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Question about Storing Completed Sets

legoraptor64legoraptor64 PAMember Posts: 2
Hey all, I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this question, I'm new to the forum.  I'm a casual AFOL, and I have a modest little Lego City set up in my basement that my wife and I have loved slowly adding to over the years (it started with her getting me #10184 Town Plan as an engagement gift, and it just grew out from there).  We usually just buy the kind of $20-$60 City sets you can get at Walmart/Target, but last Christmas we finally sprung for our first big modular building, the #10246 Detective's Office.  Now that we finally have our first house and a basement I can expand in, I want to get more serious about this.... but first I want to take a break and try something I've been wanting to do for awhile now...

Pirates were the first Lego sets I ever got, in fact my love of Lego started with a little pirate set that my mom ordered for me off a cereal box, of all things, back in the early 90's.  I have a decent sized collection of the early Pirate stuff, plus an acquaintance just gave me his entire set of Pirates from the mid-00's series.  So, I wanna go all out and make a Pirate world and display that for awhile.  I don't want to just tear my Lego City completely apart however.... when I last moved I hastily threw everything in a big box and it took a dedicated weekend and some friends coming over for me to put it all back together.  So is there a good way to store completed sets/buildings that anyone would like to share?  I have a backroom in my basement with a lot of shelf space.... but these things collect dust badly enough as it is, I don't want to add mountains of spider webs and dead basement critter carcasses to the mix.  Any suggestions?

tl;dr: I want to store a bunch of Lego City buildings intact but out of the way for a year or so.  I have a lot of basement shelf space.  Any suggestions on long-term storage to avoid dust and bugs?

Thanks for your help!


  • drdesignzdrdesignz USMember Posts: 104
    I'm sure you can find plastic bins big enough for those.  Sterlite and Rubbermaid are a couple brands that come to mind.  I have tons of them.  They stack well, store well, and look nicer than some alternatives.  
  • JenniJenni USAMember Posts: 1,273
    There's a series of sterilite bins sold by Walmart that have latching handles and fit two baseplates in the bottom. They stack fairly well. I'm not really sure what you have so that might leave you with a fair bit of wasted space. I store and transport my MOCs in them including modular style buildings.
  • MrJacksonMrJackson Member Posts: 138
    I use Xerox paper boxes that 8.5"x11" photocopy paper reams come in. You can find extras at libraries, schools, and stationary supply stores. They're not rounded the way most Rubbermaid containers are so they fit more snugly against each other. 
  • hoyatableshoyatables Northern Virginia, USAMember Posts: 811
    Costco also sells three packs of plastic crates that may work. And smaller shoebox sized ones for smaller sets. 
  • chuckpchuckp NYMember Posts: 666
    You may also want to consider bagging the sets in large ziploc or even small garbage bags. It's really helpful when storing multiple sets in the same container. Even if parts come off a set they are still contained in the bag and eliminates the eventual build up of random parts on the bottom of the box or bin. 
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO USMember Posts: 8,328
    I use large ziploc backs (1 gal for most large city sets, and have found 2 lb bags are better from some of the bigger sets, like mods and #10184). I use large opaque bins to put the bags into and stand the plates up in those bins as well. Not perfect, but works Ok enough.
  • ecmo47ecmo47 North CarolinaMember Posts: 1,980
    It's the age-old question of space verses time. If you have the space to store put-together Lego sets, then use any of the above methods of boxes/plastic boxes/large plastic bags. If you have the time (and not space) take them apart, store them in a 1gal/2 gal plastic bag and enjoy putting them together at a later date. Putting together an older set always brings back pleasant memories of earlier times.

    Here is a link that you might enjoy since your focusing on the Pirates theme:
  • legoraptor64legoraptor64 PAMember Posts: 2
    Thanks for the help everyone, I went ahead and bought some of the cardboard boxes that you have to assemble, $15 for 10 at Walmart, the square shape really helped fit a lot of stuff in.  Ended up filling 8 comfortably without having to break much down. Here's a limited view of the city before I took it down... paltry compared to most AFOL cities, I know.  And thanks for the link @ecmo47 , that'll be useful!

  • LuLegoLuLego UKMember Posts: 638
    chuckp said:
    You may also want to consider bagging the sets in large ziploc or even small garbage bags. It's really helpful when storing multiple sets in the same container. Even if parts come off a set they are still contained in the bag and eliminates the eventual build up of random parts on the bottom of the box or bin. 
    I finally reached the point in collecting where I needed to disassemble my sets and bag them up. There was just no more room for another storage box under the bed and I was fed up with bits coming off and not being sure which model they came off.
    It was quite a sad experience breaking up sets, I must admit.
  • snowhitiesnowhitie BelgiumMember Posts: 2,152
    Looks like a nice layout @legoraptor64.Glad you found a solution. 

    For myself, I use the smallest size Samla boxes from Ikea for the sets we keep together (the ones that my son plays with, we can't keep them all out).

    They are for most sets the perfect size and you cans ee inside to find what you need. I also use them for more permanent storage, when I break down sets into zip-lock bags, I then put the bags in htese boxes.
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