Minecraft Wiki

Organization is a very important habit to have in Minecraft. Organization helps with finding things quickly and easily, especially later in the game when you have collected a lot of materials. It takes a long time to find what you need when it is cluttered up. This tutorial is intended for players who prefer to store items in specific categories.


Early on in the game, one double chest can fit most of your items, such as wood, weapons, and tools. However, to progress further in the game, you eventually need to make storage rooms with categorized chests to store items. Chests, shulker boxes and barrels are some of the most important blocks in the game. Here are the basic steps for organizing everything into a good sense of order.

  • Build a large room for all your chests. If you are tight on space, you can embed some chests into the floor or make chest "shelves".
  • Chests cannot open with a block on top (except transparent blocks like torches, glass, slabs, and other chests). You can place upside down stairs or half slabs to change this.
  • If you want single chests side-by-side without them combining into a large chest, then place them while sneaking to prevent them from joining.‌[Java Edition only]
  • If you have room, you may want to place signs or item frames next to, above, or on the chests to label them and make categorizing easier. To place a sign or item frame on a chest, place it while sneaking.
  • If you are tight on space, you can put shulker boxes inside chests for more efficient storage, although looking for one in the End early on in the game is impractical.
  • Make your storage facilities sturdy and impenetrable. Don't forget to light up the room so mobs can't spawn inside.
  • Cats love to jump onto chests, which prevents the player from opening it. Make them sit down if you let them into a storage room.
  • If you have a lot of iron ingots, gold ingots, wheat, lapis lazuli, snowballs, redstone, emeralds, clay, diamonds, bone meal, dried kelp, or coal, craft them into their respective blocks to allow for more compact storage.
  • Tools, armor, music discs, potions, and a few other things do not stack. Keep this in mind when organizing.


Once you have completed your storage rooms, you'll want to be consistent with your organizing across all the singleplayer and multiplayer worlds that you play on. One of the main things to do is to come up with a few general categories for every item and block. The exact categories you decide to organize items vary between players–organize them in a way that is convenient for you. Here are some suggestions:

Category Blocks/Items Examples
Natural X Stuff you'd find in the natural world Saplings, Cactus, Tall Grass, Leaves, etc.
Wood X Anything that has something to do with wood Logs, Planks, Sticks, Fences, Boats, Signs, etc.
Mob Drops Anything a mob might have dropped that is not a food or a potion ingredient Rotten Flesh, Eggs, Ender Pearls, Feathers, etc.
Food X Any type of food Porkchops, Beef, Chicken, Bread, Carrots, etc.
Stone X Anything that has something to do with stone Stone, Cobblestone, Granite, Obsidian, etc.
Colorful Anything that has dye-color variants Wool, Terracotta, Dyes, Glass, Concrete, etc.
Combat Any kind of weapon Armor, Swords, Bow, TNT, Trident, etc.
Minerals Anything mined out of underground Coal, Iron, Gold, Diamonds, etc.
Tools All tools that you have but do not need at the moment Hoe, Shovel, Fishing Rod, etc.
Mining All tools that you need when going mining Torches, Pickaxes, Buckets, etc.
Brewing Anything that has something to do with brewing/potions Potions, potion ingredients, Cauldrons, Brewing Stands, etc.
Nether X All blocks and items pertaining to the Nether dimension, unless used for potions, in which those items would be in another category Netherrack, Nether Bricks, Nether Brick Stairs and Slabs, Gold Nuggets, etc.
End All blocks and items pertaining to the End dimension End Stone, Chorus Plants, Shulker Boxes, etc.
Mechanism Anything that has something to do with redstone Redstone, Redstone Torches, Redstone Repeaters, Piston, etc.
Miscellaneous All other things that do not fit into any of the other categories Books, Book and Quill, etc.
Magic Items Enchanted items Enchanted Books for example.
Mass Junk After a while, many players accumulate several double chests each of other things Dirt, Gravel, Sand, etc.
Other Junk Stuff you rarely need Damaged Armor, Tools, etc.
Trophy Items Items that are hard to obtain, rare items Dragon Egg, Nether Star, Heart of the Sea, etc.
Shared Stash Useful on a multiplayer server where you are bunking with friends. This way, they know if they can borrow some dirt, or if all of your stuff has an invisible “HANDS OFF!” sign on it.
Storage Room

A section of a storage room that has its chests sorted by their position in the creative inventory.

