How to Organize Tools

Wait, wait, wait… let me rephrase that. When I say “organize tools” I really mean rookie tools that almost every homeowner owns. I’m not talking hardcore I’m-a-contractor-by-day-and-have-a-whole-garage-filled-with-tools type tools. No, no, no! (YIKES!)

I’m talking I’m-a-new-homeowner-and-people-keep-gifting-me-screwdrivers-and-picture-hanging-kits type tools. Where the heck do I put all of these little gadgets so I can actually use them someday?! tools

I get it — trust me! Here’s a collection of random tools that I seem to use most often. This collection is used to do traditional homeowner tweaks like hanging pictures, tightening screws, and hanging more pictures. I do have a few more slightly advanced tools that are not part of this collection… those will come next.

Problem: This stuff is random, small, and if each item lives separately in the garage, it’s a dang nightmare trying to find what you need without a fight.

Solution: Keep all of these goodies together in ONE organized container so that you always know where to find these items and always know where to put newly acquired gadgets in the future.

And I promise you can organize this stuff for little to no cost. Ready?

How to Organize Tools

painter's tape and marker All you need is tape and a marker and some type of container. I used painter’s tape because it is temporary, can be taken-off and replaced and it was what I had on hand (#FREE). Also, I didn’t have a regular sharpie, so I had to use this paint marker, but I would actually have preferred a regular sharpie marker. labeled container
I used an old container I had on-hand to tackle this project but pretty much any container with a lid would work. All I did was take the tape, place it in the container and write what item will go where in the container.
IMG_9148Because I used a paint marker rather than a regular marker, I had to wait for the ink to dry for a few minutes.
organize items
Then I simply placed each item on top of its label in the box. It’s really that easy….organize toolsWhen the items are on their marks, you can’t see what goes where, but when an item is missing, it’s easy to identify which item it is. Plus, these labels ensure all of your tools have a specific place to call home <<– which is by far our biggest organizational motto here on the DIY Playbook.
organize nails
Now to all of those random hooks, nails, screws and tiny items you acquire while hanging different items throughout your house. I like to keep them in their boxes (even if the boxes aren’t super pretty) because labels on the boxes are KEY. The sizes and specific information are on the boxes and are important to reference if these items need to be replaced or used at a different time. So although this may not be the prettiest organizing tactic, it’s REAL life and practical. nailsorganize tools I stack those on top of the labeled tape and use them as future projects pop up and I need them. No more searching around for these random boxes all over the garage or in 5 different “hiding” spots around the house.

Add a Mystery Jar

nailsNow, the key to actually maintaining this organizational system. The jar is a collection of random nails, screws or anchors that don’t seem to have a box anymore or a place to call “home”. These random pieces are put into the question mark jar to keep I used to have random nails/screws bouncing around in my box and I hated how cluttered it became. This leftover jar (or tin from a thrift shop could work) helps corral these random parts into an organized container.
organize toolsI threw in a straight-edge screwdriver and a Phillips screwdriver because these items are just helpful to have handy in these random jobs. One item that is not pictured but really NEEDS to be added to my toolbox is a pencil. There is always a need for a pencil for marking measurements on tape or making small marks on the wall before hanging. I would definitely recommend adding a pencil to your toolbox collection.
tupperwareThis box is awesome because I can easily close the lid and store it pretty much anywhere! Plus, I was recently asked to help my in-laws with some picture hanging in their home and it was so nice to just pick up my entire box and know that I had my tools and everything I needed to get the job done without checking 42 different places and getting frustrated in the process.
tool organization

This box seems so simple and mindless, but WOW it has really changed how I tackle simple projects around the house. I always know where my tools are, always know where to add new items I acquire along the way and am not frustrated in the process. Never good to START a project frustrated!! 
tool bag organizationAs for the other half of my organized tool collection. I keep these items in a bag that usually travels everywhere my toolbox goes– they’re a pretty rocking’ team! I recently chatted about the details, tips & tricks I use to keep this bag organized over on the HireAHelper blog. You can read that tutorial HERE.

So what do you think? Pin now…. do later DO this weekend in about 15 minutes?!


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.