Here is how I’ve applied all of the information presented in this guide to my personal living space. A lot of trial and error has gone into this which hopefully can spare you some pain points.
Motivation and situation
This is what I have to work with, both physically and mentally:
- 568 sf open floorplan condo
- 2 closets, kitchen cupboards and under/behind bed for storage
- Type A personality
- Clean and neat freak
- Clutter averse
- Fan of modern, clean design
My primary storage containers are ArtBin for loose bricks. They are relatively expensive but I find them very flexible with their movable dividers and the various available depths. They can be found as low as $10 at Joann Fabrics when they are having a sale.
For bulkier items like zip lock bagged sets, bulk brick, gift with purchase boxes, etc. I use the ISIS gasket sealed bin. I have found these have the most usable space inside due to their minimum amount of tapering.
The closet adjacent to my living room where I build is used as my primary storage. I use two wall mounted wire shelves of equal length with the rest of the space open. The middle shelf area is kept as clear as possible to accommodate temporary storage of sets to break down, MOCs in progress, etc. It also makes me feel more calm to open the closet and see at least some empty space.
Since I use ArtBin for most of my part containers, they can be stacked high. Their low profile makes them quite stable. The obvious disadvantage with this is that the container I want is inevitably at the bottom of a stack. Given my space situation I can’t get around this issue and simply must deal with it.
The IRIS gasket bins can be placed on their side in more narrow areas. These primarily store my gift with purchase boxes and overflow brick.
The cupboard over my refrigerator serves as a location for smaller set boxes and larger sets in ziplock bags. I’ve taped an inventory of the bagged sets inside the door for reference.
I’ve placed disassembled sets in zip-lock bags inside a crate type container for most efficient storage utilization. The best option I’ve found is the Curver Grey Basketweave Storage Bin. These are stackable, have straight sides with no taper so there’s no lost space and they are the perfect size to hold both 2.5 and 1 gallon zip lock bags. They also work well to hold instruction manuals. Milk crates also work well.
I limit under bed storage to MOCs that will fit. Items on the floor tend to accumulate dust very quickly so I tape around the edges of the containers to keep as much out as possible.
Each container is labeled on the front and an adjacent side so it can be stored in either orientation. I have a large font label of the part category (Brick, Slope, SNOT) and a smaller label of each part from the Brick Architect site. Each label has the name, part number and an image which makes at-a-glance identification very easy.
Displaying builds was a tricky thing to figure out. Since I prefer a minimalist design, having several long shelves on a single wall or spread out over my condo would not work. I did not want to dedicate floor space to a vertical display cabinet. I decided on a single long IKEA floating shelf in the living room for a maxi-minimalist effect. It can be a bit crowded depending how much I feel like showing at the time but only one is available so it forces me to really decide what to display.
Modular buildings are my favorite theme so most of the display space is devoted to them. A short wall above my desk allowed multiple small IKEA floating shelves, each perfect for individual modulars.
There is unused space under the lip of the bar on the other side of the kitchen. A console table works well for modular buildings and secondary storage given its shallow depth.
Building surfaces proved to be a surprisingly difficult challenge. I knew that folding tables would be my only option but the size and quality options were numerous. After going back and forth on which size to get I decided on one medium and one large table. Both are compact, fit at the front of my closet and allow me options depending on the size of my project.
Seating is the very inexpensive GUNDE folding chair from IKEA. They are surprisingly comfortable. lightweight and store well.
Lighting is provided by two folding LED desk lamps purchased from Amazon. There are numerous options from which to choose.