It might have started with a hammer and a few screwdrivers, but now you have an entire collection of tools to use in and around your house — and no longer can they all fit in your kitchen junk drawer. It is high time that you give your tools a permanent home in which you can quickly and easily find exactly what you need, but the size and features of that dedicated area might depend on the space and budget you have available for tool organization. Here are three different ideas for organizing your tools at home to create and maintain order, even as your tool collection grows.
When You Are on a Budget
You spent a good amount of your workshop budget on your extensive tool collection, leaving woefully little to keep those tools organized. Fortunately, you don’t need to take out any loans to give yourself a functional organizational system, as long as you can put time and effort into designing a space that suits your needs. Also, crucially, you will need to work to maintain the system as you take out and use tools.
The simplest and most budget-friendly way to store your tools in an organized fashion is by using bins and boxes on shelves. Shelves for your tool storage should be simple but sturdy, like wire shelving units. You can use a hodgepodge of inexpensive plastic containers — many of which can be collected from thrift stores or garage sales — and divide up your tools to fit in these different bins based on practical categories, such as “screwdrivers” or “mechanics tools.” You might use a label maker to remind yourself where different tools are located on your shelves, or if you don’t have a label maker, you can use a marker on masking tape. Then, you can rearrange your organizational system as needed simply by changing your labels.
When You Don’t Have Much Space
Not every home comes with ample space for storage. If you are struggling to find places to stash your everyday essentials, you don’t want to dedicate precious cabinet, drawer, or shelf space to your hand tools. When your home isn’t built with storage in mind, you are probably already utilizing the nooks and crannies in your garage for things like winter clothes and holiday decorations; you will need to be creative with how you store and organize your tools.
The most economical way to store your tools when you are short of space is to take advantage of the vertical plane. You can hang a pegboard on a wall and use hooks to hang your tools up. If your tool collection is quite extensive, you might consider hanging multiple panels of pegboard together, either along the wall or, using hinges, in the form of a tool book. The beauty of pegboard is that it is endlessly customizable, so you can use a variety of hooks, shelves, or other attachments as necessary to keep your tools in order. Plus, you can tuck it into any open wall of your home, from your garage to your storage shed to the back of a closet.
When You Want Ultimate Organization
If you are willing to prioritize simplicity and quality of organization over any other attributes, you need to look no further than specialized tool carts. These cabinets are designed with hand tools in mind, with robust materials that can hold heavy and tough tools without buckling or scratching. Even better, the drawers and cabinets are the perfect shape, and many come with dividers, racks, hooks, and other tools for keeping tools in proper order.
Typically, high-quality tool carts are not cheap, but barring any true disaster, they will last more than a lifetime, which makes them well worth the cost for most homeowners. Additionally, tool carts will take up some floor space, so you may need to rearrange your garage, storage shed, or workshop to accommodate the carts you need to hold your tools. Fortunately, many tool carts are built on casters, so it is easy to move them around a space despite their weight.
The sooner you put thought into organizing your tools, the easier it will be to find exactly what you need — which means your projects will be completed faster and with greater ease.