Organising Bits ‘n Bobs: Storage Ideas for Small Items

Muji polypropelyne organising bins used to stow small everyday household items

Wrangling Kinder egg toys in the kids’ room or a seemingly self-propagating collection of paper clips in your home office? There are tonnes of ways to rein in all the little stuff that tends to quickly turn into clutter.

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It’s often little things that make or break the functionality of a home.

In our day-to-day, small items tend to become the main culprits of clutter, especially if you’re living in a small space. The good news is there are plenty of creative and practical storage ideas out there that help keep small yet crucial items organised around your home. From tackling drawer disarray in the kitchen to never losing your keys again at the front door, this post looks at some of the best storage ideas for small items.

Kitchen: Smart Solutions for Small Utensils and Gadgets

Maximising Drawer Space

The kitchen, often the heart of any sized home, can quickly become a catchall for clutter. Not only do small utensils and gadgets need a place, but the countertop often winds up as a sort of dumping ground for mail, paperwork we need to deal with, newspapers and the like. When you’re short on space in the kitchen, keeping those counter surfaces cleared off is the easiest way to make things look more organised. But what about all the other stuff you actually use when cooking and meal prepping?

My favourite way to manage it all is by using drawer dividers and organisers. They quickly transform a jumbled mess of utensils and small gadgets into a well-organised drawer where everything has its place.

Whether you want to divide space for teaspoons and ladles or create a separate area for bottle openers, extra toothpicks, and garlic presses, dividers help in maximising your storage space.

That ultimately makes cooking and meal preparation a more enjoyable and efficient experience. You won’t be needlessly digging through your everyday silverware when you’re baking, for example, if you have all your baking tools in a dedicated drawer.

Utilising Vertical Space

In a tiny apartment short on square footage, you might have a lack of kitchen cabinets and space to store everything. One option is to buy magnetic strips to take advantage of any unused vertical space. These can be used to hang small utensils like spatulas or tongs. I’d just recommend only hanging keeping frequently used items hanging out in open storage like this though. They will otherwise accumulate a lot of dust. 

Additionally, installing a small bookshelf or rack can also provide extra storage for spices, small jars, or teas and coffee. This use of vertical space is particularly beneficial in kitchens where counter space is limited.

For other small items such as tea towels and pot holders, simple hooks under the cabinet, the wall or on the fridge can be incredibly efficient. Pegboards also offer a versatile and flexible storage solution, where you can customise the layout as your storage needs change. They are perfect for hanging small pots, pans, or cooking utensils, keeping them within easy reach while cooking.

Living and Dining Area: Clever Storage for Small Items

Elegant and Functional Storage Solutions

In the sitting room or dining area, creative storage solutions like a decorative basket or a chic tray can serve dual purposes – they keep remote controls, coasters, and small decorative objects organised, while also adding to the room’s aesthetic. Place a stylish basket under a coffee table or sideboard to neatly store magazines, throws, or children’s toys. This keeps things easily accessible yet out of sight when not needed.

For baskets for shelving units, I really like the ones made of felt. They slide nicely in and out. I also use these in other areas of the house:

Muji polypropelyne organising bins used to stow small everyday household items

Shelf and Surface Space

Floating shelves present another sleek way to display and organise items in the living and dining rooms. They are perfect for books, knick-knacks and small art pieces, adding character to the room while conserving floor space. Consider arranging items on these open shelves in a way that balances visual appeal with practicality. Try grouping things by threes – a mix of small storage boxes, a few books stood upright, or some select decorative items can create a dynamic yet organised display without creating any visual overwhelm.

Maximising Closet Space: Organising Small Accessories

Innovative Hanger Solutions for Vertical Spaces

Closets, especially in smaller spaces, require smart strategies to maximise their potential. One effective approach is to use multi-tiered hangers for items such as scarves, belts, and ties. These hangers can dramatically increase the number of items stored in the same amount of space as a single hanger and I think they’re a must-have if you need to save space in a tiny closet.

Organisers and Small Storage Units

For smaller accessories such as jewellery, watches, and sunglasses, drawer organisers within the closet can be a good option. These organisers keep items separated and easily visible, preventing tangles and damage. Consider using clear or labelled compartments for ease of identification. Additionally, small storage units with drawers or cubbies can be placed inside the closet or on a nearby surface, offering additional organised space for accessories that are used less frequently.

Flexible Storage for Every Nook and Cranny: Over-the-Door and Wall-Mounted Options

To fully utilise the space in a small closet, don’t overlook the back of the door and the closet walls themselves. Over-the-door organisers can hold a variety of accessories, including shoes, hats, and small handbags. Especially if you don’t even have a closet!

