Sterilite - 3930LAB9 - Rolling 3 Drawer Cart
I was looking for a solution for my current mishmash for standard sized bricks (2x2, 2x3, and 2x4) which had been stored in a large but shallow storage bin. I figured when starting out that this would be a minor inconvenience to try and find a specific color and shape, but once the tub was more than about 1/3 full the problem escalated rapidly. Finding anything was much more time consuming than I figured.
Retail Cost on this is $ 21.98 at local big box.
Mostly assembled. Wheels popped into sockets in about 14 seconds. I'm not sure if they are designed not to go in all the way, but all four positions were similar.
Bellow is a before, during, and after sort from the old storage bin to the new one. I had recently decided to try and put what I lovingly call 'Apocalypse House,' which had a full fallout shelter, onto a MILs comparable base and realized after the point of no return I would have to rebuild the entire project. I needed to pull out a lot of light gray and dark bluish gray pieces as well as enough filler pieces (I'm looking at you, yellow) for the base and the shelter. This took a very long time and prompted me to look for something else, especially once all the red from the house was disassembled and put in the tub and buried the other bricks.
YouTube is a great resource for learning from other people's mistakes. One suggestion from another AFOL that apparently everyone makes is buying folding tables. He had bought about 8 of them in one shot to try and put his layout on which ended poorly for him as a folding table will never truly be flat on top. However, as another YouTuber pointed out, the material the folding tables are built out of lends itself to easily sliding pieces on the surface which speeds up sorting. Picking up each individual brick is time consuming when dealing with thousands of them. Thankfully, I only had four elements to sort as I am not separating colors at this time. I slid 2x4 bricks into a tub in my lap off the table, 2x3s to the left, 2x2s to the right, and a couple of randos that had gotten mixed in back and to the left. Besides, what household couldn't use a few folding tables from time to time?
This is going to get an out of the way space that I can wheel the unit into when not in use. There is also an area on top with a bit of a ridge around it which I'm sure will come in handy. All flat surfaces get something put on top of them.
With this purchase I am even more convinced that there is no particularly great way to store sorted Legos and this is going to be a pursuit in itself. Tiny bins for each element require a huge commitment to space due to the sheer amount of elements that are able to be classified even when color is taken out of it. I read somewhere that the human eye sees color faster than shape so I think sorting by color first will be a bigger time waste. Larger containers turn into a time waste when looking for a specific element. The fuller a container gets, the longer it takes to find what you are looking for. Medium containers, the blue and purple tops seen above, are ok for respective sizes of elements. However, tiny elements get lost in the shuffle even when put in a container of 1x1 or smaller.
I have at this time settled for an assortment of mediocre strategies. I am gravitating toward what might be called bag-in-box by separating some elements by Ziploc bag and putting them into a larger tub as a space saver and group the smaller elements that way. I realize now that I might need to bag each 'good color' in the drawers as while picking out a 2x4 block of a specific color won't be a huge time waste. Eventually I will relive the problem I was hoping this item would solve if they are all unsorted.
While the shelves do come out, they are kind of a pain to get back in even when empty. This unit is not robust. What gets me about this as big box had a bulk stack of these maybe 15 or more units high so I figured they would stack. I'm glad I only purchased one to get started as I do not believe they were intended to stack and even if they were I wouldn't trust dumping a whole unit worth of Lego elements on my vintage carpet.
Final Thoughts & Recommendations
Take it or leave it.
Take it: If your collection doesn't require all your elements to be sorted by color unless you want to bag each color in the drawer which I may end up doing. If you have a younger fan of Lego and want to help keep things somewhat sorted this would work. If you find yourself with an odd shaped area that this would fit in or under, this is good because it has wheels, it can be wheeled into position when not in use.
Leave it: If the plan involves stacking it, securing it into place, etc. This isn't going to cut it.