Nate Berkus Shares A Neat Idea For A Clutter-Free, Organized Playroom

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Keeping a playroom neat and organized often feels like an uphill battle — waged on a near-vertical incline. Unless you're meticulously picking up toys off the floor, this area can rapidly become a messy morass that takes hours (and major willpower) to tackle. One of the best ways to navigate this slippery slope is to implement practical toy storage ideas that help keep your kids' playroom tidy with less effort. Designer, super-dad, and self-confessed organization lover Nate Berkus has stumbled on just such a solution for the most notoriously tough-to-organize toy: Lego. The bane of every neat parent's existence when it's in a mess, Lego has a habit of getting hopelessly disorganized and winding up painfully underfoot. It's so bad that Lego even released special slippers to protect parents' feet from the excruciating discomfort of stepping on strewn blocks without warning. 

In an Instagram reel, Berkus revealed how he sorted his son's Lego collection by color into sliding drawer bins, after watching an HGTV show (of course) where a professional organizing team adopted the same approach. Although the drawers took him an entire weekend to sort out, "That was, like, 11 months ago, and look. They still look pretty good." Unless you love to organize, the thought of sorting out your child's Lego blocks (again) probably sounds as painful as stepping on an 8-knob brick barefoot. But with Berkus's clever solution, you'll be able to turn Lego sorting into a much easier and maybe even infrequent job.

Color-coding by bin for the win

One of the biggest issues that Lego-sorting parents face is whether to organize by block type or color. HGTV star Nate Berkus chose to go with color, and we think this is a smart move because replacing Lego pieces in their correct bins using color is far easier for both big and still-growing brains. It takes less mental effort to toss a red block in with its buddies than to count knobs and then find the right category. For small children and toddlers, sorting blocks back into the right bins based on color can also be a stimulating, mentally enriching activity that enhances memory, motor skills, and concentration. Moreover, for older children, packing away by color into large drawer bins is more achievable than expecting them to sort all their Lego pieces into tiny Tupperware containers.

Dividing a collection by color feels daunting, so consider taking a leaf out of Berkus's book and set aside a full weekend for the job. If possible, see if you can get some small hands to help. Involving your child from the start will help them take responsibility for maintaining the new system. If you want to apply Berkus's organization idea to other toys, see if there's anything else you can sort by color. This approach won't work for everything, but it can be a fun (and effective) way to categorize random toys or even divide large collections of stuffed animals.

Nate Berkus used a bank of transparent drawers for his son's Lego

The primary ingredient in Nate Berkus's Lego organization system is a large bank of clear drawer bins. For a toy storage solution to actively reduce clutter, it has to be user-friendly for both you and your child. The less effort required to access a toy, the less mess will — hopefully — be created, and the higher chance there is of your kid being able to pack the items back away again when they're done playing. The type of drawers the HGTV star and proud papa chose is pivotal to the system's success. Berkus opted for transparent acrylic drawers. This allows the color categories to be easily visible, reducing the chance of blocks getting randomly chucked back into the wrong box. The "Nate & Jeremiah Home Project" star didn't confirm the brand he used, but there are various solutions you can leverage for this system. 

Modular, stackable acrylic drawers like these ones from Amazon, which retail for around $30, are ideal for growing Lego collections. If you're creating a kids' playroom in a small space and want something that's easy to move around, you can opt for drawer towers on wheels (also available on Amazon for around $50 at the time of writing). Or if you're after a solid, sideboard-type situation, you can even glue two IKEA Kallax benches together to create some cute, open storage cubbies, which you can then place clear storage cubes into, such as these acrylic bins from Amazon ($35). If you opt for a full drawer system or tower, make sure that the individual bins are removable and not too large. That way, even pint-sized Lego lovers can take an entire bin to their play station, making both building and packing away much easier.