You don’t have to be a DIY or woodworking enthusiast to accumulate a large collection of tools. But if you are, that large collection can reach mammoth proportions. You’ll already know how important it is to keep everything safe and organised.
Declutter and prioritise use
When your workbench is a jumble of tools and debris from previous projects, finding what you need can be a real exercise in patience. It can even put you off starting something new.
Give yourself time to get organised by setting aside a few hours (or days depending on the size of your sorting project!) to go through every tool you own. From the smallest screwdriver to the largest power tool, take stock of everything.
Sort things into piles or boxes. You could go by category or type of tool. When you come across an item that needs cleaning or repair, set it aside to deal with later.
Having gone through all your equipment, consider how often you use certain tools.
Chances are, you have a few valuable items you don’t use very often. For things like that, you might like to consider self storage so you can reclaim the space but still keep them safe. There’s plenty of self storage in Gloucester where we are, and bound to be something close by in your region too, so it’s worth exploring if you haven’t thought about this option before.
Choose an appropriately-sized storage unit to hold your seasonal or rarely used tools, allowing some extra space for freestanding shelves or a few cabinets to keep things neat. If you don’t need a whole room, ask about renting a storage locker.
Stay clean and organised
Having sorted and categorised everything, it’s time to get your workshop organised.
Start with a thorough clean, top to bottom. Regardless of whether you’re working in the garage, a shed or a purpose-built studio, keeping it clean and tidy will increase your creative productivity.
Pressure cleaners can help remove ground-in grease and dirt, but failing that have a good sweep up to get the dust and cobwebs out of the corners, and give your workbenches a good scrub.
Create bespoke storage
Ideally, every tool in your possession should have its own storage space. To accommodate everything you may need to:
- Build some shelves. Bespoke shelving allows you to create what you need to your exact dimensions.
- Alternatively, buy some storage cubes to stack or wall mount. For a quick solution, try stacking crates on their sides (but make sure they’re secure so they don’t topple).
- Use lengths of guttering to store small items like spray paint cans.
- Install a peg board to hang individual tools from. They’ll hold all sorts of things from hammers to drills and screwdrivers.
- Cut lengths of copper tubings to make a storage unit for mini tools, pens, markers or rulers.
- Hang power cords or cables from a length of twine or string, or coil them up and store them in empty toilet roll tubes. Label the tubes so you know which is which.
- Mount jar lids beneath a shelf so you can easily unscrew the jar where you keep nails, screws, washers, staples or all the other tiny items that easily go missing.
Seeing banks or racks of neatly organised and cleaned tools is a pleasure in itself. Make a point of having a weekly round-up of all the items that go astray as you’re working so your workshop is always ready for action when you are.
Try some of my other tool and organisation posts:
- What’s in your workshop: Basic woodworking tools to get you started
- 5 essential power tools for home renovations
- Must-have essentials for home woodworking
- In The Shed: Repurpose or Recycle?
- Essential woodworking tools for beginners
Thanks for reading. If your a DIY enthusiast and like to make things around the home then why not give a few of these a try:
- How to build a reclaimed wood scaffold boardwalk or decking area
- How to build your own veranda for under £500
- How to build your own under stair drawers for under £100
- How to build a decking area