Wednesday, May 26, 2010

21 May Featured Space: Outdoors - Organizing Tools

I am back with another edition of our garage organization project that we finished up on Monday night!  Have I mentioned how excited we are?  We are already seeing loads of benefits, which always makes us wonder, how did it get so bad and why didn't we do something about this sooner?

I am planning on revealing the entire process and some before and after pictures on Friday this week, each post to that point sharing a piece of the three day puzzle, so make sure to stay tuned!

As I mentioned, I broke the garage into specific zones.  Monday I chatted about the auto zone, Tuesday I posted about outdoor toy and sporting good storage, so today I am going to focus on tools. 

And just so everyone can see that even one obsessed with being organized, isn't ALWAYS organized herself, here is a little preview of one of the garage "before" shots, focusing on the previous tool area of the garage....

So last fall my man Bryan built himself a floating workbench out of a melamine board and some 2 x 4's.  We also installed some pegboard and floating small tool organizing drawers.  This weekend, I cleared everything off of the workbench to give it a blank slate for our garage organizing project!

Taking a step back though, to get to the point of tools and small DIY objects such as mini screwdrivers and picture hanging supplies, sorted neatly into the small storage drawers and larger storage bins, was easily completed in a few short hours in front of the DVR full of Desperate Housewives and old HGTV design shows.  I just laid out a big blanket on the floor, and spread out ALL of our miscellaneous tools, screws and supplies.

And before I knew it, I had everything broken out and into their new homes, with lots of room to spare!

Then I just used my amazing little label maker to slap some labels to the fronts of all of the little drawers, giving them the end result of:

And I originally had used some Post-It labels for the larger bin fronts:

But I am a little OCD and not a fan of my own penmanship, so this weekend, the labels got a little bit of an upgrade!

{Yes, I realize I have a spelling impediment, it's funny I spelled Stakes right the first time and botched it on the pretty label... oh goodness!}

I also decided that since I was investing all of my time organizing the garage while the hubs was chilling at a baseball game, I was going to add a little bit of my style to the space!  Plus, although I am not nearly as handy or talented as my man, I still heart a good DIY project, and plan to spend time utilizing the space as well!

So in came an old applesauce jar and some old soup cans, all dressed up and beautified to give some pretty color to the bland white space!

The jar is perfect for holding a whole big box of deck screws, while the cans are working great for holding oddly shaped tools and objects!

The rest of the tools we grab from frequently were hung conveniently from the pegs and all of the big black tool cases were stashed up above in the two cabinets.

The pegboard really gets my heart racing.  I mean, it's SO functional and I never have to dig for a screwdriver or tape measure again!

And to make it easy for us when we are working on hanging things, assembling or working on projects inside and out, we stored away all of the different nails and screws in a portable divided bin, made just for that task specifically.

This ensures that we don't have to to guess when working on a project, and go back and forth to the garage, this just comes with us wherever we go, and heads back to the cabinet when we are finished!

And off to the far right of the space, was gave the table saw it's own special home, placing the base far under the workbench, and setting the saw on top.  This saved on floor space.  And then using some simple screws, I put the extra saw blades on the wall, easy for my hub to look at and pick from for whatever task he has ahead of him!

Giving us the uber organized, colorful, functional, clean, and handy workspace!

So what was once a dark and messy place that made getting anything done, somewhat challenging and frustrating....

Is now a bright and happy zone, screaming to be used over and over again for many more DIY tasks to come!

When all was said and done, I asked my husband what he thought.... and here, in his exact typed out words, is what he thinks of the newly organized space.

"I don't have too many places in our home where my wonderful wife hasn't added her special touch, so when she told me it was garage organizing time, I was a little less than excited!  But if I had a nickle for every time I said no to one of her ideas that she still saw through, I'd be rich...  I did enjoy seeing everything in plain sight with out having to dig in piles, a new concept for me. So over all I am feeling very lucky to have her still after the "space invasion"!"

Hmmm, that's good I think!?  Maybe he is still hung up on the flower soup cans?  But now there is no more reason for him to make piles, because everything has an easy place to go, and I know we are both ecstatic about the benefits our life and projects will gain, because of that!

So what do you think?  Anyone else give a masculine space, a bit of a fresh and pretty update and how did that go over?  These days, us gals can keep up in the DIY department {proven time and time again by Ana and her readers over at Knock off Wood!}, so I am a huge believer that garages can and should be pretty!  Anyone else out there have some creative ideas of cheap and reused items that can be used to create some groovy tool and project accessories storage?  How about any inspiring organized garage spaces to share with all of us, right here on the blog?


