Our Organized Tool Storage in the Basement
Last month, I showed you a room in our house that you’ve probably never seen before. The storage room in our basement.
This room is so great to have (I mean, who doesn’t like having extra space for storage?), but it’s a tad creepy since our house is 100 years old! And even though it’s been so nice having this extra area, we certainly weren’t using the space to the best of its ability. As I showed you in this spring cleaning post, we had the junk removal team get rid of the wobbly wood table and vowed to find a suitable replacement with tons of storage.
Our New Tool Storage Bench
I must admit that I didn’t do anything for this project. Instead, Finn spearheaded this one. He found this awesome storage bench, that fits in this spot perfectly. He built it and he then proceeded to organize all of our tools.
As for the tool bench itself, he said it was a bit of a job to put it all together. I would have taken pictures, but he did it at night after I went to sleep and it probably took him two to three nights to get it all done, while he was watching March Madness. He says it was worth the effort because the piece is incredible, but I just want you to know before you order it. Oh, and it’s so heavy! Two huge boxes arrived with all of the parts for it and it was quite the adventure getting them down to the basement to build this thing.
This thing is so great because it has so much secret storage. Tools can be tough to organize because some are small and some are big, so having a variety of drawers and a large cabinet ended up being the perfect solution for all of our stuff. The workbench is also on wheels, so this could be nice for a garage if you wanted to move it to the middle of the room for making cuts on a table saw or to use it as a work table. Ours will be staying in this spot, so we just locked the wheels.
Tips for Organized Tool Storage
Once this bad boy was built, it was time to fill it on up. We probably own more tools than the average homeowner and we were really struggling with the best way to organize them all. We had some in our garage, some down here, and even some in the kitchen. It was a hot mess. If we needed to find something specific, we’d likely have to visit all three locations to get it. Not fun. Here are the steps Finn took to get a handle on our overflowing tool area…
- Purge: Sometimes when you have the space for stuff, you hold onto items even though you don’t really need them. We have certainly made that mistake in this house. But Finn used this as a chance to purge. We ditched old paint brushes, donated extra wrenches, and got rid of any tools that were cluttering up this area.
- Get It All Out: Even though we were really excited to fill up the new storage bench, we didn’t put one item in there until we had allllll of our tools out and about. They kinda took over our entire storage room and basement, but it was so nice to see everything out first, before putting anything away.
- Put Similar Items Together: With all of the items visible, Finn was easily able to put similar items together. (i.e. paint supplies, demo tools, safety gear, etc.) Then, we could visualize the size of that particular category and find an appropriate home for it in the tool bench or elsewhere in the storage room.
- Use Drawer Liner: These drawers slide in and out, so it’s important to use a drawer liner so your tools aren’t moving all over the place and making a racket! These actually came with the tool bench, but you could buy a roll like this if you’re working on drawers in your house.
- Put Things Back: The most important aspect of any organization project is to actually use the systems you put in place. When you use a tool, put it in the exact same spot once you’re done with it. Before, we were piling items on top of our wood bench and nothing really had a home. Now we’re both very good about putting each item back where we found it.
Let’s Peek Into Each Drawer
Okay, so now that we know the method to Finn’s madness, let’s take a peek inside each drawer. On the left side, you’ll find four medium-sized drawers.
- Cutting gear, including scissors, razors, utility knives, etc.
- Demo gear, like crowbars, mallets, and hammers.
- Extra nails and staples.
- Safety gear, including gloves, glasses, and ear protection.
In the middle cabinet, we have all of our screws and hardware in this big case up top. I chatted about my love for this case in this blog post about tools that every homeowner should own and it’s still true! Beneath that, we have extra paint trays and a basket with larger paint supplies like gloves and rags.
On the right side, there are seven slim drawers that hold lots of goodies…
- All kinds of tape (painter’s, masking, electrical, plumbers).
- Caulk, caulk guns, and glue.
- Anchors and hardware.
- Our go-to hand tools.
The other three slim drawers are totally empty, which is great because we can grow into this storage bench over time. I really appreciate that these drawers are so shallow because you can easily see everything and nothing gets lost like they can in a deep drawer.
Our Charging Station
Over on this wall, we already had some wire shelves that were here when we moved in and we decided to make the most of the space. Since there is an outlet nearby, we made this the charging station for all of the batteries for our tools.
Finn mounted this large electrical strip to the wall, using command strips, and now all of the cords can easily go into this main hub.
It’s the worst feeling when you go to use a drill and the batteries are dead. Now, we no longer have that problem and it’s pretty glorious!
We also store a majority of our tools on this wall including our drills, shop vac, circular saw, and nail gun. It’s nice to have everything corraled in one spot.
It’s fun to show you how things connect around here!
Smaller Tool Storage
To the left of that area, we have two more storage bins. We originally bought this Craftsman tool storage for the garage and it lived out there for a while. But keeping some tools outside and some inside ended up being too confusing and we were never able to find anything. Now, having everything in here is much better.
- Clamps and corner clamps.
- Paint rollers, stir sticks, and painting gear.
- Tiling and sanding supplies.
- Screws and drill bits.
Finn also used the drawer liner in here and it works like a dream to keep everything in its place.
This mesh organizer is from The Container Store and you might remember it from our pantry back before we renovated the kitchen. Once we buy a good organization piece, we always find a way to repurpose it in another spot in our home.
It now holds useful items like paint brushes and extra light bulbs.
The Rest of the Storage Room
In the rest of the storage room, we have tall shelves that came with the house. On these, we store extra paint, childhood mementos, and out-of-season clothes. In front of these, Finn placed some extra garage floor tiles so things are a bit cleaner and cushier on our feet.
Finn is a big fan of clear storage bins so we can see what we’ve got and it’s easy to spot items. We have these large bins and these smaller bins. We also have our printer in here because Finn uses it a lot while working in the basement.
Organized Tool Storage for the Win
I know this isn’t the most glamorous blog post of all time, but it’s a little behind-the-scenes of the less photogenic spaces in our house. We’re so grateful for extra storage and Finn does a tremendous job keeping everything organized. I’m excited about our next big DIY project because it will be so easy to find each and every tool we need to get the job done.
Oh, and if you need more tool information, this post dives into my must-have tools for every homeowner and this blog post outlines my favorite beginner power tools.
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.