Before you can sort these items, you need to think about how you think of room settings and scenes. Some of the swaps I've participated in are color themes. I've had boxes of 'red room', 'yellow room' items and for the life of me - I don't use them. I think more in terms of rugs, dressers, nautical, antiques etc. Even more than that, some themes are really so close that the items are interchangeable. Think about it for a minute. You don't need to sort the following items into separate containers. It goes without saying that you need to sort size of swaps. I do two, 1/12 and 1/4. I've already sorted those items in the last blog.
Here are some of the sort categories that work for me:
Antiques, Curiosity Shop, Flea Market, Yard Sale (The items you find at these events would be interchangeable and you don't need 4 boxes, only one per scale)
Food - appetizers, main dishes, side dishes
Food - desserts
Den, Man's Cave, Family Room
Nautical, Beach Cottage, At the Shore
Cabin, Mountain Retreat
Raggedy Ann and Andy
Accessories (mirrors, pictures, clocks, books, boxes of Kleenex, candles)
Now if you are gathering items for a specific scene, you can be more specific. I have ones labeled Garage, Clock Shop, Camping and the items in those boxes are rather specific.
Now what to store them in. Shoe boxes (plastic works great for me), small plastic containers (recycled ones from the brand of lunch meat that I buy) and plastic bags.
Don't be so rigid that you are making this more difficult and more time consuming than it should be.