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Sorting and Storage: Discussion
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 Group admin 
Discuss ways of sorting and storing your LEGO. I use big Maxwell house coffee buckets, and sort by color. http://www.mocpages.com/image_zoom.php?mocid=&id=/user_images/108698/1406821802m . The problem with that? Look at the light bley pile on the table there. It gets really hard to find pieces in piles that size. Not to mention that I have to dump out the buckets to find anything, which makes a huge mess, and is a pain to clean up. The good about my method: easy to sort. The bad: everything else. I really need to find another sorting method. I'm thinking of these: http://www.amazon.com/Sterilite-20738006-3-Drawer-Organizer-See-Through/dp/B002BA5F6Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406133892&sr=8-1&keywords=sterilite+5+drawer+small
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| July 31, 2014, 12:07 pm
 Group admin 
 Group admin 
I'm not sure what the 'best' method for sorting is. The way I do it is if I have a piece in a large quantity I sort those separately. Other than that I sort by type: Bricks, Plates, Tiles, Arches/Inverted Slopes, Wedge Plates, Slopes, etc.

Here's some of the drawers I use currently...
http://www.mocpages.com/image_zoom.php?mocid=393754&id=/user_images/108963/14068273181

http://www.mocpages.com/image_zoom.php?mocid=393754&id=/user_images/108963/14068273192
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| July 31, 2014, 1:38 pm
I would also recommend finding containers like this one here: http://www.amazon.com/Akro-Mils-20-Inch-16-Inch-Hardware-Cabinet/dp/B003P2UOCO/ref=pd_sim_hg_50?ie=UTF8&refRID=1AQSYWQTW2AY3T90D3WZ

I have two of them. They're not as wide by one column, but they are the most useful sorting tool I've found yet. You can find them pretty commonly in your local hardware store, especially like Home Depot or Lowe's. They're great for those small pieces that you end up collecting without really trying and although it takes a while to get everything in its place, it streamlines the building process greatly. The drawers are easy to remove which is helpful, that is, until your knee clips one of them and all the pieces that you had in it shoots across the room. Don't say I didn't warn you;)
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| July 31, 2014, 1:41 pm
If you want to be a boss of parts organization, look no further!-
http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/productImages/300/b3/b32e2318-dec5-491f-ab05-39bda538b719_300.jpg

This is the new style of my organizer. The drawers come out so you can lay them out on your desk, floor, are wherever you do your building, and when you're done you just slide them back in. Also, sort by piece type. The initial sorting will take a bit more time but it's much more efficient while building. If you need help creating categories, Bricklink can give you plenty of ideas.
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| July 31, 2014, 1:45 pm
Quoting The Object of Legend
If you want to be a boss of parts organization, look no further!-
http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/productImages/300/b3/b32e2318-dec5-491f-ab05-39bda538b719_300.jpg

This is the new style of my organizer. The drawers come out so you can lay them out on your desk, floor, are wherever you do your building, and when you're done you just slide them back in. Also, sort by piece type. The initial sorting will take a bit more time but it's much more efficient while building. If you need help creating categories, Bricklink can give you plenty of ideas.

Haha! Great minds, eh?
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| July 31, 2014, 1:46 pm
Quoting Tim C
I would also recommend finding containers like ...
Haha! Same here!

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| July 31, 2014, 1:47 pm
After seeing all these ideas, I'm like, "I NEED TO SORT!"
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| July 31, 2014, 1:49 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting Noel P
After seeing all these ideas, I'm like, "I NEED TO SORT!"

LOL! :P
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| July 31, 2014, 1:49 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting Tim C and The Object of Legend

Haha, I am planning on getting one of those sorting drawers :P How much are they at lowes or home depot?
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| July 31, 2014, 1:51 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting The Object of Legend and Tim C

Yeah, I'm looking at those also. They look extremely handy, and you can really go crazy OCD in your sorting.
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| July 31, 2014, 3:22 pm
My collection uses several different systems of storage.

