Excel works great, I would continue to use that. Access isn't needed for most people really. You can do most things in Excel, including searching anything you wish, filtering, sorting back and forth and so on. Besides, Excel is a lot easier to use if you're not used to database apps. In any case you can import your Excel sheets into Access at any time you like, they are fully compatible.
I advise you to check out a feature called "Autofilter" in Excel (it's in the Data menu) which gives you dropdown menus on all columns where you can make some pretty nice filtering. This is really useful if you have large lists. If you want to search for a specific thing in your data, click on the column header (the ones reading A, B, C and so on), go to Find in the Edit menu and enter your search. That will search in only that column. Or skip the first step and just search on the whole sheet if you like.
Note though that Excel allows a maximum of 65535 rows, so I hope you don't have more items than that! :)
I also strongly suggest that you keep one item per row, i.e. don't spread out info across several rows for the same item. You can have as much as you want horizontally, but keep it to one unique item per row. This will allow you to migrate this data to any database program you might want to use in the future without any trouble. If each item uses several rows, it's impossible to import the data into a database without a lot of manual work, not to mention you won't be able to sort the list properly.