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The sorting methodology thread!!

124

Comments

  • dmetcalfdmetcalf Member Posts: 10
    I'm almost at the point where I enjoy organizing my Lego more than building with it, so I've put in a lot of thought on the subject!

    Here's some general guidelines I've figured out over many reorganizations:
    • How your parts are organized is determined by the parts you have, so unfortunately no one will be able to provide the perfect system for you. Hopefully we all can provide a useful idea or two to get you started!
    • Where applicable, stack your bricks to save space and avoid damaging your bricks. Here's a helpful resource: http://www.evilmadscientist.com/2008/how-to-organize-your-lego-bricks-for-efficient-building/
    • Organize by Lego terminology; if anyone has experience sorting bricks, it's those guys! (Plus, it helps reinforce the proper terminology, and language is a surprisingly integral component of creativity.)
    • Think of it like biological classification: bricks, plates, tiles, slopes, etc. Then, break them down into smaller groups based on the number of each type of part until it fits your particular storage needs/capacity.
    • No matter what you decide to do, there will be one part (or a few) that doesn't fit and screws it up. If it works for 90%+ of your parts, then you win!
    • You can't avoid a Miscellaneous bin.
    • As for containers:
         • lids must close securely, latching is best
         • wide and shallow lets you see more parts than deep and narrow, plus it's much more stable when stacking. This is my current favorite: http://amzn.com/B004QJGW6C as well as the smaller version: http://amzn.com/B0063K8S5A. (I can get both at a local "dollar" store cheaper.)
         • containers with adjustable dividers are good, but digging through one compartment to find the right part/color can cause parts to spill into other compartments (I have lots of these that I phased out just for that reason: http://amzn.com/B000AM8BBI)
         • containers with removable bins make it much easier and cleaner to find parts without upsetting other bins (I found a place locally that sells something like this for under $6: http://amzn.com/B006ZNLQMC)

    My personal organization went something like this:

    Isolate unique categories:
    • Minifigures & accessories - get all this stuff out of the way and deal with it later. I found fewer coherent subcategories here and still have not gotten this organized to my satisfaction.

    • Technic - Like Minifigs, I wanted these parts, including Technic bricks and plates, separate from everything else, but for easier access. I'm getting closer to having this organized how I want.

    • Vehicle parts - Wheels, tires, car doors, steering wheels, and miscellaneous car parts. Get them out of my way, I rarely use them and they never fit properly in my container du jour.

    Begin biological classification:
    • Bricks
         • 1x*
         • 2x4
         • 2x*
         • Round (2x2 round bricks, 2x2 cones, 4x4 round bricks, satellite dishes, plus 2x2 and 4x4 round plates)
         • Slopes
              • 2x2x2 roof tiles
              • 2x4x1 roof tiles
              • 1x*x1 roof tiles
              • The rest of the *x*x1 roof tiles
              • Inverted roof tiles
         • Bows (with a few minor exceptions)
         • Transparent bricks (including a zillion 1x2 transparent clear plates from the Pick A Brick wall)
         • 1x1x* and 1x2x* bricks
         • 1x2x2 corners, 1x2 and 1x4 palisade bricks, 1x2 profile bricks
         • Modified bricks

    • Plates
         • 1x*
         • 2x*
         • 4x*, 6x*, and larger
         • Wedge plates (wings) and rudders
         • Modified plates (maybe my favorite box)

    • Miscellaneous
         • Vehicle windshields, canopies, vehicle roof plates
         • Mudguards, bearing elements (wheel holder plates)
         • Plants
         • Wedges and inverted wedges
         • Windows, doors, fences, containers, panels, ladders, large panels, et al.
         • SMH Box

    Then there's the containers with removable bins for small elements, including 1x1 rounds bricks/cones/plates, small transparent parts, tiles/cheese slopes, common/favorites...

    I also use small, round containers (http://amzn.com/B007V2M7F6 and http://amzn.com/B007V2K94C and http://amzn.com/B007V2HBJS) that I use for small parts I loaded up on at the PAB wall (mini antennas, single-color 1x2 tiles, grille tiles, etc.) and I also use them for rare colors, which is the only time I sort solely by color.

