I swear...I've had this conversation before, but I can never seem to track down the thread (old forum or new). With that in mind: STICKOPOTAMUS!
And rather than litter up the place with a bunch of sticky threads, I figured we could make this a consolidated storage/sorting thread since the two topics are pretty closely related.
Here's some stuff from the old forums for posterity's sake:A new sorting questionsorting and storageStoring Legos [sic] Ideas WelcomeHow do you store them?
As for my contributions to the discussion:For storage:
...I still use (predominantly) the Iris stackable drawer towers
, though they do have their problems (the tabs for locking drawer frames in place sometimes have so much molding flash on them, they get stuck and if you try to tend to that issue, they're easy to break). Stores like Office Depot tend to have a store brand equivalent. They're too expensive for what you get if you buy them at MSRP, but once or twice a year, they go on sale and I stock up.
For minifigs, I use a combination of admittedly overpriced (ridiculously so) 4-Drawer Storage
and 3-Case Storage Chests
from the Container Store. There are probably much cheaper alternatives out there that are just as good or better, but I'm a sucker for uniformity and I started down this path a long time ago. The units are stackable (with little pegs holding them in place horizontally and vertically) and the drawers/cases can be completely removed from the main unit. In the 3-case version, the "drawers" have their own snap-secure lids, so they're very handy for grab-and-go type situations. They also have mounting holes in the back so you can screw these suckers into your wall if you're hardcore. I'd only recommend that if you have some sort of mudroom/converted garage space to work in where function takes priority over form.
I've also had to resort to a Sterilite 50 gallon bin
(like the ones you get at Target or Wal-Mart) to store unbuilt/opened sets. I buy a lot more than I sort or build, so I had to do something for the interim stuff to cut down on clutter. For Sorting:
I sort by general piece categories, less by color (though, the growth of my collection has led to some stratification by groups of color: black/white, yellow/tan, blue/green, red/orange, etc.). I use sort of a hybrid of the Peeron/Bricklink categorization schemes. As my collection grows, I need to further stratify categories. For instance, I used to have two drawers for slopes (one inverted, one regular). Now I have several for slopes of particular angles (33, 45, etc.) and inverted/regular of each where warranted.
As far as the actual Sisyphusian task of sorting goes, I tend to break stuff down into broad categories, storing groups of like parts temporarily in LEGO buckets, then sorting the stuff from those buckets into their respective Iris drawers.
For LEGO related print media, I ended up going with some new furniture...Ikea office stuff from the Effektiv series
. I went with a combination of hanging files (for instructions) and standard cabinets (for catalogs, periodicals and texts).
Sorting was also a recent topic of discussion over at Brothers-Brick
. Thanel had a very well-thought-out and interesting essay
on the subject over there a while back.
Also, just to throw something else into the ring: How to Sort and Store LEGO