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If you want to keep the parts for building your own creations (MOCs) then you will want to sort by type, but you don’t have to give every little part its own bin. Just think ahead to when you will be looking for a specific part and sort such that it will be easy to find. I sort a lot of parts by general type; so large plates, smaller plates, skinny (1x) plates, bricks (2x2, 2x3, 2x4, etc.), wheels, minifigs, cones, round bricks, etc. The size of your collection determines how many bins you’ll need. Search these forums for sorting advice. There are several long threads about this topic.
If you just want to reassemble all your sets from a huge pile of pieces, I’d do the sorting by general type first, then just start pulling out the instructions and building. You’ll be doing a lot of digging through bins, but it will be easier if big parts aren’t hiding small parts and you don’t have to dig too deep.
I used to buy LEGO lots and sort by color into plastic bins.
You can get really detailed and try to sort by part type but I would say do it by color
Also, if you do not want to have to rebuild them all at once, I would strongly suggest getting inventory lists from bricklink.com for each set you had to get the exact part list (you can also print out the list with pics of the parts on the list as well). Print it out, go through the parts by hand and build the inventory of the sets using bins or large gallon/2 gallon ziploc bags to hold each set (or multiples I would imagine are needed for something like the DS).
You can also get the instruction books from BL (which can also make a set worth more if you are planning on selling)
It will be painful and time consuming no matter how you sort first but it really has to be done manually, and is well worth getting them back into their sets to ensure completeness (and anything missing can also be found at bricklink.com)
you can have a thousand of different parts in each bin with minimal sorting, recently I built extreme adventure, 2382 pieces. basically poured the bags of small pieces in a small container, bags with medium pieces in another, and bags with big pieces in another. I could find most pieces quickly (like in seconds). after a while building you know which containers contains which parts and for the rarest parts you may even remember the position where you last saw them.
Find the relevant inventories from the web... Then get finding bits. I would not waste time with a pre-sort.
If you need to at the end of the day bunch all the Lego up in the sheet and put it away in the corner until your next session.
Also it is worth checking used prices for sets before you sort them. Some will be worth sorting out. Others will not. And do a minifig sort first. If you are missing those, the set may not be worth sorting out.
Even then, my back is in agony after a few hours of it. A bed sheet on the floor without any sorting from the large bins sounds like absolute hell, despite how much I loved it as a child.