Organizing with Altoids Tins

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    Though I haven't had any in a long while, I'm a big fan of Altoids and went through a lot of tins. I've kept many of them for a long while, using some of them to hold board game components or the occasional desk bits.

    But recently, as I was organizing my desk, I happened to find a stash of my tins. I found they stacked nice vertically (so they don't slide about) and the edge is just wide enough for a label (these printed from a brother P-touch labeler).

    With all these (and room for a few more below the buttons), my desk drawer is so much neater and easier to find stuff.

    NOTE: I used to store smaller batteries (AAA, AA, 9V, etc.) in these tins as well. Bad idea: don't do that. You could short the batteries. While unlikely to happen with most batteries, I opened one tin to find several AA batteries corroding, and another tin was actually warm because two 9V batteries inside were shorting, generating heat and swelling. So... no batteries!

    KJEANPHOTOGRAPHY, kmv321, chelojelo, and 34 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. Kit Lane 52 months ago | reply

      Brilliant! I was wandering the net wondering what to do with my tins (I have about 75 of them) This is perfect and I wonder why I hadn't thought of it myself! :o)

    2. matthew_moss 52 months ago | reply

      Thanks for the comment, Kit.

      It's such a simple thing... but before I had only put them around in the drawer flat and unlabeled. A little turn of the tin and a perfectly fitting label made all the difference!

    3. leahslayen 36 months ago | reply

      This is amazing! I am a professional organizer and would LOVE to use this photo on my blog:

      May I?

      Thanks! Leah

    4. matthew_moss 36 months ago | reply

      Thanks for the comment, Leah. Yes, you may use the photo on your blog.

    5. leahslayen 34 months ago | reply

      Hey! I will be posting it today. :-)

    6. spudart 32 months ago | reply

      Very nice. You have me beat in drawer management with tins. I like to use the eclipse mint tins.

    7. KKat3 28 months ago | reply

      This is so brilliant! Sadly, I only have one empty Altoids tin laying around at this moment, so my first thought was to go out this evening and buy about 10 or 15 Altoid tins and dumping all the mints into a covered candy dish (well okay, I confess I'll eat a handful but not all of them. Does anyone do that btw? Eat all at one time?) just in order to use the tins immediately for storage. Thinking of the cost, it might be cheaper to order blank Altoid-type tins online instead of buying multiple Altoids (they're what, $2 or $3 each? That'll add up). Just yesterday, I came across one such supplier (Blue Starlight Enterprises on I'm sure there are many others as well.

    8. KKat3 28 months ago | reply

      Hope it was okay to post that company name here? I'm new to Flickr and didn't read the guidelines. Sorry.

    9. TootsNYC 25 months ago | reply

      This is SO amazing! I'm going to have to start eating Altoids! At least, if they'll fit in the drawers I'm planning on using.

      and if they don't, I'm going to go looking for some other container that I can do this with.

      What I like about the Altoids is that they open to a big opening, so rubber bands will be easy to take out, etc.

    10. TootsNYC 25 months ago | reply

      I've implemented this, and here's ANOTHER thing that's great about this, especially about your trick of standing them on their edges:

      The force things up, into the top of the drawer. I find that I fit a ton more stuff in the drawer!

    11. a passion for applique 24 months ago | reply

      great idea to recycle those tins.

    12. Maxineb1969 21 months ago | reply

      Great idea. I just couldn't bear to throw the ones away that I had. And since I use wireless headphones at night (my hubby is a truck driver and doesn't like noise when asleep) I am storing batteries in one. And since a crafter I am, I am using on for pins. Now what to do with the rest LOL.

    13. matthew_moss 18 months ago | reply

      I added a note above about batteries. To put it mildly, don't store batteries in a bare tin. The batteries could short against the metal of the tin, which can cause corrosion (waste of batteries), overheating, swelling, and potentially explosion.

      It's unlikely, but I just found several AAs in one tin all corroded and useless, and two 9Vs in another tin that were slightly swollen and quite warm to the touch (so much that the tin itself was also warm).

      If you want to put batteries in, then you really need to line the tin with something non-conductive so as to prevent shorting the batteries.

    14. sjsusock 13 months ago | reply

      This is an awesome idea! I am always looking for new tips on up cycling! Do you mind if I reference this post and picture in my blog chic I would love to share it, and as a fellow Altoid lover, I finally can put the tins to good use.

      Again, thanks for the awesome tip!


    15. matthew_moss 13 months ago | reply

      Hi Sam... You are welcome to use the image on your blog. As with usual flickr stuff, clicking the image on your blog should link back here. Other than that, go for it!

    16. mfranks06 8 months ago | reply

      Just another thought idk, I am OCD, lol alphabetized them :)

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