27 Clever Storage Ideas for Small Items

Say goodbye to junk drawers and cluttered surfaces. Use these clever solutions to keep small items organized and easy to find.

drawer organization
Photo: Adam Albright

Clutter easily distracts our focus and creates unnecessary stress. Piles of papers on kitchen counters, beauty products strewn across a bathroom sink, or an influx of packages stacked up on the dining room table all play a part in how organized (or disorganized) your home looks and feels.

Finding a home for all your things is one of the secrets to staying organized. Making space for your jeans in the closet and dishes in the cabinets is a given. But what about the little things? Sometimes the smallest of stuff causes the biggest challenge when trying to stay tidy. Use the following storage ideas for small items, so you can put them away for a neater home at the end of the day.

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Trinket Tray

organization tray

Better Homes & Gardens

Everyday items, like keys, wallets, sunglasses, and cell phones, are some of the most important belongings that need a proper home. Place a pretty tray on a console near the entryway that can hold them all so they're contained yet easy to grab on your way out the door. Be sure to get into the habit of always dropping them in the tray, so they never stray away.

02 of 27

Organize Hand Tools

drawer organization
Adam Albright

Perhaps you have most of your tools organized in the garage or basement, but you’d like some basic things, such as a measuring tape, screwdriver, and hooks, to be handy in the kitchen. Add organizers into a junk drawer to sort things by category, so you always know where to find and replace them. Use drawer dividers and small containers to keep similar items together.

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Easy Remote Access

remote storage caddy

Better Homes & Gardens

If you’ve ever made a guest or family member get off the couch while looking for the remote, you’re not alone. Remotes are small and narrow, making them easy to lose. Add a small adhesive caddy to the side of an end table to hold them upright, alongside anything else you might need while watching TV, such as a pair of glasses. For remotes used less often, use a shallow tray to contain them.

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Bathroom Supplies

bathroom shelf storage

Adam Albright

Because it’s generally smaller than most spaces in your home, the bathroom can quickly become cluttered, especially on busy days. Give a small bathroom more space with wall-mounted baskets near the sink to store daily items. Use one for washcloths, another for makeup, and yet another for skincare. This way, the vanity is clear, and you always know where your essentials are if you’re running late.

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Hydration Station

cabinet storage

Marty Baldwin

As sustainability becomes top of mind for many, reusable cups, mugs, and water bottles have taken off. However, they can quickly clutter your home, especially if you have a larger family. Give water bottles and travel coffee mugs a special space in the kitchen by dedicating a cabinet to store them. Repurpose bins you already have to keep them upright and contain lids and straws.

06 of 27

Organize Dresser Drawers

organized drawer

Marty Baldwin

Bedrooms can quickly become clutter magnets. It’s the space that guests generally don’t see, so it’s easy to stuff things in there and forget about them. Reserve some space for miscellaneous items using drawer organizers, either in the closet, a dresser, or a bedside table. Mementos, nail polish, hair clips, and other small accessories can live together yet separately and stay out of sight.

07 of 27

Laundry Supplies Organizers

laundry chart and baskets

Better Homes & Gardens

Bulky bottles of detergent and fabric softener can always live in a cabinet or on top of your front-load dryer. But what about the tiny tools you occasionally use to spruce up your clothes? Lint rollers, sweater shavers, and stain removers can comfortably fit into small baskets and be hung on the wall of your laundry room so laundry supplies stay organized and within reach.

08 of 27

Seasonal Apparel Storage

winter gear storage

Better Homes & Gardens

Depending on where you live, things like hats and gloves will be worn for at least a season or two. Even if you’re in a warmer climate, chances are that you own a few for traveling purposes. Use clear, open, stackable bins to sort seasonal gear by type or by family member and leave them on a shelf in the coat closet. Add labels so there’s no question as to where your favorite mittens are located.

09 of 27

Use Adhesive Hooks for Jewelry

organized desk storage

Jacob Fox

Your favorite jewelry and accessories should be accessible daily. Consider using adhesive hooks to place them where it’s most useful, such as above your dresser or a console near the front door. This temporary storage solution is perfect if you want to remove or move anything around as your style changes. Also, renters don’t have to worry about damaging the walls with actual hooks.

10 of 27

Tuck Away Toys

built in bookcase under the stairs
John Merkl

Use big baskets to hold children's toys like blocks, doll accessories, and mini cars to get them off of the floor. Place the bins on a shelf, such as a built-in bookcase under the stairs. Add their books, decorative boxes (for additional storage), and a few of their favorite stuffed animals for a functional display.