    I still use larger takeout containers (http://amzn.com/B009W2LMRM and http://amzn.com/B00EA0P9OS), but usually for presorting storage or project-specific collections (like the Mixel competition, I used http://amzn.com/B00BB0UN5K to keep those parts quarantined and toddler-proof).

    Finally, I use http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00130129/ for spring cleanup storage before sorting.


    Hope that helps!
    Dave.
    TheLoneTensorsidersddcatwrangler
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    ^ I like your concepts with exclusions. I.e. the car parts and such. If you don't use it, get it out of there.
  • FrothyCoffeeManFrothyCoffeeMan Member Posts: 46
    Slowly.
    'Tis a tedious chore and I wish it to cease!
  • StuckTogetherStuckTogether Member Posts: 42
    Tedious -- lol - I can think of other words - I'm inventoring and organizing stuff I've had in storage for years, 30% of it needs a bad wash and soak, half of it was thrown into boxes totally unsorted, and when I start "filing" the unsorted, a lot of the existing boxes/drawers won't hold the extra - so I have to split into different types or move into a bigger container. Based on rough estimates I have 11,000 pieces and I've done about 6000 in the last week.
  • StuckTogetherStuckTogether Member Posts: 42
    @‌dmetcalf

    Thanks for the ideas for roofs and slopes,I just found I have way more than I knew, and its a jumbled mess in one box.
  • klatu003klatu003 Hobbiton, Shire, Middle EarthMember Posts: 725
    @Oldfan - LOL. Just saw this^

    plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
  • DedgeckoDedgecko Seattle, WAMember Posts: 800
    While my collection is much smaller than what I've seen on here, I too have ditched sorting by color for the most part.
    Bricks, large plates (4x4 and larger), angles, slanted plates, various 1x1 pieces, parts with joints, transparent parts, and tall supports/bricks. Technic pins / joints / gears and mini figs are also sorted separately.

    Anything else is loosely sorted by color, or unique attributes (printed parts or foliage stuff).
  • matticus_bricksmatticus_bricks Member Posts: 651
    Usually I sort into broad categories: Bricks, Plates, Slopes, Arches, Tiles, Accessories/Minifigs and the vague "everything else" category. To be honest, I haven't really gotten to the point of sorting the "everything else" very well, but the detailed stuff is made simpler by the fact that I don't use technic and I seldom build vehicles, so that stuff is just tossed in a corner, and left lonely and forgotten. :cry: I currently have a bunch of clear plastic craft bead organizers you can get at Michael's for $3, and I use them for 1x1 plates, 2x2 plates, transparent plates, tiles and cheese slopes. I also have a larger one with customizable dividers which I use for Minifig parts. Pretty much everything larger than basic bricks are sorted by color and type in plastic bags or in organizer cabinets with drawers.
  • StuBoyStuBoy New ZealandMember Posts: 623
    Ok, I have much the same methodology as many previous posts, but I do have a couple of categories that cover a large range of miscellaneous parts.

    I have the usual broad categories of, bricks, plates, slopes, wheels, windows and doors, minifig items, but I also have a 'modified bricks' bin, which covers technic bricks, bricks with studs on the side, headlights, bricks with clips, etc.

    Likewise, a 'modified plate' bin, which covers plates with hinges, jumper plates, tiles, plates with clips, etc. Also another bin with panels and larger uncommon parts.

    This somewhat simplifies the whole process, and can be further divided in time if needed. I only have 8 large bins, 3 smaller trays (for figs, fig items, printed parts), and a couple of small drawers for 1x1 transparent plates & tiles, 1x1 slopes and technic pins and parts.

