Tools have a way of getting lost. Sometimes it seems as though no matter how many flat-head screwdrivers you have, you can't find one when you need one. Hand tools such as hammers, pliers, wrenches, and others seem to be the most skilled at disappearing. Of course tools can't just get up and walk away, so the blame nearly always lies squarely on the tool user. Being that that's the case, here are some great products and methods for storing tools so that they never get lost again.
Shadow boards are widely used in residential and industrial applications to keep tools where they need to be. Using a pegboard or easy-to-cut foam, outlines of each tool are made so that the user knows exactly where a tool came from and where to put it. Each tool has a sort of shadow, hence the name. This method is so useful that it is part of the 5S system of lean manufacturing.
Drawers and Labels
This method is pretty self-explanatory, but putting labels on drawers is extremely helpful for finding exactly what you need. Metal storage cabinets with drawers are sturdy, durable, and very popular in industries where many small tools are needed, such as the auto repair industry. Labels on each drawer indicating where socket wrenches, screwdrivers, allen wrenches, sharp tools, chisels, and other types of tools are can keep any shop working efficiently.
These organizational devices are so useful because they can take advantage of vertical space. Put all of your tools to use by building a large shelf out of scrap plywood and then place baskets inside each cubby. This will allow you to categorize the cubbies and baskets: think drywall tools, nails and screws, hand tools, drills and bits, etc.
Organize as You Work
The only way to maintain a tidy shed, garage, or shop is to organize as you work. It may take a little longer to put away a tool after each time you use it, but you will save yourself a lot more time by not having to search in the future. As soon as you are finished with one tool, put it back in its place. As Aristotle said, "We are what we repeatedly do." It may take a while, but organizing while you work will become a habit.
One of the most important aspects of tool storage is that everything must have a place. When tools do not have a place, they can and will end up anywhere. With a few creative ideas, you can create places for every tool in your arsenal. To build up your tool collection, contact an outlet such as http://www.bourgetbros.com.