Nothing is more annoying than not being able to find the right tool when you need it, whether you’re a seasoned professional or an avid DIYer. Knuckles can get painfully scraped when sifting through a disorganized stack of wrenches, hammers, and pliers.
Time is lost and frustration results from having a cluttered toolbox. You can retrieve any tool almost without thinking about it once you know how to organize a toolbox.
Although not all mechanics will concur, I sincerely believe that organizing a toolbox is an art and, in most cases, a lifelong endeavor. In this article, I will tell you exactly how to organize your tool chest, or at least how I do it.
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Table of Contents
Different Types Of Tool Boxes
Reviewing the most popular types of tool storage is important before moving on to the ideas for tool organization. Each type has advantages and disadvantages depending on the type of work you do.
1. Portable Tool Box
A wide variety of options are available for portable toolboxes, with styles to meet every need. They range from small, lightweight models intended to hold a few basic tools for DIY projects to large, wheeled carts that can arrange a variety of power tools, hand tools, fixtures, and fittings.
2. Tool Bag
The main benefit of high-quality tool bags is their ability to store tools in exterior pockets, making them accessible. They are frequently preferred by people who frequently use small hand tools like cutters, pliers, and screwdrivers. They can be carried more easily and hands-free with the help of shoulder straps.
3. Tool Chest
In comparison to portable toolboxes or bags, tool chests typically provide a lot more storage. They have long been a favorite as a mechanic’s toolbox and typically have a number of sliding drawers. Many tool chests have deeper compartments with hinged lids at the top, which are helpful for organizing larger tools. For easy mobility, some also have wheels.
Rules For Organizing Your Tools In The Box
The type of storage you employ is the first step in tool organization. The first step if you are just starting out and don’t have any tool storage is to choose the kind of tool storage that best suits your needs.
For workshops, garages, and industrial settings where the need to move tools offsite is minimal, top chests and roller cabinets are very popular tool storage options. You’ll have enough drawers with this arrangement to hold all of your tool storage. This has advantages, but it also creates a huge organizational need.
Professionals who need to transport their tools and work remotely on location typically use stackable cases, canvas totes, rolling cases, and portable boxes. These are also fantastic alternatives for people who don’t have enough room for a rolling cabinet or who don’t simply have enough tools to warrant one.
Be sure to adhere to some fundamental organization principles before we explore the various ways to declutter your toolbox:
Sort tools into groups according to type or function for convenience. Most roller cabinets and top chests have narrow drawers that can be used to organize tools into families, such as pliers, files, and ratchets.
There are dedicated label holders in many tool storage options, so label everything. Before you have to open any drawers or lids, labeling gives you a quick visual reference of where the tool you need is located.
Remove any equipment that you can no longer use safely. When you organize your tools, it’s the ideal time to inventory your collection and get rid of any worn-out, broken, or otherwise ineffective tools.
Consider the size, shape, and frequency of use of your tools when planning your storage. The bottom drawer of the roller cabinet, which is typically deeper, should hold bulkier and heavier tools. Additionally, having your frequently used tools organized and accessible will help you work more efficiently.
Separate boxes should be used for spare tools. There will be duplicate tools for almost every professional. These extra tools ought to be kept somewhere separate and only used if the original one is lost or broken.
Steps To Organize Tools In A Tool Box
Although tool bags have soft sides, the majority of the organization ideas and techniques listed below are effective with any kind of tool storage. For quick and simple access, here’s how to organize your tools.
1. Evaluate The Tools You Have.
It’s possible that you’ve forgotten exactly which tools you own if you’ve been amassing a tool collection for some time. Take an inventory visually as the first step. Find a location where all of your tools can be spread out and organized into groups. Consider which tools are frequently combined with one another and look for duplicates.
Tools that are no longer needed can be donated to a good cause, and those that are broken beyond repair probably have parts that can be recycled; don’t let them end up in the garbage.
