Organize Garage Tools

How to Organize Garage Tools

While many pre-made tool kits come with a case that you can use to organize all the parts, as your tool collection grows, having to take these out each time you want to access a tool can be frustrating.

Also, these cases tend to be incredibly bulky, which can make storing them and finding space for any additional pieces you bought separately more difficult.

Image: “Tools” by Julien Dumont

Many of us store our tools in our garages, which can add to the need to find a set place for each tool that you have. Once things start to get disorganized in your garage, it can quickly spiral into a huge mess, so having a plan for how you’re going to store your tools and arrange any workspace you have is critical to keeping your garage clean and functional.


Questions About how To Figure Out Your Organizational Priorities

  • What tools do you use the most?
  • How much space do you have to store your tools?
  • What kind of workspace do you have or want to have in your garage?

Once you’ve started considering these questions, you’ll know which of the following tool organization ideas will fit best for your garage and how you use your equipment.

We’ll start with ideas that will help organize anyone’s tools and then move on to ones that you can choose between based on whether you are most concerned about uncluttered storage, open access, or saving space.

Organizational Ideas For Everyone

The first step you should take to reduce clutter when storing tools is to group small pieces together. Things like nails, screws, bolts, and other small parts are all incredibly useful, but they can easily add to the dysfunction of your workspace if you don’t have a plan to organize them all.

Depending on how many types of items you need to store, try using compartmentalized storage cases or organizers for these items. These storage solutions are a great way to keep your organization neat and to be able to find the pieces you’re looking for quickly and easily whenever you need them.

If you’re someone who does a lot of work with these tools and you tend to buy in bulk, these storage options might not be sufficient for your needs. In that case, you can try a more unconventional method and try storing small tools and pieces in mason jars or other clear containers

2008-10-06_0034” by mtneer_man,

The clear jars will allow you to easily see exactly what’s in each container, and if you need them to be more easily distinguishable, you can add written labels to the tops or sides of the jars as well.

If You Want Everything Tucked Away

Once you know how you’re storing the small, easily lost pieces of your tool collection, you’ll need a way to organize the larger tools that you have such as, drills, saws, hammers, wrenches, and more.

How you choose to tackle this problem will depend on the space you’re using and how you want it to look. If you have a large tool collection but need to have a clear workspace, you may want to go for storage options that allow you to have as clutter-free a space as possible. 

In that case, going for garage lockers that maximize your vertical storage space is a great option. These will come with shelves that can be moved to various levels so that you can adjust to each shelf height to meet your needs.

However, for some, these lockers won’t provide enough built-in separation between parts which limits how much they can organize collections with a larger variety of tools.

If that’s important to how you store and use your tools, you should consider a tool chest. There are a variety of options on the market, and many of them come with drawers of different depths so you have a built-in way to differentiate which tools go where.

how to organize garage tools

Tool Chest” by Charles & Hudson

Additionally, many of these will be sturdy metal cases that are built on wheels, so if the arrangement of your garage adjusts as you reorganize, the tool chest’s normal sitting place can be easily changed. You can also keep the top clear to use as a work surface for ongoing projects. 

If You Want Open Access to Specific Tools

While having a clean storage set-up is ideal for many, you might prefer to have open access to your tools. This can apply for those who want their whole collection to be visible and accessible, as well as for those who have a certain subsection of their tools that they use the most and want to have more accessible that the rest of their collection.

If you want your whole collection to be visually and physically accessible to you, you have a few options that can work. One of the most customizable storage systems is to use a pegboard to hang various types of tools and storage comparments.

Walnut wrench holders” by mtneer_man

Using different attachments, you can add hooks to directly hang tools from, including saws, drillers, hammers and more. You can also find jars that will attach your pegboard to combine with the earlier organizational idea for small tools and pieces.

Another option is to use a magnetic tool strip to hang specific tools. You simply attach the strip to the wall, and the magnet it uses is strong enough to hold tools made from magnetic metals, which commonly include most wrenches, pliers, hammers, and screwdrivers.

If You Want The Best of Both Worlds

If you prefer a combination of keeping your garage looking tidy with convenient accessibility for your tools, you can blend the previous options by using cabinets and lockers that have pegboards and/or magnetic strips inside them.

IMG_9016-539” by Jochen Koenemann

You can buy a garage cabinet set that fits your needs and then install whatever size or combination of pegboards, magnetic strips or other accessible storage solutions allows you to get the most use of the storage space. Another option is to get a premade cabinet that has accessible storage options built-in.

Combining these options will allow you to neatly put away all your tools when you don’t need them, making your garage space usable for other activities. When you want to start using your tools, you’ll be able to simply open the storage compartment and see right where the one you’re looking for is kept.

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