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Ugh... Instructions

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Ugh... Instructions

Postby dWhisper » Sat Sep 21, 2013 4:40 pm

My wife and I are replacing the carpet in our house, which has led to a uniquely-AFOL kind of problem... what to do with almost 15 years worth of collecting. I mean, I have buckets and bins and boxes and bags worth of sets... it's part of being a collector. I've never been one for collecting the empty LEGO boxes (anymore, I usually break them down and they go in a box in my garage), but I always keep instructions. And that leads to the problem I have...

Image

That, right there, is 78 liters worth of instructions, and doesn't include things I only have digitally (stuff purchased aftermarket), or the big UCS instructions. They're heavy. They take up a lot of space. They sucked to move. Which has me wondering... what should I do with them?

I'm certain that there are some duplicates in there, given that I've bought a lot of sets more than once, with plans to part them out (in truth, most were "parted" into that big bin to the right, and have never been sorted). But really... is there any reason to keep the vast majority of these around? LEGO instructions have come a long way, and they have almost everything digitized these days.

I'd love to hear what other people do with these things? Keep them? Recycle and go digital? Use them to build a fort?
If the above post didn't offend you, you're probably reading it wrong.
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Re: Ugh... Instructions

Postby banthafodder » Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:35 pm

That is a dilemma. I, too, have a heaping pile of instructions and at one point I was going to digitize them but that hasn't happened. A little back story: My son is an avid reader and one year decided to get him an e-reader because he would re-read his books and they were showing their wear. He never did use the e-reader and read many of his books into oblivion. When I asked him why he wouldn't use the e-reader, he replied that he liked the feel of the book and turning the pages and would likely never use it. Back to lego instructions, I tried a manual that I downloaded on line for a used set that I bought and you know what? He was right. There is something very rewarding about working your way through the book and physically turning the pages and seeing your progress. So from that I have kept all of my books and have them loosely sorted into different categories so I can try to retrieve them later. Meaning that they are all in large bins. I see we have the same wonderful filing system but I have found that the retrieval system sucks.
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Re: Ugh... Instructions

Postby dWhisper » Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:47 pm

I use my iPad for almost all of my reading exclusively now, actually. It's good for comics, books, and magazines, but the quality of LEGO instructions is as good as the quality they put into them. But then again, given how often I've complained about shoddy printing in those instructions, I guess I shouldn't be surprised when he digital versions have similar problems.
If the above post didn't offend you, you're probably reading it wrong.
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Re: Ugh... Instructions

Postby hatcher » Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:52 pm

I seperate my instructions by theme and put them in file folders, then put the folders in drawers of my plastic file cabinets. Of course, I've to split the Star Wars instructions into multiple folders. One for each movie, one for the UCS, one for Mini sets, one for Expanded Universe, and 2 for the Clone Wars sets. However, I've reached a tipping point in that I have no empty drawers left, and no room in my LEGO room for more cabinets. May have to start purging the sets I bought for parts.
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Re: Ugh... Instructions

Postby crazybirdman » Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:11 pm

My system is similar to yours. I hang on to them in case I sell the set, or give it away. If you know you are only buying a set for parts though, might as well ditch the instructions
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Re: Ugh... Instructions

Postby noone » Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:32 am

always a problem and not one to which I've found a solution. I started off keeping them in folders by theme and then into large storage boxes (so I can store them flat as standing them in a filing cabnet seemed to be hard on them [yes, I know I'm a nut]) which makes them difficult to find unless you catalogue the folders down to the finest detail for star wars. I've since picked up plastic filing cabinet with smaller drawers thinking that might make them easier to find (http://www.reallyusefulproducts.co.uk/u ... 4lDraw.php). But not as many fit as I was hoping and I think I'd need more of them in my quite small hobby room than I have room for, especially since I need to leave room for future growth...
I envy those of you who have gone digital but I am in the camp of those who like flicking through the pages as you build so I await someone coming in with a really clever solution!
(reallyusefulproducts makes brilliant storage boxes by the way - nice and heavy duty for filling with little plastic bricks and stacking in the corner. As well as convinient little storage boxes in racks for sorting pieces - they clip closed to limit the damage when little hands wander in to ones hobby room... . And if your collection is a sensible size, the drawers work well too.)
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Re: Ugh... Instructions

Postby Tohst » Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:35 am

I have them in hanging file folders sorted by set number.

