Do You Have Cellar Organization Tips?

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litup

Member
Oct 16, 2015
195
39
Sacramento, CA
I am hoping the hive mind can offer some tips to help me organize my tobacco cellar (a spare closet) more efficiently. When I started out cellaring I simply grouped my tins by shape and stacked them in bins that way. Simple and easy. I've always kept a spreadsheet and I use thepipetool.com so I have a pretty good handle on the tins I have and even which bins I have stored them in.
But I now have 40+ pounds of tobacco and my space is getting a little more crowded which means it is also getting more difficult to get to exactly what I want and to store new additions. So I think the questions I'm trying to answer are:

1. Should I organize by blend types so I know where to go when I want a VaPer or continue to organize by tin shape because that's easier?

2. Should I separate by tin age regardless of shape or blend to make it easier to smoke my oldest tins when I want to (e.g. but everything from 2014 into one bin)?

3. Am I missing out on the fact that half the fun of a cellar is accidentally discovering a forgotten tin in a random bin?
What say you? What have you done that's worked for you?

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
9,717
376
I keep my English and Latakia blends binned separately from my Virginias and Vapers. I also keep together all tins of a particular blend. Esoterica bags and square tins are bagged in heavy duty heat sealed food storage grade mylar since some of the Eso bags develop pinholes and square tobacco tins leak. Other than that, I don't keep any stats or totals. I figure I have enough tobacco to last long past me, and that's good enough.

 

spartacus

Preferred Member
Nov 7, 2018
630
59
Mesa, Arizona
I have all my open tins stored on my walls in my closet. They are organized by aromatic and non-aromatics. All my unopened tins and bulk 1 lbs and 2 lbs jars are stored in drawers and selves on an armoire I have overtaken. It seems to work well but it is not organized in any way. When one of my small jars empty I will have to hunt to find a new tin and open it.
Small Jars

 

onestrangeone

Preferred Member
Sep 18, 2015
657
0
I’m not really much on organizing, at least compaired to some. Both cigars and pipe tobacco are segregated by brand with a few tubs for miscellaneous oddballs. I don’t do spreadsheets online humidors or anything to that effect. I don’t consider my memory to be all that great, yet I know what I have, and have a really good idea where it’s at. I only have a bit over 2000 cigars and 70ish lbs of pipe tobacco so it’s not that much to keep up with.

 

seanv

Preferred Member
Mar 22, 2018
1,073
164
Canada
I have my open jar drawer and a tote bin of jars to be opened later and sealed tins. I don’t separate all that much but I only have 12 lbs of tobacco

 

rdavid

Preferred Member
Jun 30, 2018
654
0
Milton, FL
I cellar by tobacco type in jars and tins, stored in plastic totes. English, Latakia, Balkan in one. Virginias and Va/Pers in another. Burley based etc. You get the idea. Some of these are in what I refer to as a “deep” cellar which I plan on leaving alone for an extended period of time (years). Then I have a “working” cellar in which I pull from as needed to add to my current smoking rotation. However, my current rotation is rather large so I’m currently smoking that down before I start pulling more from the working cellar. I’m still fairly new so I’m wanting to try everything and my current rotation doesn’t seem to be getting any smaller... Really need to work on my self discipline but damn I’m having fun!

 

lordofthepiperings

Preferred Member
May 3, 2010
6,320
32
Las Vegas, NV
In my cabinet I have one shelf that's all my bulk loose cut blends, one that's my bulk flake blends, and one shelf that's tins.
The deep cellar (my closet) has mostly just the tins in cardboard boxes. They're clumped together by brand mostly, aside from the fact that I have my Escudo and Orlik Golden Sliced boxed together.
I do agree with Shane Ireland, you should really cellar up big on the few blends that are absolute favorites. I really wish I would have stocked up more on Three Nuns, Capstan Blue, and Dunhill Flake.

 

hoosierpipeguy

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
2,033
172
I use the smaller plastic totes to store individual tins. They stack fairly nice in these. On blends I am cellaring deep, there are one or more dedicated to that brand/blend. There's a few that have a mixture. The medium blue plastic bins are used to store mason jars and mylar bags. The larger blue bins will be used to put the 5 gallon mylar bags in. I am storing stuff for 10 years plus out in those, both tins and mylar bags. Kind of double protection. I used a black magic marker to write the contents on the outside of the 5 gallon mylar bags. I put a note on the top of the other totes with a rough inventory of what is in each tote.
My wife decided (for me) that she wanted the shelf space in the furnace room back so I have temporarily relocated all but a few totes as shown in the photo below. Got a couple of things to remove from the closet below the stairwell, then this all will go in there. I will soon find some type of cabinet with multiple shelves or bins for short term storage, the stuff I will want to pull from as needed. The rest can remain under the stairwell for quite awhile.


