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You gotta have a system! - how I sort my collection
An overview of how I sort my stuff; doubtless unconventional to some.
About this creation
Ever since this interesting group was created, I had the intention to photograph just how I sort my lego. Here goes.

In the picture above you see my lego table. It's not very big, exactly the size of my newly broken down lego zoo, to be exact. Below it, I store some of my lego. But more about that later.


This is my main lego storage. I don't sort by colour, but rather by function.


Top of the rack. I use quite a lot of zip-lock bags, but I don't close them. That's because they deteriorate too quickly if I open and close it every time I need a piece. Also: it's faster.


Lower part. A breakdown of every bin will follow shortly.


Beside the main storage rack, I have this smaller 3-drawer bin filled with zip-lock bags.


The biggest tub of lego is the one with all the big plates. It is bigger than it looks on the picture. I like it because it is wide, making it easy to look for a specific part.

I will now put the pictures in small thumbnails, lest this page gets so big, its load times grinds all of mocpages to a halt again ;)




(read left to right, top-down)
1. a bin with 4*4 and 4*6 plates, and some round 4*4 plates. Since the large plates bin is so big, this is easier to find those smaller plates.
2. large bin with 2*x plates, longer than 2*4.
3. tubs with 2*x plates, up to 2*4. I sorted these by colour, mainly because they don't all fit in one tub ;)
4. 1*x plates, up to 1*4 long. I notice some longer plates in there. The sorting monkeys will be duly reprimanded.
5. 1*x plates, 1*6 and up. Sorting them by size makes them far easier to find.
6. 1*x bricks, 1*4 and up. Higher bricks are welcome.
7. 1*x bricks, up to 1*3.
8. BIG tub with 2*x bricks. Also wider (4*8, 10*10) bricks.

Now for some more specialist parts and sorting.



1. (1*1) cylinders and cones. Basically anything you can make guns with ;)
2. small trans drawer
3. control panels, levers, instruments, basically anything you can steer a ship with end then some.
4. technic pins and connectors.
5. tiles. Lots and lots of tiles (this is a drawer that's about 10cm/3inches high).
6. movable parts, mainly with clicks/friction. And introducing a minifig for scale.
7. round bricks, wedged bricks, curved bricks.
8. gates and fences





1. these tubs used to be full of zip-lock bags. Now they store some of the larger parts.
2. big space parts.
3. BURPs, large non-space parts.
4. boats, cannons, crates, anything wood.
5. horizontal hinges.
6. bags of propellors, landing feet, vertical hinges, some more larger parts.
7. a bin with antennas and one with what I would like to call 'grabbing parts'.
8. bag of 'grabbee parts' (see 7.), rounded plates and decorative bricks and tiles.





1. I like to call this the SNOT BOX
2. bags of printed parts (space), turntables, hinges, headlight bricks and cogs.
3. bags of technic beam connectors, propellor blades, printed parts, chairs and steering wheels and bricks with crosses.
4. tub with large technic beams.
5. smaller technic beams.
6. rounded technic beams.
7. with so many female technic parts around, it's only natural to also keep some male ones.
8. 2*x slopes. That bag with 2*2*1 blue slopes used to belong to my grandparents. They're official lego, but the studs must be a tiny fraction smaller, because other parts don't fit too well on them.





1. 3*x slopes.
2. longer slopes and wedges (6*x and up).
3. inverted slopes. I think I use these in every single MOC, although it's not always visible in the photographs.
4. slopes higher than one brick.
5. rooftops.
6. rounded tops.
7. canopies! I know I have a lot of them. I believe the choice of the right type and colour of canopy determines a MOC a great deal.
8. normal windows and doors. Also car doors.




1. technic beams and tiles with offset stud.
2. rounded...things (mainly 4*4). Mainly anything that can act as a large space engine.
3. smaller rounded things (2*2) and dishes. A very diverse box, but I love rummaging through this.
4. wheels, and some other car parts.
5. wedged plates (I always call them wings). This tub is also huge.
6. a small shopping bag with that kind of wedged plates (pointless wings, I call them) and 4*9 plate with narrowing front. I don't know the official names of these kinds of pieces.
7. a bag with animals and monsters and a bag o' horses.
8. 'organic pointy bits', large and small.





