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Ultimate Tool Storage Ideas For Unbelievably Small Spaces

Key Takeaways

1. Small spaces can pose challenges for tool storage, but with effective ideas, you can optimize your storage capabilities.
2. Maximizing vertical space is crucial when dealing with limited storage areas.
3. Organizing tools by size and accounting for their frequency of use can improve accessibility and efficiency.
4. Proper tool care and safety should be considered when designing storage solutions.
5. Control tool access to prevent accidents and maintain organization.
6. Compact vertical shelves and repurposed pallets offer creative storage options for small items.
7. Storing power tools in their original cases or investing in universal cases helps protect and organize them.
8. Mobility can be a game-changer in small spaces, making rolling toolboxes an efficient solution for tool organization and transport.

Small spaces are not necessarily the most convenient for storing tools. They might be adequate for small hand tools and a couple of jars of fasteners but dealing with power tools and the larger tools you use in the yard requires more space. You need tool storage ideas for small spaces like backyard sheds and in-home utility rooms.

This post has some of the ideas you have been looking for. You will learn a few of the secrets for maximizing even the smallest of spaces for tool storage. You might even be inspired to come up with your own storage solutions.

As you read, keep in mind that designing effective tool storage solutions is based on the following principles:

  • Maximizing vertical space
  • Organizing items by size
  • Accounting for frequency of use
  • Tool care and safety
  • Controlling tool access.

With all of the preliminaries out of the way, let’s get started. Below are some effective tool storage ideas for small spaces.

Compact Vertical Shelves

We start with compact vertical shelves for storing those smaller items that cannot be easily hung on the wall. Note that ‘compact’ is the key operating word. I am talking smaller shelves that don’t take up much horizontal space and do not extend out from the wall too far.

Whether you buy shelves or build your own, you are looking at individual shelves instead of a multi-shelf unit. Individual shelves are a better option because they allow you to space them based on what you plan to store on each one. Individual shelves also give you the freedom to go the full height of your storage space. By contrast, premade multi-shelf units rarely rise above 4 or 5 feet.

Track Shelves

Track shelves are a great option for this sort of thing. You install two vertical tracks wherever you want your shelves placed. Then you insert a bracket into each track and a shelf on top of the brackets. The track design is fully adjustable. Thus, you can move shelves around as needed. Gaps between shelves can be as wide or as narrow as necessary.

Floating Shelves

Some people prefer floating shelves due to their box -like structure. You can build them yourself or buy them at your home improvement store. Floating shelves are essentially small boxes you attach to the wall. They come in squares and rectangles, depending on your needs. They are good option if you plan to keep your final configuration permanently.

Wire Shelves

Another option is the classic wire shelf. It is generally affixed to the wall with brackets on either end. While quite stable and sturdy, these are not very adjustable. In fact, wire your shelves can be a hassle to install and remove.

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DIY Tool Storage Solutions

Creating your own storage solutions doesn’t just help you save money; it allows you to customize your storage to your unique needs, ensuring every tool has its place. Plus, there’s something deeply satisfying about constructing the very system that houses your tools, amplifying your connection with your craft.

DIY Tool Racks and Holders

Building your own tool rack or holder can be an effective, simple, and budget-friendly way to store various tools. Using a piece of plywood and a few nails or screws, you can easily create a wall-mounted tool rack. Design the layout to suit your needs, marking spots for each tool. This way, you know where every tool belongs, ensuring an organized workspace and a swift cleanup.

Pegboards: The DIYer’s Best Friend

Pegboards are a versatile option for DIY tool storage. Available in various sizes, they can be fitted into your workspace with ease. The great part? You can customize the layout of hooks and bins to fit your tool collection, adjusting as your needs evolve over time.

Recycled Storage Solutions

Have you ever thought of repurposing everyday household items into tool storage? This approach is not only eco-friendly but also budget-friendly.

Coffee Canisters

Those empty metal or sturdy plastic coffee canisters can turn into convenient storage bins for smaller tools or fasteners. Label them, and you’ve got an effective storage system at virtually no cost.

Old Furniture

Got an old chest of drawers, shelves, or cupboards lying around? With a lick of paint and some internal modifications, you can transform them into a fully functional tool cabinet.

