I fuss a lot about how to organize tools and parts so that people can easily find and use them. This is a constant challenge in my day-to-day business as much as it is at my local hackspace. What I’ve figured out so far is that everything has to have a dedicated home address that’s very visible and easy to access. Picking bins hit a sweet spot that meet a lot of needs.


They’re stackable; they’re open in the front; they’ve got room for a label on the front; there’s no lid to lose; it’s hard to put them on a shelf the wrong way; they can be made without glue, tape, or fancy tools; they can be made from recycled materials; and you can see what’s inside without opening anything.


Inspired by ULINE picking bins and Rahulbotic’s online box generator I created Build-a-Bin, a web page that generates the plans for you to make similar bins in your favorite sizes.

If you don’t have access to a laser cutter you can actually print these on paper and fold them together origami style. Just cut along the black lines, crease and fold on the blue lines. Slot the back of the box together first, then the top, then the lip on the front. Voila!