How to Organize Your Power Tools (and Other Tools)

How To Organize Your Power Tools (And Other Tools)

Nothing is worse than going to find a specific bit for your cordless drill, or a battery pack for your right angle, and digging through a sea of tools.

Being unorganized doesn’t kill productivity, but it certainly slows it down quite a bit.

By organizing your power tools and everything else in your toolkit, you’re going to save time, and a lot of frustration.

You don’t need expensive steel work checks or deep storage bins for everything. You want to know how to organize your power tools, so let’s take a look.

1. Flat Wall Rack

Flat Wall Rack

Do you have a 2” x 4” laying around and a stud finder?

Good. You can make this without having to spend any money outside of a bit of on-hand lumber and tools you already have.

Find the studs, screw in that 2” X 4”, and get ready to drive some nails through it. Once it’s horizontal on the wall, put a nail in every 6”, from about 4” in on both sides.

Tie lanyards to the spots on your power tools, such as your cordless drill, circular saw, angle grinder, and more. Just about every power tool has a spot for a lanyard of some sort on the bottom.

Hand your tools up here. Above them, you can place drill bit kits, battery packs, chargers ,and anything else you need.

The top of the 2” x 4” gives plenty of organizational room, but just be positive that it’s completely level before you start storing anything up here. If you’re worried about drill bit kits falling off, consider some sticky-back velcro strips to keep them in place.

2. Heavy Duty Peg Boards + Magnetic Strips

Heavy Duty Peg Boards + Magnetic Strips

We all know that peg boards are the cliche garage necessity. You hang them up, you can organize your tools, and it looks great… for a while. Standard peg boards chip away and look like garbage after a short amount of time.

What you need are heavy duty peg boards – colored, finished boards that are designed to last for the long haul. Interior designers often use them to maintain aesthetic appeal of a garage while also making it functional.

Use these peg boards to hang up anything that’s less than about ten pounds. Hang tools vertically with the hilt/battery pack facing the bottom. This goes for drills, nail guns, edging tools, and other tools.

With these heavy duty peg boards, use whatever the manufacturer recommends for hooks/metal parts in general.

They aren’t always included (which is pretty mental if you ask me), so many sure you get pegs that can really hold up. Whether they’re racks that land into the peg holes or they’re entirely different hooks, just make sure it works.

Now it’s time to install your magnetic strip. This works for drill bits, screw heads, and any little items you don’t want getting lost while you’re working in your garage. Trust me, it comes in handy just to make sure you don’t lose parts way more than you think.

Install the magnetic strip strategically. You don’t want to accidentally lean on it, leave it in the reach of dogs or small children, or make it inconvenient.

It’s best to place it on the bottom of your peg board, which should also be the farthest point back on your workbench beneath it. This keeps it visible so you don’t forget about what’s there, but also accessible so it’s useful and not a hassle.

3. Shoe Racks Redefined

You go into a thrift shop, and you see some shoe racks. People don’t really use shoe racks anymore, but for some reason, they’re always around. These can become fantastic power tool holders, and work for sharp attachments as well.

Install a velcro strip on the front of your shoe rack, and place power tools behind it, just leaning against the wood or metal of the rack. The velcro strip helps prevent things from falling out and causing an injury in your garage.

You can get multiple shoe racks and put them up on shelves to hold your tools safely, or simply leave them against the wall or back of your workbench (if there’s room). It’s just a simple, little fix.

4. Custom Tool Rack

Custom Tool Rack

This one’s a personal favorite, because you have to use the tools to make the rack for the tools.

It’s very meta. Put all of the tools you need to organize into a pile or group, and visualize how big your rack needs to be. I find that I add a few tools every year, so it’s important to make about 20% more room than you need.

For this, I would use 2” x 4”s, heavy duty deck screws, velcro straps, and L brackets. The goal is to make a frame, and secure it with L brackets in the corner. Use deck screws to build the frame because it’s going to sustain a lot of weight.

Now you just have a big box, and you’re going to use it like those cabinets with adjustable shelves that you regret buying in department stores. Determine what tools are going where—place them in rows in accordance with where they’re going to go on the rack.

Next, cut more 2” x 4” boards and slide them into place. Secure with deck screws and L brackets. We’re avoiding putting a back on this because it’s going in the garage, and we want to see that wall behind it.

This is like a jigsaw puzzle at this point. Once you know where your tools are going and have secured the wood into place, it’s time to secure this to the wall in your garage.

Use a stud finder and anchor these into the wall in about four spaces. We want as much stability as possible since this might end up holding onto 200+ lbs at one point.

Once it’s secured to the wall, it’s time to secure velcro straps along the front of your rack. You’ll want two of them going horizontally for every shelf or space that you made.

Place one of these in the midway point of the shelf space, and one beneath that. The idea here is that you can lift and turn to pull tools off the shelf, but if you need to, you can pull back the velcro to remove bulkier tools. This keeps everything in place.

5. Cheap Tool Cabinet

Cheap Tool Cabinet

If you go to any major department store, you can find rolling kitchen islands made out of wood for under two-hundred bucks. They’re built sturdily, and cost a hell of a lot less than a stainless steel tool chest.

Build one of these, but modify it. If it comes with an extension that hangs off, prop it up and hang strips from the underside so you can hang tools there.

Put an additional shelf inside to store drill bit kits and screws. Attach a magnetic straip to the side to hang onto manual tools.

These are great because most of the heavy lifting is done for you, but as a tool owner, you can alter them as you see fit.

You can attach small wooden boxes to the top to hang onto tools, remove the wheels to make this stationary in your garage, or buy two to make a makeshift workbench with underneath storage. The world’s your oyster.

6. Wooden Trunks

Wooden Trunks

When we think of organization, sometimes it means keeping things comfortably out of sight and compact.

Whether you build one of these or modify a wooden trunk, I want you to imagine it like a big tackle box. Not just a mess of wires and power tools laying around – organized, structured, and predictable.

You can build a custom wooden chest with a lock for about fifty dollars in lumber, brackets and screws. Place wooden dividers along the interior to segregate jigsaws from cordless drills, sanders from nail guns, and so on.

If you’re going to build this yourself, then you’ll know just how big to make it based on the tools you have at your disposal.

This works as a hybrid for manual tools as well as power tools. You can make one of the compartments specifically designed to hold screwdrivers with the handles facing up, or include small hooks along the inside to keep hammers from tipping over.

When you open this trunk up, you’ll already have your eyes set on the spot you want – it’s going to save you time.

Organization Makes Every Task Easier

You waste precious seconds (and hopefully not fully minutes) trying to locate the right tools, the right drill bits, and your battery packs in a mess of personal belongings.

It’s time to stop doing that, and take a look at a better way to manage your tools. This is going to save you time, frustration, and make working go by just a little bit faster.

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