CHAPTER 4: LEGO Storage for Medium Collections
This chapter looks at the best storage options for LEGO collections which are sorted into broad categories. Sorting your collection into categories is a great next step when your collection has grown too large for a single storage container. It’s also a practical choice if you have a modest collection but are finding it hard to find the pieces you need.
If you aren’t sure if sorting by category is right for you, or can’t decide if you should sort by color or by categories (such as bricks/plates/tiles/minifigures), go back to Chapter 2: Organizing your LEGO Bricks.
A cabinet with plastic drawers allows you to quickly slide out the parts you need, then push them out of the way. It’s an ideal solution if you don’t have a lot of space to store your parts and build models.
Capacity – 5,000 pieces or more. Because there are so many choices and they are modular, it is possible to add additional storage as your LEGO collection grows.
Dedicated LEGO Area Although you can carry a single drawer to another part of your house, these solutions work best if you want to keep all of your LEGO in one area. A cabinet with wheels might be more convenient in some rooms (although small plastic wheels do not work well on carpet.)
- Iris 5-drawer Activity Chest This design is almost identical to the LEGO-branded storage cabinets that Iris stopped selling a few years ago. The drawers are a large enough to store a LEGO baseplate, but shallow enough that parts won’t be too difficult to find.
- Sterilite 3-Drawer ClearView Organizer Sterilite offers a wide range of inexpensive plastic drawer cabinets. Look for cabinets like this 3-drawer model with drawers that are not too deep. (Clear drawers can be convenient, since you can sometimes find a difficult part by looking through the bottom.)
Modular LEGO Workstations
If you are able to dedicate space to your LEGO Collection, you can build or buy a LEGO Workstation with multiple drawers. The Ikea Trofast system is the most commonly used system as it is readily available in most countries, and economical. The configuration shown below is less than 100$.
Capacity – 5,000 pieces or more. Because these systems can be built in multiple configurations, it is possible to add additional storage as your LEGO collection grows.
Dedicated LEGO Area Although you can carry a single drawer to another part of your house, these solutions work best if you want to keep all of your LEGO in one area. Thankfully, you can create a modular solution which combines storage and a place to build your models.
- Ikea Trofast Storage cabinets can store anywhere from 6 to 24 shallow drawers. (I always recommend the shallower drawers; they allow more categories, and it’s easier to find a specific part in a shallow container.)
If you have space under a bed and a pretty large bedroom, why not use that space to hide a huge LEGO collection? It’s the same ideas as a trundle bed, except instead of hiding a second bed, you are hiding a well organized LEGO collection.
Using a single plastic under-bed storage unit was also suggested in Chapter 3: LEGO Storage for Small Collections. If you want to organize your pieces into categories, you need more than one storage unit, or a larger unit with multiple compartments.
Capacity – 10,000 pieces or less. A twin-sized trundle should be able to hold a lot of bricks.
Keeping bricks in the bedroom. Unless your final solution includes small removable bins, it won’t be easy to move the bricks to another room. (If you are getting this for kids, that might be a good thing.)
- DIY Underbed LEGO Storage, by thehappyhousie.com – This design only offers three different compartments, but could easily be modified if you want to sort your collection into more categories.
- Roll-away Storage Trundle, by Shades of Blue Interiors – This is another good-looking storage trundle design to consider. It wasn’t made with LEGO in mind, but would work perfectly.
- Iris 40 quart Underbed Storage – If DIY solutions aren’t within your skills, you can always buy several smaller plastic under-bed storage containers. (You should be able to fit at least three under a bed.)
Large Plastic Containers with Lid
While I generally recommend cabinets with drawers when sorting LEGO pieces by category, there are some cases where plastic containers with lids are more convenient, most notably when portability is a priority. There are a lot of brands out there, so be sure to do some research before buying the cheapest option at your local department store.
You may want to pick one system and buy only that product, as the plastic containers will stack more easily. Some brands, including Really Useful Boxes offer multiple different heights with the same size lid, making it easy to stack containers of different sizes. That said, remember that it’s easier to find the part you need in a shallow container!
Unlimited capacity You just need to buy more containers when you run out of space.
Portable Models with a tight-fitting lid and latch are very portable, perfect if you need to take your LEGO collection around the house, or to a LEGO convention.
- Really Useful Boxes – These are a premium Plastic Storage bin which is readily available in both the United States and Europe. It’s both durable, and has a lid with latches on either side that can be snapped shut, making it a great portable solution. (The 8.1 Liter box would be perfect for around 1,500 bricks, or the 17 Liter box would be great for up to 3,000 bricks
- Iris 41 quart Storage Box – This is a really large box that would be great for more than 5,000 bricks. The larger 46 or 62 quart versions would hold more LEGO bricks, but it would be frustrating to find specific LEGO bricks as it is too deep.