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

  • Reddit. “/r/LegoStorage/.”
    Active discussion of LEGO storage topics.

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.

Minifig Storage and Display

LEGO Color Resources

Additional Resources

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

  1. Avatar Richie says:

    Short, simple and concise. Overall, I like the content you have provided thus far. However, I am more interested in the other extreme end when you have 500,000+ or 2,000,000+ LEGO and a dedicated room(s) for storage and building. I suppose I’m looking for more professional storage strategies similar to Amazon or TLG.

    • Avatar Tom Alphin says:

      Richie, that’s a huge collection!

      You are correct that my tips and tricks are focused on large hobbyist collections. When you are talking about collections over 1/2 million bricks, that’s uncommon for anyone besides LEGO professionals. That said, the tips and tricks I provided include ideas from professional LEGO builders, so I think there are recommendations for everyone.

  2. 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

    • Avatar 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

  3. Avatar 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

    • Avatar 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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