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How to Organize Tools With Easy DIY Methods

Jennifer L. Betts
Man in Garage

Never knowing where your hammer is can be a problem, especially if you have a loose nail on your porch that is catching on your son's clothes. This is why tool organization can be important. Dive into different ways that you can organize your hand, power and seasonal tools. Organizational tips and tricks will work to keep it that way.

Hand Tool Organization

You don't need to be a garage expert or mechanic to have hand tools lying around. These are great for all kinds of things from do it yourself projects to quick fixes in your bathroom. However, finding that hammer that you know you saw last week can be a bit difficult if your tools aren't organized. Getting your tools organized doesn't need to break the bank either. Before getting started, you'll need to grab a few supplies:

  • Toolbox or plastic drawer cart
  • Drawer organizers/dividers
  • Labels
  • Wall storage panel
  • Hanging baskets
  • Hooks
  • Mason jars
  • Peg board
  • Screws
  • Level
  • Mounting tools
  • Marker
Workbench drawers with screws

Toolbox

A toolbox is by far one of the easiest ways to organize your hand tools and an alternative to a tool cabinet. To create a hand tool organization station, you can follow these steps.

  1. Organize the tools into categories (screw drivers, wrenches, pliers, sockets, etc.).
  2. Use the drawer organizers and dividers to give each different type of tool its own section in the plastic cart or toolbox.
  3. Label the drawers with each tool that they contain.

Wall Panel

If you don't have a lot of floor space but you have an open wall, this is the organization tool for you. For this method, you'll:

  1. Use the level to mark a straight area on the wall. You don't want to mount the wall storage panel crooked.
  2. Mount the panel to the wall with screws and mounting tools.
  3. Organize the tools into baskets.
  4. Use the Mason jars to organize your screws, nuts, paint brushes, screwdrivers, etc. before placing them in the baskets.
  5. Connect the baskets to your wall mount.
  6. Use the hooks to mount any larger tools that might not fit seamlessly into the baskets.

Not only is this a great way to keep everything organized but you can also move your baskets around as you need to. It also works great for yard tools as well.

Pegboard

Similar to the wall panel, a peg board also works great to keep your hand tools organized. It's also a great way to show off antique tools. For this organizational method, you'll need to:

  1. Mount your pegboard on to wall. (Follow the board's instructions for wall mount.)
  2. Manipulate the hooks on the board so that they work the best for you. For example, group pliers on one side and screw drivers on another. You could then fill the rest of the area with saws, gardening tools, etc.
  3. Use the wire baskets to hold bulk items that might not fit well onto the pegboard.
  4. Grab the marker and outline where the specific tools go.

Organizing Your Power Tools

You would think it would be easy to keep track of large bulky items like your electric drill or Sawzall but you'd be surprise at how easy these are to lose the minute that you need them. Rather than throwing all the tools out of your shed or garage, give these unique tool hacks a try. To start, you'll need:

  • Large plastic totes
  • Fabric or plastic baskets that fit in the tote
  • Labels
  • Slat wall hooks
  • Magnetic strips
  • Mounting tools
  • Wire shelf
  • PCV Pipe
  • Sawzall
  • Zip ties
  • Drill
  • Tape measure
Garage used as tools area

Wire Shelf Organizer

Finding a way to hang your tools without using hooks or peg board can be impossible. However, if you have a wire self that you aren't using and a bit of PVC pipe, you are well on your way to a DIY power tool organization system.

  1. Measure the width of your rack and cut your PCV pipe a half inch shorter than that length.
  2. Using the Sawzall, you want to cut notches halfway down the PVC pipe. The notches should be wide enough for the power tool to slide in snuggly.
  3. Securely mount the wire rack on to the wall.
  4. On the PCV pipe, directly above the notch, drill one hole on each side. (This is to mount it to the rack.)
  5. Use the zip ties to mount the pipe to the rack.
  6. Slide your tools into the notches.
  7. Place tools too large for the pipes on the top of the rack. (This can also work great as a charging station)
  8. Use the magnetic strip along the wall to hold any hand tools or accessories.

Large Plastic Totes

Keeping your power tools in totes that seal is a great way to keep them out the elements, especially if they are stored in a shed. It's also a great organization method if you don't use your power tools that often. Just follow these steps to organization.

  1. Organize the baskets within the tote. Depending on the size of your tote and basket, you might be able to stack them.
  2. Place different tools and accessories into each basket. For smaller power tools, you might be able to group them like if you have specific ones you use all the time and those you don't.
  3. Label the tote with the tools.
  4. Put the lid on and slide it into a corner.

Seasonal Tool Organization Ideas

When it comes to seasonal items that you might not use often like snow shovels, rakes, weed eaters, and trimmers, you are going to need a system in place the works all year round. Typically, the best way to organize these tools is by using hooks and containers. The hooks keep them on the walls and out of the way, and the containers can be slid under a bench or on top of a shelf when the season is over. For this project, you'll need to have mounting hooks, totes and labels.

  1. Plan out the best way to hang the tools in the smallest amount of space. You might want to consider creating a rough blueprint.
  2. Mount the hooks and hang.
  3. Place small tools within a tote and label them according to their use (i.e. garden tools, lawn, snow removal, etc.).
Garden Tools stored in garage

Keeping Tools Organized

It is fun to sit back and look at your amazingly organized tools. However, if they don't stay that way then there wasn't a point. To make sure that things stay neat and tidy, give these tips a try.

  • Make tools that you use a lot are easily accessible. If your screwdrivers are hard to get to and put back, chances are you will just leave them out.
  • Make systems that are versatile. If you use pegs, you might design it so that any tool can pretty much go anywhere. This means you'll be more likely to put it away.
  • Label where they go. Having an elaborate system is great but if you don't know what goes where, it can be an epic fail.
  • Use shelves or baskets for random or odd tools. That way you can just throw them in.
  • Keep things grouped together. It is easy to see when a screwdriver is missing if they are all grouped together.

An Organized Workspace

You might not put a lot of thought into tool organization. That is until you are buying a new rake because your old one was lost in the great abyss that is your shed. Keeping everything neat and tidy can make sure that you never lose another tool again. You have the know-how, now give it a try.

How to Organize Tools With Easy DIY Methods