So happy they switched to 5 digit numbers so I can -close- the 4 digit boxes.

I also keep all the old catalogs so make of that what you will.

-Tohst
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Re: Ugh... Instructions

Postby dWhisper » Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:59 am

You're angling to be the first AFOL on Hoarders?

I ended up sorting mine and just recycling all of the dupes I had. Cleared up about a tub's worth of space
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Re: Ugh... Instructions

Postby Tohst » Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:34 am

Hoarders only go to houses if they have too much stuff for their size.

As long as you keep buying bigger houses (or additional storage space) you're considered a well adjusted 'collector'

-Tohst
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Re: Ugh... Instructions

Postby dWhisper » Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:24 pm

I think an AFOL hoarder would be more defined based on the number of spinners he or she keeps around, despite being worthless for pretty much anything other than their intended purpose (and who wants LEGO parts like that)
If the above post didn't offend you, you're probably reading it wrong.
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Re: Ugh... Instructions

Postby Tohst » Mon Oct 07, 2013 5:14 pm

I refuse to look at my box of spinners!

They will be useful for something...someday...in an awesome MOC.

-Tohst
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Re: Ugh... Instructions

Postby ThinkingImpaired » Tue Oct 08, 2013 5:20 am

I have quite a few instructions as well from the last 20 years, as well as just about every magazine and catalog from 1997 until now. Space is a huge issue. I'm debating getting rid of all the binders full of magazines but the instructions will stay.
Don't you waste away, for tomorrow will soon be today
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Re: Ugh... Instructions

Postby Rook » Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:14 am

I've recently got filing cabinets for mine. I'm guessing that the next time I move I'll trash them. I've done a similar thing when I realized that the boxes I was storing up were eating up massive amounts of storage space. So I'm sure the same will happen with instructions soon enough. :/
Yea, though I walk through the valley...
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Re: Ugh... Instructions

Postby GIR3691 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:14 pm

I have kept mine in a large Sterilite bin, but it's now filled to the brim. I started putting them into page protector sheets and prepping them to go into binders by theme. Same problem everyone else is having.

Some instructions are worth keeping. Sets you think you may sell off some day, anything Licensed or UCS-style especially. The Modular Series instructions are pretty pricey on their own, as are certain discontinued licensed sets like the original Batman stuff. Others from unpopular themes... I'm seriously considering trashing them because they're completely worthless and just take up space. Not really worth organizing either when free downloads are available from LEGO or Peeron.
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Re: Ugh... Instructions

Postby Draykov » Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:16 pm

This...

Tohst wrote:I have them in hanging file folders sorted by set number...I also keep all the old catalogs so make of that what you will.


...and this...

Rook wrote:I've recently got filing cabinets for mine.


About a year or so ago I bought a couple of modular cabinets like these from Ikea (Effektiv - I think they're out of production now). The top section is a deep cabinet for LEGO related periodicals and texts and the bottom is a pullout hanging file drawer for instructions. Once they fill up, I may be forced to go strictly digital.
Hail Space!
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Re: Ugh... Instructions

Postby FirstCircle » Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:19 am

Ugh indeed. I just moved twice and the whole LEGO collection was a frickin' pain. Makes me rethink my whole hoarding issue.

I used to sort the instructions by theme. In Star Wars I would sort them by film. I always had a hard time keeping them nice and safe from accidental tears.

Now I just put them in the same Sterilite bins that I store the sets in.

I started to sort pieces but that was a no go. I never fully committed to it. I'll probably re-assemble the parted out sets and sell them. Those sets instructions are stacked neatly inside a mid-size Sterilite bin.
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Re: Ugh... Instructions

Postby lowlead » Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:52 am

How about some new wallpaper to go with that new carpeting?

...resale of your home may suffer a bit, unless you find an AFOL buyer, but at least you could stare at your walls with a purpose :D
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Re: Ugh... Instructions

Postby dWhisper » Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:30 am

With the average printing quality in Lego instructions? No thanks... I want my colors to match ;)
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