*This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
Grab your cup of coffee and sit down and listen to this already legendary (or soon to be) tale about the world of Lego sets storage, maintenance, and the secrets of keeping those colorful bricks alive for centuries (or at least until your grandkids can get their little hands on them). As a Lego enthusiast, I’ve taken it upon myself to share with you, my fellow blockheads, a detailed guide to keep your Lego sets intact, clean, and ready for any family gathering that includes stepping on Legos in the dead of night.
So let’s dive in, brick by brick, into the world of long-term Lego storage.
Reasons behind storing Lego sets long term
Before we dive headfirst into Lego storage, let’s address the plastic elephant in the room – why bother storing these bad boys long-term?
It turns out there are a few very legitimate reasons to consider long-term storage, and no, it’s not just because you like obsessively organizing things (although I can’t say I blame you).
Increasing value for collectors and investors
If you’re like me, you’ve probably got a stash of prized Lego sets you’re convinced are going to be worth a fortune someday. And if you haven’t realized it yet, let me be the one to tell you – Lego sets can genuinely grow in value over time!
Recently, it’s been said that some Lego sets have outperformed stocks, bonds, and gold as an investment, which makes those tiny bricks even more precious. Think about popular sets like the Star Wars Millennium Falcon, the Taj Mahal, or the iconic Cafe Corner – these babies have appreciated in value, sometimes by up to four-digit percentages!
Can you say #bricktirementgoals?
B. Space management for large collections
You know that aching feeling in your spine when you see your precious Legos slowly but surely taking over every inch of your house? Yeah, me too. I’m pretty sure it’s a universal truth that Lego collections always expand to fit the available space, and then some.
So managing space is definitely a significant factor in deciding to store Legos long term. After all, nobody wants to find themselves in a game of Lego Storage Wars with their loved ones – I’m speaking from experience here!
Trust me, things can get ugly when my five-year-old daughter and my twelve-year-old’s collections go head-to-head.
Preserving the sets for future generations
Beyond their value as potential investments, no one can deny the nostalgic power of passing down your childhood Lego sets to your kids. I mean, who doesn’t get a bit teary-eyed seeing your 8-year-old son playing with the exact same Lego pirate ship (or what’s left of it) that you spent countless hours constructing, demolishing, and reconquering years ago?
Long-term storage helps ensure that those vintage sets stay in tip-top shape for the next generation of brick enthusiasts. Ah, the sweet, sweet sound of your kids telling you with sparkles in their eyes, “Gee, Mom, thanks for keeping our Lego sets so beautifully pristine!”
Okay, okay – maybe they won’t actually say that, but you can feel the gratitude in their little brick-building paws.
Pre-storage inspection and maintenance
But before we get to store those gems of joy, we need to do some inspection and maintenance. A lot like preparing a fancy dinner, there are some mis en place essentials that must happen before you throw your Legos into storage containers.
Yes, I’m talking about those truly exciting and glamorous tasks of cleaning, checking for damage, and documenting (It’s alright, you can groan now).
Cleaning Lego sets thoroughly
Okay, real talk: admit it, those things are filthy after being touched, played with, and loved by tiny hands (and maybe a dog or two). So, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get down ‘n dirty – or rather, clean, because you’ll need to clean your Lego sets thoroughly to ensure they’re ready for the long winter of storage.
Bust out your cotton buds, soap, water, and toothbrush-like apparatus, because it’s about to get very intimate between you, your Legos, and dirt.
Checking for missing or damaged pieces
Now that your sets are all shiny and clean, it’s time to become a world-class detective (cue mysterious music) and go on a scavenger hunt for missing or damaged Lego pieces. Some sets hide these imperfections incredibly well (I’m looking at you, Hogwarts Castle), while others practically scream, “You are missing a crucial part that completes me!”
It’s essential to acknowledge these unfortunate losses and consider whether to repair or replace them prior to storage. Whisper sweet nothings to your sad sets, reassuring them they’ll be rebuilt anew and stronger than ever!
Photographing and cataloging sets
After all that hard work of cleaning, inspecting, and mourning every lost piece (moment of silence, please), your Lego sets deserve a good glamour shot. And no, I’m not suggesting you start a modeling agency for plastic blocks, but photographing and cataloging your sets is a smart way to keep track of them.
