Thursday, July 4, 2013

Guest post- Ten ideas for organising tools in the garage.

This post is brought to you by shelving and storage specialists:

Anyone who does DIY on a regular basis will know the frustration of not being able to find the right tool for the job. Worse still is discovering that the necessary tool is unusable because it is rusty or damaged. Here are ten ideas to keep your tools well-organised and in top condition.


1. Keep things clean. Your tools should be stored in a clean, dry, dust-free environment, well out of the way of any children. Keep the sharpest and most dangerous ones furthest out of reach. Never put tools away when they are dirty, wet or dusty – clean them off and make sure they are dry and properly greased/oiled if necessary. Do not store petrol-driven tools like lawnmowers or chainsaws with the fuel still in them – it can evaporate and is an explosion risk in a confined space.

2. Prioritise. You will use some tools frequently – typically the simplest ones like hammers, screwdrivers and Stanley knives. Make sure these are most accessible. Others will only be needed occasionally, and can be tucked out of the way (and out of sight) to save space.

3. Storage. Buy or make some decent shelving or racking, or at least a large plastic cabinet with several drawers. Keep tools of the same type (hand tools, power tools, battery-operated tools) on the same shelf. That way you will always know where a certain tool ought to be. If you are going to be out and about, it is worth investing in a good toolbox with a strong handle for transporting your tools and keeping them organised on the move.

4. Large, heavy tools like circular saws, sanders and drills can take up a lot of space. Especially if you only use these occasionally, it is often worth storing them in large, slide-out bins on the floor. That way, you can just roll them under the bottom shelf when you are done, knowing they will stay clean and dry until next time. Alternatively, you can hang them from a set of robust hooks on the ceiling. Make sure you buy large, strong hooks and screw them properly into the centre of the ceiling’s beams (use a joist detector if you are not sure where the beams are).

5. Keep accessories together. A drill is no good without its chuck and bits. If you are not storing them next to the tool itself, keep everything in the same place and close by – ideally in a labelled drawer or box.

Tips and tricks

6. A drilled length of wood, with a series of different-sized holes along it, is a good way of keeping a small number of tools and other useful bits and pieces in the same place but visible and accessible. Find a piece of two-by-three or two-by-four and use ordinary wood bits to make holes for screwdrivers, pencils, Allen keys and so on. You can also screw in hooks to hang pliers, torches and other items from. Fix the wood to the wall or the underside of a shelf.

7. Make a tool wall. This is the same principle, taken to its logical conclusion. Use a sheet of pegboard along with hooks, wire and cable ties to hang all your tools on – except for the very heaviest ones. DIY stores often display whole ranges of tools like this, and the overall effect is great.

8. Hang jars for screws and nails. Find a set of glass jars with plastic or metal lids. You can fix the lid of each jar to the underside of a shelf using a couple of short screws or strong glue. When you need the contents, just unscrew the jar and lift it down.

9. Funnels screwed to a wall make excellent string dispensers. Thread the end of the ball of string through the funnel and it should never get tangled again. Alternatively, you can fix length of dowelling or bamboo in front of a wall using brackets. Slide on balls of string and reels of wire and solder for easy access, as well as using them to hang gloves and other items on.

10. Magnetic strips, similar to a knife rack, are a convenient way to store paintbrushes and other metal tools. Hang paintbrushes with the brush facing downwards, to encourage them to dry properly and prevent dust from lodging in the heads.

Disclaimer: I have received compensation in return for publishing this article.

1 comment:

  1. Happy Fourth! Gorgeous post!
    Love following your blog! Jamie Herzlinger


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