Remember that many items can fit in multiple categories. For example, most types of food would also fit into the mob drops or natural categories. You must decide what categories have priority over others.

Another idea for organization is to organize each chest based on where they are in the creative inventory. For example, use the labels in the creative inventory like building blocks, decoration blocks, redstone, tools, combat, and others. Note that this does not work if you have a huge supply of items, but if this is the case, you can divide each category between two different chests.

At the entrance of your house or base, you may want to have a temporary chest that can be used for anything, so you can go farming while you keep your mining or building the setup in an easily accessible place.

It is also helpful to have a chest for items that need to be sorted. This discourages you from simply putting items in random chests when you need to empty your inventory quickly.


The setup of how you put items in a specific chest is important too. Putting them randomly is going to make everything a mess, so you can group the same items and blocks together. Create rows of the same thing or section of the chest to specific items. One possible way to do this with multiple tools that have been used before, with differing durability, is to sort them like this: first, sort them by tool, sectioning them off in the chest vertically by pickaxe, shovel, hoe, etc.; then, by what they're made of–any diamond tools go to the top, while stone or wood goes to the bottom. Within the spaces of the tools, the new ones would be higher up than the used ones. For example, a new iron pickaxe would be higher than the used ones, but still not higher than a used diamond pickaxe. How you sort your items in the chests can save your sanity in the future.


Cleaning up your inventory and hotbar can also benefit players by making unofficial hotkeys. This way, you don't have to look at your hotbar to select what item you want and you can find an acceptable limit for the extra resources you carry. Inventory management is crucial if you want to be an efficient player.

The following are suggestions only. There is no one way to organize an inventory, and if you are overflowing with items, you may need to adjust your item locations.

Designated inventory slots[]

This is a method of inventory organization that is capable of changing depending on the task at hand. It uses a general layout with easy access to many items and utilities, but also leaves room for personalization. Some mods may allow you to bind inventory slots to hotkeys.

General layout[]


The screenshot to the right shows the different "zones" in the inventory. You can add these colors to your survival inventory using resource packs. The color codes are explained below:

Category Items

 General Utilities
Recommended items: compass, clock, arrows, wood, ladders, and an ender chest (after you get a Silk Touch pickaxe).

Could be swapped with: maps, ender pearls, or more potions.

Recommended items: Potions of Regeneration, Fire Resistance, and Night Vision.

Could be swapped with: any potions. You can use these slots as more work storage if you're not yet at the point in the game where you can brew potions.

 Crafting Utilities
Recommended items: crafting table, furnace, and extra armor.

Could be swapped with: Job-specific items (redstone components, building blocks, etc.)

Recommended items: torches

Could be swapped with: glowstone

Recommended items: pickaxes (work pick and a spare), shovel, and an axe.

Could be swapped with: any tool, depending on what you're doing.

 Work storage
Recommended items (Hotbar):
  • Early game: half a stack of dirt and cobblestone, water bucket.
  • Later game: ender pearls, stone, water bucket.

Could be swapped with: Any job-specific items (ex. leave empty for mining, so you have space for minerals.) It is recommended to always carry a water bucket.

Recommended items: Any plentiful food source.

Could be swapped with: golden apples, or Instant Health potions.

Recommended items: sword, backup sword, and bow.

Could be swapped with: a fishing rod, or more swords/bows.

Slot switching[]


The keys used in this suggestion.

