Introduction: Anal-Retentive Resistor Organization

Like many electronics hobbyists, I have a lot of through-hole resistors. And probably like many other hobbyists, I face the conundrum of storing a lot of tiny components.

I've experimented with various ways to store resistors, including 2x3" plastic bags, and several Darice Bead Containers. The wires poke thru the bags, and the bead containers are made of incredibly cheap plastic.

The Darice Bead Storage Solutions™ Tiny Container Bead Storage Tray™ changed all that, and coupled with some printable labels by Avery, I've reached resistor organization nirvana.

In this Instructable, I'll help you stop worrying about your resistor storage, so you can finally get a good night's sleep.

Step 1: Procure Necessary Supplies

The Bead Storage Solutions™ Tiny Container Bead Storage Tray™ has an MSRP of something like $50, and is often sold for no less than $30. It's a high quality item for sure, but this is too expensive.

I have two suggestions:

  1. Sometimes it's roughly $20 on Amazon.
  2. Get one from Jo-Ann Fabric. Sign up for their newsletter or whatever; give them your mailing address. Every month or so they send out a coupon which is something like "60% off any one item". They might even send you a coupon in email for just signing up. Use the coupon on the tray. For me this worked out to about $16. YMMV.

Assuming you have an InkJet printer, you'll want to buy "Avery® Easy Peel® White Return Address Labels for Inkjet Printers" or equivalent. The important part here is that they are 1/2" tall. At minimum, you'll want about 5 sheets, because printing them is not an exact science.

Step 2: Get Avery Design & Print Software

You can either use it online, or download a desktop (or tablet) version here. You may need to download the desktop version, because you'll want to use (or begin with) my labels, and I'm not sure if you can upload a document to the online version or not.

Step 3: Load, Modify, Print, Cut

Attached is a document of labels for (many) E12 series, 10% tolerance resistors. These are not complete, but just the ones I had on hand. Modify the labels to your liking with Avery Design & Print.

If you make one for 5% resistors, please share!

Once you've printed (it may take a few tries to get them adjusted perfectly--the software allows you to make tiny adjustments if necessary), you'll need to trim the labels down. I recommend using a paper cutter. Scissors work too, but it becomes tedious.

You want to cut before you peel, because it's more difficult if you don't.

Step 4: Peel, Affix, Store

Put the labels on the boxes. Put your resistors in the boxes. Put the cover on the tray. Breathe a sigh of relief as your obsession is sated.