14 Free Storage Container Options for Organization

Updated: Oct. 05, 2023

You already use sour cream and yogurt tubs to store dinner leftovers. And you probably have empty coffee cans in your garage to store nails and screws. If you're looking for more ideas, here are 10 free storage container options for organization.

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HH long handled yard tool pallet organization hack
Family Handyman

Pallet to Store Lawn and Garden Equipment

If you have a yard or a garden, you know that there are a lot of long-handled tools involved. You probably also know how obnoxious it is when you need the shovel or the rake and have to walk all over to find it.

You could easily attach this pallet to a fence, shed or to the exposed wall studs in your garage. No matter what you choose, you’ll want to make sure that your screws are long enough to go through both your pallet and the wall you are attaching it to. We drilled two screws into the pallet, one into each exposed wall stud. You won’t need a ton of screws or nails because the pallet isn’t all that heavy. Now you have a quick and free way to store your lawn tools!

Looking for more ways to work smarter in your workshop? Here are 19 tips from a seasoned woodworker and do-it-yourselfer.

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Six-Pack Carrier

Take that six-pack beverage carrier and turn it into a desktop organizer. You’ll need some duct tape, Mod Podge, a sponge brush and scrapbook paper to decorate. Use it to store pencils, pens, Crayons and markers.

Check out these 12 brilliant uses for duct tape around your home.

Photo: Courtesy of Make Something Mondays

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Spice Containers

Next time you empty a store-bought spice container, rinse it out and use it to store small items. Try storing craft supplies such as beads, pins and buttons.

Photo: Courtesy of DIY inspired

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wine box shoe storage container
Family Handyman

Wine Box Shoe Storage

Why pay for a fancy compartment-style shoe storage container when you can just pick one up for free at almost any store that sells wine? Designed to protect fragile glass bottles, a wine box is perfect for storing footwear because it comes equipped with cardboard dividers—a place for each shoe! In addition, the exterior cardboard is very sturdy, again to keep wine bottles from breaking, but also great for protecting your kicks in storage.

You could get fancy, too, and paint or cover the exterior of the wine box with decorative wrapping paper if you plan to keep it in your closet or entryway.

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Glass Jars storage
Photo: Courtesy of Provisionshop

Glass Jars

Whether it’s an empty pickle jar, candle jar or pasta sauce jar, clean and rinse it out and wrap it with some pretty fabric. Use glass jars to store bathroom items such as cotton balls and Q-tips, along with small craft supplies.

Make the best use of your limited bathroom space with these storage and organizing tips.

Photo: Courtesy of Provisionshop

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Pringles can storage
Photo: Courtesy of Jo's Delights

Pringles Can

Take that empty Pringles can, rinse it out and turn it into a storage container. When it’s dry, take some glue and scrap or wrapping paper and decorate it. Use it to store cookies and homemade snacks.

Check out these 11 no-pantry solutions for homeowners on a budget.

Photo: Courtesy of Jo’s Delights

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toilet paper roll small cord storage
Family Handyman

Organize Small Cords with Toilet Paper Rolls

In today’s high-tech homes, keeping track of small cords can be challenging. Almost every electronic device has a cord that goes with it: cameras, smartphones, computers and the list goes on. Rather than tossing them in various drawers throughout your house, where they can get tangled or forgotten, try this simple and inexpensive solution.

Find a small box (a shoe box works perfectly) and fill it with as many empty toilet paper rolls that will fit vertically. Then place a single cord in each toilet paper roll. Next time you need one of your small cords, you’ll know where to find it, and it’ll be free of tangles!

Check out these 33 brilliant home hacks using our 3 favorite items: hangers, toilet paper rolls and rubber bands.

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plastic fruit box containers
Photo: Courtesy of Repurposeful

Plastic Fruit Boxes

If you purchase berries or small tomatoes at the grocery store, you likely have those plastic clamshells in your recycle bin. Wash them out and use them to store sewing or craft supplies, homegrown produce from your garden or use them as a sandwich container in your lunchbox.

Photo: Courtesy of Repurposeful

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take-out container repurpose storage
Photo: Courtesy of Jolly and Happy

Takeout Containers

Make your takeout container work double duty. Once washed out, use it to store small toys. This is the perfect way to take small toys along on car trips.

Whether your child keeps their toys in a bin, basket or bucket, here are a dozen easy hacks to clean up and organize your child’s toys in a space of any size.

Photo: Courtesy of Jolly and Happy

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egg carton nail polish organization
Photo: Courtesy of One Crazy House

Egg Cartons

While you can use many cardboard egg cartons in your compost, try using them in new ways. Try using an egg carton as a storage container for makeup and nail polish, or use it to store earrings and other jewelry. Leave cartons au natural or paint them to match your decor.

Kick your composting up a notch with these tips.

Photo: Courtesy of One Crazy House

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Portable Spice Rack
Family Handyman

Portable Picnic Spice Rack

Turn a simple pill case into a compact and handy portable spice rack for your camper or RV. This is perfect for weekend trips or slightly luxurious camping. Write the spice names on the case with permanent marker for reference. Store in a plastic baggy and pack it into your camping gear for the upcoming trip.

Add these other camping hacks to your list!

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empty cans storage
Photo: Courtesy of Make Something Mondays

Empty Soda and Water Cans

Wash out those empty cans, remove the tops with a can opener and decorate the cans with paint and some pretty fabric or trim. Use them for desktop organization, to hold makeup brushes or even as a small vase.

Photo: Courtesy of Make Something Mondays

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drink mix glasses container
Photo: Courtesy of diy inspired

Drink Mix Containers

Yes, those empty plastic drink mix containers can have a new life. Rinse them out and use some decorative paper, Mod Podge and paint to create a storage container for your sunglasses, small lap crafts or a holder for loose purse items such as lip balm, a small packet of aspirin and a small tube of sunscreen.

Photo: Courtesy of diy inspired

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Photo: Courtesy of Munchkins and the Military

Medicine Tubes or Bottles

If you use detergent pods, there are lots of ways you can use the container they come in. Decide if you want the lid on or off, paint the container and label it “Trash,” “Legos,” “Plastic Bags” or whatever else needs organizing.

Check out these 20 small space laundry room organization tips.

Photo: Courtesy of Munchkins and the Military