Author Topic: How do you organize your collection?..  (Read 1255 times)

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learmoia

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How do you organize your collection?..
« on: January 11, 2020, 04:56:57 PM »
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A while back, our local hobby shop found Hobby storage drawer racks as a good method to store and display N scale stuff without taking up much space in the store..
At the time I bought 4 racks and they were $50 each from Sam's club.. they fit nicely under the planned layout bench work..
Since then I bought 4 more slightly smaller and shorter racks to store the rest of my modern stuff, plus they fit under my desk so I use some for parts and such.. those were $35

Fast forward to my vintage accumulation, and I'm going to get 4 or 5 more so I can get the rest of stuff out of boxes and organized.  Price is down to $25 at Aldi grocery store. Or $27 at Michaels.

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The drawers nicely fit Jewel cases side by side.. or wider cases end to end.  You can do 1 or 2 layers of jewel cases in each drawer..

If you packed them full, you can get 16 cars per layer, 2 layers per drawer.. 10 drawers. 320 cars per rack..

I was thinking to keep 1 layer..... then have factory variations or multiple numbers stacked...

The question is.. How would you organize a vintage collection?..
By Mfg?
By Car type?

~Ian
Don't Neglect the Jewel Case!

Chris333

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Re: How do you organize your collection?..
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2020, 05:08:33 PM »
+5


learmoia

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Re: How do you organize your collection?..
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2020, 05:23:50 PM »
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I was curious on how people organize the stuff in storage.. not nessisarily how its stored..

Previously I had stuff in storage boxes and the inventory noted which box the item was in... (that only works for so long.. ;) )

Not that sharing storage options isn't helpful too..

~Ian
Don't Neglect the Jewel Case!

mu26aeh

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Re: How do you organize your collection?..
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2020, 05:26:10 PM »
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My lower level is supported by base kitchen cabinets in places.  I turned the old sink cabinet into a bank of 8 drawers.  I have the cars organized by type/style.



John

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Re: How do you organize your collection?..
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2020, 05:27:19 PM »
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The yard !!!

Chris333

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Re: How do you organize your collection?..
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2020, 05:42:02 PM »
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I was curious on how people organize the stuff in storage.. not nessisarily how its stored..

Previously I had stuff in storage boxes and the inventory noted which box the item was in... (that only works for so long.. ;) )

Not that sharing storage options isn't helpful too..

~Ian

LOL  I organize by picking what cars I like and putting them on the layout  :P

But I do tend to put all my MTL cases in one spot and my Atlas in another. Same with all the others.

wazzou

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Re: How do you organize your collection?..
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2020, 05:52:51 PM »
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By road, then by car type.
Each of the rows in the drawers will comfortably hold 27 MT jewel boxes, 9 deep, 3 high.
So, conceivably each drawer could hold 108 cars.
The bottom three only have two dividers or three rows that hold Locomotive boxes or other odd sized packaging.

Bryan

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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: How do you organize your collection?..
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2020, 08:59:04 PM »
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I use a bunch of Ikea Samla boxes. Generally one per car type.

wm3798

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Re: How do you organize your collection?..
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2020, 10:23:24 PM »
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The yard !!!

Yes, if your layout permits, definitely the best answer.  And if you are doing any sort of organized ops, that yard isn't really for storage, it's for keeping things moving.  Staging yards, on the other hand, store the equipment until it's needed in the dispatcher's script.

However...  I no longer have that luxury, so I am beholden to some sort of off-layout method.  I'm in the process of sorting through the ideas now, so I'm watching this thread with interest.

Since I don't really have any switching operations, my storage needs are pretty much road and era specific.  (Sometimes the era is the modeled era, sometimes it's the model manufacture era)  So far I've settled on using those wooden craft boxes, sort of like cigar boxes, that you can purchase at Michaels.  My plan is to decorate each box with a railroad logo, or a manufacturer logo so when it's Pennsy Steam night, or B&O Streamliner night, or All Rapido Nite, or All Trix night, I can select the box in question, set up the trains I want to run, and then switch them on to make their mind numbing loops around the layout.

When I have something moderately photogenic to share, I'll let you know.