11 of 27

Display Favorite Mugs

dark wooden area with mugs
Edmund Barr

Take the strain of storage off the tops of your kitchen shelves and utilize the underside. Install cup hooks on the bottom of a shelf or cabinet and hang mugs on the hooks. Be sure to install the hooks far enough apart so that each mug has enough space to hang.

12 of 27

Bathroom Baskets

bathroom with wicker baskets and white shelving
Michael Partenio

Baskets are a bathroom storage essential. 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 towels, soaps, toiletries, and cotton balls and swabs. Slide them into a linen closet or below a vanity.

13 of 27

Craft Storage

wall storage with craft supplies
Brie Williams

Bring order to craft supplies with acrylic shelves and wall hooks. Hang scissors and other tools by the handles. Find a miniature lazy Susan to store markers, pencils, and other small supplies.

14 of 27

Declutter Your Desk

rolling craft storage desk stool corner office mood board
Adam Albright

Maintaining a clutter-free desktop is tough if the desk in your home office doesn't have drawers. Here, a stylish memo board and floating shelf combo incorporates bins, hooks, and more to organize and keep office supplies of every size close at hand. Contain important papers in file folders and don't forget a pencil cup for all your writing utensils.

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Family Game Storage

closet with games and white drawers
Marty Baldwin

Store tons of entertainment options in a single closet. Separate video games, board games, and movies in different bins. Organize with the spines or sides showing to easily find the one you're looking for. Use shallow trays to bring order to stacks of movies.

16 of 27

Organize a Linen Closet

linen closet organized with bins and baskets
Lincoln Barbour

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. Baskets provide tons of storage and organization. Create a bin for guests with extra overnight essentials—toothbrushes, razors, and more—that they might have forgotten. Add labels throughout so family members can grab things at a glance.

17 of 27

Utilize Baskets Near an Entry

laundry and entryway built-ins with mountain design on wall
Edmund Barr

Combat clutter buildup near the main entry by adding personalized baskets for each family member. Stash everyday items such as sunglasses, keys, sunblock, small pieces of outerwear, and more to help maintain a manageable, tidy entryway. Add additional storage for small items with a row of hooks for scarves, jackets, bags, and backpacks.

18 of 27

DIY Jewelry Board

DIY Jewelry Holder
Adam Albright

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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Contain Cleaning Supplies

Cleaning supplies storage

Blaine Moats

If the area under your counters is cramped, employ a behind-the-door organizer as a cleaning-supply central. You'll have easy access to your most-used products, saving time and energy. Wire shelves promote air circulation, helping sponges to dry.

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Easy Command Station

Magnetic strip

King Au

Install a magnetic knife strip to the side of a shelving unit or near the garage door to hang small items with clips. Add adhesive hooks to hang larger items like keys or a purse. Store baskets and bins nearby for a DIY command station with all the essentials.

21 of 27

Junk Drawer Solution

Egg carton organizer

Marty Baldwin

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. 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.

22 of 27

Key Tree

Key storage

Adam Albright

Never lose your keys again. Keep track of them with a repurposed jewelry tree. The arms of the tree hold key rings just as well as dangling necklaces and bracelets. Place near the entryway or garage for the best use.

23 of 27

Store Party Supplies

Organized party supplies

Jay Wilde

Create a one-stop shop for all your party supplies. Contain paper products, drinkware accessories, toothpicks, and silverware inside an office organizer with multiple compartments. Place items from largest to smallest for easy viewing.

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Divide Drawers

Metal pan dividers

Bill Holt

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. 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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Mini Compartments

Mini tin compartments

Sandra Johnson

A muffin pan can do more than make a yummy snack. Side it into a desk drawer to help you compartmentalize office supplies and clutter. This inexpensive hack creates a go-to center for storing the tiny items that get lost like paperclips, tacks, and stamps.

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Stocking Storage

Stocking storage

Robert Brinson

Wrangle leggings, tights, and stockings into a shoe organizer. Roll up items and place them inside the pockets for easy access and tangle-free storage. Hang on the back of a door or the side or on a hanger for best use.

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Recipe Index

Recipe book storage

Cameron Sadeghpour

Create your very own recipe book by getting a three-ring binder with removable plastic sleeves. Store index cards from family and friends. 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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