Organization is a very important habit to get into 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 because it is cluttered up in chests. This tutorial is leaned more towards people that prefer to store items in specific categories.
Early on in the game, you find that one double chest will be able to fit most of your items, carrying most of your wood, weapons, and tools. However, to progress further in the game, you will eventually need to make storage rooms with categorized chests to store items. Chests are one of the most important blocks in the game. Here are the basic steps for organizing everything into a good sense of order.
- Make at the very least 10 or 12 double chests.
- Build a large room for the chests. If you are tight on space, you can embed some chests into the floor or make chest "shelves". Note that it is possible to stack chests directly on top of one another.
- If you are not tight on space, you may want to place signs or item frames with the item you will place in the chest next to, above, or on the chests for easy categorization. To place an sign or item frame on a chest, place the sign or item frame while sneaking.
For people that just started playing, here are some common sense tips:
- Put your chests in a ROOM, not in the open.
- Place chests with valuables like iron, gold, and diamond, or rare things like saddles, glowstone, and enchanted items, in special, impenetrable places.
- Don't make conspicuous rooms for rare items in multiplayer.
- Group items together inside chests (don't put things in at random).
- If need be, creeper proof your storage facility with obsidian, layers of dirt, etc. Make it as sturdy as possible!
- Cats can jump onto chests and prevent the player from using it. Don't bring your pets in!
- If you have a lot of iron and you want to save space, craft iron ingots into iron blocks (9 ingots = 1 block) for more compact storage. This also applies to gold, lapis lazuli, redstone, emeralds, diamonds, and coal. Don't craft nether quartz into blocks, as this cannot be undone.
- Different kinds of logs, wooden planks, saplings, wool, leaves, slabs, stairs, sandstone, mushrooms, tools, food, seeds, music discs, and stone bricks will not stack. Keep this in mind when organizing.
- Chests will not open with a block on top (except transparent blocks like torches, glass, and other chests). You can place upside down stairs or half slabs to change this.
- Label your chests! It will help you later in the game when you have many more items.
- Place Ender chest in Storage room. On single player worlds you can keep some basic supplies to share between your bases, on multi player use it to store valuable items.
Your storage room is, more or less, symbolizing everything you have accomplished in that world. If you are careless, you'll be back to block one.
Once you have completed your storage room, attic, cellar, or whatever you want to call it, you'll want to be consistent with your organizing across all the single-player and multi-player 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 in main categories, such as:
- Natural: Plants, weeds, and stuff you'd find in the natural world. (Ex. Saplings, Cacti, Tall Grass, Leaves, etc.)
- Wood: Anything having to do with wood. (Ex. Logs, planks, sticks, Fences, Boats, Signs, etc.)
- Mob Drops: Anything a mob might have dropped that's not food or potion ingredient. (Ex. Rotten Flesh, Eggs, Ender Pearls, Feathers, etc.)
- Food: Any and all food that's not currently on your player. (Ex. Porkchop, Beef, Bread, Chicken, the raw counterparts, Carrots, and any other delicious food-like items too.)
- Stone: This means all the blocks and items that you have that are made of stone, with stone, or just in general have something to do with stone.
- Nether: All blocks and items pertaining to the Nether, unless used for potions, in which those items would be in the alchemy room. (Ex. Netherrack, Nether Brick, Nether Brick Stairs and Slabs, Golden Nuggets, etc.)
- Wool: There's many different colors of wool, so it gets its own chest. (Ex. Dyes, Shears, Wool, etc.)
- Combat Gear: Here is where all your weapons; TNT, armor, and, flint and steel go.
- Ores/Minerals: Anything mined out of the Earth. (Ex. Iron Ore/Ingots, Gold Ore/Ingots, Diamonds, etc.)
- Extra Tools: All extra tools that you have but do not need at the moment. (Ex. Hoe, Axe, etc.)
- Mining Gear: Gear and tools that you need when going down into you favorite mineshaft, torches, pickaxes, buckets, really, anything that you would take with you whilst mining.
- Utilities/Junk: Anything else that do not fit any other categories and mechanical things. (Ex. Redstone Torches, Repeaters, Enchanted Books, etc.)
- Extra Flint/Coal: Placed next to your furnaces, this chest will hold all of your extra flint and coal.
- Shared Stash: You only need this chest if you are doing this on a multiplayer server where you are bunking with friends, that way, they will know if it is okay to borrow some dirt, or if all of your stuff has an invisible "HANDS OFF!" sign on it.
- Brewing This, like the name suggests, means you put all your potions in here, along with potion ingredients, spare cauldrons, brewing stands, anything that has to do with the rich and varied world of potions.
Your own categories may vary - organize them in a way that is convenient for you.
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 setup in an easily accessible place.
Note: Everything below this line is for people that want to organize EVERYTHING, their hotbar keys, their inventory, even the inside of their chests. If you are an average person, then just reading the paragraphs above this will be enough to keep you happy. If not, read on...
The setup of how you put items in a specific chest is important too. Putting them in randomly is going to make everything all jumbled up, so you should group the same items and blocks together. Create rows of the same thing or section off the chest to specific items. One possible way to do this with multiple tools that have been used before, with differing durabilities, 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 gold pickaxe). How you sort your items in the chests can save your life in the future.
Cleaning up your inventory and hot bar can also benefit players by making hot keys for items automatic (so you don't have to look at your hot bar to select what item you want) and to 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.
