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 when it is cluttered up. This tutorial is geared 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, such as 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 and shulker boxes 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”. Note that it is possible to stack chests directly on top of one another. You can also, as of Java Edition 1.13, sneak and place chests right next to each other. This also works on the latest Bedrock Edition. If you are not on Java Edition 1.13 (Update Aquatic), and you want chests right next to each other, then alternate double chests and double trapped chests. This will allow you to have them next to each other.
- If you are not tight on space, 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.
- Don't make conspicuous rooms for rare items in multiplayer.
- Make your storage facilities sturdy and impenetrable. Don't forget to light up the room so mobs can't spawn inside.
- Cats can jump onto chests and prevent the player from using it. Keep them sat down if you are to let them into your storage rooms.
- If you have a lot of iron ingots, gold ingots, wheat, lapis lazuli, snowballs, redstone, emeralds, clay, diamonds, bone meal, or coal, craft them into their respective blocks to allow for more compact storage.
- Different kinds of logs, wooden planks, saplings, wool, leaves, slabs, stairs, sandstone, mushrooms, tools, food, seeds, music discs, stone bricks, and fungi will not stack. Keep this in mind when organizing.
- Chests will not 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.
- Label your chests! This can be done through means such as item frames or signs. It will help you later in the game when you have many more items.
- Once you have killed the ender dragon and explored the outer end islands, you will be able to store items in shulker boxes, which are much more compact than chests. You may want to use this storage system design:
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 will vary between players–organize them in a way that is convenient for you. Here are some suggestions:
|Natural||Stuff you'd find in the natural world||Saplings, Cactus, Tall Grass, Leaves, etc.|
|Wood||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||Any type of food||Porkchops, Beef, Chicken, Bread, Carrots, etc.|
|Stone||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||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||Items enchanted||Enchanted Books for example.|
|Mass Junk||After a while, many players will accumulate several double chests each of other things||Dirt, Gravel, Sand, etc.|
|Other Junk||Stuff you will 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||You only need this chest if you are doing this on a multiplayer server where you are bunking with friends. This 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.|
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 will need to 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 will 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 will discourage 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.
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:
|General Utilities||Recommended items: compass, clock, arrows, wood, ladders, and an ender chest (after you get a Silk Touch pickaxe).|
|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.)
|Lighting||Recommended items: torches
Could be swapped with: glowstone
|Tools||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):
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.
|Food||Recommended items: Any plentiful food source.|
|Weapons||Recommended items: sword, backup sword, and bow.
Could be swapped with: a fishing rod, or more swords/bows.
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:
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 will need to 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 will swap with the item currently on the hotbar slot you 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 you 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.
Hotbar Layout Suggestion
|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.
|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).|
|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.|