Tools help fix the car, interior fixtures, and external landscape, yet trying to find the right implement is like locating a needle in a haystack. You can’t use your tools if you can’t find them. Stop your endless searching, save time, and get organized.
What Do You Have?
To start, you have to take survey of the tools you have. Make a list and take note of tools that are rusty, broken, and in usable condition. Keep the tools you need and place the others aside. That way, your immediate toolbox will be less cluttered and contain the items you need most often. For example, a hammer, screwdriver, drill, tape measure, utility knife, and flashlight are toolbox staple. Add other items that relate to common needs such as gardening or electrical work.
Does the Box Make Sense?
Imagine your bedroom. It’s likely you know exactly where to find socks, winter coats, spring jackets, formal wear, and shorts to wear to the gym. Each item has its place and is likely categorized in some way that makes sense to you. Also, similar things are stored together; you probably don’t have some socks in the closet and others by your bedside. Classify your tools according to type, function, and size. Put similar tools together, with the ones you use the most on top.
How Long Do Tools Last?
Some people have multiple hammers, screwdrivers, etc. Not because each has a unique function but because of the poor condition of earlier models. Take note of how long your tools last, and if it’s not very long, then you need to start taking better care of your items. For example, place cardboard on the base of the box to absorb oil and moisture from the tools, keep dirt and water away from the box to preserve the life of your tools, and polish rusty metal tools to prevent further damage. Creative Safety Supply LLC offers a number of solutions such as custom foam so every tool has a convenient place of its own.
Do You Have a Spare Toolbox?
Clutter happens due to disorganization and a lack of space. If you have one toolbox, you’ll do your best to cram all items in there, which can lead to damage and misplaced items. Find other storage areas for your tools. Buy another box, hang tools on a pegboard, or store tools at a facility or friend’s house. A pegboard is incredibly effective for organization since you can pencil outlines of the tools. You’ll always know where to hang them once a job is finished.
Do You Only Take What You Need?
Sometimes it’s good to spend more time at the beginning of a task. That way, you have a clear objective and know what you need to do to meet goals. If you bring all your tools to every job, it becomes inconvenient and creates potential to create clutter. Before each task, consider objectives, visualize all the steps, and identify what tools you’ll need to complete the job. Take only what you need and then place the tools back in their rightful storage space when you’re finished.
Do You Only Buy What You Need?
Those who regularly use tools can be easily tempted by deals and sales pitches. Sure a 40-piece socket wrench set is an incredible find if you have a regular need for it. Otherwise, make it a habit to only buy what you need. Also, consider the convenience of borrowing or renting tools. For example, you may have a few branches to trim in your backyard, which could require a saw. You can invest in a saw, but how many times will you actually need it? It may be more cost effective to rent the saw, which saves money from buying as well as the investment in what’s needed to maintain the tool.
Are You a Hoarder?
We all have an aunt or uncle who has just about anything you may ever need. However, consider the amount of space required to maintain a huge supply of obscure items. Know when to get rid of things, whether they’re broken, no longer used, or can be better used by someone else. Hoarders imagine the most impractical scenarios in order to justify keeping items. Those scenarios hardly ever come to fruition as the number of things multiply. Maintaining less tools makes it easier to maintain, organize, and find what you need when you want it.
It doesn’t take much to get organized, but once you commit to the steps and maintain the habits to stay free of clutter, you’ll stop the endless searching and will always know where to find your tools.
Natasha Gallagher is a DIY enthusiast always seeking her next project in the home or garden. When she doesn’t have a hammer in her hand you’ll find her blogging for DIY and home decor websites.