This Might Be the Most Universal Storage Solution of All Time

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga)

One of the greatest gifts the internet ever gave us was fellowship. Your fingertips impulsively tap out a random thought, hit send, and seconds later the entirety of Twitter is liking it and retweeting it in solidarity. Like they’re saying, through emoji hearts, “I know the feeling, too.”

It’s through that digital dance that we get today’s “I love the internet” blessing: a tiny anecdote from Reddit about what might be the most repurposed organizing hack the world over: reusing the ever-adaptable butter cookie tin.

(Image credit: Amazon)

Buy: Royal Dansk Danish Butter Cookies, $7 for 24 ounces

It starts, as most good and pure things on the internet do, with a meme. If you’re not familiar with the four-square Abuela Drake format (a riff off a meme genre known as Drakeposting), that’s not important. All you need to know is that in the top left quadrant, our collective internet abuela is expressing her distaste for the thing pictured next to her on the right, and in the bottom half, abuela is absolutely about whatever’s happening in the final square.

In this case, abuela understands the universal truth that butter cookie tins are way better for storing sewing supplies — and coupons, and craft supplies, and beach day effects (they’re relatively watertight) — than actually holding cookies.

How universal? I remember my own Cuban abuela used them. Maybe your grandmother, too. And probably everyone’s. Everywhere. In fact, the entirety of the Reddit community seemingly chimed in with an international roll call in response to the meme recently. When one user asks in the comments, “Did women of every major culture in the world do this?” delegates from the following nations confirmed:

  • Colombia
  • Venezuela
  • Panama
  • Mexico
  • Guatemala
  • Peru
  • Ecuador
  • Russia
  • United Kingdom
  • Armenia
  • Canada
  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Poland
  • Germany
  • Philippines
  • South Africa
  • Serbia
  • Sudan
  • Finland
  • Nicaragua
  • Bangladesh
  • Kuawit
  • Jamaica
  • Portugal
  • Australia
  • China
  • Turkey

… and so, so many more.

It seems those Royal Dansk tins get around.

If you’re interested in learning more about why cookie tins have gone global, there’s an article on Vice that pulls some smart threads, tying this tin hack to wartime resourcefulness — apparently the practice of repurposing them dates back to before World War II, according to food historian Rachel Laudan.

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: This Might Be the Most Universal Storage Hack Ever