For the Legomaniac Scott boys and their friends, it was a dream come true when they woke up to the wondrous site of a gigantic Lego truck on the street in front of their house. Ryan, the driver and team member of the "Lego Experience Tour," had no idea how the truck with more than 200 Lego figures emblazoned on its exterior would capture the hearts of the kids when he passed by on the way to set up the exhibit at the Minnesota State Fair.
With three boys under the age of 8, the Scotts don't actually buy Lego bricks by the truckload, but when Melissa invited me into her sons' "Basement Lego Room" amidst the excitement that morning, I was all smiles. With Lego posters on walls, completed models on shelves and cool projects in process, it's a dynamic gathering place for kids and their creativity.
"But we finally had to come to grips with the clutter," said Melissa, as she lifted a bin of wheel parts onto a shelf. "The kids were frustrated when they couldn't find the right piece to complete a project." That's when they decided to sort the zillions of Legos strewn around the house, organize them by color and subject and keep them in one room. See-through plastic bins now house the reds, the grays and the blues, while plastic tackle-box-style containers with dividers store ladders, shields, animals and people.
Jonathan Bunce, 7, and Benton and Nick Scott, ages 8 and 6, couldn’t believe their eyes when the Lego truck recently arrived on their block.
"Now that we've made order out of chaos, they can actually be more creative," she says. "Plus, it makes cleanup less overwhelming at the end of the day."
Melissa thinks outside the Lego box when it comes to other clever clutter busters. Namely keeping track of electronic gadgets, gizmos and cords that can strangle a family's living space.
Cell phones, chargers, a camera and even a laptop land in a wide top drawer situated under a kitchen counter top. When a gadget needs charging, it is plugged into a surge protector, which sits in the back of the drawer. A 3-inch hole drilled through the back end of the drawer routes the power-strip cord to an outlet. Brilliant! No more messy cords and no more misplaced phones.
Here are more clutter busters:
Donna Erickson's new award-winning television series "Donna's Day" is airing on public television nationwide. Visit www.donnasday.com to find out when it airs on your local PBS station and to sign up for Donna's e-newsletter. Her latest book is "Donna Erickson's Fabulous Funstuff for Families."