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Top Storage Solutions — Plastic Bins

By: Phil Huber
Stackable plastic bin boxes offer flexibility for organizing hardware, supplies, and gear.

Project plans for plastic bins

As a kid, I was amazed at the row of coffee cans filled with all sorts of hardware in my grandfather’s workshop. It seemed like whenever he needed some piece of hardware, he could find it in one of those cans. When I started woodworking, it didn’t take long to gather my own collection of hardware. However I wanted a more convenient way to store — and more importantly — organize hardware.

The Right Approach

Before deciding on a storage system, you need to come up with a strategy on what you’re going to keep. While it may seem wise to keep everything, that habit can lead to a lot of time and frustration looking for something you “know” you have. Instead, I keep an assortment of frequently used items. I buy other items only when they’re needed. This strategy saves space. And I end up buying higher quality hardware rather than settling for something just because it’s on hand.

Determine Your Needs. Once you’ve figured out what you’re going to keep, you want to think about how and where you use it. For example, if you have 100 #8 x 1 1?4" woodscrews, you need to consider a few things: How much space they take up, where you plan on storing them, and whether you’ll need to take them outside the shop. These factors influence the types of storage solutions that will suit your needs.


The hardware storage system I use most often are plastic storage bins. The reason is versatility. These bins work just as well sitting in a row on a shelf or dividing a drawer. They have a lip on the back edge so you can hang them from a thin rail to save bench space. The bins are stackable, too.

They come in a variety of sizes and colors to make organizing even easier. If there’s a downside to bins it’s that they’re too big to hold just a few items. Finally, unless the bins are in a drawer or cabinet, they can collect dust — though you can purchase clear, flip-up lids too.

Project Ideas for Bins

Here are a few woodworking plans that include these plastic bins and get your shop, garage, or home organized.

Stacking totes for plastic hardware bin boxes These stacking totes use up small pieces of plywood to create an on-the-go way to corral bins no matter where you need them.

Hardware storage cart plans Plastic storage bins take center stage in this cart. Considering all the options you have here, it's more like a hardware store on wheels.

Shop Storage cart A shop really can't have too many carts — or bins. While the eye-catching feature of this small cart is the pivoting set of drawers, one side holds a solid amount of bins from shop-made cleats.

Published: Nov. 29, 2023
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Topics: plywood, weekend, workshop



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