2. Think About Using Different Containers For Various Tool Types.
Sometimes having two small toolboxes is preferable to having one large one. You can keep a basic set of tools in one place for tasks around the house, and tools for woodworking or other hobbies in another.
Separating measuring, marking, and layout tools from other items makes sense as well. This not only makes them simple to access, but also helps shield them from harm brought on by running into other objects.
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3. Place Frequently Used Tools In The Easiest-To-Access Area
Consider the equipment you use most frequently. A few screwdrivers, a pair of pliers, a hammer, and a cordless drill driver might be on that list for any DIYers. Such tools can be conveniently accessed by grouping them in a lift-out tray or the exterior pockets of a tool bag, freeing up space in the main compartment.
Large tool chests can be divided using a retail tool drawer organizer, or you can create your own toolbox organizer to suit your specific needs using plywood or MDF dividers.
4. Keep Bigger, Heaver Tools In The Lower Compartments Of The Toolbox, Toolbag, Or Tool Chest.
Tool bags and tool chests typically have open spaces, especially truck tool boxes, which typically have larger drawers at the bottom. For added stability, store heavy hand tools, power tools, and batteries toward the bottom of any tool container you use. Tool chests with a heavy top risk tipping over and spilling their contents. It’s annoying to have to pick everything back up, in addition to being a potential safety risk.
5. Tie Up Smaller, Lighter Tools In Upper Sections
Weight distribution is the main reason for keeping lighter tools higher up in the toolbox, but convenience and developing good habits play a role as well. It is unnecessary to have to move a large tool, such as an angle grinder or circular saw, in order to reach a screwdriver.
But that’s frequently what occurs when we’re used to putting tools in the toolbox after finishing a job, where they then vanish into the depths. Toolbox and tool bag manufacturers typically offer assistance by including smaller lidded sections at the top or pockets on the outside. Use them to your advantage!
6. Add Labels.
Your toolbox mantra should be: “Everything in its place, and everything in its place.” Restoring items to their proper locations will become automatic once you’ve grown accustomed to your newly organized toolbox.
Organizing Tools By Size And Frequency Of Use
Next, you should start with any group; for example, all the wrenches should be laid out by size in ascending order to simulate how they will fit in the tool chest’s drawers. Follow the same procedure for power tools, drill bits, screwdrivers, and any other groups you may have made in the previous step.
Remember that you’ll also want to manage the available drawer space effectively; it’s not difficult, but it does take some forethought. For instance, two wrench sets can fit in one drawer, with the largest ones placed closer to the edges and starting from opposite sides.
You should think about how much you intend to use the tools as you sort them by size. Grinders, sanders, and polishers, for instance, are frequently used by technicians in body shops, whereas impact wrenches are a part of their daily lives for mechanics in tire shops. In this case, I would suggest keeping your impact sockets on top of your chest, in a magnetic socket organizer for instance.
This exercise will help you sort through your clutter and identify the tools you use the most and the least, allowing you to designate prime spaces for the latter for simple and quick access.
What Is The Best Way To Organize Tool Box?
Separate tools by type and/or function, and group them together for easy access. Tools from the same family, such as pliers, files, and ratchets, can be grouped together in the narrow drawers that typically come with roller cabinets and top chests. Many tool storage options have dedicated label holders, so label everything.
How To Organize Tool Bag?
It is preferable to establish the proper location for your tools right away. Then fix your tool firmly, if you have to move up and down the ladders
That’s critical for both your safety and the safety of everyone else. A tool must be securely held in your tool belt pocket. In other words, a tool shouldn’t be hanging loosely in the pocket of the tool belt. It will harm you if you don’t. Make sure your tool belt is securely fastened with your tools from the beginning. Don’t give in on it.
The Bottom Line
Organizing your toolbox once and for all is the best way to stop losing tools.
However, it might be challenging at first, especially if you’re busy. A simple fix is to add some labels as a quick reminder. Use embossed labels that are clear, robust, and have strong adhesive instead of regular paper labels because they last longer and are less likely to become worn off or blurry.
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