Introduction: Parts Bin Labels

About: I am an application engineer for an industrial distributor. I help to support our sales team in programming of new projects for our customers. I enjoy working on hobby electronics in my free time, mostly wit…

This is a small Instructable to show how I simply labeled my parts drawers and bins that hang on the wall. I hope that some of you will find this helpful and be able to use it to help you get organized.

Step 1: Pick Your Poison

There are lots of different ways to store your electronic components, and there are even more components that you need to store. For most of my components I keep them in the small parts drawers that you can pick up from Wal-Mart, Lowe's or any other store with housing supplies. Most of these containers contain clear compartments but that doesn't mean that it is necessarily easy to see what is inside of it. I ended up making labels for all of my parts just on regular paper that I tape onto the drawer. This idea can be modified to work with any storage container that you choose or prefer.

Step 2: Creating Your Template

For this project I used Microsoft Word which made everything really simple using the built in table functions.  I first measured the size of the front of one of the drawers that I want to label, I then create a table with a few rows and columns in Word.  Right click on the table to change the Table Properties.  Under the row tab and the column tab, check the box next to where it say 'Specify Height:' and enter the height of your container.  Be sure to change the 'Row Height is:' property to 'Exactly'.  This keeps the row from auto changing the height.  Do the same for the same for the column, changing the width instead of height.  When you adjust your height and width, you may notice that your table goes off of the page, simply delete the columns that don't fit on the page.

Step 3: Making Your Labels

I like to try to have consistency when I am labeling my bins. I pick a font and a size that I like and will allow most of my component names to fit into a cell. When making resistor labels, it was simple to make everything the same font size since they all basically have the same length name. You may find that you will need to adjust the size on certain component names so that it will still fit into the cell. Just play around with different sizes and fonts and you will figure it out in no time. I have attached my .docx file for my resistor labels. Feel free to print, edit, use and abuse this to best fit your needs. I hope that this has helped someone stay a little more organized.  To attache my labels to the drawers I just use a small piece of double sided tape on the back.
Another good thing to do is keep boxes when you order things. Whenever I order from SparkFun, I always keep the boxes. They are great for keeping parts together for specific projects and can even be used as a project enclosure.

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