The whats and wherefores: Make a list of your tools
Count your tools before they hatch – or, at least spill over and out of the box. In order to keep your tool box well-organized, you should make a thorough inventory of your tools and hardware and write them down on a list which you can slap onto the side of the chest and update with every new addition.
When classifying your tools on the list, you may divide your precious implements into different categories and add an extra note on the side as to whether the tool is made of plastic or metal, if it’s a duplicate, broken, damaged or in perfect working order. This will help you keep track of your tooling gear and its condition in the long run. The list of definite musts for any serious tool box includes a tape measure, pliers, level, drill, small and large screwdrivers, hammer, cordless drill, utility knife, flashlight and protection glasses.
Sort out the men from the boys: Organizing the tool chest
In case you own a hefty collection of tools, it would be a good idea to first wipe the box clean with a soft cloth. For the outside surfaces, use a regular household cleaner, and pick a degreaser or some strong detergent for the inside of the box. For individual tools, you can use a cloth and paint thinner to remove any leftover oil or rust. Also, throw away any bent nails, rusty screws or bolts and decide which of the damaged or broken tool pieces you can live without to prevent overcrowding your tool chest with useless scraps.
Once both your tools and the box are clean, place a cardboard on the bottom of the box to prevent fresh oil and rust stains and then organize the contents in separate compartments either by type, function or size. For maximum efficiency in emergency situations, always arrange the least used pieces on the bottom and put the tools you use most frequently on top. Also, wrap loose wrenches in a cloth, roll it up and tie with a string to prevent them from spilling around your box and making needless mess.
The critical upkeep: Keeping your tool box in perfect order
If you want your tools to last longer and remain as functional and rust-free as always, try and maintain the contents and the box in a good working condition. This means avoiding contact with water, oil and dirt whenever possible.
To prevent rusting, you can throw in a few pieces of chalk which will absorb the moisture and prevent oxidation of your precious tools. A bottle of home-made rust remover or oil should always have a place in your tool box in case of any accidental rusting. Also, never put a bottle of water inside the box because however tightly you may screw the cap, the sharp pieces of your toolware may damage the plastic and cause major damage to all your tooling hardware and critical implements.
For maximum convenience and good budgeting, buy your new tools in bulk – this is an extremely useful point to bear in mind when shopping for cordless tools of various uses. Companies like Gasweld offer various cordless tool combo kits that come with a handful of simple yet functional attachments which will maximize the functionality of your power tools while claiming a minimal spatial footprint.
If you follow these simple tips and maintain your tools in good working order, your tool box will always be neat, tidy, functional and well-organized. After all, an average Joe uses their beloved tools mostly in emergency cases, so cut yourself some hassle and stick to the tried and tested tool box organization tips for maximum tool handling efficiency and minimal repair time.