Lego fans take their organizational methods very seriously -- there's even a Flickr group where they can share their techniques. Basically, Lego fanaticism translates into tons (sometimes literally!) of bricks. So, how can you organize all those elements so that you can find them?
All sorting methods begin with the Bin Method, whereby you just shove all your bricks into a bin and call it good. Sooner or later, however, usually after you start talking about multiple bins, this method ceases to work. Essentially, finding specific bricks becomes nearly impossible.
There's a certain logic to this -- the human eye finds color first, so by sorting by brick type lets you find the exact part you want right away. Most of the time builders use compartmentalized bins, but Lenore and Windell of Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories developed a clever method of storing their bricks: stacking like types together. Need a 2x4 in "light orange brown"? Grab your stack of 2x4s and peel off what you need.
Legendary Lego builder Nathan Sawaya prefers using classic 2x4 and 2x2 bricks -- none of those fancy weird ones -- because he wants to make his art as accessible as possible to viewers. As a result, it makes sense for him to sort his bricks by color. From the Cult of Lego:
"All of my bricks are separated by shape and color in large transparent bins that line the shelves of my art studio. The rows and rows of color make walking into my studio a lot like walking into a rainbow."
NYC Resistor member Kellbot has a similar tack with an excellent twist: her Meta Lego storage boxes -- bricks holding bricks! While elegant and clever, most power Lego builders would accumulate elements in such quantities, both in terms of color and shape, that this method would not be able to keep up with the some 2,200 separate brick designs in around 80 colors that exist in the wild.
The Lego Room
Finally, consider Matt "Monsterbrick" Armstrong's Lego Room, pictured at the top of this post. It is the natural culmination of the Lego addiction where the bricks begin to take over one's home! Though Monsterbrick probably contributes to the anarchy by not breaking up his models after he builds them. My favorite part of his room? The kiddy pool!
John Baichtal is a contributor to MAKE magazine and Wired's GeekDad blog. He has also written for legendary tabletop gaming magazines Dragon and Dungeon, as well as Kobold Quarterly and 2600: The Hacker Quarterly. He is the co-author of The Cult of Lego.