Somewhere in most homes there is a place where you store your household tools. These are usually the tools you keep handy for those easy jobs like tightening a screw or hanging a picture. I keep mine in a household toolbox.
If you are someone who does a lot of repairs or enjoys woodworking you will probably have a serious stash of tools somewhere else as well. This would most likely not be in your main living area.
I store my toolbox on a shelf in my laundry room. Once a year when I deep clean and reorganize my laundry room I come across it. So, once a year I clean out and reorganize that toolbox.
I looked inside my toolbox and indeed, it is a mess!
It is important for me to understand how I let this happen.
I am not the only person who uses my household toolbox, and it seems like when something is pulled out to use, when the job is complete, the tool is just dropped in the toolbox willy-nilly. Or if there are leftover bits from a project like hanging pictures or putting up a shelf, the leftover bits of hardware are just dropped in the toolbox.
It has been a full year since the toolbox has been organized but I am confident that I can do this task in 10 minutes!
Organizing tool: deck of cards
I pulled out the Household Tools card from my deck of Organize Your Home 10 Minutes at a Time. I set my timer for 10 minutes.
- Look inside the household tool kit, box, or tool carrier.
- Remove any trash and anything that doesn’t belong.
- Sort any loose small items by category.
- Put loose items in baggies or small containers, giving each category its own bag or container.
- Put the tools back in the carrier, grouped by type (all screwdrivers together, hammers, drill bits, etc.)
Group products by function
As I removed the items from the household toolbox, I grouped all of the items by function. There was a pile of pliers, screwdrivers, command hook products, a couple of hammers, and several single items like a tape measure and a small level.
Plus I also had a few tools that really belonged in the shed house and a few items that I knew I would never use that I could donate. I had some dried-up putty and glue along with other items that went into the trash.
Put everything back
I got everything back in the toolbox right at the 10-minute mark.
Then I returned the toolbox to the shelf in my laundry room.
The household toolbox is now organized, and I don’t have to dig through items to find the screwdriver that I am looking for.
This reorganization of the toolbox was done in 10-minutes. I am hoping that the well-organized toolbox will encourage anyone else using it to put items away more carefully.
It is easy for any area to become cluttered. It is helpful to take a moment to analyze why this clutter accumulated or why the area got disorganized. But once the clutter begins to annoy you, realize that it only takes a short amount of time to declutter and reorganize. Taking 10 minutes or less will affect how you feel when you are working in this area.
I challenge you to look around and find one area that you could declutter in 10 minutes or less. Then just do it! Just for fun send us pictures of your project on our Facebook page Ask the Organizers Diane and Jonda. You will feel so much better when you see the organized space you have created!
If you are struggling with developing an organizational plan or just want some help or accountability in following through with the plan, join Diane Quintana and me in our Clear Space for You virtual support group.
Jonda S. Beattie, Professional Organizer owner of Time Space Organization, and co-owner of Release, Repurpose, Reorganize. She is based in the Metro-Atlanta area. As presenter, author of four books as well as a retired special education teacher she uses her listening skills, problem solving skills, knowledge of different learning techniques, ADHD specialty, and paper management skills to help clients.