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How to Organize Tools in a Workshop

Do you feel like you can never get any work done in your workshop? You have everything you could ever ask for. Yet, your tools sit in wait, gathering dust. It’s possible that you’re avoiding your workshop subconsciously. Now we’re not saying you’re avoiding work, just that you’re avoiding the room where you’re supposed to do it.


There could be many reasons you’re doing so. We find that a common reason is the clutter around the workshop. During any kind of undertaking, small obstacles chip away at our willpower. This is why people who want to go to the gym more are advised to pack a go-bag in advance. The fewer the obstacles, the quicker you can commit to the cause.


An obstacle for many workshop owners is clutter. Clutter in a workshop increases inefficiencies, risk of accidents, and reduces motivation to work. It’s important that you keep everything neat and tidy. Today, we’ll take you through a step-by-step guide on how to organize tools in a workshop.

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What You’ll Need

We’re assuming your workshop already has the bare minimum requirements for housing your various tools. If that’s not the case, you will need the following items:

  • Pegboards
  • Shelves
  • Storage Cabinets
  • Label Maker (or paper tape and sharpie)
  • Toilet Paper Tube


Classify Your Tools

A well-designed workshop can result in greater efficiency. As such, it is crucial that you put in some time and effort into planning and organizing. You should start by going through all your tools and splitting them up into categories.


This will allow you to later place them all together. As a result, you will know exactly where to go when you need a certain type of tool. An example of the categories can be as follows:

  • Sanding
  • Measurement Tools and Markers
  • Sawing and Cutting
  • Drilling Equipment
  • Nuts and Bolts
  • Hand Tools
  • Wiring
  • Safety Equipment


When organizing your tools, you will come across several items that you no longer need. Be sure to discard tools, nuts, bolts and, any other item that serves no purpose. Holding on to unnecessary items increases clutter which reduces productivity.


Ask yourself difficult questions about each item you find in the workshop. Do you really need it? How often do you use it? Is it worth the amount of space it takes up? These questions will help you reduce the clutter.


Design a Layout

Being organized is only one piece of the puzzle. To truly get the most out of your organized workshop, you should map out high-traffic areas and tools. This simply means that you shouldn’t just randomly place the tools anywhere in the workshop.


You should instead, take the time out and see which areas of the workshop you spend the most time in. Once you’ve done so, place the tools that you tend to need the most in those areas. For instance, if you tend to rely on your hand tools a lot when sitting at the table, then that’s where they belong.


Pro tip: You can change the placement of tools on a project basis. Tool requirements will change from project to project. Try to match the layout on that basis to maximize efficiency.


Placement and Labeling

The third step in how to organize tools in a workshop is placement. You should now begin placing the tools at their assigned locations. Make sure you follow the previous two steps when placing the tools. Utilize your storage cabinets, shelves and, pegboard when doing so. Once the placement is complete, attach labels underneath each item.


Labeling is a crucial step when it comes to organization. Think of how chaotic your grocery shopping would be if there were no labels on the shelves. Labeling keeps things neat and forces you to place the item back at its set location.


If you don’t have a label maker, simply use paper tape and label it with a sharpie. It’s possible that you haven’t settled on a final location for an item. So, it’s fine if certain locations remain unlabeled for a while. However, at some point, most of the items in your workshop should have permanent homes.


Staying Organized

Motivation is fleeting, discipline is key. Anyone can get organized once in a while. We all have a desire to be more productive, to do better. Yet, only some of us ever achieve consistent results. The difference is discipline.


Again the analogy of working out should help us out. Most people desire to go to the gym and become fitter. It doesn’t magically happen though. It requires constant vigilance and care. Organizing your tools is a similar burden.


It is not enough to organize the tools once. You need to have the discipline to clean up after yourself and place everything back where it belongs. If you don’t do so, you’ll be back to square one in no time. The workshop will be a mess and you’ll be reading this article all over again.


So, in order to keep your workshop neat and well-organized, you have to ensure that you remain committed to the cause. Don’t fall back into old habits, and make sure you never leave the workshop without organizing your tools.


Our Final Thoughts

As you can see, the main steps when asking how to organize tools in a workshop are:

  • Classifying the tools
  • Placing them appropriately
  • Labeling their locations
  • Staying committed to the organization


About Chris

When Chris first bought a house, he quickly realized that he was now going to need to be a weekend handyman. Every project that he worked on, he kept realizing that he needed more and more DIY tools. Chris is also someone who likes to do a lot of research before making large purchases. Since he had already done most of the research, Chris decided to put the info that he accumulated about his favorite daily tools onto