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I have many wooden boxes in the basement and electronics packed in freezer bags. This is how I store a lot of cables and electronics. But I have trouble finding things again after some time. Is there a better way?

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    Hi Sybil, Welcome to Lifehacks…
    – Stan
    Aug 20, 2023 at 19:58

4 Answers 4

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The "Anything not worth doing is not worth doing well" Lifehack

In a word: DON'T

Ask yourself why are you are storing these things, albeit neatly? You don't use any of it. You admit having so much that you can't remember what is where. You admit that you rarely access the stuff in storage.
In nine times out of ten, there is probably no good reason.

Instead of storing, go through the stuff one last time and sell or donate anything you haven't used for a while, a year, say.

Of course, if there is the odd instrument/tool that requires specific cables or accessories, you would keep all the relevant pieces with their adapters, etc. together in one well labeled 'box.'

There's probably a very good chance that most all of the stuff could be replaced with one or two recent updates that do the job better at a fraction of the cost.

Good luck.

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Glue a transparent document wallet to each box, which contains an inventory of the box contents.

It will be easier to manage if you store like things with like, for example cables in one box, power supplies in another, etc.

Also mark each freezer bag with its contents, either written directly onto the bag with a marker pen, or by affixing a luggage label.

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The "Let your fingers do the walking" Lifehack

You could take/make a picture of the contents of each box - with some reference no. in common to relate the print with the box. As soon as you see the snapshot, it will trigger your memory of the contents. You could hang them near the boxes for reference.

Theory: It's a lot easier and faster to flip through a small pile of prints than piles of wooden boxes.

Important: Don't forget to take/make an updated print to replace the original if you change the box contents.

Good Luck.

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Use coloured paper or coloured sticky notes on the inside of the freezer bags. Colour code by category and write details on the paper.

Alternatively, use the “Cro-Magnon” filing system, which means don’t file at all … just toss into a box. That works well for old, odd, or otherwise strange cables that you may never have to use again (coaxial Ethernet?). Do this if the expected time taken searching for the item will be less than the time spent organizing and filing. I do this with some financial records.

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