If you have a large number of small parts around your office or workshop, you know what a pain it is to store and organise them. This clever hack uses 3-ring binders for no-fuss parts organisation.
Instructables user Tom Ward was tired of sorting and resorting his collection of small parts. It seemed like every time he turned around a new bin was filled up and everything had to be shuffled around and reorganised again to make room. His solution is to use heavy duty 3-ring binders and a variety of storage pouches to store all his small parts. His guide to setting up your binder-based organisation system is quite detailed and starts with a great explanation of the parts you'll need and where to get them cheaply.
There are three items you will need for this filing system. Firstly you need a ring binder - usually A4 size in Europe, and Letter in the US. I tend to buy a lot on ebay, so would suggest trying that first for the best price. Better to have a 3 or 4 ring version - in Europe, the 4 ring 'D' shape is great, as it holds pages very securely. I also like the ones with clear plastic pockets all around, as you can then customise the spine and front cover (and back as well if you like). The ones I bought were 1.65 pounds each (US $US3.34). In Europe, here is an option from ebay, and here is one from viking direct. In the USA, these people have a good price (US $US2.13), if you are happy to buy boxes of 12.
The final item is a pile of 'zip lock' or 'grip seal' bags - again ebay was where I got mine from, but they are also available from packaging stores, like this one in the US. The 3 inch by 2.25 inch size I find great for small parts, as it is the perfect size for electronic items like strips of resistors, but you might also want some larger ones as well.
If you shop around, you can buy a handful of folders, 50 punched pockets, and 1000 zip lock bags for under 25 pounds (US $US50.00) - this will be enough to completely organise thousands of small parts!
If that sounds like a reasonable investment to get all the little parts in your office or workshop tidied up, check out the full guide at the link below to see how he turns a pile of binders and pouches into an organisation system any tinkerer would be proud of.
Have your own method for keeping everything sorted and neat? Let's hear about it in the comments.