1. trees. Notice the ancient grainy type ones I got from my grandparents. I just love those. I have pointy and rounded ones, and even some bushes. They're real lego.
2. flowers.
3. big bag of foliage.
4. rails and sliders.
5. grille and cheese slopes. Grilled cheese, geddit?
6. plates that are largely studless.
7. large assorted bag of fins, legs, wings and anything in the vein of classic space.
8. pipes and hoses, baybeeee!

Okay, so uploading the last grid went a bit wrong. It's larger images again from now on.


Bag of minifigs, sorted by theme. This is er, the one with the underwater skull people, Power miners and Space police.


Battle droids and Atlantis.


Other droids and Rebel scum.


Gungans and ewoks, Castle.


Pirates, Starwars baddies and Exo-force baddies.


Clones and stormtroopers and Classic space astronauts.


Aaand a big pile of unsorted minifigs.


I also have some colour sorted boxes that I intend to use in the near future. Even more canopies here. Can't have enough of those ;)


Well, that's it folks. I'd like to hear your opinion about my sorting methods ;)

And for the record: according to Brickset, I own about 60,000 pieces, not counting six or seven Bricklink orders, plus about 100 older sets (all small ones) that Bricklink doesn't know the piece count of.
I own 598 minifigs.



Comments

 I like it 
  January 19, 2014
Awesome way to sort your creations man!! Good work! Will you please join this group http://www.mocpages.com/group.php/23426?
  September 29, 2011
The piont is...is...is... let me think about that. Ok i got a piont: it is so people can get credit when they put thier sorting methods in the group and when someone uses the methods and because I need some tips for sorting.
 I made it 
  September 27, 2011
Quoting the man qwerty Sorry I just wanted another member, I am the only one...
Well that's not really a group then is it? People would only join if there is a point to a group. At least I would.
 I like it 
  September 27, 2011
Sorry I just wanted another member, I am the only one...
 I like it 
  September 14, 2011
Wow.. I wish I was this organized or that I owned as much Lego's as you.
 I made it 
  September 14, 2011
Quoting the man qwerty Hey man cool sorting system you should jion my group and contest. Group: The man qwerty's sorting group. Contest: best sorting steps contest.
Thanks for the invitation, but there already is a lego sorting group.
 I like it 
  September 13, 2011
Hey man cool sorting system you should jion my group and contest. Group: The man qwerty's sorting group. Contest: best sorting steps contest.
 I made it 
  March 20, 2011
Quoting Tyler Halliwell I am sorting my collection like this now since color was becoming a pain to find parts in and already like this method so much more. I am glad that it works for you.
That's great to hear!
 I like it 
  March 19, 2011
I am sorting my collection like this now since color was becoming a pain to find parts in and already like this method so much more. I am glad that it works for you.
 I like it 
  January 6, 2011
Thanks for sharing this, and all of your suggestions Steef! I hope to get some more organization done after the move and will share mine with the group as well.
  December 5, 2010
if only i was that organized
 I made it 
  November 24, 2010
Quoting lego newbiee whoa thats alot!....wow,my i ask whats your most favorite theme in lego?
You may. I enjoy a lot of themes. I mostly have a lot of creator and starwars sets, but I have a couple of sets from many themes which I enjoy equally, including pirates, castle, mars mission, system/town, space police, power miners...you name it really. I do have a special place in my heart for classic space though; I believe that still remains my favourite theme.
 I made it 
  November 24, 2010
Quoting david drake amazing! I'm blown away at the 598 minifigs!
646 now...
 I like it 
  November 24, 2010
whoa thats alot!....wow,my i ask whats your most favorite theme in lego?
 I like it 
  September 7, 2010
amazing! I'm blown away at the 598 minifigs!
 I made it 
  September 5, 2010
Quoting Justin of Catron IV What's your username on Brickset? Mine's Shrimpmaker ( XD). That's a lot of bricks...do you know how to do the "I Own" for individual bricks on Brickset? I can't figure it out, but I saw someone else do it.
