Hinckley

Storage and Sorting LEGO

1341 posts in this topic

I'm mostly scared of when my recent buying spree gets broken down. (tower bridge, imperial shuttle, queen anne's revenge, venator, pet shop, grand emporium, fire brigade, Cafe Corner)

It'll just overwhelm my current structure, so I'm contemplating keeping most of those (modulars, tower bridge, shuttle) as complete sets and out of my bricks.

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I'm mostly scared of when my recent buying spree gets broken down. (tower bridge, imperial shuttle, queen anne's revenge, venator, pet shop, grand emporium, fire brigade, Cafe Corner)

It'll just overwhelm my current structure, so I'm contemplating keeping most of those (modulars, tower bridge, shuttle) as complete sets and out of my bricks.

You can't break down Cafe Corner. If you want bricks, sell it and buy 5x as many.

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Follows Closely, that's how I am now, minus the charts. I just want something more organized than that. I'm just looking for the right container of drawers that I like best. This thread is giving me all kinds of ideas and inspiration.

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how big do you feel a collection needs to get before it starts being worth looking at sorting by colour again? I suppose it can vary depending on how many of a particular piece you have, but is there a general point?

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Is there a big sorting, uh, thing...with a large number of small drawers. I'm not quite sure how to explain this, but if you think you know what I'm talking about, can you help me?

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Currently I have 10 drawers (2 large, 8 small) to store my LEGO bricks as well as various boxes for complete sets. It's all over the place right now and I have several boxes of assorted parts that I haven't got round to sorting out yet. In the drawers the pieces are done by colour, as I do not have enough time to sort by type of piece. It's so frustrating to try and find pieces in the black drawer! :sadnew:

I think I need a bigger house.

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Currently I have 10 drawers (2 large, 8 small) to store my LEGO bricks as well as various boxes for complete sets. It's all over the place right now and I have several boxes of assorted parts that I haven't got round to sorting out yet. In the drawers the pieces are done by colour, as I do not have enough time to sort by type of piece. It's so frustrating to try and find pieces in the black drawer! :sadnew:

I think I need a bigger house.

Maybe you could try sorting in stages if you don't have enough free time for a full sorting session. Maybe you could start by setting up boxes for general catagories - bricks, plates, minifigures/figure parts, modified parts, small parts(1x2 plate or smaller), vehicles, etc. Then start on sorting parts into the proper catagories as you can.

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I have an almost perfect organiser that I use for small nuts and bolts. Lots of small drawers that all pivot out when I pull one, so you have immediate access to everything easily. Only problem is they aren't sealed. By that I mean that when closed, there are still gaps above the drawers, and so inevitably small Lego bits would go everywhere. Why is finding good storage so difficult?

I do have a nice (but expensive) metal case I bought from B&Q. Lots of separate boxes inside, and the top has a layer of foam which creates a seal when you close the lid. I use it to store my nanoblocks.

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Found raaco storage units which seem good, but perhaps the drawers are a bit small. So I'd like some advice from you as to the sizes of containers you use. Here is a list of the different configurations they do

Link

Does this look like it'd be workable?

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Having been laid up with a chest infection for the last week I decided to sort my collection into something a bit more useable and I came to some horrible conclusions.

1) I don't have as much white Lego as I hoped.

2) I have almost my own body weight in 1x1 slopes, 1x1 round plates and bent droid/skeleton arms. I wonder if I could trade them in to Lego for a set of equivalent weight, like a Death Star or something :wacko:

3) I need more Lego!

On the plus side I now have everything organised by colour, and the larger collections into bags of the same type of bricks. Storage is on the cheap side - shoe boxes and freezer bags, and some cheap WHAM divided organiser boxes for the smaller bits.

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None of my LEGO is organized at all :grin: .

I do want to organize it over the summer, though...

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next phase of expansion ordered. Took ages as I couldn't decide on boxes Vs drawers. In the end my son suggested boxes with lockable lids in case of accidents, which is smart thinking at his age I think.

We currently have a big wooden set of drawers that my father made, which holds bricks and plates and 'misc little bits', but its getting a bit cramped in there; Technics and larger normal lego (car parts, house stuff etc) is in 7x 4 litre boxes from 'really useful boxes' in the UK

91KS9.jpg;

then technics small parts (connectors etc) are in two of these

ogDty.jpg.

for the expansion I've ordered another one of these - link

91KS9.jpg

and some drawer dividers (here)

kjw6u.jpg.

