Now that I have a space set aside for working with my Legos, I’ve pulled them out of the basement. Right away I realized that I was going to be in for a chore. My bricks are in a number of plastic tubs and trays, but with little organization. To make it a bit worse, there is a tangle of partially demolished models. I put them into storage hastily, so I did whatever I had to do to get them into bins. Now I am seeing the fruits of that haste.

The state that my collection is in now, I really can’t build much of anything. The task ahead is to begin transforming the jumbled bins into some sense of order. I’m just starting to go through the work of sorting. My first step is to divide them into broad categories. The taxonomy is evolving, but for now I am just using: bricks, plates, technic, Bionicle, and everything else.

From these broad categories I will sort them further, dividing into smaller logical groupings. I’ll start using bags for this soon, as they are cheaper than bins and I have no idea how many I am going to need. With the bigger pieces it will be easier to tell them apart, but with all the fiddly little bits, it will be more important to separate them. The main goal is to make everything findable.

The process is slow going. I’ve been sitting at my desk with a big bin on the floor and a sorting tray in front of me. I keep a brick separator and a long cross axle handy for dismantling things. All those sharp corners are beating up my hands, so the tools really make it easier. I’m only working at it an hour or two a day.

The added complication is that my process is evolving a bit every day, sometimes making the some of the previous sorting moot. Two steps forward and one step back seems to be the motto.

The task is ongoing, but once I am done, it will be much easier to maintain. I’ll be able to tailor my storage to fit the collection and my building style. This is what makes it a hobby.

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