I have 2 of these and one pretty similar to it that my sister gave me. If you have a local Michael's store I suggest you pick these up as they are pretty inexpensive and are very good for storing your small specialty parts. http://www.michaels.com/darice-17-compartment-bead-organizer/10091119.html#start=4&sz=12&srule=price-low-to-high

I also have two of those generic white three-tiered drawer storages which I use for storing plates, 1 x _ bricks and my most used minifigure parts, a majority of which are castle.

Finally a system of three plastic storages from Target. Unfortunately I can't find it on target.com. They can stack on top of each other and have handle-like things that secure them in place. There's only one lid, so naturally, the top storage gets the lid. There's also one divided that can be placed in one of the storages. I use that to store pieces I have a fairly big amount of. The storages without dividers I use to store large parts.
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| July 31, 2014, 3:34 pm
For storage of the normal person, I suggest by color.
Black
Old Light and Dark Gray
White
Shades of Red(Pinks and Red and Dark Red)
Shades of Orange
Shades of Yellow
Shades of Green (Sand, Dark, Bright, etc.) and in that same one, foliage and plants.
Shades of Blue (Medium, Dark, Azure, Teal, etc.)
Shades of Purple if you have that many Purple pieces
Old Brown ( I also use that for rubber bands and various wheels and tires)
Translucents
Minifigs and excessories in colors 2004 and prior
Light and Dark Bluish Grays. (I through 2004 and after minifig pieces here since I don't have too many of those.)
Tan and Redish Brown
And a various bin for any colors that you only have one or two pieces of and for pieces that you frequently use or want to keep in an easier to find location. Also, pieces you may never use ever and it's just nice to keep them out of the way.

I myself am actually running low on space. But a convinient way to store these pieces is to go to Walmart, find the storage bin isle and pick up as many Shoebox bins as possible. They are all about $1 each so you won't be breaking the bank with super storage sysems from Home Depot. These bins are about a 12 inches long, 7 inches wide, and 4 inches tall.

If you are like me and have a lot of pieces that were geneerously donated to you, you may see that you have 5 bins of black, this is where sorting those pieces will come in handy. Seperate different types of pieces for certain bins of the same color then. I haven't actually done that much but when it comes to the different shades of colors, it's easier to keep all teh differnt shades from the primary source in the same bin while another under the same color is purely the primary source color.

I hope this makes sense and try not to get to bored sorting pieces. Blast Queen to help pass the time. :)
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| July 31, 2014, 11:40 pm
I must say that I just finished setting up my work area, and have already re-organized my LEGOs twice. Originally, I had all my LEGOs organized by type in plastic ziplock bags. I would line them up from smallest to largest, i.e. 1x2, 1x2x2, 1x3, etc. Sadly, it took an enormous amount of space.

Got a dedicated work area and invested in two 10 drawer stacks, eight Plano 4-26 cases and two 39 drawer cabinets.

Wife suggested by color, so I put the bricks in the drawers, plates in the cases, and modified bricks/plates in the cabinets.

It was fine at first, but then I found myself searching through each drawer trying to find that one piece, not remembering what the color was, just that I wanted that piece! Definitely didn't work well.

Then I went back to sorting by type, 1x2 plates and tiles in one case, 1x3 & 2x3's in one case, etc. Problem then became that I felt I was wasting space with the cases. Of course, having 8 cases open in my work-space killed any real possibility of building.

So, I'm definitely trying to find a better, efficient way to sort/store my small collection.
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| August 1, 2014, 1:50 pm
Quoting MCLegoboy !
If you are like me and have a lot of pieces that were geneerously donated to you, you may see that you have 5 bins of black,

I wish i was given lots of donation Legos. :)
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| August 1, 2014, 3:41 pm
 Group admin 
My brother and I just spent all morning (and a good bit of the afternoon) doing basic sorting on my collection. It went from buckets sorted by color to these categories: Small plates (2x4 and smaller), medium plates, large plates, bricks, technic bricks, other technic pieces (axles, pins, and so on), tiles, modified plates, modified bricks, round/curved pieces, angle pieces, and unclassifiable pieces. Now, I'll buy one of those drawer sets, and then we'll sub-sort.
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| August 1, 2014, 3:49 pm
Quoting Kevin Moyer
My brother and I just spent all morning (and a good bit of the afternoon) doing basic sorting on my collection. It went from buckets sorted by color to these categories: Small plates (2x4 and smaller), medium plates, large plates, bricks, technic bricks, other technic pieces (axles, pins, and so on), tiles, modified plates, modified bricks, round/curved pieces, angle pieces, and unclassifiable pieces. Now, I'll buy one of those drawer sets, and then we'll sub-sort.

