Had enough of looking for that 10mm socket? Can’t find your Vice-Grips? Why are you always looking for the few, simple tools required for any project? Find yourself sorting through a dozen things you don’t need to get to the one thing you’re after?
Let’s organize that toolbox. With a little time and a little effort, you’ll be a lot more productive and a lot less stressed.
The Top Drawer is Top for a Reason
“Top drawer” is a popular phrase denoting something that’s frequently used and critically important. That’s why you should use the top drawer – the one that’s most easily reached – for your most-frequently used tools.
Pros know that they’re going to use a 10mm socket, a half-inch ratchet, a pair of slip-joints, and a variety of screw- and nut-drivers most frequently. Many projects will require no more than a few simple handtools.
So even if you have that cool 250-piece socket set, you’re going to want to keep the most-frequently parts of it in the top of the box.
Heavier on Bottom
Most tool boxes have sturdy drawers, but that doesn’t mean glides can’t bend or break. If you have a selection of wedges, drifts, and mallets, consider keeping them in a lower, stronger drawer.
The good part is that lower drawer can be used for other, lighter, less-frequently used things as well.
If you’re running short of space in your toolbox thanks to something like a fish-tape or a dent puller that gets used once in a blue moon, consider moving it to the storage cabinet.
The Friendly Magnet
A strong magnetic strip on the side of your tool box can serve to keep your most-used tools handy during a project. It can also be a great place to keep screws, nuts, bolts, nails, and other fasteners handy and in reach. Strong magnetic strips are available at most hardware stores and tool vendors.
Line Those Drawers
It’s not just kitchen drawers that should be lined. Rubber-like lining inside a toolbox will keep sparse loads from shifting. Tools stay where you put them without rolling or sliding around.
As an extra bonus, this cushioned lining will help keep the box quiet if you happen to need to move it. It protects the finish of the inside of the drawers as well.
A sturdy power-strip added to the exterior of the toolbox keeps power nearby. You won’t have to go looking for an outlet. It can also keep you from stumbling over extension cords.
WARNING! Just make sure it’s attached and grounded properly. An improperly-attached powerstrip can be a shocking experience!
Organizing your toolbox takes a little time but pays back greatly in reduced frustration and improved workflow. It also keeps you from making yet another run to the store to get yet another half-inch end-wrench, when you know you put the one you’ve already got right there a minute ago!