Pallets

Wooden pallets, often available for free, can be transformed into wall-mounted tool racks, workbenches, or shelving units. They’re sturdy, and their natural rustic charm adds a warm, homely feel to your workspace.

Remember, the key to effective DIY tool storage is planning. Determine what tools you have and how you use them. Then, design your DIY solution around these needs. This ensures you have a storage system that’s not only cost-effective but also enhances your productivity and enjoyment of your craft.

Stackable Storage Bins

You might be dealing with a small space for which shelving is impractical. Fair enough. Stackable storage bins could be the solution you are looking for. They are a great tool storage idea for small spaces like rented storage units and utility closets. The trick is finding the right size.

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Storage bins are generally categorized by capacity. You might find them described by their physical measurements or the number of gallons they can hold. For purposes of storage in small spaces, you’re more concerned about physical dimensions. Your goal is to find a size that fits nicely in your space without being too tight.

Also note that finding stackable bins is a key component in maximizing your available storage space. A stackable bin has, by design, a molded lid with a recess to receive the bottom edge of the bin stacked on top. Stackable bins are generally narrower at the bottom and wider at the top to facilitate stability.

Tips for Selecting Bins

When you are shopping for bins, do not settle for anything less than a heavy-duty product. Remember, we are talking tool storage ideas for small spaces. You need heavy-duty products to keep your tools and accessories safe. Cheap, light-duty plastic is not going to get it done.

Also look for products that offer watertight lids. Some lids just rest on top without clasping or otherwise sealing. On the other hand, a watertight lid keeps out both moisture and dust. As long as you are investing in stackable storage bins, you might as well go top-of-the-line.

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Considerations for Storing Power Tools

Differentiating Power Tools from Hand Tools

You might be wondering why power tools need different storage considerations compared to their smaller, handheld counterparts. Well, power tools are generally larger and heavier. Plus, they come with cords or battery packs and often have sharp or delicate parts that need protection.

They’re like the SUVs of the tool world – they can do more heavy-duty work, but they also take up more space and require special care. In a small space, this can pose a challenge. But don’t worry! With a little planning and some smart strategies, you can keep your power tools safe, organized, and easy to access.

Customized Storage Solutions

Now, let’s delve into some concrete solutions. Remember that our goal here is not only to store our power tools but also to protect them and ensure they’re easily reachable when we need them.

Wall-Mounted Storage

Consider wall-mounted solutions. Yes, walls aren’t just for shelves and hooks! They can also accommodate larger items if you use the right equipment. For instance, pegboards provide a flexible storage system that you can customize to fit your tools perfectly. Large hooks and brackets can also hold heavier tools like circular saws or grinders.

Case-by-Case Storage

When it comes to power tools, it’s often best to store them in their original cases, as these are specifically designed to hold and protect them. Some cases even come with slots for accessories or detachable parts, ensuring everything stays together. If you’ve misplaced the original case, you could also invest in universal power tool cases, which are designed to fit a wide variety of tools.

Cord and Battery Care

Lastly, don’t forget about the cords and batteries. These are essential components of your power tools and require special care. Ensure cords aren’t tangled or kinked, as this can damage them. Some tools come with cord wraps or clips – use them! For battery packs, make sure they’re stored in a dry, temperature-controlled environment to prolong their life.

Remember, storing power tools effectively in small spaces is all about making the most of what you’ve got and considering each tool’s unique needs. So, evaluate your space, your tools, and then choose the solution that suits you best.

Hooks and Rope

Hooks and rope can be your best friends when you’re trying to come up with tool storage ideas for small spaces. A single hook can easily be screwed into any stud with minimum effort. As for the rope, you can use it to hang a variety of tools from the hooks. All you need is a little creativity.

Drill a small hole in the top of the garden shovel handle and attach a rope loop. Now you can hang that shovel on the wall. Do the same thing with your rakes, pickax, garden hoe, etc. To make maximum use of space, do not forget to hang some of your hooks as high up as possible. You should have no trouble hanging and retrieving those long-handled yard tools from the higher hooks.

If you have a garden hose, there is a very creative way to store it on a hook. Take a length of rope and tie a loop at either end. Now wind up your hose into a coil. Run the rope underneath the coil, threading one loop through the other. Grab the free loop and pull up. It should gather your coiled hose together nicely. Now hang that loop on the hook and you’re all done.

