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Building/sorting strategies

I have 72 Lego sets - mostly about 30 years old, and maybe 15-20,00 pieces. Most of my lego was in a shed attacked by racoons and I've spent a year cleaning/disenfecting and sorting and storing in boxes. Over the last year I've only been buying and building only very small sets that can be done in less than 30 minutes - as I have a very busy schedule. Recently I got a 42024 Container truck [940 pieces] and a 21108  Ghostbusters Ecto-1 [439 pieces]

The larger one, I've presorted pieces into groups and stored in a fishing tackle box - but still have not had time to build. Yesterday I switched to the Ghostbusters Ecto, and just put all the pieces in the original box- but its taking forever finding the pieces I need [and its not fun], but it seems overkill to presort 439 pieces.  Older Lego sets tended to have larger pieces. I'm looking for info on strategies.

I don't have a dedicated work area,  I can only use the dining room table when there is noone else around and need to be able to move all the lego off it on short notice.


  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,055
    Erm, ok, thanks for that information. Did you have a question, or were you just dying to get that off your chest? ;)
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    edited January 2016
    Erm, ok, thanks for that information. Did you have a question, or were you just dying to get that off your chest? ;)
      I take it you missed this bit:
    StuckTogether said:

    I'm looking for info on strategies.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,645
    Get a large tray.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,055
    Yeah I did miss that, buried away in the middle there, with no identifying question mark ;)

    Get about 6 or 8 trays, of two or three different sizes (foil/plastic food trays work well). Empty each bag into a different tray, and it becomes easier to find the parts you're looking for, because they won't all be mixed in together. You'll also remember which tray different parts are in, once you've searched through them a couple of times.
  • Jern92Jern92 MalaysiaMember Posts: 838
    I use these:

    They're pretty cheap at places like Daiso or stationery shops, and you open them up to get 2 trays.

    When there are too many bags and I run out of those, I use A4 paper box lids
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 1,668
    If parts are jumbled up, I'd grab a bed sheet, lay it out on the floor or table, and dump the parts on it. Makes it easy to pick stuff up, helps keep from losing parts, and cuts down the noise from rattling parts a little.  
  • tallblocktootallblocktoo CanadaMember Posts: 497
    I build on the dining room table as well however I don't necessarily need to remove it as I am the only one using the space.  Therefore I seldom sort anymore as I did initially.  Especially for small sets with only a few bags you can often identify what pile a certain piece is contained in and keep going back to it for more.  I think the idea of using box lids is great.  You could easily stack them and they would give you a nice space to spread out pieces.  
  • OldfanOldfan Chicagoland, IL, USAMember Posts: 672

    My favorite sorting thread ever.  It's geared more toward storage rather than organizing your work area for a single set build, but you might recognize some of the issues he gets into as his collection grows.

  • StuckTogetherStuckTogether Member Posts: 42
    I ended up doing a partial sort - pulled out all the very small parts into a small rounded bottom container and the oddball ones into a second, removed the big parts and left the rest in the original box.
  • StuckTogetherStuckTogether Member Posts: 42
    Love the Lugnet sorting thread- sounds like me last year. I made a major sort and re-org but failed to write down the logic. Like which fishing tackle box is stored in which bin. And since they are all in the basement - which tool box has LEGO and which has tools.
  • BobflipBobflip Member Posts: 611
    I'll pluck out the largest pieces and put them in little piles outside of the main tray. Things like large plates, unique and weird bricks, windows... then maybe pull out a particular colour or category of brick. 

    Anything you see a lot of when you look at the pile is a candidate - when you remove them from the overall pile it'll mean you don't have to move them out the way to find other pieces. No need to do a meticulous sort for a single set, just do enough to reduce the time spent looking for things.

  • bartneckbartneck Member Posts: 38
    Sorting bricks is a true scientific challenge. It is a rather complex problem and I ended up writing a short book about it. Maybe it helps: The Ideal Order.
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