LEGO Storage

Newer News (19 September 2002)

I have yet another solution for storing my LEGO bricks. I have been fortunate enough to come across a number of old card catalog cabinets that were auctioned off at the nearby university (their library file system is all computerized now). These nice, old, oak cabinets each have 72 drawers. I decided that they would be perfect for storing LEGO bricks. The tilt bin set up I had before was nice, but those bins do have their shortcomings (when tilting out there is a tendency for overfilled draws to spill pieces into the bin hole, the bins themselves don't hold a tremendous amount of bricks -- the main size I used held about 1000 1x1 bricks each, and I was a little tired of the cold plastic look and feel of the bins). The recently acquired cabinets looked nicer, and after I cut cardboard sides to heighten the draw walls, each drawer held about 3 times as many bricks as a bin. This amount allowed me to increase my immediate working supply, so all of the blue tubs I had had in my studio room could now be relegated back to more remote storage (namely, out of my studio room and house).

I labelled each drawer with size and color cards, so this compensates for the loss of the transparency of the plastic bins.

Now I just have to figure out what to do with all of my extra tilt bins I have... though moving them away will certainly be easier then the task of moving in the cabinets (each of which weighed about 200 pounds even after all of the drawers had been removed).

New News (11 Jan 2001)

I have changed my storage arrangements for my LEGO bricks since first writing this page (read 'Old News' below if that stuff still interests you). I have found it easier to not store all of my bricks in the attic above. Temperature, mobility, and convenience were all factors.

After finishing the model of Bart Simpson I decided to designate a single room in my home as a 'LEGO room'... recently the various tubs and storage bins and tackle boxes were scattered about various rooms.

There are some updated pictures of the room reclamation.

Old News

Even after having lived in my house for a year I still have more LEGO bricks than furniture (and, no, I'm not going to build any furniture out of LEGO, the Grandfather Clock is as close to that as I'll get. Anyway, as I started collecting more and more bricks, the issue of storing all of them became paramount. Fortunately, the large blue tubs that I kept buying served as great bins in which to store the bricks after I had sorted through them.

Ahh... sorting... what fun.

Initially I sorted my bricks by size alone, not by color. Why not by color (which to many is the immediate instinct)? Well, suppose you have to find a 1x4 red brick. Would you rather search through a bunch of red bricks of all sizes or through a bunch of 1x4 bricks of various colors? It's easier to spot a color among colors rather than a size among sizes. At least it is for me.

This point became moot though after my collection reached a certain size. Eventually I found that I had so many bricks that I needed to sort by size AND color.

But with 6 basic colors (plus gray as a 7th, less common color) and 10 basic sizes, that's a lot of blue tubs. I had sixty blue tubs (more than that, actually), but did I have the room in my house?

Well, actually, I did. See, you'll remember, I have very little furniture... so it was quite easy to stack up various tubs along the wall of my living room.

That was well and good, but then I really took some initiative and installed some florescent lights in my attic. After that, I had a well-lit space up above where all of my tubs could be spread out, lids off, awaiting the arrival of more recently sorted bricks. I even have pictures of this.

Now, with all of the surplus LEGO in the attic, visitors to my home will have no idea of my weakness for plastic bricks (oh, I guess they might notice all the sculptures about the house... hmmm).

And I do plan to get furniture next week... really.

Back to Eric Harshbarger's main LEGO page.