My username is Steefdeprouw (http://brickset.com/search/?ownedBy=steefdeprouw) ;) I don't know how to add individual pieces though. I've been looking to do that myself too. Anyone?
 I like it 
  September 3, 2010
What's your username on Brickset? Mine's Shrimpmaker ( XD). That's a lot of bricks...do you know how to do the "I Own" for individual bricks on Brickset? I can't figure it out, but I saw someone else do it.
 I like it 
  September 1, 2010
I wish I had that many gungans!!! Very nice! My legos are organized also!
 I made it 
  September 1, 2010
Quoting Mister Bones Nice! Interesting sorting style. Now that I have moved, I will take a few shots of the closet my wife and daughter stuck me in to show the world. Seriously, it is a closet...they are mean.
I always had you down as a closet legose...never mind ;)
 I like it 
  August 31, 2010
That's some collection you've got going there!
 I like it 
  August 31, 2010
Nice! Interesting sorting style. Now that I have moved, I will take a few shots of the closet my wife and daughter stuck me in to show the world. Seriously, it is a closet...they are mean.
 I like it 
  August 30, 2010
Wow.Now thats a collection. The only way I sort my lego is system goes in one box, technic in another and bionicle in one more. I cant get over that box of unsorted figs! I feel sorry for those expensive collectable miifigs that seem to be laying in there. I display mine by my building area.
 I like it 
  August 30, 2010
That pile of minifigs looks sooooo awesome. I sort my lego by the basic bricks in 2 80litre storage boxes, then smaller boxes for pieces found in different themes and brands followed by all my minifigure disected into several ice cream tubs for each type of body part.
 I made it 
  August 29, 2010
Quoting Sebeus I I don't even know how many minifigures I have, I should organize my collection more like you do :p
I didn't know either, but brickset told me based on the sets I have. Neat huh?
 I made it 
  August 29, 2010
Quoting Topsy Cret Neat system. Although personally I've never seen how some people just leave their figures assembled. I think I have around three cubicle-boxes with all my minifigure stuff. Good day
See? I personally can't see why so many people would go through the hassle of disassembling their minifigs all the time ;) But I am not the type of person that makes a lot of custom minifigs anyway.
 I made it 
  August 29, 2010
Quoting Giovanni Seynhaeve c...can I come over and play?
Certainly. I reckon we're not more than a few hours apart anyway ;)
 I made it 
  August 29, 2010
Quoting Ben The Lego Builder Interesting system, I never thought of using zip-lock bags. Personally I use 5L Ice Cream containers on my humble collection but yours seems to work well seeing the amazing stuff that you create!
Thanks! And you have to go with what works best for you. I guess there's no definitive way that's best for all of us. That makes sharing our ways so interesting.
 I made it 
  August 29, 2010
Quoting Cody G Ziploc baggies? Genius! Here I am, using the same bolt drawers as Kelso and Shannon Y, which can cost close to thirty bucks each. Your less conventional way, while seemingly just as effective, probably leaves you much more money for legos, huh?
Exactly! Although I must admit that I'm secretly jealous of their sorting methods. I'm just afraid that those bolt drawers will take up even more space, and finally show how little lego of a single kind I actually have ;)
 I made it 
  August 29, 2010
Quoting carrubba antonio inpressive lot of lego pieces , the pieces in totally number are??? you have counter in totally?????
I think I mentioned that in my post.
 I made it 
  August 29, 2010
Quoting Hans Dendauw Nice collection! I am a last-stage sorter, color and function. Zip-lock baggies are a must, as they divide each color into their respective functions, and bead containers for the small bits. Thanks for sharing.~H
Heh, you have reached the last stage of sorting, and soon you'll be admitted to the lego sorting council. Be mindful of mixing grey with bley and I see a great future for you in the lego sorting ways, young padawan ;)
 I made it 
  August 29, 2010
