Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Junk Drawer Overhaul: New House Tool Taming

Defining the term 'needs no introduction', it's Sherry and John of Young House Love (yes, THE John and Sherry, the Bradgelina of real life DIY home improvement bloggers!) sharing where and how they keep their most used tools. Their guest post is just the appetizer - they've done a full entree post all about their tools over at their place.


When Mrs. Limestone sweetly invited us to share how we overhauled our messiest junk drawer, we hesitated. Because we didn't have a messy junk drawer. Not because we're crazy organized - but because at the moment we didn't have a junk drawer at all. We had just moved into our new house so things were still in boxes, not even close to being tucked away in drawers yet.

So with a house full of drawer projects to choose from, we opted to show the re-organization of our tool drawers. Not that it's one of those Real Simple-esque, color-coded, everything-labeled organization projects, but at least it involved containing and logically sorting a mess (that we store in the kitchen, oddly enough). Speaking of the mess, here's it is in the "before" state in the corner of our new office - a temporary tool dumping ground:

Given that we DIY more than we C-O-O-K, we once again decided to dedicate a set of drawers in our new kitchen to just tools (yes, we realize this makes us weird). Luckily our new house had the perfect trio sitting right beneath our seen-better-days wall oven.

They were wide, deep, and best of all - completely empty! I'd even go as far as to say that they were tool-hungry but I'm pretty sure they were used to housing things like cassarole dishes and tupperware.

Our process for taming the tool heap wasn't ground-breaking. Before blinding tossing things into drawers, first we took inventory. We laid out every last tool on a nearby rug to help evaluate exactly what we owned, what we used most often, what we could store elsewhere (since not everything would fit) and how to most sensibly group everything. It looked a little something like this mid inventory:

To read more about the tools that we own and our crazy rug spread, visit this post on our blog. Anyway, once we could see the big picture, we grabbed similar items and began filling the drawers. We placed our most frequently-used general tools in the top drawer (hammers, screwdrivers, etc). We banished duplicate tools (like the extra hammer that a contractor once left behind and never came back for) into a toolbox that now lives in the basement.

Next, we gathered all of our nails, screws, tapes, glues and other miscellaneous items used to hold things together, bind, or adhere (that's counts as a theme, right?). Then again, the sanding tools ended up in there too. Oh well. Given the odd shapes and inconsistent sizes of these things, it's hard to make it look pretty and make the most use of the space, so we're just satisfied knowing if we need to stick two things together - this is the drawer to open.

Last but not least, the bottom (and deepest) drawer holds painting and caulking supplies, including a bunch of smaller craft paints and brushes along with the Mod Podge (yes, there's Mod Podge in our DIY arsenal). And the great part is that there's still room to store a few spare paint trays on top when we pick those up.

So a big thanks to Mrs. Limestone for giving us the kick-in-the-pants that we needed to tackle this item on our new home to-do list. I'm sure our tools appreciate having a new home too...

...and this corner of our office appreciates not being a handyman's dumping ground anymore.

Thanks so much to the Petersiks for sharing. Off to check out more now.