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Picture of Small Component Storage From Ariel 3 in 1 Wash Pods Box

I needed an efficient way to organise and store resistors so it was easy to find specific values. This Instructable describes my solution using an empty Ariel 3 in 1 Wash Pod box (30 pod size), 16 cotton bud stems, 6 slide binders, some balsa wood and 16 grip-lock bags. It is my entry in the 'Trash to Treasure' contest.

Within the box are 16 hanging T shaped 'storage units' each consisting of a grip lock bag held in a clip. The clip provides a good surface for a label indicating the contents.

The system can be used to store any small items.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
A4 Flat Back Slide Binders.jpg
Aldi Cotton Buds.jpg
Balsa Wood.jpg
Grip Lock Bags.jpg

Ariel 3 in 1 Wash Pod box (30 pod size)

6 Flat Backed A4 Slide Binders (10mm White Square)

16 plastic shaft cotton buds

Balsa wood 500 x 6 x 6mm

16 Plastic resealable grip seal bags 75 x 80mm

ianjuby1 year ago

This is a nice hack - and I'll share it with my colourblind electronics students. They have this issue of not being able to see the coloured stripes on the resistors, so I had suggested getting a storage box, measuring the resistors and keeping them sorted while labeling the different compartments. This works well. I also had a question about the parent of a blind student who wanted to get into electronics, and I was struggling how they could mark the resistors. That huge bar across the top would certainly provide sometime big enough to put some tactile indicator of the resistor's value, so that might help.

Wingletang (author)  ianjuby1 year ago
Wingletang (author)  ianjuby1 year ago
Hi ianjuby. My wife is totally blind so we have a lot of experience of access tech and labelling. You could use a braille Dymo labeller - the clips are wide enough to take the tape. Alternatively, consider a 'PenFriend' available from the RNIB in the UK. This is a pen like device that allows the user to record a short audio clip assigning it to a special self adhesive label. When the pen is later touched on the label the relevant audio clip is played back. It can store clips for hundreds of labels so could easily cover the many resistor values. Very useful device in many situations and only costs about £85.

Really good info! Thanks, I'll pass it along.

OspreyGozo1 year ago

Simple but clever. Thanks for sharing!

Wingletang (author)  OspreyGozo1 year ago

Many thanks! I am finding the system works well and has been invaluable during the build of my next Instructable. Watch this space!


"at least it gives a use to discarded plastic cotton buds" yeah, I can't understand why the old paper based stems needed change. Perhaps we need to start a movement for plastic free ear buds, EPLF, Ear-bud Plastic Liberation Front...

Well, google is your friend - just joking - but it found non plastic ear buds, and an ethical question, see

Wingletang (author)  MichaelAtOz1 year ago

Hi MichaelAtOz. Here in the UK there is a effort to get retailers to stop selling plastic cotton buds:

JamieR41 year ago
I’m always looking out to reuse plastic packaging. Brilliant idea, off to find my old boxes in the shed to make this.
Wingletang (author)  JamieR41 year ago

Looking forward to seeing pictures!

Wingletang (author)  dlhickey1111 year ago

many thanks!

Good idea. Small electronics components are a pain to keep track of.

Many thanks!

Georgejb751 year ago


Wingletang (author)  Georgejb751 year ago

Thank you Georgejb75!

EldarM11 year ago

Thats an amazing idea! I have to sort my components in the same way! Thanks!

Wingletang (author)  EldarM11 year ago

Hi EldarM1. Please upload a photo when you have built your own version of my little idea!

timeman21 year ago

Simply Brilliant! I have always hated trying to fish out those small components and now that I'm disabled it had become excruciating! Great job!

Wingletang (author)  timeman21 year ago

Hi timeman2.

Glad you find the idea useful. My wife is totally blind so I enjoy find novel ways to help her. Whilst this particular Instructable was not aimed specifically at helping her, it came about as I am developing an electronic device for the visually impaired that will feature in my next submission. I found that I was collecting a large number of resistors etc. hence the need to get organised!

mastermute1 year ago
This is great! I need to organize my stuff, Thank you!
Wingletang (author)  mastermute1 year ago

Thanks mastermute. I am looking forward to seeing pictures of the first clones of this along with any improvements / variations.

dlebryk1 year ago

That is so thinking outside the box. Seriously, Ziplocs upside down. You’re a genius. That’s the secret sauce on this one!

Wingletang (author)  dlebryk1 year ago

Thanks dlebryk. My original idea was to use 88mm balsawood strips glued to the bags at the top, but woke up one morning with the slide binder/upside down idea fully formed. Good old subconcious!

Tangoforce1 year ago

Legend! All these other boxes / drawers are too big, this seems ideal. Thanks for the idea. Love it!

Wingletang (author)  Tangoforce1 year ago
You are very welcome. So far over 4000 people have looked at this so hopefully we have taken 16x4000 cotton buds out of the enviroment...
GMaslin2311 year ago

Terrific. Now I've just got to persuade the wife to switch to tabs rather than powder ...

I've found that peanut butter (actually the oil in it) is pretty good for shifting the glue that holds labels on to botttles and jars, so it will probably work on the Fairy tab labels.

Wingletang (author)  GMaslin2311 year ago
Thanks! I am about to make some more of these store boxes so will be breaking out the peanut butter.
provadance1 year ago

Great! Really liked using the slide binders with the plastic post in the bottom of the zip-lock plastic bag. Very clever! It's thinking "inside the box", but upside down!

Wingletang (author)  provadance1 year ago
Thanks Provadance! That last sentence is so going to be my email signature :)
Tarantula31 year ago

Damn you are a genious

Wingletang (author)  Tarantula31 year ago
Just wait until you see my next Instructable!
mimorr1 year ago
Very cool. Should work for all of the screws and nails that come in those annoying little bags.
Wingletang (author)  mimorr1 year ago

Hi mimorr - Great idea - I have been concentrating on getting my electronic components in order. I will definitely be making extra storage boxes for my nails and screws.

Perfect! I got that exact brand container, and I have a bunch of slide binders! Just gotta plough through my Ariel pods first...

Wingletang (author)  JoshuaGuess1 year ago

Hi JoshuaGuess. Perhaps we can design an Ariel Pods storage solution to free up the box :)

You should write an Instructable on it XD

gm2801 year ago

Nice idea to sort electronic components. I actually did something close but not as good. I sorted my very large assortment of resistors in little zip lock bags 2" x 3" and printed out the value and the color code of the resistor value in each bag. But I haven't set up the easy to read setup like you've done. I may have to look into doing that as well. And also all my other over flowing electronic parts. Bravo sir, Bravo!

Wingletang (author)  gm2801 year ago

Many thanks gm280. This is my first published Instructable so the positive feedback is very encouraging!

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