At On: Organizing Your Tools For Real

At On: Organizing Your Tools For Real

Sarah Rae Smith
Sep 26, 2008

There are several projects on deck this weekend in my household, although, it always seems that I am spending more time locating the right tool for the job, than doing the job itself (even though all of my tools have storage spots). So click through the jump to hear the story behind the meticulously organized tools above... and why we're tempted to ditch mass tool storage chests all together.

As I have grown older (thus acquiring more tools for things around the house), my need for storage (and ease of storage) has increased as quickly as my tools have. I started off my first day of college with my handy dandy little tool box and I felt I was ready to take on the world. Or at least hang my posters and repair broken dresser drawers with ease. Since then, I have more homeowner-ish things to worry about such as roofing repair, taking down trees and seasonal maintenance of things like lawnmowers and our scooter.

The downfall to having more tools, is that the older we get, the less time we usually have for a nice long weekend project because we have nothing else to do. Sadly that is no longer the case and I need to have all of my tools at hand.

The above photograph was taken in my Grandfather's basement. He was a High School Shop teacher for 40+ years and growing up I always thought of his tools as obsessively organized. Everything wrench, hammer and screwdriver literally had it's own place in his house. I now know that his methods should have been praised with a little more gusto as I might have learned a thing or two.

Grandpa had a few smaller tool boxes (mainly ones he had made himself) but never had the large monstrosities that take up the average suburban home owners garage (although we still love them used in other ways around the home). Grandpa had one entire wall devoted to loose tools. Forget about those little kits and boxes (like the one I so loved in college), as he always said they were just another way to make you pay for something you don't really need, he was all about peg board.

Many people think of peg board as being the bottom of the barrel when it comes to storing tools, but not Grandpa, he wanted to be able to see everything he needed, and more importantly be able to say, "Sarah, can you hand me a 3/4" Crescent Wrench." Once a teacher, always a teacher as this was a great lesson that we have since come to see that although I didn't get the brute functionality of his pegboard then... I do now. He even went to lengths to write down the size of each piece so the home for each tool was literally labeled on the board. There was never any confusion.

Pegboard doesn't have to be bland and mopey, don't be afraid to bust out the paintbrush and paint something fun on it. Some large geographic shapes, or stripes even. You will be more apt to work in a space where everything is at hand and the space feels warm and inviting. Even if that means it's in the garage.

Do you have a suggestion that has kept your tools presented in the best way possible? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Photos by: Top Photo by Sarahrae, Tool Chest and Paint via Amazon and Pegboard courtesy of Wikipedia.

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