(nods) sounds like a plan!
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| August 1, 2014, 4:30 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting James Dart
(nods) sounds like a plan!

Yep! Still got a lot of work ahead of me, though...
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| August 1, 2014, 5:05 pm
 Group admin 
Today I've been sub sorting and sub-sub sorting. I have two tables that are covered with little tiny piles of pieces. And there's still more! I'll post a picture soon.
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| August 2, 2014, 2:59 pm
 Group admin 
Picked up a couple clear plastic pencil cases today for 99 cents each...
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| August 3, 2014, 1:47 pm
 Group admin 
All right, here we go. Pics.
Table 1: http://www.mocpages.com/image_zoom.php?mocid=&id=/user_images/108698/1407093708m
Table 2: http://www.mocpages.com/image_zoom.php?mocid=&id=/user_images/108698/1407093718m
The floor: http://www.mocpages.com/image_zoom.php?mocid=&id=/user_images/108698/1407093727m
There you have it. And that's not all the pieces! I still have large plates, medium plates, and plates modified to sort! This also gives you a pretty good view of my building area. I build at the brown table.
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| August 3, 2014, 3:41 pm
 Group admin 

Yeah. This is exactly what I want. However, it's a bit pricey. Does anyone know where I can get something like this for less money?
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| August 3, 2014, 3:46 pm
Quoting Thomas B.
Picked up a couple clear plastic pencil cases today for 99 cents each...

Dude, the tubs I told you to get in my comment cost less than that.
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| August 3, 2014, 5:51 pm
Quoting Kevin Moyer

Yeah. This is exactly what I want. However, it's a bit pricey. Does anyone know where I can get something like this for less money?

Go to walmart and pick up the shoebox sized bins. They are only 97 cents each so you can get a bunch and not break your bank. More details in my comment above on how I sort.
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| August 3, 2014, 5:53 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting MCLegoboy !
Go to walmart and pick up the shoebox sized bins. They are only 97 cents each so you can get a bunch and not break your bank. More details in my comment above on how I sort.

I will do that.
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| August 3, 2014, 5:55 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting MCLegoboy !
Go to walmart and pick up the shoebox sized bins. They are only 97 cents each so you can get a bunch and not break your bank. More details in my comment above on how I sort.

How big are they? That's the question. If they're the size of a shoebox, that's no use to me. I'm looking for drawers that allow for fine sorting. Edit: just went back up and read your comment, and that's not what I'm looking for. I've been sorting by color with big buckets, and that's just not working for me.
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| August 3, 2014, 8:00 pm
 Group moderator 
Quoting Kevin Moyer
How big are they? That's the question. If they're the size of a shoebox, that's no use to me. I'm looking for drawers that allow for fine sorting. Edit: just went back up and read your comment, and that's not what I'm looking for. I've been sorting by color with big buckets, and that's just not working for me.
would something like this work? http://www.harborfreight.com/18-divider-storage-container-94456.html
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| August 3, 2014, 8:05 pm
Quoting Kevin Moyer
How big are they? That's the question. If they're the size of a shoebox, that's no use to me. I'm looking for drawers that allow for fine sorting. Edit: just went back up and read your comment, and that's not what I'm looking for. I've been sorting by color with big buckets, and that's just not working for me.

