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I'm working on sorting my LEGO collection. I'm sorting by part then color, with colors mixed when it makes sense (e.g. black is separated out, but medium blue and dark red are together). I'm trying to figure out what to do with similar colors, and I'm curious what most AFOLs do with them. These are the colors that I'm trying to figure out:

  • Light Grey / Light Bluish Grey
  • Dark Grey / Dark Bluish Grey
  • Brown / Reddish Brown

I know that some people just put the similar colors together, but I find that I usually don't like how they look together in a build. I also don't think that my collection is large enough at this point to justify separating all six of those colors out separately.

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Or you could just sell all old greys/browns to some fanatic. –  Joubarc Apr 9 '13 at 5:04

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I too think you answered yourself partially.

You don't want 6 separate containers for these colors, which seems sensible; but on the other hand you admit yourself you mix some other colors when they are easily distinguished. Which I fully agree on: the first sort you should make is by part type anyway, and only afterward, if you have too much of a part, you may want to split the heap by colors - but not necessarily all colors, since your goal there is just to split a big heap to keep it manageable.

So how do you decide which colors to put together? Again, you hinted at it yourself: colors that are too similar are best separated. So you'll for example have a container with black, yellow and red parts (guess which country I'm from ;-)), and another with dark blue, orange and white.

Another possible option is if there is one color which is predominant: if I have, for example, 1000 1x2 blue bricks, while I have only 500 of 1x2 bricks of all other colors combined, then maybe setting the blue apart make sense. And even then, the best is probably to set 900-950 aside, even in a ziploc bag, and put the remainder with the other colors. The ziplog bag will probably stay unopened until I get a project which requires a massive amount of 1x2 blue bricks. (Actually, it's a real example, I did exactly that, and ended up using the blues for a smooth river)

So what does this leave you with the old/new color issue? Simple: you make two containers, labeled "old" (with Light Grey, Dark Grey, and Brown) and "new" (Light Bluish Grey, Dark Bluish Grey, Reddish Brown). That way, you have no problem knowing if it's old or new, and mixing these three colors shouldn't be a problem.

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Seems like you've answered your own question (for now) by saying that you don't think your collection is big enough to justify such sorting.

On the other hand, one might suppose that your collection will eventually get to that size, at which point, you'll have to decide if you need to separate them for storage, or if sorting while building is 'good enough'. They are certainly easy enough to discriminate when side by side...

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I'm going through the sorting process right now and I've gone with the following compromise:

  • Old light grey and new light grey are sorted separately because they are hard to distinguish at times, yet clearly different most of the time.
  • Old dark grey and new dark grey go together, because I don't have enough of either to justify a separate box, and they are easy to tell apart under just about any lighting.
  • Old brown and new brown go together, because I have a hard time telling them apart in just about any lighting except full sun. I will re-visit this decision later if it turns out to be a problem.

Don't forget to leave room in the boxes for the new colours to grow. The old colours probably won't grow, so Joubarc's suggestion to sort all old together and all new together is a good compromise too.

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