Tool Box Organization Tips

A tool box features small structured boxes filled with dowels, screws, and other various hardware

How organized is your workshop, garage, or tool bench? Having the ability to reach for a needed tool and knowing exactly where to find it is underrated. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a seasoned day laborer, having the right tool for the job makes a huge difference in efficiency.

If you’re stuck when it comes to figuring out how to organize a tool box or tool chest, you’re in luck, the professionals at Five Star Storage know a thing or two about organization and storage. Follow along for ideas for getting your toolbox and workspace in tip top shape and how to store items when they’re not in use. 

Why Organizing a Tool Chest is Important

An organized toolbox is important because it helps you find things quickly and easily. When all of your tools are in the right places, you don’t have to waste time digging through a pile of stuff to get what you need. Plus, an organized toolbox is much safer too! If everything has its own spot, it’s much less likely for someone to trip over something or for tools to cause damage.

Knowing Which Tool Box to Use

Before you sit down to organize your tool chest, you need to figure out which one makes the most sense. Is it a stationary unit that stays in your garage? Do you plan on buying a portable tool box to cart around to job sites? In some cases, you may decide to buy a tool bag that has room for a few miscellaneous items. Sometimes it makes sense to buy multiple, or even all three.

You don’t need to go out and buy the most expensive option, but it can be helpful to buy one with a tool grid organizer or a tool drawer organizer.

Once you’ve narrowed down your choice of tool chest, box, or bag, it’s time to start organizing your inventory.

These following tips are helpful if you’re using a hard portable tool box or chest.

1. Take an inventory of your full tool collection.

Depending on how long you’ve been building your collection, you might have more tools than you can keep track of. That’s okay! Before you decide on placing anything in boxes, bins, or shelves, take a visual inventory. This usually takes a lot of space because it involves grouping tools together and laying them out. As you work, think about how often you use items as well as which ones are used together. Keep an eye out for any duplicates. Don’t set them aside yet.

2. Consider splitting the tools up into separate containers.

According to home improvement expert Bob Vila, sometimes it makes sense to separate your tool set into two containers. Keep a basic set of “everyday” tools in one toolbox. Screwdrivers, wrenches, and a hammer come to mind. Other tools can be kept in a separate container. That includes measuring, marking, or layout tools. Putting them in their own spot protects them from damage and makes them easy to get to. There’s also no reason to carry tools and weigh down your toolbox with items you only use on occasion. 

3. Store your frequently-used tools in an easy-to-reach place.

Speaking of your frequently-used tools, they should live in a spot where you don’t have to hunt for them. DIYers have different needs than dedicated contractors, but the most common tools to prominently place in a toolbox for your convenience include:

  • Screwdrivers
  • Pliers
  • Hammer
  • Cordless drill

Placing these tools in a tray that lifts out of the tool box or chest makes them easily accessible and saves room for other items in the biggest part of the box.

Speaking or large tool chests, if they don’t have premade drawers, you can buy subdividers and toolbox organizers to make grouping similar items easier.

4. Put your bulky, heavier tools in the lower sections of the chest or box.

Anything that’s too big to fit in a tray should live in the larger drawers or open sections at the bottom of the tool box. Power tools, batteries, and any heavy hand tools fit the bill. For one thing, it’s a safety issue: top-heavy tool chests fall over easily, and putting these items in the bottom adds to stability – no one likes having to pick everything up if it falls over.

5. Smaller, lighter tools go in upper sections.

Even though weight distribution is important, placing smaller items in upper sections is just as much about making them easy to find. No one wants to move large tools every time they need to reach for a screwdriver, wrench, or nails. 

Add labels to ensure everything ends up in its right place.

Labels are a common sense step to tool box organization that some people may be tempted to skip. By labeling everything as you place it in its proper place, you won’t just make it easy for yourself when it comes time to finish up a job. It’ll also make finding tools easier for any assistants you bring on the job.

When it comes to labels, consider skipping paper ones and moving straight to embossed adhesive ones. They’re durable and easy to read, which makes sense for tools that are often jostled around.

If you really want to go the extra mile, invest in foam inserts for each tool drawer. By tracing and cutting out the shapes of each individual tool, you can ensure that each item has its perfectly-shaped home and stays protected while stored.

Keep your toolbox organized when the job is done.

It’s one thing to organize a tool box or chest. It’s another to keep it clean. Avoid the temptation to toss tools back into the box when you’re done. Take the time to put everything in its proper spot at the conclusion of a project or workday. It’ll make things go that much faster when the time comes to start a new project.

Find additional tool storage near you at Five Star Storage

If you’re someone whose tool storage needs exceed one tool box or chest, it might be time to look for somewhere else to keep them. Garages and workshops offer finite space, after all. If you’re someone whose current tool collection has grown beyond the walls of your workshop, consider offsite storage.

A storage unit at your local Five Star Storage location is perfect for contractors who need a “staging site” for jobs in their town. By keeping your tools in one easy-to-reach spot, you can ensure they’re accessible when you need to stop by. In addition, drive-up storage units make it easy to store heavy boxes or large pieces of equipment. Easily park in front of your unit, unlock and open the door, and more items directly into your unit. Storage units come in several sizes and do not require a long commitment. Rent them as long as you need them.

To learn more about storage and organization with self storage, visit your nearest Five Star location today.

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