Glossary & Bibliography

Appendix: Glossary & Bibliography

I hope you’ve enjoyed my LEGO Storage Guide. This page includes a short glossary of common terms, and links to additional reading.

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Glossary

There are a lot of different terms used within the LEGO community. The following are the terms used in this guide and their meaning elsewhere. I typically use the same terminology as the Bricklink website.

  • Part – This describes a unique LEGO shape independent of the brick’s color. Parts do not have standardized names, but they have a consistent ID since the Part ID is printed in tiny text on the underside of most LEGO parts. (The LEGO group calls this a ‘Design ID’.) The Part ID / Design ID is usually a 4 or 5 digit number.
  • Element – An element is a unique part + color combination. (The LEGO group refers to this as the ‘Element ID’, and these are typically the numbers listed at the back of an instruction booklet.) Element ID is usually a 6 or 7 digit number.
  • Color – This is a unique color in the LEGO system. At this time there are 39 solid colors, and about 20 more when you include metallic, transparent, and others. (The LEGO group references these using ‘LEGO Color ID’.) Color ID is a 1 to 3 digit number.
  • Category – Category is a way of describing a group of related parts. (For example, ‘Bricks’ is a category describing a variety of parts including the 1×1 Brick, 2×4 Brick, etc…) As you organize your collection, you will decide which parts go into each group, based on what makes the most sense to you.
  • Brick – The word “brick” has two meanings within the LEGO Community. 1) Each LEGO set comes with many “pieces”. The world “brick” is frequently used as a synonym for “piece”. I would prefer to use the word piece for clarity, but brick is more commonly used in this context. 2) The classic LEGO brick is 9.6mm tall. Each brick is the height of three LEGO plates.

Bibliography

Still looking for additional resources? Here are some of the best LEGO storage resources I’ve found over the years.

LEGO Sorting / Organization

  • Lugnet. “The evolution of LEGO sorting.” 2001.
    This is the classic article on sorting LEGO, back from the early days of online resources about LEGO.
  • Tom Alphin. “From buckets to bins: How to sort a lot of Lego.” 2014.
    In this article, I explained how to efficiently sort a large pile of loose LEGO bricks.
  • Tom Alphin. “LEGO Ruler and Sorting Tool.” 2014.
    Print this handy guide to help quickly measure and sort common LEGO Bricks, Plates, and Technic parts.
  • Evil Mad Scientist. “How to organize your Lego bricks for efficient building.” 2008.
    This article shows a method of sorting and storing LEGO bricks by stacking them in a staggered manner. (That said, I don’t recommend stacking bricks when they are not in use — this can stress and damage your bricks.)
  • Reddit. “/r/LegoStorage/.”
    Active discussion of LEGO storage topics.
  • Christoph Bartneck. “The Ideal Order.” Self Published. 2015.
    An adult rediscovers his love of LEGO, joins the AFOL community, and seeks the perfect taxonomy for organizing his LEGO bricks. The book includes a brief history of taxonomic thinking. (The plot also explores marital struggles and medical issues which are less pleasant to read.)

LEGO Brick Storage solutions

  • @tomalphin on Pinterest. “LEGO Storage.”
    I maintain a Pinterest board where I’ve collected a wide range of LEGO Storage ideas and LEGO storage systems. Maybe these additional ideas will help you design a perfect LEGO storage solution.
  • Brickset. “Review: Really Useful scrapbook drawers.” 2015.
    Huw Millington’s review of Really Useful brand’s “Scrapbook Drawers” with dividers for storing LEGO.
  • Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls. “LEGO Storage and Organization for more efficient building.” 2016.
    Sarah showcases how she organized her kid’s LEGO collection. It includes storage for each kid, and a shared collection sorted by category.
  • Home Storage Solutions 101. “Lego Storage Ideas & Solutions.”
    There are a lot of clickbait compilations of LEGO storage products, but this one is pretty well researched and suggests many of the same products that I recommend. The gallery includes photos of complete Storage Solutions by several LEGO enthusiasts.

Minifig Storage and Display

  • minifigurepriceguide.com “Minifigure Price Guide.”
    This blog highlights lots of LEGO Minifigure storage solutions, along with Rare LEGO Minifigures and Rare LEGO sets.

LEGO Color Resources

  • ryanhowerter.net “Color List.” 2015-Present.
    The most complete guide to LEGO Colors through history. Also see his excellent Photo Gallery of rare colors
  • Brick Architect. “Understanding the LEGO Color Palette.” 2016.
    This article takes an in-depth look at the LEGO Color palette, with the goal of making sense of the colors which are currently available.

Additional Resources

  • Eurobricks. “LEGO Weight.” 2012.
    This forum discussion explored ways to approximate the number of LEGO bricks per pound.
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4 Responses

  1. A wonderful book Tom! I have often thought of trying to document my organizing process but I am just not as good at organizing my thoughts and words as I am at organizing LEGO! Thanks for letting us see it in advance (still buying a copy though!). Here is a link to my Flickr Organization Album which shows the Schaller containers and trays that I mentioned earlier as well as other aspects like how I organize printed tiles and elements for less wear and tear. Someone mentioned long term storage for MF’s and after 40 years on baseplates (and assembled) I have not experienced a single issue.
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/59068359@N04/albums/72157626238318289

    • tomalphin says:

      Your gallery of photos is inspiring! You have a huge collection and it is extremely well organized. It’s interesting to see how you have used anything you can find as a storage container, or divider for a larger container. The Schaller containers look great, I’m going to learn more about products like that.

      Sincerely,
      —tom

  2. Mike Marsh says:

    Thank you Tom Alphin for this idea on storage solutions. I have a huge collection consisting of sets saved since 1991 until the present day. I am now an AFOL having been re-introduced to the product by my grandson Zachary. My interest is Lego trains of which I have quite few sets dating back to 1981. I think I may have 400,000 bricks in a Trofast systen I have in a small conservatory overlooking my garden. I have picked up on some of your ideas and will now improve my storage facility! Best wishes with the book.

    Mike Marsh

    • tomalphin says:

      I would love to build LEGO models in a conservatory overlooking the garden. That sounds lovely!

      I’m glad to hear that the guide has been useful, and I hope it helps you become a more organized and more creative LEGO builder.

      Sincerely,
      —tom

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