Sunday, September 9, 2012

The eternal struggle with space - Part 1

Today I want to talk about something that I'm sure many LEGO fans struggle with: space for storing and displaying what you build. It's a topic I see come up on various message boards and it's one I'm already struggling with, even though I'm just about 10 months back in to the hobby of collecting and building sets.

I admit I have picked up quite a bit since coming out of my dark ages. It's something I'm sure most people have experienced after missing so many years of great sets. It's also something I need to seriously start thinking about more, as I have run out of space to display what I have built so far.

I guess I'm lucky that I finished the basement in our home a few years ago and carved out a room that is largely just for me. At the time, the goal was to have a space where I could sit and watch movies or play video games in peace, and also store the various collections I have built up over the years without them spilling over in to other areas of the house. I'm quickly finding that I might need to redesign the room a little if I want to be able to properly display sets.

My first priority is to get more shelves up in the room. I currently have about eight foot of shelf space sitting above the theater seating in the room and a second eight foot section along another wall. I also have a few sets out randomly around the room and a tall IKEA display case I picked up so I would not have to dust sets as often. Both sets of shelves are about 10 inches deep, which is ideal for the depth of your standard baseplate on sets like the modular buildings.

My first plan is to further condense our CD  collection and box it up, seeing as how most of what we listen to anymore is stored and played on a computer or mp3 player. I can use this space to add a few rows of wall mounted shelves that can display some smaller sets. Those will likely be the ones that get rotated out more often.

The second plan is to add another eight foot section of shelves along the larger wall. This one will have to be much lower so I can make sure to get my larger tall sets on there. My primary concern right now is getting it at the right height for the modular buildings. Their current home is a little too close to the ceiling and the Fire Brigade (and the Town Hall I still need to build) will not fit. My FB is currently wedged between two Pirate ships...not exactly thematic.

Eventually, I want to have a city layout on a table with a train. The room is not big enough for a very large display, but I can probably get something decent in there.

As for deconstructed sets or stuff that's still NIB...things are a bit of a mess right now. I have a pretty good sized storage area built off of the room with custom shelves and it's doing the job just fine for the time being. The problem is that I've already accumulated quite a few new sets and I can see that continuing to grow in the coming years. Easiest solution at this point - continue selling stuff that I no longer want or need in the house. At this point, that priority is going to focus in on a rather large and ill advised collection of comic books from my youth. The benefit of this plan, of course, is that I have more money to spend on new LEGO!

So, what have you done to accommodate your collecting habits? Do you have a small space or a big one to work with? Is that space dedicated to LEGO or do you share it with other items? How often do you retire sets from display to make room for new stuff? Or are there certain sets that never get packed away?

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