Quoting Christian t This is stunning. I've been building for 10 years, and my collection is easily less than half of yours. I will say, though, I like my sorting system. It's not so much sorting as it is placement, but I guess having a smaller amount makes it easier to find smaller pieces, right? Anyway, I use those pill-out bins, but I've found that pulling them out makes it harder to dig to the bottom easily. I sorted them in buckets of: Black, grey, and white, then reds, yellows, blues, and greens. Then plants, animals, and brown, than wheels and axles, then finally technic. I also use a train table to build it all on because I can keep track of parts without them falling off the table. Here's my 2 cents, and happy building!
Yep, but that's pretty much it, isn't it? You gotta have a system, no matter how strange or good it may seem to others. As long as *you* can find what you're looking for.
 I made it 
  August 29, 2010
Quoting Henrik Hoexbroe Impressive collection! Mine is much smaller. (-Still talking about the collection!) I sort general bricks by colour, and the rest by type. I recognice some of your groupings, but others I have dealt with differently. I might make a similar post... To have lids on the tubs is a bad idea. I got rid of those pretty quickly! Zipper-bags; Never thought about it. I use small tubbers. Lastly a question; Where do you store the huge amount of instructions? ;-)
Please do share your methods with us. These posts have all been very interesting. I find that lids are a must though. Too much dust and cat hair going in otherwise. Now at least my recent lego is clean ;)
 I like it 
  August 29, 2010
I don't even know how many minifigures I have, I should organize my collection more like you do :p
 I like it 
  August 29, 2010
Neat system. Although personally I've never seen how some people just leave their figures assembled. I think I have around three cubicle-boxes with all my minifigure stuff. Good day
 I like it 
  August 29, 2010
c...can I come over and play?
 I like it 
  August 28, 2010
It is a nice collection. Lee.
 I like it 
  August 28, 2010
Interesting system, I never thought of using zip-lock bags. Personally I use 5L Ice Cream containers on my humble collection but yours seems to work well seeing the amazing stuff that you create!
 I like it 
  August 27, 2010
598 Minifigs??? I only have 184. :P
 I like it 
  August 27, 2010
Ziploc baggies? Genius! Here I am, using the same bolt drawers as Kelso and Shannon Y, which can cost close to thirty bucks each. Your less conventional way, while seemingly just as effective, probably leaves you much more money for legos, huh?
 I like it 
  August 27, 2010
inpressive lot of lego pieces , the pieces in totally number are??? you have counter in totally?????
 I like it 
  August 27, 2010
Nice collection! I am a last-stage sorter, color and function. Zip-lock baggies are a must, as they divide each color into their respective functions, and bead containers for the small bits. Thanks for sharing.~H
 I like it 
  August 27, 2010
This is stunning. I've been building for 10 years, and my collection is easily less than half of yours. I will say, though, I like my sorting system. It's not so much sorting as it is placement, but I guess having a smaller amount makes it easier to find smaller pieces, right? Anyway, I use those pill-out bins, but I've found that pulling them out makes it harder to dig to the bottom easily. I sorted them in buckets of: Black, grey, and white, then reds, yellows, blues, and greens. Then plants, animals, and brown, than wheels and axles, then finally technic. I also use a train table to build it all on because I can keep track of parts without them falling off the table. Here's my 2 cents, and happy building!
 I like it 
  August 27, 2010
Impressive collection! Mine is much smaller. (-Still talking about the collection!) I sort general bricks by colour, and the rest by type. I recognice some of your groupings, but others I have dealt with differently. I might make a similar post... To have lids on the tubs is a bad idea. I got rid of those pretty quickly! Zipper-bags; Never thought about it. I use small tubbers. Lastly a question; Where do you store the huge amount of instructions? ;-)
 I made it 
  August 27, 2010
Quoting Master Shifu Leo J Yes sirrrieee! ZipLoc is also my friend although my collection is probably one tenth of yours.
All the better man, all the better. Ziplocs become less handy when they become too full or when you get too much of them. Right now, I think I prefer wide drawers. You can take them out, and you can search inside them without having to take everything out first. I also have a stack of (photo paper) boxes and bowls, just to empty ziplocs in to find that specific part.
