I've recently started working on a project and I need to find a way to store some ICs that I'm using. I have around five different ICs and someone said I could just put them all together in a small cylindrical tube I have (think a little box medicine pills come in). Wouldn't this damage the ICs? And/or are there better ways to store them?
I store everything in the Mouser/Farnell/DigiKey bags they're delivered in. They have convenient readable labels, which is nice, especially when they contain tiny SOT-23 transistors which are quite impossible to identify and basically disappear into a black hole, or into the carpet floor, if you lose sight of them.
To find them, I just slip the bags in photo albums, and I have a spreadsheet that says on page X, there is this chip. It's extremely convenient. Plastic bags stacked in a container are unusable. But photo albums are great, and cheap.
Or I just make holes in the bags and put them in a binder.
If you have DIP ICs... a sheet of black foam fits nicely inside an A4 transparent plastic sleeve that goes into a ring binder. Or in a photo album. And if they fall off the black foam, they're still at the bottom of the plastic pocket.
For passives, I store them in a box that has the same width as the plastic bags laying vertical on their side. Ordered by value, with a cardboard separator between each E24 value. So if I need 12 kOhm, I just leaf through the stack of bags like a dictionary. It's very convenient.
I often find that storing in the packaging that they come in from suppliers works best. You need to provide both protection from ESD as well as from physical damage like bent or broken pins. The re-seller packaging often fits both needs.
Failing that, "black foam" or "pink foam" which are readily available, offer a reasonable ESD and physical damage barrier.
Don't use things like styrofoam which generates static and can damage sensitive components. I think your suggestion of putting them in a bottle is not a good one as they are easily damaged like that.
a half step or so beyond the hobby perspective, and this tries to address the question of "finding the parts" in addition to "storing them".
method 1: clear plastic bins from walmart etc, sold as "bead organizers". example ... inside that use little mini ziploc bags for the parts too, so they don't go flying all over the place. not appropriate for all part types. Write a "map" of what's in the box on the lid with sharpie. (erase with isopropanol if needed).
method 2: keep in original bag, or matching sized anti static ziplocs, put those into shoebox-sized clear totes, and be obsessive about keeping them sorted. Having 4-5 subdivisions within each container can help, keeps bags upright, abbreviated label w/ sharpie on top, go thru them like card catalog of old.
method 3: per-project containers (the inevitable end state), but of limited use when prototyping/experimenting, IMO
A related practice: if re-bagging, or binning, a coworker showed me to take scissors and cut out the label from the original bag, just a little rectangle with the full mfg and vendor part numbers, description etc, and put it in the new bag, as a kanban for reordering.
Yes, it will damage the ICs
Unless a container is specifically designed to be anti-static, the IC is at risk of being damaged by static shock. That's a risk, not an absolute - but why risk it in the first place?
The best solution is to keep them in the bag/tube they came in, until you need them. The less you handle ICs, the happier they're going to be.
If you really do want to consolidate your ICs into one place, you need an anti-static plastic box, and anti-static foam inside the box which you push the ICs into. This isn't ideal because you've had to handle the ICs to get them in there, but at least they're safe from that point.
And you now know that the person who told you this has zero understanding of electronics. Ignore their input on everything related to electronics in future, because their advice, however well-intentioned, will result in damage to your equipment.