Not only do you have some excellent ammo for your future eBay listings, but those glamour shots may also be helpful for insurance or tracking purposes. Plus, let’s face it, taking pictures of your beauties, like a proud parent, is half the fun of the whole process.
Selecting the ideal storage location
Now that your sets are ready for their long hibernation, it’s time to look for the perfect spot for them to spend their days dreaming of adventures with little Timmy or Tina (or you – no judgment here).
Selecting the ideal storage location is arguably one of the most critical steps in this whole process, and factors like climate control, environmental considerations, and safety play a significant role.
Climate control and environmental considerations
News flash: humidity is not your friend when it comes to storing your Lego sets. Keep that moisture away; we want them dry as a desert.
At the same time, sunlight can be a real villain when it comes to Lego fading, so save those bricks and avoid direct sunlight like a plastic vampire. The optimal environment is a cool, dark place with minimal variations in temperature – basically, treat your Legos like a fine bottle of wine!
Physical safety and security concerns
Finally, make sure your chosen storage location is safe and secure. That means keeping your sets in a guarded fortress – away from potential thieves who recognize their value or unsuspecting toddlers who may smash into them like a wrecking ball (I’ve witnessed this firsthand with my own five-year-old, RIP Café Corner).
Also, think about shelving, racks, or other storage units to keep your sets elevated, protected, and organized according to whatever system tickles your fancy.
Choosing appropriate storage containers
It’s time to get personal with containers. Whether it’s a love affair with plastic bins, an ongoing fling with cardboard boxes, or a one-time adventure with a specialty container, it’s essential to make the right choice depending on the qualities you want in your long-term Lego roommate.
Is durability essential to you? What about cost-effectiveness, stackability, or ease of access? Remember, each Lego set has unique characteristics, and you should consider what’s best for your specific collection.
Comparing plastic bins, cardboard boxes, or specialty containers
So, you’ve found your perfect storage spot and you’re ready to pick out some containers – exciting, right? But how do you choose between plastic bins, cardboard boxes, or those très chic (and potentially pricey) specialty containers?
Well, think of it like a dating show where your precious Lego sets are in search of their one true container love. Consider durability, cost-effectiveness, stackability, and how easily you can access your sets when needed.
Plastic bins are a popular choice for their sturdiness and versatility, while cardboard boxes can be more budget-friendly but may lack durability. Specialty containers can cater to specific needs, like displaying your sets or accounting for unique dimensions – just make sure they’re worth the extra cost.
Deciding between built or disassembled storage
The eternal dilemma: should you store your Lego sets built or disassembled? The answer is ultimately up to you and your specific circumstances.
Storing your sets built may save you the time and energy of having to reconstruct them later, but this approach also comes with an increased risk of damage to bricks or connections.
On the other hand, disassembled storage reduces the risk of damage and often allows for more efficient organization and space-saving, but it can be more time-consuming and requires a proper labeling and packing system.
Properly packing Lego sets for long-term storage
Now that you’ve chosen your storage containers and made decisions about how to store your sets, it’s time for the packing process. Packing your Lego sets properly is crucial in ensuring their safety and preservation over time.
Prepping sets for storage
Whether you’ve decided to store your sets built or disassembled, there are some crucial prep steps to take. For disassembled sets, make sure to carefully take them apart to avoid damaging the bricks or connections.
For both built and disassembled sets, consider bagging individual sections and small, loose pieces to protect them from dust, damage, and getting mixed up with other sets.
Layering and interfacing strategies
Before placing your sets in their containers, think about layering and interfacing strategies to protect them further. This can involve interleaving (e.g., placing sheets of acid-free paper between stacked sets or parts) and buffering (e.g., using acid-free tissue or foam to protect delicate or fragile areas).
These techniques help minimize potential friction or stress on your sets during storage.
Filling and securing containers
Once your sets are prepped and protected, it’s time to load them into their containers. Be strategic about how you place sets within the containers, making sure they are well-supported, and with minimal pressure on their fragile components.
Ensure that your containers remain sealed and well-protected from any potential environmental hazards.
Labeling and organizing stored Lego sets
Now that your sets are safely tucked away in their containers, it’s time for some labeling and organizing to keep things in order. A clear and consistent labeling system makes it easier to find and identify your sets when needed.