    As others have said, sort by type first, not colour.
    flowerpotgirl
  • flowerpotgirlflowerpotgirl BordersMember Posts: 190
    @stuboy I use the same method as you...
    StuBoy
  • bobabricksbobabricks Vancouver, BC, CanadaMember Posts: 1,842
    For minifig parts I have seven sections, legs, torsos, loose hands arms hands and hips, heads, neck accesories, head gear and helmet accessories, and hand accessories.
  • JdslaterJdslater Member Posts: 59
    I don't.
    Half the fun is looking for the part!
    Sethro3
  • sdetskysdetsky Member Posts: 35
    From reading this thread, it appears that most people are suggesting methods that work for them as MOC builders or as Bricklink sellers. I come at it from a different perspective as I typically purchase large quantities of bulk loose Lego with anywhere from full to zero knowledge about what sets (if any) are included in the lots. I then attempt to build full as-released sets from the parts. I check the inventories based on a print-out from Bricklink. Since Bricklink inventories are sorted by colour first and then by part type, I could only imagine how much longer it would take for me to find a missing part if they were sorted by part type. Sorting by colour, I can go through the inventory in order and complete all black parts, then blue, etc. Am I going about this all wrong?
  • monkeymonkey Member Posts: 235
    ^ Yes because your scenario is no different from Moc builders. In both cases the goal is to find a part quickly (while keeping the storage solution as a whole practical). And the fact is, it is easier to find a 2x2 black brick in a tub of 2x2 bricks of different colours, than in a tub of mixed bricks of black colour.

    StuBoy
  • CupIsHalfEmptyCupIsHalfEmpty CanadaMember Posts: 547
    I don't see the sort by color and the sort by part as black and white comparison I think the answer lies in a very bley middle. There are roughly 200 Lego colors, and about 9000 different molds. which doesn't make a fair comparison for the two.

    Here's the path I've gone down.

    My basic bricks and plates are all sorted by type and color in craft bins with removable dividers. I have one bin for all black plates, one for black bricks, another for blue plates, and another for blue bricks this is true for most primary colors (black, light bley, dark bley, red, yellow, white, green etc). Rare colors I try and keep in there own craft bin divided roughly by type or part. Smaller modified parts are in drawers sorted by type, until I amass to many in one color then I split it out.

    My theory is if I want to build a grey castle. It's much easier to build a grey castle from three bins of all grey parts than it is to build a castle from every bin I own which has grey bricks in it. I'm basically trying to make each Craft bin it's own MOC kit, and the goal is to have the least number of bins pulled out and in front of me with the most number of usable parts for what I am building. So when it comes to rare colors I like to have every piece I own in a rare color in one bin so I can stretch what I own to cover my needs rather than scour through each individual bin of 1x1, 1x2, 1x3, 1x4, 1x6, 1x8, 1x10s etc bricks to see how many I own in sand green.


    sidersddjadeirene
  • NorlegoNorlego ScotlandMember Posts: 449
    I buy a lot of joblots and tend to keep the job lot together. As I often build 5-6 sets at a time I prefer to look around a big heap of Lego, as I often find parts for different sets. It is fun to see the pile shrink as I complete the sets. I did buy a job lot that the previous owner had separeted. Sadly he had taken the tyres off the wheels to put in different piles. Such a pain to put back again.
    I never buy a job lot that is separeted unless it is very cheap. Those job lots are haversted for good parts.
    I have around 100 kgs at the moment and it does take over my house... It would take forever to sort into colours. Some of it is vintage and others modern. You can mix the two as you cant build a new shiny 7740. It is needs to be matt.
  • monkeymonkey Member Posts: 235
    edited January 2015
    @CupIsHalfEmpty I think what you described is kind of sorting by part. It would be absolutely impractical to have 9000 separate bins, so normally people combine parts of similar type as you do as well. Once you have this in place you can start paying attention to colour, in your case you use dividers, others use stacking, those with smaller collections use common bins.. The point is you don't have a bin with all parts of the same colour mixed together, it would be a nightmare finding things.

  • reckonballreckonball Member Posts: 18
    sdetsky said:

    From reading this thread, it appears that most people are suggesting methods that work for them as MOC builders or as Bricklink sellers. I come at it from a different perspective as I typically purchase large quantities of bulk loose Lego with anywhere from full to zero knowledge about what sets (if any) are included in the lots. I then attempt to build full as-released sets from the parts. I check the inventories based on a print-out from Bricklink. Since Bricklink inventories are sorted by colour first and then by part type, I could only imagine how much longer it would take for me to find a missing part if they were sorted by part type. Sorting by colour, I can go through the inventory in order and complete all black parts, then blue, etc. Am I going about this all wrong?

