The LEGO Storage Guide

The LEGO Storage Guide

This in-depth LEGO Storage Guide helps you understand your LEGO collection, find the best way to organize your LEGO bricks, and discover the best LEGO storage for your home and budget. It also includes recommendations for displaying and storing your LEGO minifigures.
The LEGO Storage Guide, by Tom Alphin
The LEGO Storage Guide explores the best ways to organize, sort and store a LEGO collection of any size.
 
Suggestions or corrections? Please leave a comment or email tom@tomalphin.com.

Introduction

Thank you for reading the Beta Preview version of this guide!
The guide has been reviewed by several Beta Testers, but I’m sure there are still some bugs in the text, or storage products which I have not considered. Please let me know if you see something that I can improve!

The guide contains two sections:

Most of the storage solutions that I’ve highlighted in this guide are readily available in the United States. I plan to add region-specific recommendations in the future. (If you have region-specific storage suggestions, let me know!)

In future updates this guide, I hope to add chapters about storing and displaying official LEGO sets, custom creations, instruction manuals, and accessories. As always, your ideas and feedback are welcome.

Table of Contents

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If you find a mistake or have suggestions to make this guide better, please let me know! You can leave a comment below, or email me at tom@tomalphin.com. Thanks!

29 Responses

  1. sachabricks says:

    Hy Tom

    Sorry for the late reply. I actually ordered on Amazon.de (Germany) and I got the Iris boxes… I think you mentioned them somewhere. They are absolutely awesome and have an amazing price. Here is the Link: https://www.amazon.de/gp/aw/d/B00KRAWM5Y/ref=ya_aw_od_pi?ie=UTF8&psc=1 / Iris Drawer Box with 12 Drawers… really great, especially for €50.-

  2. Will says:

    Thanks for sharing. This gives me some great ideas, I just inherited a huge lot of Lego bricks and am always looking for different organizational and storage ideas.

  3. Andrew says:

    I would be interested to learn how you decide which elements to make labels for and which to exclude. I am attempting to come to grips with a pretty large lego collection, and I am finding some gaps, even given the extensive number of labels you already have produced. (The “technic” batch had more of my elements than I initially realized, so that closed my perceived ‘label gap’ considerably.)

    I am traveling for work at the moment, but I wonder: If I came up with a list of elements still missing labels if they might be considered for Label Batch 3.1?

    • tomalphin says:

      Andrew,
      There are a few factors that impact the likelihood of creating a label:
      1) Is the part common? How many sets contain it? Do you usually just get one in a set, or do you get a bunch?
      2) Is it a general-purpose part? Can it be used in a variety of themes, and in alternate ways?
      3) Does it come in a range of colors? If it only comes on one color, it needs to be pretty common. (ex many Technic elements).
      3) Is it retired? I’m extremely unlikely to make labels for parts which have been retired.
      4) Lastly, do I personally have a number of that part? (It’s not the primary motivation for adding new parts to the collection, but there are definitely some less common parts already in the collection because I happen to have a few of them.)

      I’m currently focused on brand new parts that are likely to become common soon, and parts which are still in production and come in at least 40 sets. You can always ask, and i’ll see what I can do.

      —tom

  4. Dennis Bertram says:

    Great Guide! Over the past few months, I have been regularly looking for inspiration on how to store my LEGO supply in the best way possible. I never came across experience reports that satisfied my high standards. That really has changed with your guide.

    For a dust- and scratch-free storage of my minifigures, I now use and highly recommend the “Feldherr Storage Box for 144 miniatures” with rectangular compartments (https://www.feldherr.net/feldherr-storage-box-for-144-miniatures/a-53529/).

    My first box was for 180 miniatures (https://www.feldherr.net/feldherr-storage-box-for-180-miniatures/a-53530/). But the asymmetrical compartments of the foam trays are partly too short, so I have to fold in the legs of the figures. That’s not bad, but I’d like it different. And they are partly too small for minifigures with headdress or accessories. Only the first and last row of trays are slightly larger so that an “outstretched” minifig will fit in.

    This solution may be a little over the top, but I think it’s good.

    • tomalphin says:

      Dennis,
      That seems a little bit over-the-top for LEGO minifigures, but I’m glad to hear that it’s working well for you.

      The 144 miniatures box is available in the USA as well, currently for 39.99$ http://amzn.to/2i2XYz2 (Not a bad price for something that can store so many minifigs!)

  5. Logan says:

    Great article, this is a detailed video on the Papimax storage boxes mentioned:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wvvs4hk6U78

    • tomalphin says:

      Logan, I haven’t tried your product yet since it’s not readily available in the US, but it looks pretty good from what I can see. Thanks for sharing the video.

      —tom

  6. Spy Tha says:

    Great compiled information. Already posted your link to our LUG site (Gricks) for new and old members to read. In the future you can always add a section with the timeless question of what happens with the stored bricks/minifig parts, if left connected for a (very) long period, but i guess that’s a borderline psychotic one 😛

  7. Rory says:

    Is this available as a pdf?

    • tomalphin says:

      It is not offered as a PDF at this time, but you can print any chapter and it should look great! (I created custom CSS to make the guide look great on a Phone, Tablet, PC, or when printed in Portrait mode on Letter, Legal or A4 sizes.)

      Most of the web links will show the destination URL when printed, and some optional text like the comments, page headers, footers, and mini table-of-contents for each chapter are hidden for print. Let me know if you see any issues while printing the guide!

