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Purging the pile

cody6268cody6268 Member Posts: 296
edited August 2018 in Building and Techniques
Throughout most of my 21 years, I've acquired a lot of Lego, enough to fill three large storage tubs. Problem is, it's not sorted, which means finding the right part can take hours, which often results in me getting frustrated and Bricklinking the parts I needed in bulk.  In addition to several damaged, broken and chewed pieces, there's a bunch of Duplo (to go the Lego table in the chiropractor's waiting room) bad quality knockoff parts (largely Best Lock, which will go straight to the trash) and assorted non-building toy junk (Matchbox, Hot Wheels (those will be moved to the storage for that hobby), and a ton of Happy Meal toys) that's got to be removed from it. And I might as well do some rudimentary sorting while I'm at it. 

What's the quickest, and most efficient way of sorting out the junk? 

And what would be the best simple categories to sort to?   So far, I'm thinking, wheels, minifigures and gear, translucent parts, bricks, plates, wheels & tires, assorted Technic, electrical. 


  • FowlerBricksFowlerBricks USAMember Posts: 1,696
    I would take a midsized box, scoop a bunch of parts out of the main lot and pour it onto a table or the floor and just pick through it. There's really no quick way to sort Lego.
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 3,956
    I think your proposed categories are fine. You can always sort into finer categories later. Personally, I’d start by just dumping out a bin and pulling everything that isn’t LEGO out of it.
  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 520
    There's an app for that...

    Any mechanical parts must become part of the collective (growing machine).
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 3,956
    There's an app for that...

    Any mechanical parts must become part of the collective (growing machine).
    So, pretty simple really. ;-)
  • Baby_YodaBaby_Yoda The world's backsideMember Posts: 1,295
    I would also recommend adding Modified Plates and Modified Bricks Otherwise, you'll end up with one of those storage containers of just Bricks. Only if you can, of course, but I'd assume so considering you've got two separate categories for Wheels. ;)
  • gelkstergelkster MN, USAMember Posts: 607
    Have a Lego sorting party, provide pizza & beer, lay down the ground rules (what stays & goes) & have your guests do it.
  • FowlerBricksFowlerBricks USAMember Posts: 1,696
    ^Excellent idea! (Not too much beer though or your Lego may end up places you don't want it to be)
  • catwranglercatwrangler Northern IrelandMember Posts: 1,890
    That is a nice thing... I may have to get me one of those!
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,919
    edited August 2018
    I have a ton of experience doing this. My recommendation:
    #1 - pick out all large items (Lego and non Lego). Then sort that pile. This should reduce the volume by 30% at least.
    #2 - strip out bricks and plates only (separate or separate modifieds per bricklink categories as you wish)
    #3 - strip out other large volume categories one at a time like slope, tile, tire/wheels, wedge plates
    By this time more than 50% of the bin should be shorted. Slowly target additional categories as needed.
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