    First of all, let me say how nice it is to see that there are other people who rescue and rehabilitate old collections like I do; it really is a fun hobby unto itself.

    As for your sorting scheme, if it works for you, you can't be going about it all wrong :) I know it's a lot faster to sort by color, since 'color' is a characteristic that doesn't take much thought to process; you grab the piece, detect the color, flick it into a bin. Compare that to grabbing a piece, taking a moment to consider its characteristics beyond color, locate the appropriate bin, stow the part, pick up the next piece and repeat...

    That said, I sort my collection by part rather than color; it's a little time-consuming during the sorting phase, but it pays off when it comes time to go grab a part. The way I figure, sorting is a leisurely activity - something that can be done while watching a movie or whatever on TV - while retrieving is a purposeful activity - something that must be done to continue progress towards a specific goal. As such, I would rather have the tedious work done when it's NOT impeding a build (or rebuild) project, so I can enjoy that activity more freely.

    Another advantage to sorting by part is, if I need a round 1x1 brick with closed stud, I can isolate the black 1x1s pretty quickly and determine if I have that part a LOT faster than I could trying to find one in a sea of black parts. I couldn't imagine my mood if I had rooted through a bin of hundreds or thousands of parts only to come up empty.

    I haven't experimented enough to say for sure, but I don't think sorting by part takes significantly more storage gear than I would need if I sorted by color; I didn't have access to it when I started sorting stuff, but what I wound up with is a system a lot like they have in LDD, i.e. one cabinet for bricks, and inside that there's bins of 1x bricks, bins of 2x, and so on. It's a little unwieldy in the sorting stage, but I am pretty happy with the end results.
    StuBoy
  • RevBluesRevBlues Member Posts: 117
    edited January 2015
    One huge box of LEGO and zero sorting here.

    I just love the sound and feel of raking my hands through (I'm guessing) three thousand parts. I have a white LED torch as helpful assistant, though.

    My collection is over 10,000 parts, but I keep many of my sets permanently on display.
    catwrangler
  • 77ncaachamps77ncaachamps Aspiring Time Traveler Stuck in the West (US)Member Posts: 2,442
    edited January 2015
    @dmetcalf‌

    Thank you for sharing your insights on organization.

    What about storage away from light and heat sources?
  • Vindic8edVindic8ed Member Posts: 166
    I've been wanting to get storage bins and and tables to start organizing sets so it's easier to create things. I'm sitting around 150k pieces right now and will probably have over 200k by the years end. I'm just waiting to get new orders, once I'm more settled in my new location in March/April I'm going to start buying a bunch of stuff for sorting/building/designing.
  • tomalphintomalphin Member Posts: 248
    I updated my growing LEGO Brick labels collection to version 1.8. I added labels for 40 new bricks!

    - NEW FILES: (7x) bricks_large, (10x) wedge_plate, (6x) wedge_brick, (3x) door_rails
    - ADDED TO: fence (5x), bricks_curved_more (7x), cones (plain Minifig head), slopes_3 (3049)

    image
    Some of the new brick labels...

    Enjoy!
    ---tom
    timinchicagokorlordzarak
  • timinchicagotiminchicago USAMember Posts: 239
    @henrysunset Keep up the good work, it is appreciated!
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    edited February 2015
    Sorting by color is very, very easy, which is why it appeals as the first logical choice when sorting. Unfortunately, as many have said, it makes the reverse, finding a part, that much harder. Way back when I made the swap to sorting by part/part-type, I looked back at my previous color strategy as insane :)

    I do have a question though. For those who do part-sorting, what techniques do you use to make the initial sort easier? E.g. you get a new set or a bucket of loose bricks that you want to put into your bins, how do you attack this?
  • korkor Member Posts: 392
    I just finished sorting a MASSIVE amount of Technic stuff that I was way behind on. The first pic is a general sort by type(all Technic) and then I usually separate by color when I'm putting everything away(pic 2). The last pic is just a general shot of the room for the heck of it :)
  • matticus_bricksmatticus_bricks Member Posts: 651


    I do have a question though. For those who do part-sorting, what techniques do you use to make the initial sort easier? E.g. you get a new set or a bucket of loose bricks that you want to put into your bins, how do you attack this?

