Matt's Mushroom Bins
For LEGO Sorting and Storage
You will sort every piece someday - either before you build or while you build!
A piece you can't find is a piece you don't own!
Have you ever wanted a good way to sort and then store your Lego pieces? I know I did and the best solution I was able to find was the square plastic tubs that packaged mushrooms are often sold in. In fact, I liked them so much I tracked down the company that made them, found a local distributor and bought a few cases. And have lots left over to pass on to you!
These bins are fantastic. Here are some of their many advantages:
Many of my customers so far have used these bins for sorting instead of storage:
Yes, these bins truly are great! If you were lucky enough to be at NNBrickCon in 2004, 2005 or 2006 or at BrickFest in 2007 then you got to see them work in person. Otherwise, you should take my word, and the word of those who have seen and bought them (and then bought more). Get some!
Three sizes are available. Each is shown with the same 2 cups (1 pint) by volume of 2x2 round plates (260 pieces), plus one minifigure for scale:
|~20 fluid ounces|
|5 3/4"||5"||2 3/8"||3 pounds 0 ounces||15 cents each|
$15 per 100
|~30 fluid ounces|
|7 1/2"||4 1/2"||2 1/2"||3 pounds 14 ounces||25 cents each|
$25 per 100
|~40 fluid ounces|
|7 1/2"||5 3/4"||2 3/4"||4 pounds 4 ounces||35 cents each|
$35 per 100
I also now have a new Jumbo size, which is for 24 ounces of mushrooms. They are a bit bigger than large, and much stronger. I'll get pictures and details for them up soon. Price for them is 45 cents each. If you are just starting out in Mushroom Bins then I would suggest buying 2 sizes - either Medium and Jumbo or Small and Large, as good size combinations that will meet most of your needs.
The bins are made out of clear plastic with a little bit of flex. They are designed for mechanical packing of mushrooms, and to handle the rigors of factory to store to fridge while protecting mushrooms, but they are not indistructable. These are made out of a clear plastic with a very slight smoke tint. I got a new shipment of the large size that are also of this kind of plastic (the large ones I had previously were more brittle). Here is a small bin flexing:
To see a demo in person, check the mushroom deparment at your grocery store. Black is the most common color I have seen in stores, and other colors appear occasionally. If the bottom of an 8 ounce bin says "MTI-8" on it then it is probably exactly the bin I am selling as the 8 ounce bins. The 12 and 16 ounce bins are harder to find in stores (in fact I have never seen them in my area).If you have questions or want to order, just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Order as few or as many of each as you please - there are no minimum orders. I reserve the right to limit quantities if needed, or adjust prices if needed as I get more stock in. I'll quote shipping for you when you order so you can truly decide if the cost is worthwhile for you. I ship anywhere, by US mail, from zip code 98613.
Please Note: Returning customers - the new large bins are much stronger than the old ones. I have a BRAND NEW size - jumbo, which is a little bigger than large (it holds 24 ounces of mushrooms). The jumbo bins are very heavy-duty. I'll try and get some pictures of them sometime soon.
Here are the 3 sizes next to each other:
And here are 100 small bins in a pile, about 15 inches high:
Here are pics of the small bins, as used by me (1x1 round plates). I currently use almost 500 small bins. They are great for small pieces such as 1x1 rounds, little plates, tiles and various snot pieces. Many specialty pieces also go in these bins.
Here are pics of the medium bins, as used by me (various arches). I currently use about 125 of the medium but they are a relatively new aquisition, and my new favorite size. I use them for things like arches, windows, long things, and for parts that are 2x2 or so in size or have overflowed the smaller bins. Generally I don't like a bin to be more than 1/2 full or they don't stack well and are more likely to have spills when you get pieces out.
Here are pics of the large bins, as used by me (various wing plates). I currently use about 80 of the large size bins. They are handy for larger pieces like wings and specialty parts, and for things that I have a lot of like steering wheels or tires, and for things that overflow the smaller bins.
As a little more background on my storage, I have all my bins on about 60 linear feet of shelving. I also have 3 small-drawer racks that I use for tiny things like minifigure hair, and a retail thread display case (has 100+ bins) which I use for tools. I moved the parts from 4 other thread cases to mushroom bins when I transitioned. I sort most of my Technic parts in the trays that come with large Technic sets and in a fishing tackle box, and I use big Lego tubs and buckets for things like basic bricks and such that I have lots of. And there are a few odd-ball containers like shoeboxes for some things too. But the foundation of the system - sorting the small stuff, has definately gone to mushroom bins, and as stuff gets resorted it goes to mushroom bins. For example, I had a full large bucket of arches which I needed to dump and sort every time I needed an arch. Now my arches are sorted by size and by color where appropriate in about 2 dozen mushroom bins.
Here is an example shelf, 30 inches long by 12 inches deep, with 10 inches of height (a typical shelf size if you are using those cheap metal shelf units that screw together). Here is the shelf loaded, (pretty lightly really) with 38 different bins. These bins spread out to cover an area almost 4 times as great. Note that in this selection there happen to be 2 large bins, 5 medium bins and the rest are small bins:
These particular bins hold mostly fences and bar-type pieces. Similar pieces are in stacked bins. With this system I can afford to sort down to the color level when needed. If a bin gets too many parts in it, I either get a larger size bin or split up the bin into bins of separate colors. Sort so you can find the part you need without further digging.
Here are a couple more shots of bins on shelves. You can see in the bins from the side since they are clear. You find what you need and if necessary, pull out the pile and put your needed bin on top. If you are using a lot of various pieces you just bring their bins to your work area while you build.
Remember, with these bins you can store your sorted Lego pieces really dense, so make sure your shelving is strong, or this could happen to you!
Questions, need a shipping quote, or want to order some bins? Email Me!
Every piece is sorted someday - either before you build or while you build!
A piece you can't find is a piece you don't own!