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.
Everything In This Slideshow
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The Right Container
Using the right container for the right job is key to keeping clutter at bay. Watch and see what containers work best for specific tasks.
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Baskets are a bathroom sanity-saver. These corral-it-all vessels work hard to contain items that would otherwise clutter shelves and countertops. Designate baskets for categories of items, such as soaps, makeup, and cotton balls and swabs.
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Keep track of your keys with a repurposed jewelry tree. The arms of the tree hold key rings just as well as dangling necklaces and bracelets.
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A jewelry organizer makes it easy to see and select the perfect combination of jewelry pieces. For a pretty display, cover a cork memo board in pretty paper or fabric. Place pushpins on the board to hang the jewelry.
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Use shallow trays to bring order to stacks of DVD cases. Make sure the tray is the right depth for holding DVDs, which will ensure the DVDs stay upright. Designate trays by genre for the ultimate orderly DVD collection.
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Bring order to crafts supplies with a fiberboard and hooks. Hang scissors and other tools by the handles, and hang ribbon by the holes in the center of the spool.
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Reduce your stack of magazines by tearing out the pages you want to keep. Organize the pages in plastic pockets inside a binder.
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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.
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Divide & Conquer
Shallow 3/4-inch-deep baking pans make perfect dividers for small desk 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.
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Good & Clean
Employ a behind-the-door organizer as cleaning-supply central. Wire shelves promote air circulation, helping sponges to dry.
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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 thumbtacks 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.
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Ready to Repurpose
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.
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Desk Dilemma -- Solved!
Maintaining a clear and clutter-free desktop is tough if your home office desk doesn't have drawers. Here a stylish fiberboard-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.
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Install a magnetic knife wall mount to the side of a shelving unit and hang small items on magnetic hooks.
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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.
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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.