    If I'm sorting from a bin of bulk parts, I use a nifty invention called BOX4BLOX. Basically, it's a four-tiered part sorter with different sized holes in each level, creating four size categories of bricks. I find it's so much easier to just sort large pieces when there aren't a bunch of smaller pieces in the mix, and easy to sort small pieces when it's just a bunch of small pieces.

    If I'm sorting from a new set, I'll sort a bag at a time, as this usually is already sorted by size, and I start by pulling bricks and plates first.
    TheLoneTensor
  • rdflegordflego in a world of his ownMember Posts: 324
    @matticus_bricks that sounds like my dream come true. I have been thinking for ages of how to automate something like this (i.e. put the box on springs, attach a motor, enjoy). This seems like a good candidate to fiddle with, shame about the amazon price though.
  • matticus_bricksmatticus_bricks Member Posts: 651
    @rdflego It's a little pricey but IMO it's totally worth it. I've used it enough to justify the price. I'm sure if you're feeling creative, you could try to make your own, with cardboard or something.
    rdflego
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    ^Aren't the giant sort-storage Lego heads meant to do just this? I have one for storing minifigs but haven't gotten around to using it for actual sorting.
  • tomalphintomalphin Member Posts: 248

    I do have a question though. For those who do part-sorting, what techniques do you use to make the initial sort easier? E.g. you get a new set or a bucket of loose bricks that you want to put into your bins, how do you attack this?

    I discussed in depth in a blog article here tomalphin.com bunt in summary, what I did was break the process into two steps.

    1) sort into about 10 broad categories: Bricks, plates, tiles, minifigs, technics, slopey things, curvy things, etc...
    2) sort each category further. In most cases you can sort directly into "by part" from here, but for Technics I had to sort into sub-categories like pins, arms, axles, technic bricks, followed by a third level sort.


    The process is time consuming and mind numbing. I did most of my sorting while watching TV shows that I only half cared about. I sorted into smaller and smaller plastic bags, but sorting into buckets, then sub-sorting directly into a storage solution like labeled Akro Bins (or your favorite storage solution) is the way to go!

    Good luck!
    ---tom
    TheLoneTensorBuriedinBricks
  • matticus_bricksmatticus_bricks Member Posts: 651

    ^Aren't the giant sort-storage Lego heads meant to do just this? I have one for storing minifigs but haven't gotten around to using it for actual sorting.

    Yes but not all of them. The ones that do this are called Sort-and-Store. There are some that are just hollow, I think.
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    ^Yes that's what I have, it came with a green 32x32 baseplate too. Will keep it in mind for a test run next time I have to sort a big pile.
  • THowe1960THowe1960 Member Posts: 17
    I keep my parts separated by color when building, than store in ziplock bags and put back in origional box. Extra loose parts ar used for moc ups.
  • We are a nonprofit that collects donated LEGO which we sort back into sets - or inventory for future sets. We use volunteers to help us sort and we use a 2-stage process:

    > Stage 1 is an initial pass using volunteers, we ask them to sort the big pieces first and work towards the smaller stuff. This first pass focuses on size/shape primarily - which is easy to explain to non-Lego fanatics. For example, we sort the 8 x #, 6 x #, 4 x #, 3 x #...into small buckets. We try to segregate plate, brick, tile, special - but sometimes volunteers just sort by size.

    > Stage 2 is done by "trusted volunteers" who sort out by type and into boxes for inventory. We store as many pieces as we can by specific type - we have partitioned lots of plastic shoe-sized boxes. We file the boxes on shelves grouped by size (1 x #, 2 x #, 3 X #...).

    As we build sets, we collect the pieces based on the set inventory. We find it is easier to tell volunteers where to look based on math (size of part) rather than category - which is nomenclature embraced by Lego fans only. Keeping all the types together, regardless of color, allows us to alter the color design of the sets we re-package - in the event we do not have the right colors from donations.

