Tools are easily disorganized and cluttered, especially when all you have is a bulky toolbox. Despite any jokes you’ve heard about “real mechanics not using those,” measuring tools are the unsung heroes of most toolboxes. The truth is that precision is important when doing things correctly and creating something that will last. Follow our six tool storage tips to improve garage organization and functionality, so you can have the tools you need right at your fingertips!
Long Handled Yard Tools
Long-handled tools, such as shovels and rakes, should be kept off the floor and against the wall. For complete garage tool storage, you can install a slat-wall, grid-wall, or other hanging accessories. Storage Buildings are the best for yard tools.
This simple setup is ideal for storing long-handled yard tools that would otherwise be leaned against a wall or left outside to rust.
The tape measure operates on a macro scale, but there are times when a micro-scale measurement is required. Digital calipers are the go-to tool in these situations. Purchasing calipers is similar to purchasing a car, with low-cost options that may lack a few features priced below high-end, hyper-accurate models, with all the bells and whistles. Personally, I believe that a set budget is often sufficient for most home users.
Even low-cost versions are accurate enough to assess go/no-go situations or when it may be necessary to consult an expert, such as a machine shop. If you require more precise tools, such a location will have them. I keep a cheap set on hand, and if I’m not sure if it’s accurate enough for the job, I usually load up the parts in the truck and head to a machine shop or a friend’s garages with more accurate tools and more experience.
Nuts, Bolts and Screws
These annoying, but necessary, items can be difficult to store, especially if you have a variety of sizes! Screw a cup onto a shelving system with attached lids to store your small objects. You can also use magnetic paint and magnetic storage tins to keep these items organized.
This is the ideal place to keep all of your nails, nuts, bolts, and screws! Also useful for other small items! Label each container to indicate which size it holds!
This has recently become one of my favorite items in my garage. Aside from the obvious, a good metal ruler can be useful in a variety of ways. A good one, in particular, will be nice and true along its measuring edge, allowing for specking if things are flat. A ruler, like the cheap calipers mentioned above, is not a replacement for a machinist parallel, but it is often good enough to know if you are in the ballpark.
Park Tool makes this blue aluminum version, and the company’s marketing efforts are primarily aimed at cyclists. It has precision-sized holes drilled down the centerline for measuring ball bearings, which is a nice feature. Because of the aluminum construction, I must handle it with caution, but that is true of any product.
A pegboard wall is extremely versatile and one of the most functional garage storage items you can install. Hang tools on a pegboard organization system to get them out of cluttered drawers. You can even draw a line around the tools so you always know where to hang them back up!
Hang everything from saws to hammers and pliers on a pegboard system. You’ll appreciate how well-organized and accessible your tools become.
The final measurement base to cover is on the electrical front. Fortunately, there is one tool that can do it all: the multimeter. With a single hand-held tool, you can test voltage, resistance, and continuity. As with the vernier calipers, start with a low-cost model and upgrade to a higher-quality model as needed. The “cheap” one can then be downgraded to a road trip tool, which you’ll be more willing to subject to the knocks of being stored in your trunk.
Organizing your garage tool collection may appear to be a daunting task, but it is actually quite simple. Simply take a few well-thought-out steps. You might be surprised at what you can accomplish if you break the process down into bite-sized pieces and tackle each one individually.
Consider how nice it will be to be able to park your vehicle next to a well-curated and organized tool collection. Consider how many more home improvement projects you’ll be able to cross off your list once you’ve located the necessary supplies.