Introduction: Small Parts Organizer Made of Wood

About: I am a mom of 3, a grandmother of 6, and an accountant. My hobbies are gardening and woodworking.

In my ongoing quest to be more organized, I felt it was time to build an organizer for my small parts. Sure, I could pick up a plastic organizer at Home Depot, but I had almost 10 days off around the Christmas holidays (and I still hadn't finished this).

Items needed:

¾” plywood

½” plywood

1/8” plywood



Table saw





Time, lots of time

Step 1: Making the Frame

I started by cutting 4 pieces of ¾” plywood 6 3/8” wide X 24 ½” long. I wanted the depth of the organizer to hold my longest screws.

I also cut 4 shelves 6 3/8" wide X 24" long and a top and bottom piece 6 3/8 " wide X 24 ½” long.

I used my table saw to cut grooves in 2 of the side pieces of plywood approximately 4” apart so that the 3/4" shelves could fit into the grooves. This is messy, sawdusty, and tedious. I was able to build the frame without using any screws, just glue, thanks to these grooves and strong clamps. My box came out perfectly square.

Step 2: Boxes

I made the little boxes (tiny drawers, so cute) out of 1/2" plywood with 1/8" plywood bottoms. I cut grooves in each of the sides and back so that the 1/8" plywood bottoms could slide in. I only had to make 2 passes on each piece of wood to cut the grooves, and then I cleaned out the groove by sliding a piece of 1/8" plywood through the groove.

About 4 of these size boxes will fit on each shelf, so I needed 20 boxes. I started an assembly line, turned on the music, and went to work.

Then I glued the boxes together and clamped them tight. This took f o r e v e r.

Later, I added a hole in the front of each box, as a sort of minimalist drawer pull.

Step 3: Prime and Paint

The first picture shows a glimpse of what will be. I needed that picture for inspiration, to keep going with this repetitive project.

After the glue dried on the boxes, I hauled them inside to prime and paint. 20 boxes. Prime, dry, paint. I'm old fashioned and still use a paintbrush. Good thing I had 10 days off.

After the boxes were painted, I sanded the frame really well and then painted the frame. Prime, dry, paint.

Step 4: Spacers & Vertical Partitions

This was the part that drove me craaaaaaazy. I didn't really need vertical partitions, but I thought it would look better.

I used 2 X 4 spacers to glue in the vertical partitians between the boxes. The partitians are made of 3/4" plywood and were primed, painted, and cut to fit and are glued in place and clamped tight. They really serve no purpose but to make the box look pretty and symmetrical. Or so I thought.

Placing the partitians was a nightmare. Fortunately, though, I was able to do this in my basement to avoid frostbite.

It's starting to look like a purple martin birdhouse, which was not my intent.

Step 5: Completely Organized

In the bottom 2 shelves (8 boxes), I put a separator in each box using 1/8" plywood, which increased my organizing options.

Feels great to start the new year organized.