    If we know there is a specific set in our donations, we will try to sort those parts separately. We have heard from others that if your are just building to manuals, then sorting by color first can help that process, since Lego prints their inventory by color.

    Also, we sorted by color a few years ago, and my kids had a resurgence in imaginative building: I think the color schemes helped spur imagination.

    Anyway, sorting is a labor of love - do what is most sustainable for you.

    - The Giving Brick, Inc. - helping ALL kids enjoy Lego - www.thegivingbrick.org
  • Vindic8edVindic8ed Member Posts: 166
    edited March 2015
    I was curious as to how many containers people have.  I'm going to start sorting pieces out; I'd like to do it by color and type, but with a combination of 7,000 different LEGO bricks I'd have to have that many different compartments (assuming I had at least one of each brick).

    I was looking around on BS to figure out if there was  a way to see the number of different pieces I owned through the collection manager didn't see that feature.  Is there a place I can do that?  That would be helpful on determining what I need to buy to start the storage process.

    I wanted to start off buying a bunch of the sterilite 3 storage medium drawer containers:
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/15442451
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,219
    Vindic8ed said:
    I was curious as to how many containers people have.  I'm going to start sorting pieces out; I'd like to do it by color and type, but with a combination of 7,000 different LEGO bricks I'd have to have that many different compartments (assuming I had at least one of each brick).

    I was looking around on BS to figure out if there was  a way to see the number of different pieces I owned through the collection manager didn't see that feature.  Is there a place I can do that?  That would be helpful on determining what I need to buy to start the storage process.

    I wanted to start off buying a bunch of the sterilite 3 storage medium drawer containers:
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/15442451
    I have two of those type of containers. Also had rollers, well one does. The others broke off due to weight on the container. One pretty much holds all of my train stuff and a bit of this or that (larger parts)
    I have found best bang for the buck is the Sterilite 99 cent 'shoe boxes' at Target (about 6qt I believe)
    Some times too big for some parts (like 1x2 plates) but sometimes not big enough (for large panel type pieces) but I have used these far more than anything else. and at 99 cents per for each you really cannot go wrong IMO.
    At least it is a good starter type container until you really know what you need.
  • catwranglercatwrangler Northern IrelandMember Posts: 1,890
    I'm so glad this thread came up, because I need to do a lot of sorting soon. I'm definitely going to go with type before colour. 

    I used to use cutlery trays to sort a growing collection when I was a kid, but in the last fifteen years it's mostly been sitting in storage crates according to sub-theme, since I went through phases of trying to complete one sub-theme after another, be it Adventurers or Insectoids or whatever. I'm a little reluctant to break those boxes up as I've had a lot of fun making MOCs that way, but it's been a long time since I made many of those and I'm hoping the sorting process will remind me of what I have and kickstart my creativity. 
  • graphitegraphite USMember Posts: 3,270



    I discussed in depth in a blog article here tomalphin.com bunt in summary, what I did was break the process into two steps.

    1) sort into about 10 broad categories: Bricks, plates, tiles, minifigs, technics, slopey things, curvy things, etc...
    2) sort each category further. In most cases you can sort directly into "by part" from here, but for Technics I had to sort into sub-categories like pins, arms, axles, technic bricks, followed by a third level sort.


    The process is time consuming and mind numbing. I did most of my sorting while watching TV shows that I only half cared about. I sorted into smaller and smaller plastic bags, but sorting into buckets, then sub-sorting directly into a storage solution like labeled Akro Bins (or your favorite storage solution) is the way to go!

    Good luck!
    ---tom

    This is how I normally do it and end up watching a bunch of movies. I do it this way if I'm parting out only a few each of a bunch of different sets.

    Lately I've been doing larger number of just one set and when doing that I sort them by bag first and then just sort into bins each part from all of one bag then put it directly into my inventory. Sometimes another bag has a couple of the same parts but it ends up being a lot faster when you have a ton of the same things.