 Suggestion 1
This method is an extremely flexible system for inventory organization that many people use. It allows you to know where everything is and therefore to have quick reflexes in tense situations. It is a good layout both for mouse wheel users and users that want to be able to use the new 1.7 keyboard binding options.
Slot 1: Torches. May be strange to have here, but slots 2 and 9 will explain further.
Slot 2: Pickaxe. An obvious necessity.
Slot 3: Special tool. Usually a shovel, but can be switched out for a better pick, an axe, or a hoe.
Slot 4: Dirt, for fixing those annoying creeper holes. This is a flexible slot. Can be replaced with anything, including a building block, or a third tool if desired. Do not have a full stack - 1/2 a stack or 3/4 a stack will make it so any extra dirt picked up doesn't immediately take up another inventory space.
Slot 5: Cobble. Follows the same set of rules as dirt.
Slot 6: Water bucket, for you never know when you'll catch on fire.
Slot 7: Food. Can be replaced for a health potion when in combat.
Slot 8: Bow or Fishing Rod. Next to sword for easy access. The fishing rod can be used to pull enemies into the fight when arrow supplies are low.
Slot 9: Sword. In reality, it's only one square away from the torches, and only two from the pickaxe (for mouse wheel users.)
Red: Utilities. You can use the ones shown here, or you can swap them out if you want more space for minerals, or if you want to carry maps or extra potions.
Orange: Potions, both defense and offense.
Yellow: Crafting Table, Furnace, and extra armor.
Blue: Tools. These slots change depending on what you're doing. When you're doing general stuff, it is recommended to have one of each tool.
Purple: Food storage.
Teal: Weapons. The fishing rod can go here, or you can store an extra bow or another extra sword. It is good practice to always carry an extra sword, just in case the one you're using breaks.
It is suggested that you use this layout, even early in the game. You may not have everything that you need to fill up every area at first, but getting used to the things you do have is just as important.
 Slot Switching
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.
Here are the keys I set the keyboard bindings to and what fingers are assigned to them:
Slot 1: T - Index finger.
Slot 2: R - Index finger.
Slot 3: G - Index finger.
Slot 4: X - Middle finger.
Slot 5: C - Index finger.
Slot 6: V - Index finger.
Slot 7: B - Index finger.
Slot 8: Z - Ring finger.
Slot 9: F - Index finger.
 Tips and Tricks
- T is for torches.
- C is for cobblestone.
- F is the easiest key to press, so having your sword here it good practice.
- You can hover over an item stack in a chest or in your inventory and press a hotkey, and that item will swap with the item currently on the hotbar slot your selected.
- If nothing is on the hotbar slot, that item will move there.
- You can hover over an empty square in an inventory and press a hotkey, and the item in that hotbar slot will jump 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 will get your used to where everything is, 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.
 Suggestion 2
- Slot 1: Your 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.(Or, depending on your keyboard, you might want want to put it in slot 2 to be closer to your "W" finger.)
- Slot 2: A pickaxe of any kind, works well with the sword if you are fighting and need to tunnel away.
- Slot 3: A shovel of any kind, near the pickaxe and sword.
- Slot 4: An axe, for cutting down trees and emergency fighting, as axes only do 1/2 heart less than a sword of the same material. If you don't need an axe, put arrows (to know how many more you have for shooting), or a specialized pickaxe (Fortune or Silk Touch).
- Slot 5: Your bow. For shooting mobs, players, or wooden buttons.
- Slot 6: Cobblestone. There really is no excuse not to use this for pillaring, emergency walls, building, unless you also have endstone, which is more resistant to TNT. Also good for misc. such as a Map if exploring.
- Slot 7: Bucket of water. For when you fall into lava, fire, or that skeleton with the enchanted bow had flame. Also gets an Enderman to de-target while hurting it. Usually Food is more important than Water.
- Slot 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, best.
- Slot 9: Torches, Potions, or an empty spot for things you pick up.
 Suggestion 3
This layout is designed for instant access to items you might need quickly, and places items with 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 1: Pickaxe. This layout places your pickaxe next to your shovel and torches. (The other most common things you will need when mining or caving)
- Slot 2: Shovel. It is wise to replace this with a fire resistance potion when travelling 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.
- Slot 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.
- Slot 4: Dirt, cobblestone, or another common block. Also easy to reach for emergency situations like a lava flow and very convenient for normal use.
- Slot 5: Bow. Relatively close to your sword, but out of the way. If you need to use your bow, you are probably several blocks away and not in immediate danger.
- Slot 6: Bucket of water. Great for when caving or mining near bedrock to take care of lava.
- Slot 7: Potions. Alternatively, anything you might need for the task at hand.
- Slot 8: Food. Important to have on the bar, but out of the way.
- Slot 9: Torches. One scroll away from your pickaxe for easy access while mining.
 Tips and Tricks
- Put blocks underneath your chest and put that specific block in the chest (dirt, cobblestone, iron,etc.). For minerals make a block of iron, gold, or diamond, incase you are playing on a multinational server.
- You can use item frames to label your storage room. (Although not recommended due to larger server/clientload)
- You can place trapped chests and normal chests next to each other to save space.
- For better and more compact chest organization (for chest labeling), hold down the Sneak button (Left Shift by default) and, while holding a sign or item frame, place the sign or item frame on the chest. When placing an item frame on a chest, look at the item frame and place the item or block in the frame. This trick is handy for better organization and prevention of getting confused of what goes where.