This new tower will hold all my technics/PF pieces. The technics connectors etc will be moved to the dividers and be located in the same tower, as you often need quick access to different parts when building, so having them in separate boxes was a little annoying.

That frees up the two sets of small boxes (32 x 0.3 litre) for small normal lego parts, I'll have 7, 4 litre boxes to spread out the house/car parts a bit more and room for expansion later, and the top wooden drawer in my main unit will get freed up so the large normal parts can spread out - need more room for slopes and large plates.

Once I get through some sorting/organising I'll try and post some pics.

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Maybe you could try sorting in stages if you don't have enough free time for a full sorting session. Maybe you could start by setting up boxes for general catagories - bricks, plates, minifigures/figure parts, modified parts, small parts(1x2 plate or smaller), vehicles, etc. Then start on sorting parts into the proper catagories as you can.

I simply don't have enough space. Currently out of the two sets of drawers I have for LEGO pieces, only one is in my room as I can't fit the other in.

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Ever since I can remember I have been slightly overzealous about not mixing themes. I have a some plastic drawers with a theme in each: Pirates, classic space, castle, city/town, Star Wars, technic; then smaller drawers with the minifigs of each theme.

I have gone through this forum on sorting several times with the intention of refining my sorting but cannot bring myself to lump parts together whether it be by colour, type or whatever. I've had a go at a few small MOCs but for each I really struggle to allow the themes to mix - probably some sort of Lego OCD - how have people got over that 'mixing' hurdle or has it never been a problem?

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Ever since I can remember I have been slightly overzealous about not mixing themes. I have a some plastic drawers with a theme in each: Pirates, classic space, castle, city/town, Star Wars, technic; then smaller drawers with the minifigs of each theme.

I have gone through this forum on sorting several times with the intention of refining my sorting but cannot bring myself to lump parts together whether it be by colour, type or whatever. I've had a go at a few small MOCs but for each I really struggle to allow the themes to mix - probably some sort of Lego OCD - how have people got over that 'mixing' hurdle or has it never been a problem?

We keep some items in separate drawers - car parts, house parts (windows,bodies etc), but aren't fussy about theme. We do keep technic separate but even with normal sorting they'd be separated anyway.

At the end of the day, what do you want to be able to do? If you want to build MOCs, you want quick access to the bricks you want. Do you want to have to check 4 different locations to see if you have enough yellow 1x4 bricks, just because you're keeping them in themes? If you want to be able to rebuild sets, then you can still do that with a fully sorted system. If you have precious sets I wouldn't even sort them into themes, just keep them as a set,separate from the rest.

Maybe start off by putting normal bricks into the main sort, and keep theme-specific items (accessories, minifigs) separate?

Edited by mrklaw

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We keep some items in separate drawers - car parts, house parts (windows,bodies etc), but aren't fussy about theme. We do keep technic separate but even with normal sorting they'd be separated anyway.

At the end of the day, what do you want to be able to do? If you want to build MOCs, you want quick access to the bricks you want. Do you want to have to check 4 different locations to see if you have enough yellow 1x4 bricks, just because you're keeping them in themes? If you want to be able to rebuild sets, then you can still do that with a fully sorted system. If you have precious sets I wouldn't even sort them into themes, just keep them as a set,separate from the rest.

Maybe start off by putting normal bricks into the main sort, and keep theme-specific items (accessories, minifigs) separate?

+1 to all of this. I'm wondering why LegoPohm wants to keep the themes separate. I can understand keeping whole sets separated for storage, if you want to be able to more quickly put a particular set together. But if you're grouping actual parts by theme, I don't quite understand that. There's so much crossover with parts, especially standard bricks, plates, and slopes.

I sort by part type, and I'm quite happy with it. (Although I'm getting to the point of thinking about storing some things by color, maybe for common colors and just for bricks/plates/slopes). Like mrklaw says, it's all about what you want to accomplish. For me, it's about being able to find any particular part in a reasonable amount of time - sorting by part type makes that very easy. I even break down minifigs into separate parts, even the fleshies. (I do keep hands/arms/torsos together as an assembly, same with legs.)

I guess I don't have the same mental stumbling block, and I'm a little perplexed at why you would keep them separate. They yearn to be together! Something that serves as a droid appendage from SW can easily be used for pirate ship rigging. It just doesn't make sense to me. If you are dead-set on keeping minifigs together for some reason, I can see keeping those sorted. But otherwise I'm just confused.