 

npod

Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2017
2,813
178
Cellar organization is a big topic for sure. So many variables. My biggest advice is to pick 5-10 blends at first and stock a minimum of 20 tins each or about 2 pounds. That forms a solid base and is the most cost effective. Try to avoid chasing the rare stuff or the 2-per tins at first. Pretend that the government really will shut down tobacco production and ask yourself what can’t you live without. If you are cellared deep vs wide you will never have regrets. Once you have a bunch of one blend it is much easier to store and organize it all.

 

pipestud

Preferred Member
Dec 6, 2012
1,729
36
Robinson, TX.
I think what helped me most was when I made sure that no matter what kind of containers I was using - boxes, plastic tubs, Coleman coolers, etc., the way they are marked sure helps keep out the guesswork of what tobacco is where.
I use a simple numbering system. Each container has a yellow sticky note taped to the top with a number, and then a sheet of paper with the names of the blends taped to the top of the container. I keep a duplicate spread sheet computer file for each box and do it this way:
Box #1 - Dunhill 965, Nightcap, Std. Mix Med, etc....

Box #2 - Pease Raven's Wing, Abingdon, Navigator, etc...
If I decide I want to get a tin of Abingdon, I just go to my file, see which box the Abingdon is in, and then go to my "cellar" and find the appropriate container and get it out.

 

blackadderlxx

Senior Member
Jun 17, 2018
370
1
Cellar organization is a big topic for sure. So many variables. My biggest advice is to pick 5-10 blends at first and stock a minimum of 20 tins each or about 2 pounds. That forms a solid base and is the most cost effective. Try to avoid chasing the rare stuff or the 2-per tins at first. Pretend that the government really will shut down tobacco production and ask yourself what can’t you live without. If you are cellared deep vs wide you will never have regrets. Once you have a bunch of one blend it is much easier to store and organize it all.
This is how I see it too. I'm still a newer smoker starting back in '17, so I try new blends focusing on post 2007, then figure out if I can't live without it or not. My big purchases are mostly a few blends.

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
13,896
832
Monterey Peninsula
Peck has one of those electronic sorting machines that reads labels and barcodes, then pops it on a drone and delivers it to his office.
All the above is interesting, but of academic interest. I merely try to keep the same tins together. The more I forget, the more aged tobacco I have!

 
Oct 8, 2017
157
1
Speaking of Peck, I was on tobacco cellar the other day and he wasn’t listed as the top dog anymore. I checked and not there at all! I guess he smoked it all

 

litup

Member
Oct 16, 2015
195
39
Sacramento, CA
Thank you all for offering your tips and insights. I think I'll be borrowing a little bit from many of the comments posted such as sable's securing Esoterica bags in mylar bags and several people's comments about a "deep cellar" which I interpret as something more intentionally focused on aging (as opposed to just where you put your tins until you smoke them). And Pipestud - I think your idea of an inventory sheet right on the box is brilliant in its simplicity.
And Sparatcus - thank you for sharing that picture of your cellar. Did you make that unit? It's really cool.

 

raevans

Member
Apr 20, 2013
271
3
My cellar is made up of mostly bulk blends that have been put into quart mason jars. If I find a tobacco that I really like, and it is available in bulk, I will buy five pounds and then jar it. I can usually get anywhere from 14 ounces to a pound per jar. For tobaccos that I can get 14 ounces from, I will jar five jars and the remainder will go into an airtight container an be kept on my tobacco table for immediate smoking. I usually have four to five containers on the table along with any open tins. I don't have that many tins for long term storage, usually they are smoked in a relatively short period of time. If I get something like G&H Bobs Chocolate Flake, I will buy bulk and a few tins to keep me from digging into the long storage jars. I do have a few "special occasion" tins in the deep storage area, a couple of tins of Dunhill 965 from 04 and the last tin of GL Pease Tribute. But overall, my cellar is made up of tobacco in jars.