I'm not saying you have a bad method, I just find that sorting by color is way easier. Besides, how else are you supposed to enjoy building without the classic Gruschteling?
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| August 3, 2014, 8:13 pm
Quoting Tim C
I would also recommend finding containers like this one here: http://www.amazon.com/Akro-Mils-20-Inch-16-Inch-Hardware-Cabinet/dp/B003P2UOCO/ref=pd_sim_hg_50?ie=UTF8&refRID=1AQSYWQTW2AY3T90D3WZ

I have two of them. They're not as wide by one column, but they are the most useful sorting tool I've found yet. You can find them pretty commonly in your local hardware store, especially like Home Depot or Lowe's. They're great for those small pieces that you end up collecting without really trying and although it takes a while to get everything in its place, it streamlines the building process greatly. The drawers are easy to remove which is helpful, that is, until your knee clips one of them and all the pieces that you had in it shoots across the room. Don't say I didn't warn you;)

Same here! I have 2 as well along with another mini one. I find it very useful!
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| August 3, 2014, 8:27 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting MCLegoboy !
I'm not saying you have a bad method, I just find that sorting by color is way easier. Besides, how else are you supposed to enjoy building without the classic Gruschteling?

Yeah, I've been sorting by color for the longest time, but I'm getting tired of it. Click on the picture I linked to in the comment at the top, and you can see what I'm dealing with. Looking for pieces I only have one or two of in that big pile was getting tiresome. Though I definitely will miss the Grutelsching (or however it's spelled :P)
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| August 3, 2014, 9:08 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting MCLegoboy !
I'm not saying you have a bad method, I just find that sorting by color is way easier. Besides, how else are you supposed to enjoy building without the classic Gruschteling?

I used to sort just by color in shoeboxes, but now I have plastic bags inside the shoeboxes for general part types. A lot of my techniques require a lot of the same piece, and it's nice to be able to find out how many of that part I have quickly and easily.
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| August 3, 2014, 9:20 pm
 Group admin 
Just bought two of the Akro-Mils drawer cabinets. By Thursday (isn't Amazon Prime great?), I'll have 96 little drawers and 12 big ones. Methinks that'll be enough to satisfy my sorting OCD.
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| August 5, 2014, 2:48 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting Kevin Moyer
Just bought two of the Akro-Mils drawer cabinets. By Thursday (isn't Amazon Prime great?), I'll have 96 little drawers and 12 big ones. Methinks that'll be enough to satisfy my sorting OCD.

Lucky. I'm saving my dough for PaB on Saturday :/
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| August 5, 2014, 4:27 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting Thomas B.
Lucky. I'm saving my dough for PaB on Saturday :/

Yeah. I'd rather be buying pieces than drawers, but I needed some organization.
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| August 5, 2014, 4:50 pm
Just yesterday I bought one of these, http://www.storables.com/wide-3-drawer-chest.html, and put these inside the drawers, http://www.storables.com/legor-sorting-trays.html. It works really good!
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| August 5, 2014, 5:42 pm
 Group moderator 
I sort by part type. I have these stackable boxes with fixed dividers side to side and removable walls lengthwise. I like that because whenever I need more space for bricks, I just expand a compartment. The only trouble with that is that my layout changes every few weeks, so after sorting a major new acquisition, I sometimes can't find pieces right away because the category of piece I am looking for was moved. I only resort to color-sorting when I seriously run out of space. Also, another bad thing about my system is that in order to reach the parts in a box at the bottom of the stack, I have to take off all the boxes on top, so I always put the boxes onto my bed. But then I have to hunch over my bed to find any pieces, and that stresses my back. I don't have room for a bigger shelf or anything, though, so stacking boxes is optimal. And I also have some larger wooden boxes for large pieces, Bionicle, instructions, and some other pieces of which I have large amounts (like bricks 1x1, 2x1 and corner 2x2, as well as a box for bricks any larger than that).
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| August 5, 2014, 10:04 pm
Quoting Kevin Moyer

After years of lego-ing, I finally got myself a lego room. I used to use shoeboxes and an assortment of other plastic, cardboard and metal boxes and tins. I've kept the plastic ones as they are great for very refined sorting but for general pieces I bought some TROFAST toy storage systems from IKEA. V. good quality, only problem is a slight dip on the edges of the trays that smaller pieces can get stuck in.
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| August 9, 2014, 4:04 am
 Group admin 
Finally done! http://www.mocpages.com/image_zoom.php?mocid=&id=/user_images/108698/1407710247m I can post more pictures later.
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| August 10, 2014, 6:52 pm
Quoting Kevin Moyer
Finally done! http://www.mocpages.com/image_zoom.php?mocid=&id=/user_images/108698/1407710247m I can post more pictures later.
Wow, looks great!
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| August 15, 2014, 1:21 pm
Quoting Kevin Moyer
Finally done! http://www.mocpages.com/image_zoom.php?mocid=&id=/user_images/108698/1407710247m I can post more pictures later.