Can you elaborate on what your concerns are? Maybe we can offer a solution for you.

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Ever since I can remember I have been slightly overzealous about not mixing themes. I have a some plastic drawers with a theme in each: Pirates, classic space, castle, city/town, Star Wars, technic; then smaller drawers with the minifigs of each theme.

I have gone through this forum on sorting several times with the intention of refining my sorting but cannot bring myself to lump parts together whether it be by colour, type or whatever. I've had a go at a few small MOCs but for each I really struggle to allow the themes to mix - probably some sort of Lego OCD - how have people got over that 'mixing' hurdle or has it never been a problem?

For the most part, theres no need to worry about mixing pieces. If you have a 1x6 from City and one from Space, there's no way to tell which came from which. I would, however, have a space for theme specific items. Like car parts, space parts, Star Wars, what have you.

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+1 to all of this. I'm wondering why LegoPohm wants to keep the themes separate.

Can you elaborate on what your concerns are? Maybe we can offer a solution for you.

Firstly thanks for the replies.

I think there is some sort of irrational thing going on in my head :wacko:. When I was a child my town sets and basic bricks all got lumped into a big plastic bucket but my space was always kept separate in its original boxes. Oddly enough it never occured to me to store Lego any other way. I suppose there is a fear that one day I may come to re-build a set and find that parts have gone missing - keeping parts by theme gives me a modicum of control over the sets (in my head anyway :classic: ).

My goal is to make it easier to make MOCs especially castle themed - I would keep my Classic Space separate though.

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How do you break down prior to sorting? Just done a few sets and simply broken them down into a big bucket, with the aim to then sort into bricks/plates/specials etc, but is this an ok way to do it - is it better to sort into basic categories while you disassemble?

edit: oh and for those in the UK, tesco have packs of 8 'TUBZ' - small food containers with lids that look like they might be useful for storage.

Edited by mrklaw

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How do you break down prior to sorting? Just done a few sets and simply broken them down into a big bucket, with the aim to then sort into bricks/plates/specials etc, but is this an ok way to do it - is it better to sort into basic categories while you disassemble?

edit: oh and for those in the UK, tesco have packs of 8 'TUBZ' - small food containers with lids that look like they might be useful for storage.

If you are starting like that, I suggest sorting from the very beginning, or at least when breaking down sets, put plates to one bin, bricks in another, or sort by color, take out specialty pieces, etc. It should save some time in the long run to have a basic pre-sort versus just sorting out of a mixed bucket.

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Well, that's what you do then. If you want to sort, but want to keep it theme specific, just buy some of the smaller drawer units that people have posted here. That way, you could have them nicely organized and separated like you like. You could organize them in like bricks. Example, all 1x4 bricks in a box, don't worry about separating by color(unless you happen to have enough of one color to warrant it's own drawer). I'd definitely give this thread another once over, there is a lot of great ideas here.

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I bought four 33-drawer storage cabinets (like this) on special deal today. As my pre-sorting bin got too small, I was planning to reorganize my collection for a few weeks now, but all the boxes were full, and there was no space. Also, I didn't want to get more boxes, as I found them a bit clumsy to take out, open, put back etc. I kept my eyes open for drawer cabinets, and I finally got some.

More on the sorting part, most often I buy sets, build them, and then dissassemble after some time (the same for MOCs). If I have time, I do some presorting while dissassembling into broader categories (bricks, plates, minifigs, plants, tiles...), but most often I just throw them in the bucket, where they wait. Also, a significant problem was the mess, created every time after MOCing modular buildings. Since my building area is small, and in a corner of my living room, I'm working towards making it as tidy as possible. Hopefully, this system will work out for a while. :classic:

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My most recent additions came at the weekend. A bunch more drawers and some divider units. So far it's let me have a dedicated drawer for tiles, wing plates and curved slopes - each divided up roughly by size. That frees up more space inside my main drawers so my normal plates and slopes can stretch out a bit. The dividers helped tidy up my 'wheels' drawer into sizes too. You seem to lose a bit of space compared to just cramming a box to the brim, but I think it'll be worth it in speeding up piece finding.

Moved some of the more common special pieces into individual drawers (they were sitting in a Lego advent calendar tray), and now I can use that tray for less common specials which will take up less space.

still have 'wedges' and 'house pieces' to sort, but it's feeling more like a system now

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