The day we bought our house, our tool arsenal, or lack thereof, was very slim. We owned one hammer, a set of screwdrivers, a wrench or two, and a picture hanging kit. That’s pretty much all you need when you live in an apartment complex that provided 24-hour maintenance service. Since starting the renovations the day we got the keys, we’ve borrowed a lot from my Dad’s extensive tool collection, but we’ve also begun to collect a small conglomeration of tools of our own. We keep the “big guys” (like the circular saw, pry bar, etc.) in the attached shed, and until a few weeks ago, it seemed like all of the smaller “everyday tools” (screwdrivers, pliers, nails, screws, etc.) were scattered all over the house. So we set out to start keeping them in one of the drawers in the laundry room….

Hey, I didn’t say it was organized. It’s probably the messiest tool drawer in all the land. Even though we like things to be neat and organized (a place for everything and everything in it’s place!), it clearly wasn’t quite happening here. Last night, I decided to do something about it! With a little help from my label maker, four plastic bins and five minutes of organization, here’s what the tool drawer looks like now…

Now that’s more like it! First off, I moved all of the tools down one drawer because the bottom drawers are a bit deeper than the top drawer. After taking out everything that didn’t belong (like the gum and flashlights) I divided everything in the drawer in four categories: hardware (nails, screws, anchors, hooks, etc), adhesives (caulk, wood glue, liquid nails, etc), tools (pliers, screwdrivers, hammers, a box cutter, etc), and future DIY projects (things we’re saving for a particular project, like casters and that deer hook I’m anxious to use somewhere).

I love how the baskets keep everything in place so things don’t fly around the drawer when it’s opened and closed. In the front of the the baskets are odds and ends like a container of spackle (for quick hole-filling jobs), painter’s tape, duct tape, a measuring tape and sanding block.

In the right corner is a small wooden bowl that I bought (and three more like it) at the thrift store for $1. This is where we keep random odds and ends that we find around the house and have no idea what they go to. I call it the “Doodad Bowl”. Fancy, right? It’s really nice to have around because, if we ever realize a piece of something is missing, we’ll just go to the bowl and see if it’s there. As of right now, there are only two little doodads in the bowl.

So that’s the current state of our indoor tool storage. I’m sure that as our tool collection grows, the storage will be reconfigured here and there, but this is a good start – and not to mention better for my semi-OCD self!

Where do you keep your “everyday tools”? Any particular tools you can’t live without? Share your tool tails with us…