Adding self-adhesive hooks or a small tension shelf in the closet can create extra storage space for items like clutches, scarves or small leather goods.

Bathroom Storage: Taming Small Toiletries

Using Cabinet and Wall Space

In the bath or guest WC, wall-mounted holders and racks work great for organising small items like toiletries, cosmetics, and hair accessories. These fixtures keep essentials off the counter, maximising limited space. Sort tiny items such as makeup, hairpins, and dental care products into small containers or organisers and pop them on the shelf.

Transparent or labeled containers on shelves or inside cabinets make it easy to find what you’re looking for, saving time during your daily routine. Drawer organisers can be particularly effective for separating items and keeping the space tidy. This approach helps in reducing clutter on countertops, giving your bathroom a more organised and spacious feel no matter how little square footage it has.

Under-Sink Storage Ideas

Muji polypropelyne organising bins used to stow small everyday household items

Utilise the space underneath the sink with stackable bins or pull-out drawers to increase your bathroom’s storage capacity. These storage options are perfect for less frequently used items, like extra toiletries, cleaning supplies, or bulk purchases. If your bathroom is like mine though and all you have is basically one ledge to store stuff, check out my post with lots of small space storage ideas for bathrooms with no storage. There are ways to organise even the smallest space in the bath.

Clearing Entryway Clutter

The entryway is the first space you encounter when entering a home, and keeping it organised helps maintain a smooth daily routine. Last thing you need when you’re running late in the morning is to have to start hunting everywhere for your keys. I keep mine at the door, always, in a little bowl. It’s second nature for me to drop them in there when I walk in the door, and I’ve never once misplaced them.

Some folks like to use hooks or a little pegboard here as well, and I think those are also good storage ideas for small items like keys.

Organisers for Mail and Small Essentials

What really causes the entrance to look untidy though is the common pile-up of mail, papers, takeaway menus and other miscellaneous items we bring home. If you have a larger front hall with a console table, you could put a mail organiser on it. Or just make it a habit to deal with all such paper matter immediately when you get home (my preferred method).

Additionally, consider adding a small valet tray or bowl for items like coins, sunglasses, and other pocket essentials. This not only helps to keep the entryway tidy but also ensures you have a designated spot for these small items so you can grab them quickly when you go to head out the door again.

Storage Ideas for Small Items in the Kids’ Room

Colourful Bins and Baskets for Toy Organisation

I don’t have children myself but I did have two much younger siblings growing up and I know how toys and crafts can quickly take over a household.

Colourful bins and baskets are not only functional but also add a playful touch. These portable storage solutions are perfect for all those smaller toys, crayons and art supplies. And if you label each bin with pictures or words, it helps children learn where to put their items when they’re done using them.

Binders for Paper Craft Supplies

For little paper cut-outs, confetti, construction paper, sequins and other small, but flat craft supplies, try organising them into pocket binders or binder organisers. You don’t have to be a kid for this either – I keep a lot of my own scrapbooking supplies organised this way, including flat rubber stamp dies. It makes it easy to find what you need for a particular project, too: just leaf through the binder. And you can store it upright on a shelf.

Working from Home: Keeping Small Office Supplies in Check

General Desk Organisation

When you’re working from home, it’s beneficial to your well-being to try to keep your work space separate from your personal space. When you don’t have a dedicated room for home office, leaving things out after work where you can see them really has a way of putting your mind into overdrive. Every time you walk by it all, you’ll be reminded of work. If you don’t have a desk with drawers, or even a desk, you can use a storage bin to neatly corral all your work supplies until the next day.

If you do have a desk though, a simple desk organiser works great to keep all those pens, paperclips, and other small office supplies neatly arranged and within easy reach. Consider using dividers for additional organisation within the desk unit, so you can separate different categories of items.

A desktop tray or, if you have a larger sized workspace, a series of small, stylish containers can keep daily supplies accessible without taking up too much space.

Cable Management

It’s not uncommon to have a number of controller decks, external drives or other tech gadgets at your desk these days, and their accompanying cables can really create clutter. Small cable management solutions like cable clips or under-desk trays can keep cords organised and out of sight.

You might also consider a compact docking station or a designated charging area for electronic devices. This not only helps in reducing desk clutter but also ensures that all your devices are charged and ready when you need them.

When you have less clutter in your home, your space feels airier. It’s also just easier to find things, plus it makes your daily cleaning routine easier. You know what they say: little things add up. With the right storage ideas for small items, you’ll be surprised how much of a difference it can make in your space.

Young woman organizing jewelry in a closet drawer illustrating an article with storage ideas for small items.
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