      —tom

  8. Sacha says:

    Hy there
    This guide is amazing. 🙂 I had to organize my Lego without your great help
    and so I came up with my own ideas (for Switzerland or Germany, when it
    comes to ordering stuff). I tried to also use links from Amazon.com but yeah…
    Maybe you have use for it even if my part is not as sophisticated as yours… 😉

    • tomalphin says:

      Sacha,
      Glad to hear you are enjoying the guide! I’d love to learn – Which products did you order from Germany / Switzerland? Did you like them?

      Sincerely,
      —tom

  9. Scott Crismond says:

    Mr. Alpin,
    Awesome work so far. I presume this will be published eventually with photos as a physical book. Have you considered a section on storage of the various manuals and instructions, stickers and periphery elements that LEGO produces for some of their sets. I know for myself the various sizes of the instructions make it difficult to store and sort all together, any insight from other AFOL’s would be good to see. Looking forward to purchasing your book once published. Kind Regards Scott

    • tomalphin says:

      Scott, thanks for the kind words and feedback. I do not have plans to make a printed book at this time, but we’ll see what happens.

      I do plan to add sections for storing Manuals, Instructions, stickers and other LEGO accessories in the future. We’ll see how far it goes, due to the law of diminishing returns.

      Sincerely,
      —tom

    • RubiconIII says:

      I once used ring folders with plastic pockets for each two or more manuals. (Some bigger sets require more than one pocket alone – sets with three big manuals for instance) I would never dream of punching holes in manuals – holes would surely tend to hit critical information like the number of parts needed for building or something like that. Also it would decrease the value greatly of your manuals. I had tried to obtain folders in a myriad of colours, so I always knew that Ninjago took up most of the dark red folder or Adventurers was in the back of the tan folder. Originally I had planned that they should stand upright next to each other forming some sort of rainbow paying tribute to all the colours of the bricks.
      But alas, I parted with that system, as manuals weigh too much to be stored that way – I ended up having to stack the folders, which had to lie down in order to avoid distortion from the weight of the many manuals that can fit in one folder.
      I had for some time worked in a small office, where we had a very primitive way of handling lots of paperwork – most went into ring folders or elastic folders – a small portion went into some Ikea shelf with a bottomless drawer, that allowed for a few dozen hanging file folders to be hung side by side. At some point it dawned on me that a file cabinet was the right solution for me. I’ve seen file cabinets in so many crime movies over the years – I actually felt a bit stupid not realizing, that file cabinets don’t solely belong to offices, but could also solve my problem. I guess I had gotten too attached to those ring folders and just desperately hoped I would someday make it work properly. I then researched the market and found that office apparel is always kind of pricy. I decided to search the used market, and was I surprised – there were plenty of file cabinets for sale everywhere at half or less price. I decided to go for quality, so I went with a very sturdy black metal file cabinet from Bisley. It took some careful tumbling to get it all the way down in cellar. It came with about 50 portfolio-sized hanging file folders in a handful of different colours. From the tags I could tell that the cabinet once held documents from a doctor’s office.
      To my luck shortly after that I was part of arranging a Christmas fair for our local scouts. When almost closing up and getting ready to clean up after the two-day event, I stumbled upon this unsteady shelf, which I opened out of curiosity – realizing that it was a drawer for hanging file folders. It immediately spawned my curiosity to search further near and around the shelf, and to my luck I found a big worn down moving box almost full of hanging file folders. And not just any kind – something close to the best and most expensive folders – I knew that from research at that point. In that box were more than 200 A4-sized, dark green and close to mint Twinlock Diamond hanging file folders with a small box full of unused folder tags – and I got all of it for practically nothing – I actually paid twice the price they asked for to be a bit fair, but still it was close to a steal. Now I had about 50 uniform folders per drawer – all I had to do was to change the cabinet format from portfolio to A4.
      Now I could empty my twenty-something ring folders one by one and put all the manuals in one cabinet. I used an Excel sheet at first to plan my folder contents and have it now as a reference to the cabinet, so that I can reach for any manual in seconds when I need it. Also I found out that I could put really huge instructions (death star and such) inside one of the drawers below the hanging file folders, thus every single instruction or manual goes in that cabinet – I really like simplicity like that. Oh, and the cabinet comes with a lock and keys – a nice feature too.
      Today half a decade later I’m in need of my second file cabinet, but that’s just expansion and not really a problem. I have lots of unbuilt and unopened sets so I estimate that I could easily fill up more than half of the second file cabinet already.
      Hope my story or solution helps you or anyone out there.

  10. Can’t wait to dive into this. I am an organizing fiend. Already used all the labels you have available. Need More!

  11. Donny Hatfield says:

    I have been following you for almost 3 years. Love the labels. Thanks for adding more.

    • tomalphin says:

      Donny, thanks for the kind words about the LEGO Brick Labels collection. I hope the LEGO Storage Guide is a valuable tool for you as your collection grows and evolves.

      Sincerely,
      —tom

  12. Antonia Metcalf says:

    Would you like some proof reading? I am happy to share comma placement, word choice etc.

    Otherwise I LOVE it!

    • tomalphin says:

      Yes, please!

      Suggestions to make the text easier to understand or to correct grammatical mistakes are always welcome. You can send edits via email, or by leaving comments on the appropriate page.

  13. Maurizio de Cesare says:

    Love this Guide! Great as your book! Greetings from Italy!

  14. Bryan Umphress says:

    Awesome article. Helped me out a lot.

  15. Jesús Jaraíz Rodríguez says:

    Great work and very useful, thanks!

  16. Donny Hatfield says:

    Awesome help. Thanks.

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