Lee
Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

C855B

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Re: How do you organize your collection?..
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2020, 11:32:10 PM »
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My organization is more storage than organization, in about a dozen flip-top totes. If there's a system hidden anywhere in there, it's roughly by acquisition date. So there are one or two predominately A1G and Con-Cor, then Kadee and early MTL with a few Kato, and so on and so on. Some of the recent stuff is now in 10 Axian train cases in two of their tote bags, organized into semi-logical trains for a running fleet that I used to take to train shows for the club layout. Maybe a third of that is on the layout now, "staged" in sidings and spurs.

One thing I tried for a while was storing all locos in one tote. Wrong. Very wrong. Could hardly lift it.

The no-system non-organization scheme has been the culprit behind a rather large inventory of duplicates. At least I've culled those, and, yes, they now have their own tote, too.  :facepalm:

I keep telling myself I'm going to go through totes piece by piece and cull the "this will never see the layout" rolling stock. But to simply "dispose of" something you've hung onto for 50 years, getting rid of it just 'cause it's an awful model? And you have dozens of them? Wow, that's a really tough call.
...mike

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basementcalling

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Re: How do you organize your collection?..
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2020, 12:56:45 AM »
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New stuff on top of the older stuff in the stack by the refrigerator in my kitchen.

Even older stuff in a stack by my dresser in my bedroom. Some is also admittedly on the nightstand where I could look at it

There is even more stuff in the basement in a shoe organizer on a shelf above my 10 foot long workbench.

Finally, there is a bunch of stuff sitting on shelves in the downstairs closet under the staircase that were the first home improvement project in the house. Most of that is in boxes, but some cars are on the staging tracks feeding the layout.
Peter Pfotenhauer

mecgp7

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Re: How do you organize your collection?..
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2020, 06:27:11 AM »
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I have 4 large display cases two of which hold over 100 locos each. The remaining locos go into plastic totes by road. All the rolling stock go into large size pizza boxes and are organized by road and type. The boxes will take two deep, but I stick to one layer unless I need more room for all that type of car. The boxes stack nicely and hold up really well. I identify the ends and tops. I spent a ton of money on these toys and I like to see them and find them when I need them thus the display cases and single layers in each box.
I am winding down on the hobby and selling most of what I have, but I will be keeping some pieces for the display cases. If you've never displayed your collection, I recommend it.

Philip H

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Re: How do you organize your collection?..
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2020, 09:02:02 AM »
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Just picked this up over the holiday at Fleet Farm in Green Bay:

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Real wood. Nice casters. $80
Philip H.
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mrhedley

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Re: How do you organize your collection?..
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2020, 10:48:14 AM »
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I'm not clear on what you are asking for, but I'll try to answer.  I have a "work in progress" spread sheet that lists what rolling stock type is required by the various businesses/industries on the layout.  Obviously some business accept only specific car types like the oil distributor accepting only tank cars or the feed mill accepting only grain hoppers.  Others might accept only specific car sizes in order to line up with the loading doors.  Other businesses are a little more flexible, building has a loading platform where the size and number of cars is limited by the length of the platform so that the doors align with the platform ends.  Other locations the siding length may be the limiting factor.  I am also creating "schedules" for pickups/deliveries at each industry which will result in different combinations for local trains.   

Industries are sorted on one worksheet with rows for each car. 
Rolling stock is sorted on another worksheet with separate columns for each car type.
Rolling stock lists were extracted from an inventory worksheet of my collection where I've coded each based on car type and size.

At the present time I randomly choose from the lists of each car type to set out cars at the industries or into a train for delivery to the industries.  It's still a work in progress, the plan is to develop a program that will run a random sort function and create train orders.  Cars not selected can be set out in the yards and used as interchange traffic for when you just want to make up trains to run around the layout.

The biggest hangup to finishing it is that I haven't quite figured out how to include combinations of car sizes where possible, which means using it would limit the output to a single size of car at each location.  That would be kind of boring, not to mention probably not very prototypical.  That plus the fact that the layout is still under construction and several of the industries aren't in place yet. 

I hope this helped answer your question.  Sorry if I haven't explained it better.

 



conrad

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Re: How do you organize your collection?..
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2020, 11:27:17 AM »
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As an N-Traker with a small hollow core door layout at home, I use Axian Technology Inc. Car Cases.  They are cardboard boxes with foam inserts that have 6 rows and, for example, hold 42 40' cars or 30 65' cars.  I label them as: DCC LOCOS, Tropicana (white), Tropicana (Orange), European Freight, Beer Can Tank Cars, etc. Of course I don't use jewel cases which may not work for a vintage "collection".
They are very useful for running trains though.  They act as my fiddle yard.

Conrad