Author Topic: How do you organize your stuff?  (Read 4465 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

hegstad1

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 364
  • Respect: +496
How do you organize your stuff?
« on: February 16, 2013, 09:05:41 PM »
0
As of today I unpacked all my train stuff and it is spread across the basement.  I am hoping to come up with a somewhat logical and organized way to keep everything.  I need an area for rolling stock/locomotives, scenery material, scratch building materials, kits, detail parts, etc.  Up until now it as all been in various boxes and bins and when it comes to doing a project I have to tear through everything to find what I need.  I would like to have it all visible and easy to get to but not cluttered.  I have to say it's been like Christmas!  I found stuff I never knew I had.  I'm sure a-lot of you have been there.  Anyway;  any suggestions and pictures would be helpful.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2013, 09:38:16 PM by hegstad1 »
Andrew Hegstad

MichaelWinicki

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2018
  • Respect: +134
Re: How do you organized your stuff?
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2013, 09:23:23 PM »
0
Great topic Andrew!

I use a combination of:

-Effective shelving
-The right size bins/boxes for each model railroad category
-Each category in its own area

For example all the building kits take up one area of shelving.  Nothing else is stored there.
All coupler/truck parts are located in a small tool box.  And that box is always found in one spot.
All my N-scale people are stored in a padded bag.
All of the ground turf is in one box.  All the tree making material in another.  All the jars of ballast are kept in one area... And so on.
It took me a while to find the right boxes for the empty jewel cases, but I did finally come up with some and now those are all filled and stacked in one area underneath the benchwork.

Everything has a place, and nothing goes in that place except for that item.  The helps ensure things are easily found when I need them and surprises are minimized. :)

LV LOU

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 620
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: 0
Re: How do you organize your stuff?
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2013, 10:04:42 PM »
0
 I have a closet in the train room,I put an upright dresser in the closet.Scenery stuff in the top drawer,structure parts in the second,rolling stock junk in the third,electrical fourth,ETC.Rolling stock is in large Rubbermaid type containers,I made inserts that sit on each other in the boxes,each insert takes a layer of cars,hoppers in one,boxcars in two or three containers,Autoracks,stacks,ETC,all in their own storage tote/totes.The inserts are corrugated cardboard.I cut cardboard strips as high as the type car going in a layer,and hot glued the strips to the base in sections to make trays I can lift out..All my locomotives are in cases on the wall,no way I could do that with my rolling stock,WAY too many cars,but also two cases on the walls for cabooses.All the boxes for my stuff are in the attic,I kept them all,most are in TV or other appliance boxes,or boxes I got large Harley parts in at my shop..Any other loose train stuff,structures,vehicles,ETC,are in Avon boxes on shelves in the closet,or under the layout..And I still have a mess,LOL!!

DKS

  • The Pitt
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 11455
  • Your choice for ANAL...
  • Respect: +1974
    • DKS Home
Re: How do you organize your stuff?
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2013, 10:22:38 PM »
0
Lots of plastic drawers. Lots.

"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
                                       —Monty Python

C855B

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 7911
  • Respect: +993
Re: How do you organize your stuff?
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2013, 10:33:13 PM »
0
After 45 years in the hobby I am still wrestling with organization. Currently, most of what I have is in those big stacking translucent plastic totes with the folding lids, loosely grouped by major type - rolling stock, locomotives, empty jewel boxes, scenery supplies, tools, projects in progress. They are on shelves I built expressly for the totes. But that system is breaking down because the totes are too big and finding a particular item can take quite a while. I need more subdivision. So I found some of those clear shoe boxes at an organization store in exactly the right size to nest in the totes, and am in the process of breaking things down into smaller units when it can work that way.

Like Michael said, the right size bins/boxes.

One mistake I have recently realized is putting too much in the totes, and it makes for frustrating fishing expeditions. I pretty much recognized the problem during a recent organization session: one tote is labeled "Empty Jewel Boxes - Good Luck!".

One impediment to organization that has been consistent since... well, the beginning, has been the varying sizes of jewel boxes or other rolling stock containers. I have finally come to terms that these need shallow bookcases. They shouldn't be stored in a "community" box because they get lost in plain sight and you have to dig just to see end labels. Nope - neatly stacked with like sizes together, with the labels facing out. Anything else is hopeless. I haven't done that before, primarily because we seemed to move every 4-5 years so there was little incentive to un-box the boxes, but the moving is over and it's time for dedicated storage.