There are two ways you can navigate the hotbar: using the mouse wheel to switch between items, and using keyboard keys. The mouse wheel is better for beginners, but it takes longer to scroll to an item and you have a high chance of skipping over the item you want. The keyboard keys can allow to you to switch to any slot on the hotbar from anywhere, but requires you to memorize the keys and you have limited mobility in the split second you switch slots. By default, the number keys are assigned to the corresponding hotbar slot. Some resource packs add numbers to the slots to make it easier.

Here are some different recommended keyboard bindings to use for more advanced players and what fingers might be assigned to them:

Slot Key Finger
1 Z Left Ring
2 X Left Middle
3 C Left Index
4 V Left Thumb
5 G Left Index
6 B Left Thumb
7 H Left Index
8 N Right Index
9 M Right Index

Tips and tricks[]

  • T is for torches.
  • C is for cobblestone (or stone if using silk-touch pickaxe).
  • F is the easiest key to press, so having your sword here is good practice. However, you must change the switch-to-off-hand hotkey.
  • You can hover over an item stack in a chest or in your inventory and press a hotkey, and that item swaps with the item currently on the hotbar slot you selected. If nothing is on the hotbar slot, that item moves there.
  • You can hover over an empty square in an inventory and press a hotkey, and the item in that hotbar slot jumps to where your mouse pointer is.
Mouse Wheel
  • The water bucket is in the middle.
  • The sword is actually only one slot from the torches and two from the pickaxe.
  • You should have your sword selected when you're not using any other items.
  • Putting things in their places even before you have the items to occupy every space teaches you where to find everything, even early game.
  • Having a crafting table and furnace with you at all times lets you be prepared in case your pick breaks while mining or other things of that nature.

Hotbar layout suggestion[]

Slot Item Description
1 Sword The 1 key on the keyboard is usually the easiest key to reach and is right next to your pickaxe if you run into a mob or player while mining. It might also make sense to put it in slot 2 to be closer to your "W" finger.
2 Pickaxe Works well with the sword if you are fighting and need to tunnel away.
3 Shovel Near the pickaxe and sword.
4 Axe For cutting down trees and emergency fighting, as axes are slower to recharge than swords. If you don't need an axe, put arrows to know how many more you have for shooting, or a specialized pickaxe, such as Fortune or Silk Touch.
5 Bow For shooting mobs, players, or wooden buttons or Pressure Plate.
6 Cobblestone There really is no excuse not to use this for building pillars, emergency walls, building, unless you also have end stone, which is more resistant to TNT. Also good for miscellaneous things such as a map if exploring.
7 Water Bucket For when you fall into lava, fire, or a skeleton or a player with the Flame-enchanted Bow. Also gets an enderman to move away by hurting it. Useful for scaling cliffs and preventing fall damage as well.
8 Food Extremely convenient when fleeing battle as it is only two mouse scrolls from your sword. Or can be a clock, to time those battles.
9 Torches, Potions, or empty For things you pick up.

Instant hotbar access suggestion[]

This layout is designed for instant access to items you might need quickly, and places items with a similar purpose next to each other so they can be accessed with a single scroll. It is also very flexible and has several slots that can be changed without sacrificing the functionality of the layout.

Slot Item Description
1 Pickaxe This layout places your pickaxe next to your shovel and torches (the other most common things you need when mining or caving).
2 Shovel It is wise to replace this with a fire resistance potion when traveling to the nether because you won't need a shovel there unless you are collecting soul sand, and because it is easy to reach in case you fall into lava.
3 Sword Slot 3 is the easiest to reach with your index finger while backing up with your middle finger. This strategy is efficient when you encounter mobs by surprise.
4 Dirt, Cobblestone, or another solid block. Also easy to reach for emergency situations like a lava flow and very convenient for normal use.
5 Bow Relatively close to your sword, but out of the way. Bows work best when you are probably several blocks away and not in immediate danger.
6 Water Bucket Great for when caving or mining near bedrock to take care of lava.
7 Potions This can be anything you might need for the task at hand.
8 Food Important to have on the bar, but out of the way. It may be beneficial to put it in your off-hand to save space for something else.
9 Torches One scroll away from your pickaxe for easy access while mining.