 I made it 
  August 27, 2010
Quoting Arthur Floren I donīt have any system at all,I just find the bricks in a big bag!
I used to do that for years man. But there was also a time when all of my lego used to fit in the one large bin I now only use for 2*x bricks :)
 I made it 
  August 27, 2010
Quoting El Barto ! I think you're system is quite logical. Mine is very similar, more about the kind of part size/function than color/theme. Is your work area in a basement, 'office', or right in the middle of the house?
It's in my office, in the middle of the house. It's nice to have a specific spot for lego, however small it is.
 I made it 
  August 27, 2010
Quoting Garth Danielson That's a good start on a collection there. Nice arrangements. I am always interested in how other people sort their bits and bobs. there. Usually the ziplocs I use wear out on the sides or seams before the zipper goes. see ya. garth
Haha. I wore out a lot of ziplocs before I started leaving them open, in open plastic containers and drawers.
 I made it 
  August 27, 2010
Quoting Stuart Delahay Always nice to see how someone else does it Steef. I've been sorting by colour for a while and think it's time to go to by function/ type as my collection is getting to that 'unwieldy' stage - according to brickset about 16000 pieces plus bricklink and trades. Interesting to see how you sort figs by type too, mine are all broken down and I have a drawer of torsos, one of leg, heads, etc. I'll have a re-sort when this round of the MOC-O's is over.
Maybe by this we can define the stages of sorting in a lego builder's life ;) It seems that almost everyone first sorts by colour, then function, and when the collection really gets out of hand, both. I haven't reached that last stage yet though :D
 I made it 
  August 27, 2010
Quoting Alex Mac I always fancy looking at another MOCcer's minifig collections. You have an interesting way of sorting them! I take 'em apart, sort the hands, torsos, legs, heads, hairpieces, and helmets, while you sort by theme, and it looks pretty clever. But what do you do when you want to take one piece from say, a knight, and another from a pirate? Anyways, great work!
I considered taking my minifigs apart several times. But after last years' MOC olympics and my recent miniland zoo, I decided against it, at least for now. I used a lot of custom minifig configurations in those MOCs, and now I'm hard pressed getting the original minifigs together again. Imagine me taking apart all of my stormtroopers in pockets by helmets, heads, torsos and legs. And having to put them together again every time I wanted to use a bunch of stormtroopers.
 I made it 
  August 27, 2010
Quoting Chris Phipson Looks great man! Everyone has their own system of sorting and it's always fun to see who does what. Thanks for sharing! ~ Chris.
Not a problem. Like I said: you gotta have a system. No matter how whacky your system is, as long as you get it ;)
 I made it 
  August 27, 2010
Quoting Jake Savage Nice this may help me get my stuff sorted a lot better! My current method is 6 small bins color sorted, and the rest in piles. Other builders think me a masochist:P This is quite an interesting sorting system!
Hey, that's why I posted this (and why the sorting group was created): to see how others do this and come up with new ideas to organise your collection. Glad I could help ;)
 I made it 
  August 27, 2010
Quoting cyberfrank 2010 let me congratulate you for your marvelously vintage lego parts as i ve never seen such lego trees in my life before! and the number of minifigs is just amazing! you should see the trouble i go through to replace the similar faces in my city, flee market,used toys stores,ect. with a 4rth of your figs,i m sure i cover my whole city! very nice collection! bravo!
Thank you. Those trees are some of my favourite parts in my collection. It also reminds me that I forgot to photograph another section of vintage wheels (carriage and other) and traffic signs and pre-minifig figures I also inherited from my grandparents. I think that stuff is older than me!
 I made it 
  August 27, 2010
Quoting Flare . Crud you have a LOT of pieces! Nice organization system, but I think organizing it by color works better... but with a collection that big you might need to do it your way! :)