That looks great! About how much did you pay for all those drawers?
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| August 27, 2014, 3:58 pm
I Use this http://www.homedepot.com/p/Prepac-Edenvale-Oak-5-Drawer-Chest-OBD-3038-5LT/203055364?N=5yc1vZc7pwZ1z0u7lb because we had a spare one and it fits all m lego in
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| August 27, 2014, 4:32 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting The Dunedain98
That looks great! About how much did you pay for all those drawers?

50-something dollars, $26-8 each. More than I wanted to pay, but they're worth it.
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| August 27, 2014, 5:01 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting The King of Stupendous Bananas
I can post more pictures later.

Pics of the final setup are here: http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/394623 .
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| August 27, 2014, 5:03 pm
Quoting Kevin Moyer
50-something dollars, $26-8 each. More than I wanted to pay, but they're worth it.

All right thanks! That is pricy, but it looks very organized!
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| August 27, 2014, 5:07 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting The Dunedain98
All right thanks! That is pricy, but it looks very organized!

Yeah, it's great! I'm really enjoying it.
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| August 27, 2014, 9:22 pm
Quoting Kevin Moyer
Finally done! http://www.mocpages.com/image_zoom.php?mocid=&id=/user_images/108698/1407710247m I can post more pictures later.

Just saw this. I NEED DEM AKRO MILLS
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| August 28, 2014, 12:08 am
 Group admin 
Quoting Stephen Boe
Just saw this. I NEED DEM AKRO MILLS

lol So do I :P
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| August 28, 2014, 9:04 am
 Group admin 
Quoting Stephen Boe
Just saw this. I NEED DEM AKRO MILLS

YES YOU DO. Give in to the dark side and buy them from Amazon. They're awesome!
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| August 28, 2014, 9:10 am
Here is my greatly organised storing...
I have two big tubs of Lego and a HUGE pile on the floor!
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| August 28, 2014, 9:42 am
Quoting Ethan J.
That's... Not organized at all.

I was being sarcastic. =)
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| August 28, 2014, 10:11 am
Quoting Ethan J.
Oh, phew, you almost gave me a heart attack.

Ha ha! =)
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| August 28, 2014, 10:42 am
 Group admin 
Quoting Ethan J.
http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/395840

THAT, is my organization method.

You, sir, are admirably OCD. I respect that. :P
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| August 28, 2014, 12:54 pm
Quoting Kevin Moyer
You, sir, are admirably OCD. I respect that. :P

But he's not fully OCD. If he were OCD everything would be color coordinated as well. :P


Quoting Hawkflight _(Steven):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnzz-eFmKaw


Love that one. :P
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| August 28, 2014, 2:38 pm
 Group admin 
I use craft sorting trays a lot to sort specific pieces I use a lot. I have three of them
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| August 31, 2014, 12:38 pm
Well, my sorting has gone a bit...rogue, recently, but I usually try and organize parts by color and description. For instance, I have a large container that I use to hold my large light bley plates (6x6 and up). Handy, as you never know when you need a large plate (say 4x12). I also have a special compartment reserved for my 2x2 light bley tiles (In total, counting what I've used on MOCS, I have well over 1,500 of those little things). Otherwise, other tiles go with other tiles, etc. I use those walmart storage things with the little drawers; great for storing parts...
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| September 13, 2014, 2:29 pm
I just started sorting over a month now and I sort by types of pieces, modified plates, 2x4s, 2x2s and 2x3s, large plates, small plates, ect... instead of sorting by color. It helps A LOT in MOCs
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| February 9, 2015, 11:55 pm
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