Easy Sandpaper Storage Ideas

Sandpaper storage may sound like an incredibly boring topic.  Unfortunately, it is something that needs to be considered in the shop.  

Sandpaper accumulates.  You start with sheets of sandpaper to use by hand or with a ¼ sheet sander. Then, you purchase an orbital sander that uses round hook and loop discs.  After that you decide getting into corners is hard and you buy a detail sander.  It takes triangle shaped hook and loop sheets. And of course you need several grits in all of these styles.  

Before you know there is sandpaper everywhere, taking over every drawer and flat surface around the workshop.

Man Sanding

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Sandpaper Storage Ideas

We are going to cover a few simple sandpaper storage solutions.  Simple ones that don’t require building anything and are easy on the wallet

1. Desktop Paper Sorters

First up, we have the basic desktop paper sorter.  This sandpaper storage solution is best for sheets.  Full sandpaper sheets are 9 x 11 inches.  Standard printer paper is 8.5 x 11”, so the sandpaper sheets may hang over the front edge slightly, but that is okay.  

In the shop as sandpaper storage, paper sorters can be placed on a table or workbench in a corner and out of the way.  The stackable design of most paper sorters keeps a small footprint.  You can always add trays to expand your sandpaper storage station.

There are a couple downsides to using paper sorters as sandpaper storage.  First, discs and triangle sheets don’t stack as nicely as full sheets.  They can also get lost in the back of the paper sorters and be hard to get to.  Second, you are only able to stack them so high before they become unstable, or simply too tall to fit under cabinets.  Finally, depending on where they are placed, can be in the way, or get knocked over.  However because they are cheap and widely available, paper sorters still make the list as a good sandpaper storage solution.

If you are looking for something a little larger, look at classroom paper keepers.  Teachers use these in classrooms to store construction paper of various sizes.  As sandpaper storage they would work well if you have an out of the way place to keep the storage unit.

2. Expanding Files

sandpaper storage

Next in our sandpaper storage solutions are expanding files, or accordion files.  These are another office paper storage product.  These come in paper and plastic versions.  As sandpaper storage, we are interested in the plastic style with the lid that closes with a small cord.  

Expanding files have several dividers within them that can be labeled.  Most are slightly oversized when compared to printer paper and will fit full sheets of sandpaper.  Since they are able to be closed, they are a great way to organize your round discs and triangle discs as well.

Since expanding files can be securely closed, you can store them almost anywhere.  You could put your file inside or on top of a cabinet, or on a shelf under your workbench out of the way.  When the time comes to finish something, you can bring your sandpaper storage right to where you are working and have it at arms reach. 

One downside to using expanding files as sandpaper storage is space.  If you have a lot of sandpaper you may need to get a few and organize them by style to keep things neat. Luckily, expanding files only cost a couple dollars a piece.

sandpaper storage file
sandpaper storage file

3. Filing Cabinets

Hanging file

If you have a ton of sandpaper, a filing cabinet may be the best sandpaper storage solution for you.  

A two drawer cabinet can hold a lot of sandpaper.  Using hanging files in the drawers will keep things neat, and allow you to label each type.  It is also enclosed and will keep smaller discs from falling out or getting dirty.

Instead of buying a new filing cabinet, browse social media, garage, and estate sales for a second hand one.  Often you can find one for $10 or $20 this way and save quite a bit.  

The obvious downside is the space a filing cabinet will take up in your shop.  If done right, you can tuck it under a workbench or use the top of the cabinet to store other things and get more use out of it.  

Other Sandpaper Storage Ideas

Some people decide to make their own sandpaper storage racks out of wood.  They look nice in the workshop, but when you boil it down they are wood versions of the paper sorters covered in this article.  If you need a woodworking project, go for it.  Otherwise the paper sorters will get you the same result quicker, and probably cheaper.

Others use craft or hobby boxes that have built in dividers.  These are bulky, and can be expensive if more than one are needed, but are completely enclosed with lids and can be brought to the work area like an expanding file.

Another option is building dividers in a drawer.  In practice, the drawer needs to be the right size to be efficiently used.  Due to space and having to stack things vertically in the drawer, you are pretty much limited to storing round and triangle sandpaper discs this way.  Sheets are too big to be separated out by grit in a drawer.

There are some premade sandpaper storage options available.  Woodcraft offers this one, which has several sliding drawers stacked on top of each other.

Something as simple as screws in a board can be used for store hook and loop discs with dust collecting holes, although this won’t be a viable solution for sheets of sandpaper.

If you have a flat wall or cabinet side, a hanging paper sorter can be a good solution for your flat paper sheets in conjunction with another storage solution for round and triangle sanding discs.

Sandpaper Storage


Sandpaper storage doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive.  There are plenty off the shelf options that can be used to keep your sandpaper neat and organized.  

If you want to build something, by all means go for it, plenty of plans and ideas are available across woodworking sites.  If you want something quick, functional, and easy, hopefully this article gives you some ideas. What is important is finding a sandpaper storage system that works for you and your workshop.

If you’re seeking out ways to store sandpaper, odds are you need to look into shop air filtration as well.

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