The Ultimate Guide To Organizing Your Batteries

Have a huge battery pile or even a mixed set of batteries? Looking to organize your batteries and get a proper system in place once and for all? 

Batteries organized in a drawer organizer (2)

We’ve put together the ultimate guide to battery organization. We cover everything from sorting through your pile of mixed batteries to having an organized and efficient way to store them for the long run. 

Here’s the quick version:

Key Takeaways

  1. The first step in a mixed battery set is to sort out the dead batteries from the good ones with a little battery tester.
  2. Purchase a container, ideally with adjustable barriers and give each battery type a home, in one compartment, and label it if possible.
  3. Dead batteries should live in a temporary container. When filled, drop it off at your nearest e-waste location.

mDesign Stackable Divided Battery Storage Organizer Box Bin with Hinged Lid for AA, AAA, C, D, 9 Volt Sizes, Great Storage for Kitchens, Home Offices, and Utility Rooms - Clear

Step 1: Separate Dead Batteries

This first step is for those of you that have a big old pile of mixed batteries. Over the years, your batteries could get mixed up, and you’ll find you don’t know what’s a good battery and what’s a dead battery.  

It’s easy to overlook battery organization. It’s not something you think about every day, and it really isn’t a problem… until it is. 

Handling Mixed Batteries

When you don’t know what’s a good battery and what’s a bad battery, a battery tester will be your friend. They are very cheap and super useful! 

This tester below costs $7 at the time of writing. It can test AA, AAA, C, D, 9V, and even button cell batteries! 

This is a quick test that each battery can go through to see if they deserve to stay in the “good pile”, or the “bad pile”. If you have this tester, any batteries that land in the yellow or red part of the scale go to the bad pile. 

Only keep the green-tested batteries with you. That way when you reach for batteries, you can just grab one and know you have a battery with sufficient life left. 

As you are sorting through batteries one by one, this is a great opportunity to start keeping separating them based on their size. AA batteries go in the AA pile, D batteries in the D pile, and so on. 

Once you go through your entire pile you should have a pile of dead batteries and piles of good batteries of different sizes. 

Step 2: Give Batteries A Proper Home

The next step here is where the organizational solutions actually come in.

The first thing to do in any organization process is to give the said item a dedicated location. This way you only have one place to look.

We are going to create a dedicated location for our batteries, simply where our organized batteries will live. Having a dedicated location gives you just one place to look. Whether that is an empty kitchen drawer or a cabinet in your office. 

Think about the ideal location that makes it convenient for your frequency of use.

Step 3: Organize

Now let’s talk about what organizer we can place in our dedicated location.

Keeping your batteries organized does a couple of things. First, it makes it so you can easily find a specific type of battery. No need to sift through any batteries to find the right one.

Second, when your battery types have specific locations in your organizer, you can tell when you’re running low and need to order more. 

This acts as a reminder that you should buy more and replenish your battery reserves. A super useful side effect of being visually organized! 

There are two organizational options you can go with here. You can select a somewhat portable solution or a solution that lives in place. 

Portable Cases

Portable cases are great if you use batteries all over the place and need the convenience of carrying all of your batteries. 

Ontel Battery Daddy - Battery Organizer Storage Case with Tester, Stores & Protects Up to 180 Batteries, Clear Locking Lid, As Seen On TV

Another option that is heavily recommended these days is organizational containers that have adjustable compartments. 

That way, you can customize your battery organization box. This is great if you need more space for certain batteries than others.

UHOUSE Plastic Organizer Container with Adjustable Dividers,Plastic Storage Box with 18 Removable Grids,Jewelry Organizer Compartments for Cosmetics Craft, Toy, Fuse Beads, Washi Tapes (Clear)

Drawer Organizers

A non-portable solution is basically a drawer organizer or something similar that doesn’t necessarily have a latching lid or a carry handle.  This is a great solution if you plan to store a ton of batteries. 

Polar Whale Battery Organizer Stand Tray Aa AAA C D 9V Insert for Home Office Workshop Garage 8.5 X 11 X 2 Inches Holds 85 Batteries Black Washable Waterproof Holder

Batteries are pretty heavy when you have a lot in one place. So if you don’t need to carry around a ton of batteries, you might not need the portable solution. 

Also, if you use a portable solution when you don’t need it, you will have two steps when grabbing a battery. Opening the cabinet or the drawer that the batteries live in, and also unlatching the battery box itself. 

iDesign Recycled Plastic Divided Organizer, Battery Insert

If you don’t need the portability, you will find it more efficient to just go the drawer organizer route.

Battery Organizer with Removeable Volt Tester – 70 Piece Capacity Wall Mounted or Drawer Storage Case for Garage, Office, Home by Stalwart,Black

This is what I use:

Step 4: Give Dead Batteries a Temporary Home

We’ve accomplished a lot so far.  We have cleared out all the dead batteries from our mixed pile and gave our new batteries a home, and a fully organized container. 

Now we need somewhere to temporarily store our dead batteries until we have a chance to take them to a battery disposal site. We can’t just throw them in the trash. 

Giving your dead batteries a dedicated bin is critical. It will isolate them and clearly show that they are not to be used again. 

We also never have to worry about organizing our dead batteries. They are all discarded the same way. 

Because we don’t have to organize them, this “old battery” bin can be pretty much any plastic container. 

I like to keep the container pretty large so I don’t have to travel to a battery disposal site often.

Batteries are very dense so a big bin of batteries will weigh a lot. For this reason, don’t make your container too big. Also, make sure it is sturdy enough to be filled with batteries and carried around. 

The last thing you want is a full battery container breaking on you and having all your old batteries scatter across the floor! 

Step 5: Maintain Your Battery Organizer

Now that we have a super clean battery storage area and a dedicated dead battery bin, we are pretty much done with the setup phase.

The last thing to do here is maintain this organizational solution so we don’t have to worry about a battery mess ever again. 

Here are some tips for maintaining a clean and organized battery storage solution. 

First, keep your dead battery bin close to your organized new battery storage area. That way when you have to replace a battery you only have one place to go. Simply discard the old one and grab a fresh one in the same area. Easy peasy!

Having the dead battery bin next to the new battery storage encourages you to throw the dead battery in the bin. It’s just the natural flow of replacing a battery when they are next to each other! 

Second, when you order more batteries, be sure to use the old batteries first. Batteries can expire. There are a few ways you can go about keeping the old and new batteries identified.

One way is to not open the new set of batteries until you are completely empty in your organizer. Once your battery compartment is empty, you can open the new pack. 

Or, you can keep older batteries up front, and new batteries in the back. Then you can just grab batteries from the front of your organizer. 

Another way to is purchase a different brand when you run low, and you will naturally have more of the newer brand. The older ones will be the ones with the smaller quantity, and you can identify and use those first! 

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I'm a big time workspace enthusiast who is constantly experimenting with my setup. Sharing along the way to help people make their own desk setups more functional and inviting, whether it be for productivity or play!

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