Are you always digging around for the right tool? Hammers abound, but why are the flat-edge screwdrivers always missing? Wouldn’t it be great to have everything in an easy-to-find space? Here are some steps and tips to get you on your way.
Step 1: Inventory
First, start by gathering all your tools. Make a list of the locations where you found your tools. Garage, kitchen, basement, car, truck? Lay them all out on a bedsheet or blanket. Sort them by type to get an idea of how many different kinds of tools you have.
Next, examine each tool and decide what to keep. Ask yourself these questions.
• Is it a duplicate? If so, how many of this tool do I need?
• Have I ever used it? Some tools passed down thru the family should be kept for sentimental reasons, but others that you’ve never used can surely go.
• Is it broken? If it isn’t usable and can’t be repaired then discard it.
• Have I replaced it with a multi-purpose tool that does the job more efficiently?
• Does a neighbor have a better version that I usually borrow? Maybe time to get a new one?
Toss out the broken tools, sell the good ones on eBay, get a tax break by donating to a local charitable organization, have a “yard sale for men” or help a favorite college grad begin their first tool box. Only keep the tools you are sure to use in the future.
Step 2: Make a Plan
Using your list of locations from step 1, think about how and where you use your tools. You may decide to centralize your tools in the garage or basement.
Begin sorting your tool collection into groups according to their desired location. This will help you to determine the storage space requirements for each area. You may need smaller tools for your car or truck in a smaller toolbox and large tools arranged in a bigger wheeled toolbox. Heavier tools and machines may go under the table in your garage or in a corner. If your rarely use them, move those to the basement and consider getting a wheeled trolley for easy mobility.
Step 3: Choose your Tool Storage System
The internet is a great resource to find the latest tool storage solutions. Portable tool boxes are great for on-the-go types to keep in their car or truck. Behind-the-wheel tool boxes for pickup trucks are a great way to take advantage of unused truck bed space. If you have a ton of small parts, you may consider some plastic storage cabinets with sliding drawers.
Pegboards work nicely in the garage or basement workspace to keep tools handy and off the countertops. Maybe you need some new shelving to store larger-sized tools.
Step 4: Implement your new Tool Storage System
If you’ve ordered a new tool box or some other item, then when it arrives begin to place your tools in order. Once you’ve got everything in its place, remember to always take the extra time to put items away when they are done being used. If you’ve added a pegboard, consider drawing an outline around each tool as it hangs on the pegboard to make it easier to know where to return the tool.
Get motivated—you’ll be glad you did. Once you’re organized, maybe you’ll even have space to buy some new tools!
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