ever bought at Ikea has been easy to put together. My hubby loves their stuff because they assemble really well.

  9. Can I come play, too?
    I LOVE Lincoln Logs and Legos, LOL!!
    Michelle's idea about the Sterilite (these are at WalMart) drawered containers is excellent!
    It's what I would have suggested, too!
    Labels are also extremely helpful. For him AND anyone else- you or a playmate to help him put the pieces back where they go.
    Lego reviews? I gotta check that out!
    P.S. Stepping on a Lego piece hurts.

  10. I found Ikea furniture to take time, but fairly easy to assemble. I think it was alot easier than assemble yourself from Target.

    I know that didn't help any. LOL

    Good luck!! Bins and baskets...that's the best organization advice I have. :)

  11. Tips? Patience. The end result is worth it but the "no words" instructions can be frustrating. Lego man should do great with it though!

  12. Oh. My. I thought Kiddo's Legos were out of control! LOL! Can't wait to see the finished project!

    What we've done is have one of those clear drawer bin thingies where he can separate them into whatever categories he wants. They stay put up...mostly. ; )

  13. Craig is the furniture assembler around here, but he's never complained about Ikea furniture. Actually, now that I think about it, my oldest assembled an Ikea desk when he was about 11, so it can't be too hard.

    Have you heard of Box4Blox? We haven't tried it because it was sold out when I was looking at it, but it looks really cool. It automatically sorts the Legos by size.

  14. That doesn't scare me! I've got the same situation in the girls' room, except with American Girl accessories and tiny Barbie shoes. Ditto what Amy said--kids don't care that we blog and show photos of our homes...they just want to play. ;)

    What about vertical storage or a trunk/bench to go under the window? T hates putting together IKEA furniture, mostly b/c he likes to grumble about the quality, etc. I just like that I can get stuff cheap!

  15. My {almost} 14 year old is a lego buff too. He shares a room with his 15 year old brother so he can't get too spread out. My solution was to buy a 6 foot folding table for his current is set up underneath the window in his room. Underneath the table fit those Rubbermaid 3 drawer thingys where he keeps the legos not in use. That works for us. Hope you find a good solution for you!

  16. I can't wait to see the "after" photos because I have a son with a "lego" room as well.

  17. I love IKEA and it has helped me with lots of workable systems. Hope it helped you, too.


  18. wow. i've seen a room like that. oh yes. in my house. actually... probaly worse. (and you should have seen laura's room with no legos!!) anyway, good luck with assembly. and i wish you even more luck in getting him to actually USE whatever you bought to organize!!!! haha :)

  19. My son's room was always perfect. He requested built-ins and a Murphy Bed. He had a place for everything. My daughter is just messy, even with her pretty room. She just does not place clothes in drawers...says her clothes smell like wood. PLEASE!!

    I can't wait to see what you come up with.



  20. There is nothing shocking about that room to anyone who is raising children. LOL. Still, I absolutely hate a messy room. I always give a warning, such as,, You have until Sat. morning to have your room cleaned (I always posted a checklist for cleaning the room), if it is not cleaned by then you will forfeit "whatever" until it is cleaned to my satisfaction, ie no phone, TV, friends over, etc.

    Good luck!

  21. As someone who has recently had to take over all assembly projects, I have two pieces of advice: (1) lay out all the pieces in the order of the master diagram, confirming you have all the pieces and allowing you to get a feel for what you have as materials; and (2) involve Lee as much as possible. If he's good with Legos, he'll be able to assemble IKEA furniture!

    As for organization, my sister told me of a woman (who clearly has too much time on her hands) who puts each set of Legos in its own sterilite/rubbermaid box and "labels" it with a picture of the Lego box itself. She also has an index of all the Legos her child (7 or 9) has. A little much, if you ask me, but perhaps it will spark an idea for you...

    With love,


  22. We lived for Ikea when we lived in Germany! All of our stuff we bought there was fairly simple to put together. Just lay everything out first and match up your parts and pieces. It isn't hard at all! Good luck with the legos! We live in plastic animal and Barbie land!

  23. I have no organizational or assembly help to offer, but I do want to comment on Lee's room. Obviously, he didn't get his mother's genes when it comes to keeping house, but what his room speaks to me is passion. This boy is serious about Legos and seriously busy learning and passing on that knowledge. It reminds me of an art studio where the artist is always engrossed in his latest project.

    And I say all that to say, please don't be upset with him if you get all the IKEA stuff put together and he still doesn't manage to keep the Legos cleaned up. It's an artist thing. Trust me, I know!

  24. Labels are a MUST, no matter how you decide to organize the pieces. Involving Lee is essential, too, so he will be motivated to keep everything organized and will know where to find each piece. What a fun project!! This is a great opportunity to give him organizing know-how for right now and long into his future!

  25. Trish Sur, the "Yardsale Diva" on Clean House, would say the container store. I have never been but heard good reports.Best wishes..

  26. I have 5 sons, ALL of whom are LEGO nuts, and they each would receive LEGOS from both grandparents for their birthdays & Christmas. My oldest son is now 26, my youngest 14, so you can guess how many LEGOS we possess. What has worked well here is a bin for each color of LEGO and then a 3 ring binder w/page protectors that hold the instructions from each set. Easy to take the binder and pull the LEGOS from the bins and build what you want. We also have a room in the basement with a table with a piece of plywood on it for building the creations. Bins store beneath it. Blessings, Amy

  27. When my son was young, he loved Legos and had tons of them. My mother-in-law had mobility issues, so she used a large flat bed sheet and would have him keep all his Legos on the sheet, so that when he was finished playing with them the corners of the sheet could be gathered up and the sheet placed on the closet floor.


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