Organizing Nails, Screws, Nuts and Bolts

Category Workshop
It is important to organize your nails, screws, nuts and bolts. Keeping them separated and easy to use will make it easier to find what you need when doing a project. This is a page about organizing nails, screws, nuts, and bolts.


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To keep screws from getting lost when putting toys together, it helps to have some kind of magnet. It could be a refrigerator magnet, turned upside down, with the magnetic part facing upward. When you take out a screw, you can put it on the magnet. This keeps them from rolling around and getting lost.

By Robyn from TN

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February 8, 2011

I like fresh vegetables, but live alone so I buy the vegetable tray from the super market that has celery, tomatoes, broccoli, etc. and it has a little cup of dip in the middle. When empty, I use it to store nuts, screws, and other small hardware items. It is see-through, has small compartments, and a tight lid. Also stacks neatly in tool shed.


For larger items, I use a clear peanut butter jar and tape one of the items on the outside. That way if I need to match a screw or nail I can put it against the one on the outside and see if it matches without taking the jar down, or opening it.

By SUSAN from Central FL

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I was helping my husband organize his new tool shed, and just didn't know where to put all the different sizes of nuts, bolts, screws, etc. I figured it was time for another plastic container, but they just get overlooked and purchased again. Instead, I used an old spice rack I bought for a dollar at a yard sale. He loved the idea. It spins, everything is visible, and I didn't have to label more plastic containers. I am always looking for old spice racks now, they came in handy for all my daughter's beads for her crafts as well.

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November 8, 2004

I keep a jar handy to place all those extra screws, nails, etc. that came with the put-it-together yourself items that you buy. When my husband has only a nail, screw, nut, washer, or wall anchor or two left in what he is doing, I take them to place in my jar.

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I found a great new use for the sturdy plastic containers that our dog treats come in from Costco. I use them to store large nails and screws that I buy in quantity for various projects.

Organizing nails in recycled plastic containers.

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Tiny little bolts, screws and springs can be reused again but can be hard to find or easily lost. If they are left scattered, it could be very dangerous to your toddlers.

Hardware sealed inside a folded piece of tape.

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Find a piece of square timber just larger than your jar diameter and however long you want it. Nail the lids onto all four sides of the timber.


Screw in a thick screw on either end of the timber.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

September 18, 2007

I would like to organize my husband's nails, screws, nuts and bolts. There are so many of them we're overwhelmed. Any suggestions for us to get started?


By jojo (Guest Post)
September 18, 20070 found this helpful

My husband saved all of our used and empty jam/sauce jars etc. He removed the labels, washed and dried them and filled them with nails/screws/nuts/washers etc.
He also screwed the lids to wooden beams in our garage then screwed the jars onto the lids. They are up out of the way. You could also write sizes on the jars with permanent marker. Hope some of this helps. :)

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By Rasta (Guest Post)
September 20, 20070 found this helpful

Go to McFeelys on the web and click on storage. There is a 1# and a 2# coffee can tray set.


I have them in my craft room and my husband has them in his shop.

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September 20, 20070 found this helpful

For the ones you have the smallest quantities of, use ice cube trays that stack, and put them into an open-ended box so he can slide out whatever he needs to see into. My jewelry is all in ice cube trays, except for the big long necklaces. You can label the ends.
Or you could shove it all into a large shallow pan with sides, like a big cookie sheet, and label it "SHOP MIX".

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By Goldengirl (Guest Post)
September 20, 20070 found this helpful

Depending on how many you have you can put them into utensil trays or you can try some kind of jar like baby food jars or pickle jars.

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By Cathy (Guest Post)
September 21, 20070 found this helpful

In hardware and craft shops you can buy multi-storage boxes with small drawers approximately the length of your index finger. I use this for all of my bits and pieces. The drawers are clear plastic so you can see inside, or just put a sticker in front saying what's inside.

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September 21, 20070 found this helpful

I agree with Cathy about the multi storage boxes. You can find either metal or plastic containers,both have see through drawers. I would suggest that you buy the metal ones. I have a metal one and a plastic one. The plastic one I can only keep light things in there because the drawers will slip off the glides with heavy nails or bolts.

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September 21, 20070 found this helpful

This makes me think of a fathers day gift my daughter made in first grade. Using the cardboard holder for a six-pack of pop bottles (root beer still comes that way) and she put a soup can in each compartment to hold screws and nails, etc.


