How to Organize Tools in a Tool Chest

Published on: January 6, 2022
Written by Eric Devin / Fact-checked by David Rowan

Organization of tools in a tool chest or a mounted wall is an integral part of a well-managed workshop. As we know, different kinds of tools are used in any workshop on a regular basis for operating various projects. Therefore, one of the basic questions is inquired by the workshop owners regarding how they can manage their workshop in terms of organization of tools, cleanliness, safety compliance etc.

how to organize tools in a tool chest

Actually, it mostly depends on the craftsman, operators or DIYers. One of the most vital tasks for them is to make a complete inventory of the tools and organize them in either a tool chest or mounted wall so that they can draw them quickly when needed and put them back in the designated place after use.

Once the workshop has a complete inventory of the tools, it becomes easier to sort them out category wise like frequently used tools, hand tools, power tools, lineman tools, specialty tools, heavier and lighter types of tools etc. This process would help them decide which category of tools to be located where to have a quick draw and avoid misplacement of tools or messy workshop environment.    

However, considering the above aspects, this article has been designed to discuss how to organize tools in a tool chest to give you a general guideline for organizing your tools. There is   no hard and fast rule to apply to do this job and it mostly depends on one’s personal preference. 

how to organize tools in a tool chest

Prepare Inventory of Tools Before Sorting

Before organizing your tool chest, the first and foremost task is to gather all your tools in one place to have a quick look and prepare a complete inventory. This task would help you quickly sort out your tools based on the category including hand tools, power tools, size and weight of the tools, frequently used tools, specialty tools etc. for proper placement of them in each of the drawers of the tool chest. Therefore, this task is really crucial for you to move on to the next step of sorting out your tools. 

Sorting Out Tools

In this stage, sorting out the specific type of tools is another crucial aspect before planning the placement of the tools in the tool chest. This step will help you have a proper plan for organizing your tools in an efficient way. You must focus on the category of tool types while sorting them out. For example, you can sort them out based on similar types of tools of different sizes and shapes like wrench, screw drivers, drill, players etc. This method will apply to all other kinds of tools to separate them before placing them in the drawers or the mounted wall.   

What Are Some Tips for Decluttering and Organizing Tools In a Garage?

When it comes to tidying up tools in a garage, implementing effective strategies is crucial for a clutter-free space. Start by sorting tools into categories and utilizing storage solutions like pegboards, shelves, and labeled bins to keep everything organized. Implementing tidy garage solutions will not only create a streamlined and efficient workspace but also ensure quick access to the tools you need.

Selection of Drawer Based on Category of Tools

Now the time is to select a drawer to organize your tools which are frequently used. Also it preferably needs to consider a few more aspects while selecting your drawers to organize tools category wise like heavy tools, light and smaller tools, specialty tools etc.

This selection has to be done in a way so that you can quickly and easily draw your tools while working. Though most of the operators tend to start organizing tools from the upper drawer, it could be more convenient if you start organizing your tools with the bottom one. It would be a good idea to put heavy tools like a hammer, mallets etc. in the bottom drawer.

However, it is suggested to use Ziploc bags if necessary to keep small type of tools or spare parts to separate them from another. You can also prefer the bottom drawer to put those tools which are occasionally used. However, now let’s talk about which drawer should be chosen for which tools to be located before organizing. 

Upper Drawer 

Upper drawer is ideal to put smaller, lightweight tools. It’s preferable to keep light and small types of tools like nuts, bolts, screws and similar types of tools in the upper drawer. It’s suggested to use a Ziploc bag to keep them separate from each other so that you can find them easy to work with and avoid banging them. However, finally it would depend on your personal preference about how you want your tools to be organized in a tool chest.  Read more: Finding 7 Best Lineman Tool Bags   

Middle Drawer

Most workshop owners prefer to organize the middle drawer with wrenches, screwdrivers, chisels and specialty tools etc. Actually it depends on the drawer liner or number of compartments and their sizes. It’s found that the well-cushioned drawer line serves much better to organize tools. Here, it could be convenient to place a multi-compartment tray in the middle drawer to organize your tools in a smarter way. 

Lower Drawer 

Lower drawer could be preferred for the heavier and larger type of tools to be located. However, it could be organized with mallets, hammers and similar types of tools. Again, it depends on the project type and convenience. Large types of tools like bolt-cutters, crowbars etc. also could be included in the lower drawer in the slot of the tool box. One of the advantages of keeping the heavier or larger type of tools in the lower portion is allowing a chest drawer to have more stability to hold the loads.  

Another aspect is that as the power tools need more space to be adequately accommodated, the lower drawer of the tool chest is the best option to go for. For example, bandsaw, jigsaw or other similar types of larger tools could be located in the lower drawer to work comfortably and efficiently. Though it’s revealed by the workshop workers that the best space for frequently used tools to be located in the center drawer.

However, it also could cause your drawer to be more messy or disorganized as those tools move from their fixed locations due to frequent use. The operators very much tend to put them back to the other drawer rather than their assigned drawer. 

It’s good to have an extra chamber to maintain your tool chest in an organized manner and avoid misplacing or dislocating your important tools inside or outside of the tool chest. 

Concluding Remarks

I hope this article has been able to give you some general guidelines to organize your tool chest. However, it mostly depends on one’s personal choice, but a well-established system of organizing tools can help you work much faster and efficiently and allow your tools to be located in the right place. It would certainly award your workshop a proper work environment.

However, despite having personal preference, a few aspects you always need to consider like the category of the tools, their weight, sizes, banging sensitivity etc. so that they neither interrupt your work nor affect your professional work environment. As usual, always maintain safety protocol while dealing with the tools. 

If you have any queries, comments, feedback, we would love to hear from you. We would expect you to share this article with your family, friends through social media, websites and other channels. It would help us reach out to more people and offer them our excellent client service. 

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About This Writer

author eric devin

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

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