    I did 20 creative towers (32k pieces) that way and it took me probably 1/8th of the time (or less) than it took me to do the ~40k piece batch of random sets I did after Christmas.
  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,734
    edited March 2015
    Vindic8ed said:

    I was curious as to how many containers people have. I'm going to start sorting pieces out; I'd like to do it by color and type, but with a combination of 7,000 different LEGO bricks I'd have to have that many different compartments (assuming I had at least one of each brick).

    How many pieces are you looking to organize? Unless your collection is absolutely massive, it seems excessive to separate to such a degree.

    According to Rebrickable, my relatively small collection of 25,000 pieces comprises about 3,300 different part/color combinations. It's stored in Sterilite clip boxes; about 24 small and 12 large. Some of these boxes don't have many part types (e.g. the plain 1x1 and 1x2 brick box, which contains only two types of parts) while others are more open-ended (e.g. the dreaded "accessories" box, which contains probably a couple hundred types of parts). When a box gets full, I just get a new box and classify more specifically. For example, I recently divided my box of 2x2+ plates into 2x2/2x3, 2x4, and 2x6+.
    Vindic8ed said:

    I was looking around on BS to figure out if there was a way to see the number of different pieces I owned through the collection manager didn't see that feature. Is there a place I can do that?

    If you sync your collection to Rebrickable, you can do it there. Go to My Rebrickable > My Parts. In the section with all the import/export links, click on the links in parentheses (include set parts). To get the number of different parts, you can export a CSV of the list, open it in a spreadsheet, and check how many rows there are.
    Vindic8edcatwrangler
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,145
    When it comes to sorting everything else other than loose LEGO what does everyone do? IE instruction manuals, boxes, built sets, disassembled sets and so on.
    Mordoor
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,219
    edited March 2015
    When it comes to sorting everything else other than loose LEGO what does everyone do? IE instruction manuals, boxes, built sets, disassembled sets and so on.
    For my:
    Instructions: I use binders and folder bins and different binder pages depending on the type of instructions. including 4 pocket (on both sides) style CD holders for the smaller instructions. Using currency 2 pocket pages for the medium size, Large sit side by side in a file folder with hooks that sitis in a plastic folder storage bin (do ont have the room for a file cabinet right now) and xlarge instructions in file folders with hooks.

    Used sets: I use ziploc bags and I magic marker the set number on masking tape on the bag . Instructions go into the bag, or a pile if they are too big for the bag. Usually also with baseplates for the set, with a piece of masking tap on the bottom of the baseplate with set number written on that. Goes into a storage bin.

    Boxed set: The parts in a ziploc, instructions parts and baseplates if any go into those set boxes. Go into a storage bin.

    Assembled small sets, like train cars: I have a bunch of dacta medium blue bins with my assembled train cars in those (about 12 of those so far), with the set pieces and track in a separate bin. I plan on getting O or Lionel gauge type display cases for them to display once I have a room to display them in.

    Large assembled sets: Do not have many assembled anymore, as they are all packed for an expected move, but If I had sets that I did not want to disassemble, they have hat boxes, or canvas type large bins/boxes at Target that look like they have the right dimensions to hold a completed mod, for example.

    So far I have four bins with loose used sets (not including mods to be built). About 4 bins with 'boxed' sets.


    piratemania7
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,145
    ^thanks!!!
  • weaselkingweaselking Member Posts: 61
    Used sets: I use ziploc bags and I magic marker the set number on masking tape on the bag . Instructions go into the bag, or a pile if they are too big for the bag. Usually also with baseplates for the set, with a piece of masking tap on the bottom of the baseplate with set number written on that. Goes into a storage bin.
    Phew, I'm glad I'm not the only person who keeps sets grouped together instead of separating things out by piece or color. I was afraid to speak up, fearing Lord Business allusions cast my way! :)

    I have a lot of stuff still sealed that we just haven't gotten to yet, but anything that has been opened but not on display is torn down and put into (usually) gallon-size Zip-Locs. Bigger sets go into multiple bags (duh). Those all go into big bins for now. We are looking into creative and colorful ways to keep disassembled sets together. I envision something similar to the PaB walls, but for entire sets, but we haven't come up with anything good yet. We have a room in the basement 'dedicated' more or less to LEGOs, but it's a new home build so priorities are, sadly, elsewhere.

