Storage Ideas for Small Items

Say good-bye to junk drawers and clutter-topped desks and shelves. Use these clever solutions to keep small items organized and easy to find.

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muffin tin organizer
Mini Compartments

    This pan will do more than help you cook when you use it to compartmentalize office supplies. Use an inexpensive cupcake pan to organize small items that have a tendency to get lost in drawers.

Divide & Conquer

    Three quarter-inch-deep baking pans make perfect dividers for shallow deck drawers. Separate office supplies in one, bill-paying essentials in another, and miscellaneous items such as a lint brush, lip balm, and a sewing kit in the last one.

    Expert Tip: As you organize a desk drawer, decide what to keep, what to toss, and what to move to a new spot. Throw away all duplicates and mysterious odds and ends.

Top-Drawer Solution

    Control clutter in a junk drawer with this low-cost solution. Here silicone cupcake liners hold small, loose items. An egg carton stashes items such as thumb tacks and staples in the egg cups and larger items such as pencils, a calculator, and a pair of scissors on the other side.

    Expert Tip: Make one of these for the laundry room and fill it with all the little things that come out of the dryer such as coins and buttons. Dress it up with a quick coat of spray paint.


    Use a toothbrush holder to artfully store paintbrushes, pens, and pencils. Use a matching soap dish to house business cards and other small items. These clever containers will keep your drawers and desktop free of clutter.

Round Up Drawer Items

    Here simple wood and ceramic containers corral Q-tips and makeup brushes in a bathroom drawer. Scan kitchen and laundry room cabinets for similar containers (glass jars, coffee cups, plastic food containers, etc.) to fit in your drawers.

    Expert Tip: Examine your medicine cabinet and bathroom drawers every other month and toss expired and unused items.

Clever Containers

    Round up spare glass canisters or jars to provide storage for hobby and sewing supplies, kitchen clutter, and jewelry. They can also organize -- and still display -- small collectibles such as matchbooks, marbles, and pins.

Show It Off

    Just because items are small doesn't mean they need to be hidden. This kitchen display shows off utensils and spices by organizing them within simple white containers on a bold red tray.

Use What You Have

    A paper-towel dowel and a metal tray are all you need to achieve this easy craft storage space. Attach magnets to the bottom of tiny boxes to keep your trinkets in plain sight.

Jewelry Board

    A jewelry organizer makes it easy to see and select the perfect combination of jewelry pieces. Here drawer knobs and pulls screwed to a fabric-covered piece of plywood keep jewelry in one organized location and not at the bottom of drawer or purse.

Desk Dilemma -- Solved!

    Maintaining a clear and clutter-free desktop is a tough if your home office desk doesn't have drawers. Here a stylish pegboard-style steel storage unit nailed to the wall above uses shelves, bins, hooks, and more to organize and keep office supplies of every size close at hand.

Magnetic Attraction

    Install a magnetic knife wall mount to the side of a shelving unit and hang small items on magnetic hooks.

Get Creative

    Making a wood box like this one isn't difficult, and allows you to customize a perfect shape to fit your small-item storage needs. Tiny metal baskets and hooks are attached to this box and a door hides any potential clutter.

Make Use of Wall Space

    Look to your walls to create a haven for tiny tools and gadgets that may get lost in a large drawer. Here, a belt is cut up and hung horizontally to create a durable rack for hole punchers.

Smart Storage

    No room dedicated to crafting, scrapbooking, or sewing? Use an underbed plastic storage box to keep these supplies organized in any temporary work space and out of the way when not in use. These boxes can also be hidden under a sofa, entertainment center, or coffee table.

Clean Up a Closet

    A linen closet can easily become a catchall for small odds and ends, but this tidy closet has a number of great takeaways you can use. A tiered lazy Susan stores medicine bottles in one easy-to-access location. Next to the lazy Susan, a wicker basket stores extra overnight essentials -- toothpaste, toothbrush, razor, and more -- that guests might have forgotten. Labeled baskets for each family member organize beauty products on the bottom shelf. They're portable and easier to access than items just dumped in a drawer.

Hang Baskets Near an Entry

    Combat clutter buildup near the main entry: Install hooks at each family member's height and hang personalized baskets. These stash everyday items such as sunglasses, keys, sunblock, small pieces of outerwear, and more to help maintain a manageable, tidy entryway.

Corral Clutter

    Organize small laundry room supplies and miscellaneous items such as sock clips and buttons in attractive dishes of all different sizes. Use scrapbooking supplies to make labels, and display them with clothespins.

Find the Perfect Containers

    Small items can easily get lost and cluttered inside of a large cabinet. To prevent this, search for inexpensive containers you can use to keep things organized and neat. Here, an open tin is perfect for storing markers, and an old restaurant serving basket keeps school supplies in place.

Sort by Color

    Sorting is the key to success when it comes to storing small items. Here, crafting clips are arranged by color within tiny cans that all fit together inside of this shoe-box-size container.

See Clearly

    Using clear containers like the ones shown here allows you to easily see your accessories while still keeping things organized and pretty.

Keep It Accessible

    This wire rack sits on a desktop for easy accessibility, and compartments keep things neat.

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