They spray painted the cardboard holder, and painted the cans different colors.

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By Christine IN (Guest Post)
September 21, 20070 found this helpful

Use baby jars & then glue the item on the top or outside. Larger items can be put into instant iced tea holders. Hope this helps.

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By Claudia-MD (Guest Post)
September 26, 20070 found this helpful

I bought inexpensive clear plastic fishing tackle boxes for pierced earrings. I think they would also work well for keeping different sizes of nuts, bolts, screws separated and easy to see.

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October 10, 20070 found this helpful

I don't know if this will work, but cream cheese containers and small plastic containers (recycle) could be glued to a strong magnet on their bottom side. Then if he has a magnetic surface, just label the lid with the screw type/size and there you go.


If no magnet surface, go to a thrift store and get one of those big old cookie sheets and hang it up on the wall. Put the magnetic containers on it.

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By lilredex (Guest Post)
October 16, 20070 found this helpful

Have used Smucker's jam jars, baby food jars and others, all about the same size, shown in the sample wall rack in the attached photo.

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By (Guest Post)
October 24, 20070 found this helpful

I have several methods. The new rectangular plastic baby food containers work well for small screws. Larger screws usually come in a decent box for storage. 1 gallon drywall mud buckets make sturdy storage containers too.

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October 24, 20070 found this helpful

for longer light weight tools like welding rods, long nails, drill bits, etc. The new hard plastic chip cans called STAX are just wonderful. They are more thicker than pringles can. A durable plastic with a molded side which grips your hand just perfect. The lids are clear or yellow on some. I use them for evrything.My paint brushes, small toys in catagories, spegettit after box has been opened. Cotton balls, sewing thread spools, glue sticks (my favorite) and so many other ideas. You can stack them up straight or lay beside each other with the lids facing you so you can see whats inside. I either mark my fronts with marker or lid to say whats inside. I even put my ribbons, twin string roll, etc, inside and poke a hole either on my lid or at the center bottom and just pull out what i need and cut off. sold at the dollar stores the cheapest for $1.00 each. Great flavors too better than pringles I think.

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By Roger (Guest Post)
October 29, 20070 found this helpful

My tile contractor used a bulk peanut container to hold his tile spacers in. There are many items that come in large reusable plastic containers.

I'm looking for something some type of plastic container for screws that I could throw in the pouch of my tool belt. that way the same container I store screws in I could work out of as well.

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By Strib (Guest Post)
February 3, 20080 found this helpful

I see there are many Ideas to work with here but you may want an Idea of how to catagorize the items. I find if I try to divide them too perfectly it bcomes dificult. Try this, small nails, lrg. nails, small screws, lrg. screws, electrical stuff, fasteners, misc. plastic, misc. metal, Nuts, bolts, nut bolt sets,
bulbs, razorblades, matches. Other things to put into individual containers are glues, cemicals, paints. Buy him some extention cord holders too. Be careful as we men get touchy about someone else messing with our stuff. Maybe buy him the containers and premark them for a gift? My wife is in the back ground saying Batteries, String, Wire, staples. Don't put batteries with anything else as they can short out an start fires.

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By R Dawson (Guest Post)
May 24, 20080 found this helpful

I've got a "Sorta-Neat" - (5) ~8oz plastic cups under a hinged tray and after sorting thru the fasteners in the tray, the flanged cup is slipped into grooves at the open end of the tray and then the fasteners are returned to the cup by tilting the tray. Slick for a decent amount of fasteners and if I can find another, I'm going to get one for my son-in-law.

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By F DENGLER (Guest Post)
September 19, 20080 found this helpful

I've got 3 "Sorta-Neat" - (5) ~8oz plastic cups under a hinged tray and after sorting thru the fasteners in the tray, the flanged cup is slipped into grooves at the open end of the tray and then the fasteners are returned to the cup by tilting the tray.

I can not locate on line - does anyone know where to buy?

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I'm always hanging something that requires a molly bolt. I have a tray with all types and sizes of screws, nails, molly bolts, etc. that I've collected over the years. Every time I get ready to hang something I end up going to the hardware store and buying a pack of molly bolts with screws because I can't figure out which screw fits which molly bolt. Is there a simple solution to this?

By Betty from Lubbock, TX

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Organizing WorkshopNovember 11, 2011
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