Intro to Organizing, Sorting, & Storing LEGO Bricks

Section I: Organizing, Sorting, & Storing LEGO Bricks

LEGO brick storage is an ongoing challenge for most LEGO enthusiasts. For a family with young kids, reducing the chance of stepping on a LEGO brick in the middle of the night is a perfectly reasonable goal. For an older builder with a very large LEGO collection, you might need lots of well-organized storage to help you understand what you have, and quickly find what you need.
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.

Section I of my LEGO Storage Guide is designed to help you organize, sort, and store your LEGO Bricks.

In the next six chapters, I will guide you through the process of understanding your LEGO collection, identifying an appropriate organizational strategy, and picking the right storage solution. We’ll wrap up with some additional tips and tricks from experienced LEGO builders.

Section I:

Background

I started looking for the perfect way to organize and store my LEGO Bricks after purchasing the LEGO Architecture Studio set in 2013. My collection has grown since then, especially when writing my book, The LEGO Architect.

As I started organizing my collection into cabinets with drawers, I created labels for each new part. I shared my LEGO Brick Labels with LEGO enthusiasts around the world; the collection has since grown to include labels for over 1000 LEGO parts!

In talking with many LEGO enthusiasts, I’ve learned that there are many different approaches to sorting and storing LEGO pieces — I’ve even had a chance to visit a few of their homes to see how their collections are organized. These experiences inspired me to write this LEGO Storage Guide. I initially thought that it would be a single page with a few top-rated storage solutions, but decided that an in-depth guide would be more valuable. I hope it helps you get more organized and be more creative!

Why focus on LEGO bricks?

This Section focuses on the best ways to organize and store your LEGO pieces. Why?.. because the majority of LEGO collections contain lots of unused LEGO pieces that are not sorted by set.

70% of LEGO collections are dominated by LEGO bricks that are not sorted by set.

Organization vs. Storage vs. Sorting

It’s not easy to decide how to organize your collection, and find the perfect storage. Let’s start by making sure we understand the difference between these three related terms.

  • Organization — A set of rules that help you decide which container to put each piece in.
  • Storage — The large or small containers where you keep your LEGO pieces.
  • Sorting — The process of putting each piece in the right place.

In other words, you will sort your LEGO bricks into your storage based on your system of organization. Let’s get started…

Getting Started

Organizing your LEGO collection might seem daunting. For many people, it feels like a chicken and egg problem: you need to try different storage containers in order to pick the perfect organization system for your collection, but you don’t want to buy storage containers until you decide what you need. This guide helps you pick the right organization based on your needs, rather than trial-and-error.

Let’s organize your LEGO collection in three easy steps:

  1. Understanding your LEGO Collection — Let’s learn about the primary LEGO builder in your home, how many LEGO bricks you have, and where you want to store your collection.
  2. Organizing your LEGO Collection — We’ll determine the right level of organization based on the size of your collection and your needs.
  3. Finding the best LEGO Storage Solutions — I’ll show you the best LEGO storage options for LEGO collections of any size.

While personal LEGO collections are the focus of this guide, these recommendations may be relevant for teachers who use LEGO in an academic setting (such as using the LEGO Mindstorms kit to teach Robotics), people running BrickLink stores, or for professional LEGO artists.

Let’s get started by learning more about your LEGO collection…

1 Response

  1. Interesting spread of data. My collection at 1.7M (over 40 years) is almost exactly 50/50 sets and bulk. I’ve been keeping spreadsheets since 1996 so I know of which I speak! Maybe because I was building/buying before the internet, a local PAB wall, or bulk buy opportunities.

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