I have about 300 little bags of components and I waste time flipping through to find resistors, semi's and capacitors. It's organized into resistor section, semi section, capacitor section and everything else section. I'm not motivated to sort all the resistors in increasing resistance.
Is there a mini computer controlled organizer yet?
I want something like this:
Enter 1K 1206 ....'rrrrrrrrrr.. ' (machine seeks folder)... Then I put out a zip lock bag..
Why don't you go to your local hardware store and buy a couple of parts organizers, there a metal or plastic box standing upright with a hole bunch of little drawers in them. I have 4 of them so far in use. Canadian Tire sells them (assuming your from British Columbia).
I suspect your main problem might be that all your little bags are different sizes? That can be truly aggrevating!!
If so, staple them to a 4x6 index card, and then sort the cards. That should be much easier.
Me?, I use parts drawers, but they can take up space. I think I have more than 2 dozen now.. For me, cards woudn't likely work, but for 300 parts -- that and an index sheet should work just fine. You could color the cards, but I doubt that would help enough to make it worthwhile.
As for a computer, you could cobble up something in VB and run on your computer. Interfacing it to a device -- to automatically serve up the envelope
-- well, that requires more thought. I'm trying to think if there is anything out there now that could be converted to such use, but I'm drawing a blank.
I once calculated if it was worth it for me to sort out the pile of $0.02 1/4 Watt MF resistors on my bench, or just take new ones out of the parts bin and sweep the dross into the waste basket. I think I cost a few cents a second.
Here's a variation of that idea.. Nico posted a link for little bins. An LED can be installed on each bin. I want this plugged to my laptop by USB. If I made the hardware and wrote the software and put it for sale on Ebay, how much would you pay for it?
I've considered abandoning all my left over parts.. I'll order the BOM, use the BOM and then just toss the leftovers in the 'to be forgotten box'. I'll order the same resistors over and over and over again cause it's faster to order them than to find them in the pile. :P
Not an option, nowadays, but I use matchbox structures originally glued together in the 70s. Orders of magnitude across, 12 values tall (for E12 E24) for passive components. Different rack for different types. This simply duplicated the function of larger commercial bins that were meant to serve for larger parts.
The same thing works pretty well for smaller parts - normally you wouldn't remove them from their auto-insertion tapes (cut length to fit) until they're needed. Layer with antistatic bag material for the inevitable loose parts.
You sound like you need a boss with a big stick, just to tell you to keep organized. They normally come free with an assignment, in the workplace. Working independently, you get value out of something only after you have put it in, yourself, pay someone else to do it for you, or get a partner with a big stick.
For initial sorting, think egg cartons (hey, there's twelve bins), bought bags of suitable material and uniform size to fit whatever storage drawers you are using.
Things don't get 'unsorted' by themselves. The suggestion re application of broom and dustpan is completely valid, though you should eyeball the sweepings to confirm the dollar value, before dumping.