Sunday, January 15, 2012

Yes, I'm Reviewing Bins

In the world of LEGO collectors, the storage of your LEGO is a hotly debated topic. Well, not really. But there are a lot of different approaches and methodologies and it depends mostly on how you interact with your LEGO - as collector, a MOC builder etc.

For the most part, we just build the official sets or from instructions on line. So, for the sets we know we're going to rebuild, we package them individually in plastic bags, label them and then store them in Sterilite 6 quart containers. We bought most of these from either the Dollar Store or Walmart, all for $1 or less. Although they do tend to add up after you've bought 70+ ...

Sterilite 6 Quart Container

The plastic bags might seem like an unnecessary step but it allows us to store multiple sets in a container. Plus the lids pop off quite easily so this prevents spillage disasters. For the larger sets, we store those in different containers. Photos to be posted at a later date.

Love these labels. Oooh, right! That's what a Droid Tri Fighter looks like. Got it.

Sterilite 6 Quart Container

Our loose LEGO is stored in 4 different types of containers. One is the above mentioned Sterilite container - we use those primarily for large bricks and any element we have in large quantities.

Plano Clear - Large. Bought at Lowes in the tool section (a DIY store in the US) for around $8-9 each. They're good for most medium sized bricks in small to moderate quantities. The dividers go in easily and securely and it's fairly deep - this container is holding all of our 4x6 plates.

Plano Clear - Large

Again, everything is labeled.

Plano Clear - Large

Plano Clear - Small. Bought at Home Depot (a DIY store in the US) for around $7 each. They're good for most small elements. Our 1x1 and 1x2 plates, tiles etc go in theses. Really happy with these containers although the lids can crack if you ummm... step on them.

Plano Clear - Small

Plano Clear - Small

This container is Rimax and it's the same size as the Plano Clear Small containers but more shallow so it only holds limited quantities. The best thing about this brand is that the dividers snap off easily (you don't need scissors) and they lock into place - best and most secure divider fit. If we could find larger sizes of this container, it's the only one we'd use.

Rimax Clear - Small

Next up is also a Plano container. This is the first container we bought once we started sorting our LEGO individually. Can't remember which home improvement store but they were around $8 a piece.

I hate them. They're shit. Oh my!! So much hatred for a plastic container?! Seriously though, the dividers slide out very easily and if you're storing small elements, they can move in between compartments. Plus, the red makes it hard to see what you're looking for unless you're in a bright lit room. I had to jack up the exposure on this shot so you could see the different slopes.

I would highly recommend staying clear of any containers with colors, especially red and black. Clear is the best way to go.

Plano Red - Medium

Lastly, these containers are from Joanns, a US fabric/hobby store. These are jewelry/bead containers that I re-purposed to hold minifigures and other LEGO that I have in small quantities. The dividers are molded into the container so you can't move them.

Joann's Bead Container - Small

I guess you could say that I'm fairly obsessive about how I store my LEGO. Which might explain why we were at Home Depot last night buying wall mounting shelving to customize the closet. Today's project! Can't wait for the finished results.

15 comments:

  1. Found your blog after searching for LEGO storing methods... your blog is an interesting read indeed!

    Ill be looking forward to seeing your completed project :)

    I use the storage containers with removable dividers too, similar to the Plano clears... We have them for AUD5 at a discount store. One of the tedious parts (but also somewhat relaxing) of sorting is planning which pieces go where giving them a label and then those random parts that I only have 1 or 2 pieces of, i don't know if they should take up an entire compartment since there are other more 'worthy' parts to take that spot. hmm... yes, it feels weird talking this much in detail about LEGO sorting :P haha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks KayKay. I know what you mean about it being weird talking about LEGO storage. As we finished putting up the shelving today, I was giddy with excitement. I think I've crossed a line! LOL.

      And those random parts drive us nuts as well. Not only are they hard to categorize, but they take up far too much space.

      Delete
  2. I was just at Michael's today trying to decide on which beading boxes to get for my son's Lego bricks and passed on all because they weren't on sale. And I needed some Starbucks. Anyway, I never thought to check at Lowes/Home Depot and I might do that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LEGO, Starbucks, Michael's. I think you just discovered the holy trinity! :)

      Delete
    2. Hilarious! We live in New Orleans right now and the Holy Trinity here is celery, onions, and green bell peppers. :)

      Delete
  3. Hi Cindy, found you via a link from Pinterest regarding your Lego Minifig display. Can't wait to try that out! Regarding storage bins, I'm always on the lookout for ways to store my son's ever growing collection of LEGOS and I found this inexpensive alternative from IKEA -- their GLIS boxes are only $3.99. They are stackable, and you adjustable dividers too! Let me know what you think! It's so nice to come across others who share the same obsession with LEGO organization as myself! :-) Great blog!
    http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80100029/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those IKEA containers are great - do the smaller ones come in clear? Or just blue? The reason I ask is that we're phasing out our red bins because it's too hard to see the smaller elements.

      And welcome to the world of trying to organize LEGO or as I like to call it... "the rest of your life". :D

      Delete
    2. I bought one of those IKEA cases a while ago and thought it worked well. But recently picked up several more and the dividers aren't staying down so that small pieces can slide underneath--very frustrating.
      I've used some sticky putty stuff to try to keep them down but that has been only partially successful.
      dave

      Delete
    3. Hi Dave, I had the same problem and I used some super glue and it worked for me. There is some heavier duty adhesives that might work. Still a great price for the size of the bins. The other thing I liked was that even if you take off the lids, they are still stackable! I use them to house my stationary supplies too. Good luck!

      Delete
  4. I think all the GLIS boxes come in clear so you should be good to go. Good price, yes? It is sooooo time consuming but I find so much satisfaction in looking at them in their sorted glory! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great price and I'd definitely go with the clear.

      Also, if you do decide to give the minifig display case a go, your son is going to LOVE IT!

      Delete
  5. I've looked at my local Home Depot and they no longer carry the RIMAX cases? Can you let me know where you got them from? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Darn! If they're no longer at Home Depot, then I'm not sure. You can also try Lowe's. That's the other place we bought a lot of our containers.

      Delete
  6. Love the labels. What kind are they? Looks great!

    ReplyDelete
  7. What is the reason you choose boxes over stacked drawers such as the ones linked below? I am about to start organising my sons Lego and would be interested to know, save me making an investment that fails.

    https://goo.gl/Q5jvzr

    Thanks,
    James

    ReplyDelete