Something else I'm doing different this time, especially with the shoe boxes - neat labels, from "office store" labelers like Brother or Dymo. Nice labeling enhances the sense of organization... not to mention making it easier to find stuff. It looks like David has done roughly the same thing with his drawer labels. I tried the plastic drawers and have oodles of them, but for some reason it never caught my fancy - but my wife (an artist) loves them for her stuff and is impatiently waiting for me to vacate the remainder of mine.

Plus I'm sure some of my thinking is going to be adjusted as I construct the layout. I may steal those plastic drawers back.
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

u18b

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2540
  • Respect: +477
    • My website
Re: How do you organize your stuff?
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2013, 10:36:52 PM »
0
Map/blueprint drawer cabinet.  Sorry, old pics.



Ron Bearden
CSX N scale Archivist
http://u18b.com

"All get what they want-- not all like what they get."  Aslan the Lion in the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis.

rail and tie

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 35
  • Respect: 0
    • Inter-Action Hobbies
Re: How do you organize your stuff?
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2013, 11:06:50 PM »
0
I use these from IKEA. I don't think they sell them any more, but they are perfect for N Scale. Each small drawer is 2" high and perfect for rolling stock.  I wish they kept making them.



D
« Last Edit: February 16, 2013, 11:11:11 PM by rail and tie »
Darryl Jacobs
Inter-Action Enterprises
www.interactionhobbies.com

""Leonard, check it out. I've bought an N Gauge locomotive. Half the size of HO. Look...it fits in my mouth!"

lock4244

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 3406
  • Ontario - tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax
  • Respect: +60
    • My train pics
Re: How do you organize your stuff?
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2013, 11:17:12 PM »
0
Long term storage for me. Everything is packed away in boxes and every box is numbered, the contents of which are logged in a very large spread sheet. I like DKS's set up for when there is an actual train room.
Welcome to Ontario... we've got a tax for that.
My train pics:
http://tinyurl.com/62uk24
More here:
http://www.railpictures.ca/author/lock4244

jagged ben

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2362
  • Respect: +209
Re: How do you organize your stuff?
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2013, 11:35:06 PM »
0
Organize your stuff?  You've got to be kidding!!  Organizing Shmorganzing.

Okay, no.  But seriously, organizing your stuff is the hobby sometimes.

You'll notice that a recurring theme in the photos above is wide, shallow drawers and boxes.    Yes N scale trains are only 1-2 inches tall, so you don't need boxes that are much taller than that!    Me, for my rolling stock I use PIZZA BOXES, and a few other flat boxes I've obtained along the way.  (I fix up the pizza boxes with packing tape and foam to make them sturdy.  Also I use them upside down.  But anyway...)

Whether you go the expensive route or the cheap route like me, you are looking for flat boxes for your rolling stock.  Otherwise you open a box and you can't see more than half the stuff in it, and that's annoying and it's time-consuming to dig underneath each layer. 

Another tip:  if you buy plastic organizer boxes for your small parts (think Harbor Freight) consider the difference between those with movable dividers and those fixed dividers.  You may want some of both.  Fixed dividers for the very small parts (so that they don't get underneath the movable type dividers, and movable dividers for medium parts like decoders and locomotive frames (so you can make appropriate sized compartments).

Other than that, just spend all your time organizing and people will be so impressed you'll be able to forget about modeling anything.  I'll bet DKS' boxes get more ooohs and aaahs from party guests than the stuff in them!!    Haha

 

wazzou

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 4321
  • #GoCougs
  • Respect: +422
Re: How do you organize your stuff?
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2013, 12:55:23 AM »
0
Here is my quasi organization/workbench/rolling stock storage.  My photo diorama is up top.



The bottom pic is a case I built with 10 Drawers.  The top 7 are segmented like the picture for standard sized jewel cases.  I can stack them two high, eight deep, four across.  I try to organize them by roads.  The 8th drawer is for longer jewel cases like MT 89' flats or KATO passenger cars and the bottom 2 are segmented to hold Atlas and KATO locomotive jewel cases.



