Whether you’re a tradesperson by profession or a mere enthusiast, it’s important to ensure that your tools are organised. As anyone half interested in DIY will tell you, it’s no fun scrambling around for tools you misplaced in and around your workstation. You need to know where your things are and have them on hand when you need them. From foam tool inserts to simple colour coded systems, there are plenty of ways you can better organise your tools.
You’d be surprised by how a little organisation could streamline your process and, if you are a tradesperson, how it could help you to complete your jobs a little bit quicker. If you’re always losing your drill, or you have a rogue hammer going awol, take a look at our 10 tips on tool box organisation.
1. Use wall strips to hang various tools
If you have tools that are perhaps an awkward shape, or don’t seem to have a ‘home’ in your tool box, then you can use wall strips to hang them. It’ll clear floor space and will allow you to make a bit more room in your tool box. Vertical storage space is a must-have for all storage needs and, done right, it can actually look quite creative.
You could use peg boards if what you’re hanging isn’t too heavy, or slat boards with anchor hooks. For smaller and more lightweight tools, magnetic strips would work.
2. The end of your cabinets can be used as storage, too
Although this one isn’t strictly toolbox-related, we had to include it because it’s just so ingenious. A good DIY storage trick is to utilise the end of your cabinets, cupboards, or workbenches. Blank space can be useful too! This is a good tip if you don’t have much space to begin with, as it makes use of what would otherwise be wasted space.
All you need to do is put up a little shelf, make some holes in the top and you’ll be able to store your screwdrivers easily.
3. If you’re cutting your own foam, use the right tools
It’s important that, if you’re buying foam sheets in bulk to cut down for your own toolbox, you use the right tools for your foam tool organiser. Trying to cut foam with something too unwieldy or heavy will make the job a hundred times harder. You need something small and handy so you can get around the tight corners and tricky angles.
A utility blade (commonly known as a ‘Stanley knife’ is just the job for cutting foam, as it’s swift and compact but sharp enough for the task at hand. You could also use a small stencil blade (the kind associated with arts and crafts).
4. Don’t forget to cut finger holes for easy tool access
If you’re using foam for your tool storage, you should cut finger holes on either side of each tool to ensure easy access when you need to take them out. Because foam inserts house your tools in such a snug way, it’s often tricky to prise them back out of the box. With finger holes (cut like a semi-circle either side), you’ll waste no time in getting the tools you need.
5. And don’t forget to cut out inserts for plugs and cables
A common error when using foam inserts for tool boxes is to forget to include plugs and their cables when cutting. You may have the tool itself fitted snug in its hole but you may have forgotten about the plug and cable that’s attached – a classic mishap when it comes to custom foam cutting. Don’t let yourself fall for this one!
6. Got an old glasses case? You can use it
Most toolboxes have bits and pieces that are either too small or just a little too big to fit nicely – if this sounds like something you’re faced with, an old glasses case will help. If you have one lying around the house, you can put it to good use as part of your tool set up.
7. Labelling is always a good idea
You could use labels for your toolbox or your larger working space. Whatever you choose, labelling helps in any number of ways and is a huge boost to your organisation efforts. Whether it’s your drawers that you’re labelling or certain areas of your workstation, you’ll work in confidence knowing that your tools are right there when you need them. Labels are also handy if you move home!
8. Organising by colour can help
While hand-written labels work for some, a simple colour coded system may work better for others. Because most tools will be greyish metallic colours, colour coding can be a great signifying system that will help you sort and prioritise your collection of tools. All you need are some cheap coloured tags or sticky notes, and you’re on your way.
9. Marie Kondo your toolbox
We’re all guilty of hoarding now and again, especially when it comes to toolboxes. Is it really worth keeping a hold of that tool that you never use? If you have tools taking up space, it’s worth reviewing whether or not you really need it. This is the first step in organising your toolbox! The rule: use it or lose it.
10. Make use of professional foam cutting services
While you can always cut the foam out yourself, it is undoubtedly a necessarily long process. If that is a route you’d rather not go down, you can take advantage of professional foam cutting services like ours. Our inserts are made using high-end CNC routing machinery and state of the art water jets (there are even engraving options).
With ready cut inserts made to measure to your specifications requirements, you can have the neatly organised toolbox you always dreamed of.