Storing Home Repair Tools

I use three cabinets like the one below.
I'm using this one to illustrate my system.

This is an assemble it yourself cabinet.  It's six feet tall and sixteen inches deep.  It came with about half the number of shelves you see.  The top section cannot be divided, but holes for shelf supports go from the top shelf down letting you use almost as many shelves as you want.  At the big box store they will cut plywood sheets for fifty cents a cut.  I had them rip a 4x8 sheet of 5/8" into three pieces lengthwise (two cuts).  [NOTE:  If you do this be sure to measure the depth of your cabinet -- it may require a third cut to trim the last piece to size.]  I then cut these three lengths of plywood into shelves. 

You have to get shelf support pins too.  Get metal ones if you can -- the plastic ones don't carry much weight.  I like the solid round ones like this -- less fuss. But these work fine too, and they're cheaper (why?).  Different cabinets are drilled with different hole sizes -- take care to get the right diameter pins if you mail-order them.  The slide-out containers are made from paper-box lids (over time you can get as many empty paper boxes from Kinko's as you want).  You have to cut and tape one end to shorten the lid to fit lengthwise.  You can judge the relative amount of use each slide-out gets by the yellowing from handling. 

The content notations on the picture are roughly correct, but space made it impossible to give a complete listing.

Measuring Tools

For example, cutting tools (box cutter, scissors, razor blade holder, rotary cutter) are in the Measuring Tools slide-out.  Sometimes there's an object in with other things because there was no room for one more thing in the proper slide-out or there is no proper slide-out -- ergo, the bottle brush.

You can label the face of the slide-outs if you want, but you learn where things are and it's easy to slide them part way out if you forget. 

This one needs some clarification.  It's not as cluttered as it seems, though it should have been straightened up a little for the picture.

Sharp tools (awls, ice picks, etc. are on the left rear -- bottom left in the picture).  Wire brushes and files are normally on the left also.  The various pliers are pretty much random.  The Sears RoboGrip prominently on top is rarely used and just happened to be used yesterday.  The screwdriver looking tool was once a screwdriver, but has been made into a special purpose tool.

Hand Tools

The slide-outs may seem cluttered, but they're shallow so you find things quickly.  Also, I tend to put things in the same location in them, with lesser used thing near the rear.

One cabinet is mainly devoted to paint and painting supplies.  It also has a slide-out of clamps, combination squares and try squares.  It also has a slide-out for magnifiers.  Since cataract surgery I need an array of special magnifiers to see detail up close. 

Another cabinet contains tall tools like a level, yard sticks, torque wrench (I know not a home repair tool, but it had to go somewhere), an 18" pipe wrench, 24" crescent wrench, a Sawzall, etc.  In the upper shelf are two circular saws.  The rest of this cabinet is devoted to other household and kitchen items (it's in the kitchen). 

Before I adopted this system I'd have to hunt in several places and rummage around in deep drawers.  Now I find any tool I want quickly.  Of course you do have to put it back in the same place for this to work.