The drawers on my workbench are where I store styrene sheet and strip.  The left hand drawer is where sheet is stored thinnest to thickest with novelty and sidings near the bottom of the pile. 
The center drawer is for phosphor bronze wire, wood strip, then followed by Evergreen .010/.015 starting in the third section, .020 in the second and so on. 
The right hand drawer is where large files, sanding sticks, burrs, drills, casting syringes and all MT coupler parts are stored.
Incidentally, it may be hard to see but my DCC programming track is at the rear of the bench in the photo.

« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 01:10:49 PM by wazzou »
Bryan

Member of NPRHA, Modeling Committee Member
http://www.nprha.org/
Member of MRHA

mmagliaro

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 4603
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +901
    • Maxcow Online
Re: How do you organize your stuff?
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2013, 01:54:23 AM »
0
1. Lots of those white/translucent plastic drawer organizers (the same ones you seein David's photo).  Those hold
all engines, rolling stock, and engine "kitbash" fodder (all the chassis and tenders I accumulate for
when I build an engine).  Also decal sheets.

2. Lots of the 30-50 drawer organizers you see in hardware and other stores.  The ones that are about
18" high by 12" wide with all the little drawers.   I use 2 sizes: the ones with the small 1-1/2" wide drawers
are for all manner of electronics parts, lamps, detail parts, bulbs, you name it.  The larger ones with
2" x 12" deep drawers hold engine and tender shells and engine parts, motors, etc.

3. Lengths of plastic tubing with rubber endcaps (you can buy from U-Line and other industrial suppliers
in 4 - 8' lengths with endcaps).  Those hold styrene, brass, and wood strip, tubing, etc.

4. Scenery materials, just on a couple of shelves.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING:  As you can see I'm heavily "drawer oriented".  So every drawer gets labeled
with a P-Touch labeler tape, and I mean *every* drawer.  And the drawers are organized logically.
For example, a bunch of drawers hold engine chassis, then the next bunch hold motors, then tenders,
then steam shells, diesel shells, etc.  Then drawers for Kato parts, Rivarossi parts, Trix parts, etc.

Labeling and keeping the drawers in some sort of order is critical.

For tubes with the styrene strip and other strip-wise materials, every endcap is labeled and they are
sorted in order (010" x 010", 010" x 040", etc, then 020" x 020", and so on).

Label and sort, label and sort.   Sure is boring.  But man, does it help.


Alaska Railroader

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 396
  • Gender: Female
  • Respect: +5
Re: How do you organize your stuff?
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2013, 03:05:53 AM »
0
Hmmm...never occurred to me that the words "organize" and my "stuff" could be used in the same topic  :facepalm:

Chris333

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 13436
  • Respect: +2751
Re: How do you organize your stuff?
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2013, 04:31:45 AM »
0

mecgp7

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 483
  • Respect: +77
Re: How do you organize your stuff?
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2013, 07:45:00 AM »
0
Organize? Painful for me. I justify my layout/work area as post-apocalyptic and I am rebuilding the world focusing on railroads  :D

I agree that deep drawers are no good. Some of the things that I have figured out is to have a place for empty boxes for those pieces that are on the layout so that when they come off I don't spend all day looking for the box. The biggest mistake I ever made was putting cars in the wrong boxes just because they fit. I wanted to protect them, but the domino effect creates a mixed up mess.

I looked into the map/blueprint drawers, but the funds wouldn't allow it. Well worth the investment though. I did find that the heavy cardboard pizza boxes (unused!) work well. They are good for one layer of cars/locos and are stackable.

I also began to store by car type. All my PS2 2 bay hoppers are in the same box, etc..

Finally, if you have the room, display cases are the way. You get to enjoy your collection even when not actively modeling. I had two of these built for the family room. They were designed to be large enough for HO as well:

hegstad1

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 364
  • Respect: +496
Re: How do you organize your stuff?
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2013, 08:13:53 AM »
0
Really good stuff so far guys!!  I'm am starting to feel some direction.

I'm kicking around the idea of some sort of "file" system.  N-scale stuff is not so big and may lend itself to being "filed".  I'm thinking of all the detail parts I have.  Even all my styrene strips and sheets.  I can see them in file folders labeled appropriately that can easily be "flipped" through.  I haven't fully thought it through but it may work.  I like the plastic drawers. 

Please keep it coming guys!
Andrew Hegstad