Creating a clear and consistent labeling system
Decide on a labeling system that works best for you – this could be simple handwritten labels, printed labels, or even color-coded stickers.
Ensure that your labels include essential information like set names, numbers, and any additional notes about the condition, completeness, or rarity of the set.
Developing an organizational strategy
Finally, take some time to devise an organizational strategy for your stored sets. This could involve sorting them by theme, chronology, size, or any other method that’s meaningful to you.
Make sure your storage space is organized in a functional and visually appealing way so that you can easily access and appreciate your Lego collection.
Regularly monitoring and maintaining stored sets
Once your Lego sets are stored, it’s essential to monitor and maintain their condition regularly.
This can include checking for any pests, environmental changes, or potential deterioration and to revise and adjust your storage layout as your collection grows.
Inspecting sets for pests and environmental changes
Regularly inspect your stored sets for any signs of pests or environmental changes that could potentially damage them.
Learn to identify the warning signs of damage (such as discoloration, warping, or molding) and adopt proactive measures to prevent deterioration, like controlling humidity or temperature in your storage area.
Periodically assessing storage space and conditions
Stay vigilant about the storage conditions of your Lego sets, ensuring that they remain in their optimal environment. Review and adjust your storage layout as needed, particularly if your collection grows or if you notice any issues with your current system.
Retrieving and storing sets after use
When it’s time to take your sets out of storage, establish processes for unpacking and reconstructing them safely, and re-storage after use.
Establishing processes for unpacking and reconstructing sets
Develop a system for safely unpacking and handling your sets, particularly if they are delicate, rare, or valuable.
Have a workspace and necessary tools available for reconstructing sets, referring to photographs, instructions, or other resources as needed.
Repeating the initial storage process
After your sets have been used and enjoyed, clean, inspect, and re-pack them as needed before returning them to their long-term storage. Be sure to reintegrate your sets smoothly within your existing storage system and update any labels, photos, or documentation as necessary.
When it comes to organizing and storing LEGO bricks, finding the right storage solution can make a significant difference. With the wide variety of LEGO storage options available, it can be challenging to determine which one best suits your needs.
To help you make an informed decision, we have compiled a list of different LEGO storage options along with their pros and cons. Whether you prefer storage boxes, drawers, bags, trays, or even furniture, each option offers unique benefits and considerations.
By considering the pros and cons of each storage solution, you can find the one that aligns with your organization preferences, available space, and ease of access to your beloved LEGO collection.
|LEGO Storage Box||– Provides ample storage space for LEGO bricks|
– Keeps bricks organized and contained
– Easy to stack and store
– Available in various sizes and designs
|– Finding specific bricks can be challenging|
– May require additional organization within the box
– Can be bulky and take up space
|LEGO Storage Drawers||– Allows for sorting LEGO bricks by color, size, or type|
– Provides easy access to specific bricks
– Can be stacked or mounted on a wall
– Clear drawers allow visibility of contents
|– Limited storage space per drawer|
– Requires additional space for multiple units
– Small pieces can get mixed up within drawers
|LEGO Storage Bags||– Flexible and portable storage solution|
– Easy to carry and transport
– Can be folded or compressed for space-saving
– Allows for quick cleanup and storage
|– Limited organization and sorting capabilities|
– Can lead to mixed or tangled pieces
– Difficult to find specific bricks
|LEGO Storage Trays||– Provides flat and organized storage surface|
– Allows for easy sorting and categorization
– Can be stacked or stored vertically
– Enables quick access to specific bricks
|– Limited storage capacity for larger collections|
– Requires additional space for multiple trays
– Not suitable for large or irregularly shaped pieces
|LEGO Storage Furniture||– Doubles as functional furniture and LEGO storage|
– Provides dedicated space for building and display
– Various designs and customization options available
– Can blend seamlessly with room decor
|– Can be expensive compared to other options|
– Takes up floor space in the room
– Limited portability and flexibility
Taking the time to store and maintain your Lego sets properly can help protect their value, ensure the longevity of your collection, and provide enjoyment to future generations.
By following the tips and insights shared in this guide, you will ensure that your Lego collection remains intact, secure, and ready for any fun and creative endeavors. So here’s to building, preserving, and enjoying your magnificent Lego empire for many years to come!