Organizing Small Items in a Workshop

The most difficult items to keep organized are usually the ones that are smallest and most plentiful. Organize small items in a home workshop with these helpful tips and tools.
small drawer organizers mounted on wall

small drawer organizers mounted on wall

Figure A

Small drawer organizers mounted within easy reach of a workbench or workstation can help keep all of the small items -- like drill bits, nuts and bolts, nails, washers, dowels, picture hangers, screws, screw-anchors, electrical parts, pens, pencils, etc. -- at your fingertips during a project..

Other organizing aids include nail grips, portable organizers and stackable bins:

A nail grip is a variation on the classic tool grip -- a simple open-design carrier made from wood. Instead of housing tools, the nail grip is divided into compartments for separating and storing nails according to size and type. The compartments should be large enough so that you can easily reach inside, and the handle should be sturdy since a good supply of nails can be quite heavy.

Portable Organizers

Portable organizers offer numerous small compartments for storing and organizing small items, a see-through plastic top and a handle for easy carrying. Some advanced models have removable compartments.

Once the top is locked down, the items are prevented from spilling out even if the whole box is turned upside-down or stored on its edge. Because these are plastic, the organizers can be emptied and washed when they get dirty.

Tip: When purchasing screws, nails or other small fasteners in a box, tear the tab off the box or bag and save it in the storage drawer with the its corresponding items. This will provide a quick reference for when it's time to go back to the hardware store for refills.

Stationary Organizers

Stationary organizers are perfect for organizing and storing small items on or near your work surface. Most are wall-mountable, and come with mounting brackets already in place on the back corners. Once full, these organizers can get heavy, so mount them to the wall using all four corner-mounts.

The drawer-fronts are clear so the contents can be easily identified. Save the tab from the packaging on small items and place it facing outward as a label to identify the contents by name or designation.
Plastic stackable bins are also useful for storing small and medium-sized items. Stacking arrangements may be customized to fit a variety of needs.

Next Up

Workshop Organization

The key to working efficiently in a workshop is having a good system of organization for tools and materials. Here are some suggestions for organization and efficiency in a workshop.

The Workshop Triangle

The layout of a home workshop is central to working safely and efficiently. The experts share advice on planning a "work-friendly" layout for a workspace.

Organize This: Pantry

A recipe to help you purge and rearrange successfully

Workshop Types and Location

Host Jay Baker outlines some basic considerations for selecting the right location and building facility for the ultimate home workshop.

The Ultimate Workshop: Lighting and Electrical Layout

Workshops have special electrical and lighting requirements and it's critical to plan these elements thoroughly to create an efficient workspace.

Tips for Putting Together a Garden Workshop

This guide serves as a starting point for designing the ultimate backyard gardening workshop.

Automotive Workshop: Blasting Cabinets

If a full-scale automotive restoration is in your future, check out the various types of blasting cabinets to incorporate into the workshop layout.

Dust Collection Systems

A dust collection system can help protect your health and reduce cleanup around the workshop. Use these tips to choose the best system for any workshop.

Get Organized! How to Store Your Crafts in a Small Storage Space

Find new ways to organize craft, sewing and art supplies.

How to Organize a Kitchen Pantry

Margie Potts has the DIY Basics for organizing and stocking a kitchen pantry with items that will make dinner decisions much easier.


Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.

Consult Our A-Z Guide

Everything You Need to Know

Browse a full list of topics found on the site, from accessories to mudrooms to wreaths.  

How-To Advice and Videos

Get video instructions about kitchens, bathrooms, remodeling, flooring, painting and more.

Watch DIY Downloads Now

Watch DIY Network LIVE

Don't miss your favorite shows in real time online.