    Instructions I just keep in numerical set order. It is clunky, but there are too many dimensions for my OCD to handle.

    Sadly, I didn't keep boxes until a few years ago. When I started building my collection and saw the value of the box as well, I started just cutting the seals and flattening the boxes. This is purely for resale should I ever decide to part with anything.

    I do not do any MOC stuff, and my kids (aside from swapping around parts on mini-figs) aren't into it yet. I suppose I'll have to rethink the storage scenario, and will definitely look further into some of the other ideas in this thread.
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,616
    ^  You are not alone in your thinking. I do pretty much everything the way you do it. I just don't stick masking tape on base plates, it will dry out and leave a nasty residue. 
  • Vindic8edVindic8ed Member Posts: 166
    edited March 2015
    null

    I'm trying to sort out close to 200,000 pieces. Right now they are all stored in the boxes they came in. After I build them and leave them up for a while I take them apart, throw them in a Ziploc bag and back into the box to build a different set. I want to start doing mocs so I decided to sort everything.

    When I was growing up my parents bought me a tackle box with several trays which I used to sort the pieces but with only the one I quickly surpassed its storage capabilities and just kept them in the boxes. With the exception of some of the smaller sets and polybags from when I was between 4-9 I've kept every box., they take up 95% of my walk in closet. My first big set, and the box that looks the worse, is skulls eye schooner, got that around 7 or 8..

    I started sorting it by type, and with the 6-7 sets I've sorted through I'm sitting around 3-400 different types so far, so sorting by color as well will be another task by itself...this is a very daunting project...haha
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    We used to sort by part type but as my kids were mixing more it became a nightmare of needing almost every box out at the same time so we decided to change to sorting by only colour. I know shocking and horrifying.

    However it was the best thing we ever did, they now limit their colour pallets on a particular build, only need a fraction of the boxes to hand and what they create is far far better. Sure it takes longer to find a particular black piece in a box of black pieces but tip them on the floor, or on to trays and its not too bad. With fewer boxes out it's not much different over all and resorting after breaking up is far far quicker.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    ^kids were mocing more - not mixing more.
  • yg77yg77 Member Posts: 32
    edited March 2015
    ^ i am trying to sort my son's increasingly large Lego collection and i think it will end up being by color as well.  It makes it impossible for him to MOC with everything separate, just ruins the creativity.  He would end up pulling every single drawer out if i were to sort by piece.  I think the best solution is to either do a 3-4 medium containers for each color, or to just dump them in a large, shallow bin with dividers in it (one large bin for each color).  Has anyone across such a bin?  I've seen smaller containers with dividers before but no big shallow bins with them.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,219
    edited March 2015
    oldtodd33 said:
    ^  You are not alone in your thinking. I do pretty much everything the way you do it. I just don't stick masking tape on base plates, it will dry out and leave a nasty residue. 
    It would be a big deal if there was no WD-40, goo gone or other types of ways to clear off the residue. I just would rather have to clean off residue from pieces of tape than marker directly onto the plastic, which is a no no in my book.
    It is also why I place the sticker on the bottom side of the baseplate, so if there is any residue, or a 'clean spot' that appears it is on the bottom of the plate.
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    edited March 2015
    yg77 said:
    ^ i am trying to sort my son's increasingly large Lego collection and i think it will end up being by color as well.  It makes it impossible for him to MOC with everything separate, just ruins the creativity.  He would end up pulling every single drawer out if i were to sort by piece.  I think the best solution is to either do a 3-4 medium containers for each color, or to just dump them in a large, shallow bin with dividers in it (one large bin for each color).  Has anyone across such a bin?  I've seen smaller containers with dividers before but no big shallow bins with them.
    Shallow and wide is exponentially better than deep for sure.  As for sorting by every part, it's not really feasible for sorting by every single part, so you combine similar parts, like all slopes, all inverse slopes, etc.  I've found the only real area where I need lots of individual larger boxes is for the common pieces like 1x plates/bricks and 2x plates/bricks.  I think I have as many boxes for all of them as I do for every other part.

    At the end of the day, whatever works for you is what works for you.
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