Welcome to Part III of OYLC (Organizing Your Lego Collection)!
This post covers how to sort a Designer or Creator set. For the other parts of this series, select a link below:
Part I: Sorting Bricks
Part II: Sorting Sets
Part IV: Storing It All
The simplest way to sort out a set is to build it. However, Creator and Designer sets pose a problem to this strategy. These types of sets include instructions for multiple models, and it is rare for one or a combination to use ALL the pieces. One way to tackle this problem is to simply build all the models one at a time to make sure you have the pieces for them, but this approach takes a long time and can cause you to miss some pieces. I have found that the quickest and most direct method is a hard inventory.
To take a hard inventory, find the inventory in the back of the instructions (or online if you don't have it) and lay out each type of piece one at a time. While this method is an unnecessary hassle for a normal set, it works wonders for Creator sets. Once you have laid out all the pieces you can find to the set, write down the ones you are still missing, so you can find or replace them later.
Once you have found all the pieces in the inventory, it is a good idea to build all the models one at a time after the fact. The inventories in the instructions sometimes have misprints, which you have to catch yourself. Misprints are more common in older sets, when the inventories were a new thing.