  1. Fabulous! Definitely gets the wheels turning for how we can use some of these ideas in our garage. My husband has been trying to figure out what he wants to do with our tool/workbench space, so I sent him your before-and-afters to check out. I'm loving this whole series on the garage organization...makes me want to get off my butt this weekend and get some stuff done!!

  2. Very nice !! Now that he's more organized=more projects he can do. :)

  3. Oh, IHeart the way you think Heather!!

  4. Looks great! Very inspiring. One question for you, what happened to the greenish/yellow tool box. Did the hubby have to give that up, or did you find a place to keep that stashed too?

  5. Great question Melanie!

    It actually is on another shelf, and it contains all of his really sharp tools like his hand saw, things that we absolutely don't want the kids to get into. I think you will get a peek at where it is in the final garage reveal post tomorrow!


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  7. I should have known you had something else up your sleeve! Can't wait to see the rest...

  8. I'm confused about the table saw. Can you still use it when the base is under the workbench or will your hubby have to drag out both pieces and re-assemble the saw when he wants to use it? (I guess--is the base just a stand or is it part of the saw and necessary for it's functionality?)

    Otherwise, fabulous organizing! I love what you do with re-used containers like cans and klenex boxes. I just picked up some paper to cover some cans yesterday.

  9. Another great question Tiffannie!

    The table saw is actually a whole piece under the workbench {currently fully assembled on the stand already}. On top of the workbench there is also Miter Box that can get used on the counter, but with all the saw dust is typically just brought outside (on the ground) to use.

    I hope that helps! I didn't clarify that so swell in the post! Thanks for asking!


  10. Looks fantastic! I love using old cans and jars to hold screws, etc, on our own workbench - although ours aren't nearly as pretty! :)


  11. Ok, that make sense. Another question--this one's kinda off topic. When you put scrapbooking paper on cans, klenex boxes, and other containers to pretty 'em up, what do you use to attach it? I was thinking of using spray adhesive but wondering if you know the easiest way since you've done this before.

    BTW, I really enjoy your blog and I'm proud to be a fellow Wisconsinite. I'm currently in Green Bay but I went to school in Eau Claire for a while and worked in Menomonie.

  12. Hi Tiffannie!

    I use a couple of different things, sometimes I use hot glue {like on the cans} and other times I use double stick tape or scrapbook tape. Just depends on the situation! I haven't tried the spray adhesive yet, so if you give that a shot, let me know how that works!

    Love to hear when I have nearby readers! :) I grew up in Eau Claire and then moved to Menomonie for a couple of years. Small world right!?

    Thanks for reading!


  13. How motivating!!! I may have missed it, but where did you get the organization system on the wall?

  14. I found the tool drawers at Home Depot. Here is a link to something similar:

    Thank you!

  15. Hello,

    I love all of your storage ideas here! Your blog is awesome. I just did a post on my new blog about using tin cans for craft storage and I just couldn't resist featuring your cute covered tin cans. You can see it here:

    Thank you so much for sharing :)

  16. Jen, great ideas for this garage storage..How did you attach the clear storage bins to the wall? Do you ever make/sell custom labels for other people for a fee? How are those labels attached in those shoe box containers? My husband has two heavy old filing cabinets from an office where he keeps all kings of stuff and they are so heavy and take up a lot of room. I can see a lot of stuff could be stored in the shoe box type containers and labeled. Right now, you have to open each and every drawer to find what you are looking for because drawers are not labeled. I'm waiting till warmer weather so I can hopefully work miracles in that garage organization. I want to search for a stand up cabinet with doors to fit along the wall of the garage. We made a large storage cabinet when we moved here and it holds a lot but I wouldn't make it as deep if I made another one. Hoping I can find something that would serve the purpose already made. I want places to store my gardening supplies, plant food, liquid and granule fertilizers,etc. where it is easier to locate and more at eye level. Right now that stuff is in an overhead type cabinet hanging on the wall but it is up high and sometimes difficult to see what you are looking for. There is a lot of stuff that could probably be "pitched" because it is no longer used or too old.
    The garage is unheated so have to wait till about May to work inside it.

  17. Hi Betty!

    The storage bins attached to the wall were actually intended to be wall mounted. We found them at home depot and then are meant for small storage and have hooks on the back for mounting.

    I don't currently offer the service of making labels, however, I would love to find the time to do that one day.

    I attached the labels with heavy duty velcro.

    Sounds like you have identified some problem areas which is the first step. Hope the weather is good to you soon! :)


  18. Re: the glass jar full of screws - we've found that plastic peanut butter jars work really well. No risk of breaking, and the wide mouth lets you reach your hand to grad a few, which is easier than having to dump some out.

  19. how do you store scrap woods? we have that laying in every corner of my garage. my husband does not want to get rid of. :(


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