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Storing sealed sets

paul88paul88 Member Posts: 166
I cannot find a clear answer to this question and I'm very surprised to say that.  I was wondering the best way to store sealed sets (especially larger ones)?  I would think on their edges as they are displayed in stores.  The main issue with this is that all pieces settle to the bottom and the bottoms bulge out putting pressure on the bottom tape seals.  If they are stored flat, it seems that the weight would be distributed better and would not cause as much bulging, but you'd need to be careful putting one on top of another so that the weight on the bottom set isn't too much.

I would have just assumed on edge is best, but I remember seeing a video of the LEGO archives and if I recall correctly, I saw boxes stacked on top of one another in that "official" video.  Please share any thoughts, ideas and experience with either method long term.  Thanks!


  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 12,351
    I generally store mine in their shipping casepack boxes.
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,031
    I store them on the edge, but either tightly packed on a shelf, or inside a cardboard box, so there is no chance of bulging. The other benefit of storing them on their edges is that you can easily pull out the set you want to build, instead of having to go through tall stacks.  
  • Lego_Lord_MayorcaLego_Lord_Mayorca H-Town, USAMember Posts: 529
    For a long time, I mixed and matched storage styles. For smaller boxes, I often stood them on their sides, as they were in stores. For the larger ones, however, I had to do with stacking them. Space in my little closet was at a premium, so I had to get clever in Jenga-like ways about storing all the unopened sets. This changed when I moved over a year ago, and my Lego room has a large closet that has ample space to store every box side-by-side in a tiered system that has the largest sets on the floor, semi-large sets on the rows above, medium sets above them, small ones over that, and the tiny ones left scattered up above. Eventually, I plan to add shelves between the tiers to take most of the pressure off the lowest levels.

    If I continued to keep the sets in my old closet back in my mom's house, I would have to rotate their positions from time to time in order to prevent bulging or permanent sagging due to weight.

    Now, scuffing of edges is another major point of storage not addressed. I haven't tried to fool with that on my own because box integrity is what is important to me, not appearance. I imagine one would need to line all edges with some paper cutouts. That might draw more paper-eating bugs to the collection, though (yes, certain roaches here in the USA will munch or feed on cardboard or paper, not to mention poop on them, so be aware if you live in the Southern USA).
  • paul88paul88 Member Posts: 166
    Thanks a lot for all the posts, guys :)  I have decided to do a sort of mixed method, actually.  MOST sets I am stacking 3-4 depending on the weight.  I have previously had almost all of them standing on edge.  Upon closer inspection I definitely observed tape seals on the bottom edge of some boxes more stressed/slightly lifting and this is most likely due to the bulging.  These are going on shelves, I do not have shipper boxes so that is not an option unless I wanted to source some.  For the time being, I'd rather just have them out in the open so that I can see them.  I recently moved into my own house (about a year ago) and most have been in storage, so it's nice to just have everything out for observation at this point.  Some really small sets I am ok with setting on edge as they do not have tape seals (just the perforated part for your thumb to open). 

    Lego_Lord_Mayorca the edge scuffing is a good point, as I definitely saw this on some sets when I was looking them over.  I have finished my star wars section and now need to get all the other themes sorted in some way and re-shelved.  I live in the northeast and though there are some types of destructive insects here, thankfully I have not seen any kind of evidence or destruction in the year I have been here at this house.  The sets are in a finished basement all on shelves off the floor.  My best sets though and few classic sets are all stored upstairs.  Thanks again for the information and feedback!
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 2,638
    I store mine mostly in larger containers (both cardboard and plastic bins) in a Tetris like fashion to fit the most per box. These I stack up to maybe four high at most, but in such a way that the set boxes are not supporting the weight. Many of the larger boxes are on a rolling metal shelving unit that is 24x48x72”. So that takes away the stacking problem.

    The ones in my basement are all off the floor (or in a bin), but some of the the ones upstairs (mostly sets waiting to be parted out) are on the floor on edge.

    I think the scuffing problem is due to pulling sets out and putting them back, which happens a lot on store shelves, but not often in my collection.

    I like the idea of having the set boxes out where I can see them, but for me, keeping dust off them takes priority. The bins also make them a lot easier to move.

    Finally, I label each container with a post-it listing the set numbers. I’d never be able to find anything otherwise!
  • lkliment2lkliment2 ChicagoMember Posts: 93
    Word from the wise: do NOT keep them on the floor of your basement. I’ve found its best to not tempt fate...
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