When I first started sorting my lego, I started with colour too. But it wasn't manageable. Mainly due to my UCS Tantive IV (http://brickset.com/detail/?Set=10019-1), I soon had so much white lego, that I had to use a giant bin for it, making finding smaller white parts near impossible.
 I like it 
  August 27, 2010
Crud you have a LOT of pieces! Nice organization system, but I think organizing it by color works better... but with a collection that big you might need to do it your way! :)
 I like it 
  August 27, 2010
i also sort by fonction, i don t use ziplocs,i use used clear plastic containers,so that i can see inside,my girlfriend knows the criterias,and buys and saves them,as im also in lego education kits,i also get to keep their big blue pilable containers,and i bought 2 rolling drawer units like yours,but bigger,7 drawers,if you guys have a building corner,you re pretty lucky,as i have to move all my stuff from the room to the kitchen whenever i build something! and once i m finished,i have to do it all over again,why?because finely detailed creations don t mix well with 4 children,when you re not around!figs and parts disapear! very lucky! it s cool to see how you do this! let me congratulate you for your marvelously vintage lego parts as i ve never seen such lego trees in my life before! and the number of minifigs is just amazing! you should see the trouble i go through to replace the similar faces in my city, flee market,used toys stores,ect. with a 4rth of your figs,i m sure i cover my whole city! very nice collection! bravo!
Steef Mediocre
 I like it 
The Shadow Knight .
  August 26, 2010
I have partial sorting. I do by color. And a few other things.
 I like it 
  August 26, 2010
Nice this may help me get my stuff sorted a lot better! My current method is 6 small bins color sorted, and the rest in piles. Other builders think me a masochist:P This is quite an interesting sorting system!
 I like it 
  August 26, 2010
Nice collection. It's much more organized than mine.
 I like it 
  August 26, 2010
Looks great man! Everyone has their own system of sorting and it's always fun to see who does what. Thanks for sharing! ~ Chris.
  August 26, 2010
Dang that's alot!
 I like it 
  August 26, 2010
I always fancy looking at another MOCcer's minifig collections. You have an interesting way of sorting them! I take 'em apart, sort the hands, torsos, legs, heads, hairpieces, and helmets, while you sort by theme, and it looks pretty clever. But what do you do when you want to take one piece from say, a knight, and another from a pirate? Anyways, great work!
 I like it 
  August 26, 2010
Nice to see someone sorting his Lego by function :) Your minifig collection makes me so jealous, so many troopers, so many CS figs! That puts my poor minifig collection into shame... :D
 I like it 
  August 26, 2010
Always nice to see how someone else does it Steef. I've been sorting by colour for a while and think it's time to go to by function/ type as my collection is getting to that 'unwieldy' stage - according to brickset about 16000 pieces plus bricklink and trades. Interesting to see how you sort figs by type too, mine are all broken down and I have a drawer of torsos, one of leg, heads, etc. I'll have a re-sort when this round of the MOC-O's is over.
 I like it 
  August 26, 2010
That's quite a collection! Great system too! Thanks for sharing.
 I like it 
  August 26, 2010
That's a good start on a collection there. Nice arrangements. I am always interested in how other people sort their bits and bobs. there. Usually the ziplocs I use wear out on the sides or seams before the zipper goes. see ya. garth
 I like it 
  August 26, 2010
Always nice to see a different way of doing things. Thanks for sharing!
 I like it 
  August 26, 2010
I think you're system is quite logical. Mine is very similar, more about the kind of part size/function than color/theme. Is your work area in a basement, 'office', or right in the middle of the house?
 I like it 
  August 26, 2010
Yes sirrrieee! ZipLoc is also my friend although my collection is probably one tenth of yours.
 I like it 
  August 26, 2010
Nice collection.
  August 26, 2010
I donīt have any system at all,I just find the bricks in a big bag!
 
By Steef Mediocre
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