With a little imagination and some planning, you can hang just about every hand and garden tool on a hook. Some of your tools will already have built-in holes that can be hooked all by themselves. Others might require you to drill holes or come up with some other creative means of roping them.

You might also find that some tools are easier to hang from hooks using bungee cords instead of rope. Bungee cord can be looped just as easily. Its main advantage is that it comes with hooks already attached. You don’t have to tie loops into bungee cords the way you do rope.

Mobile Tool Storage Solutions

When it comes to managing your tools in small spaces, mobility can be a game changer. Not only does it provide efficient organization, but it also offers the flexibility of moving your tools from one place to another with ease. This is where mobile tool storage solutions come into play.

Rolling Toolboxes

A rolling toolbox is an excellent investment for those who frequently shuffle tools around their home or workspace. Imagine having a mobile workstation where all your tools are neatly organized and easily accessible. These toolboxes come in various shapes and sizes, but the best feature is their portability, facilitated by sturdy wheels and a comfortable handle. They often have multiple compartments, allowing for segregation of tools according to size, type, or frequency of use.

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Tool Carts

If you often work on projects that require a wide variety of tools, a tool cart can be a lifesaver. More spacious than the standard toolbox, a tool cart can be wheeled right up to your workspace, reducing the back-and-forth and increasing efficiency. Some even come with a flat top surface, which can serve as an impromptu workspace for quick tasks or a place to set down tools or parts in use.

Tool Bags

For smaller collections or specialized tasks, tool bags are an ideal solution. They are lightweight, portable, and can be customized to hold a variety of tools. Many come with both internal and external pockets, allowing for a high degree of organization. Tool bags are perfect for those less bulky, hand tools, and are particularly useful for tasks that require mobility, such as gardening or minor repair work around the house.

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Regardless of the type of mobile storage you choose, remember to consider the weight distribution of your tools. Ensure heavier items are placed at the bottom to maintain stability when moving your mobile storage around. With a little bit of planning, you can make your tool collection both organized and highly mobile, enhancing your efficiency and making your work a whole lot easier.

Dressers and Chests of Drawers

There are times when you might be dealing with a small space that will be used for storage only temporarily. One of the best tool storage ideas for spaces like this is the tried-and-true dresser or chest of drawers. Old units that would otherwise be sent to the scrapheap make great storage devices.

Perhaps you’re working with a utility room that offers space only in one corner. Two-bedroom dressers stacked together could give you between eight and 10 drawers to work with. Put your heavier tools at the bottom and your lighter tools at the top. Individual drawers can be divided with plastic inserts or pieces of scrap lumber.

A chest of drawers is traditionally bigger than a dresser, but it still works. You might have enough space to put a big chest below and a smaller dresser on top. Such an arrangement would mean wider storage spaces for your largest tools on the bottom.

Both dressers and chests of drawers offer internal and external storage space. Externally, you can attach things to the sides of your units with hooks, screws, nails, and so forth. The drawers themselves might even have handles that can double as hooks.

The best thing about this option is that it is relatively cheap. Just about any thrift store in your town will have an ample supply of dressers and chests. You can find pretty cheap units at garage and estate sales as well. Even auctions are a great source of old but usable furniture.

Tool Storage for Specific Tools

Storing tools in a small space doesn’t have to be a struggle. With a bit of organization and the right storage solutions, you can keep your tools safe, accessible, and in good condition, regardless of their unique storage needs.

Screwdrivers

Let’s begin with screwdrivers, one of the most commonly used tools in any toolkit. A simple and effective way to store screwdrivers is by using a magnetic strip or bar. You can mount the strip on a wall, the inside of a cupboard, or even on the side of a workbench. With a magnetic strip, your screwdrivers are easy to find, secure, and remain in a good state since the tips don’t touch anything that could potentially damage them.

Wrenches

Wrenches are another frequently used tool with specific storage needs. Storing these can be tricky due to their varied shapes and sizes. Pegboards can be a useful tool for this purpose. You can hang wrenches on hooks, arranging them by size or type for easy access and efficient use of space. If you have a drawer free, you could also consider using a wrench organizer. These organizers have slots to hold each wrench separately, preventing them from knocking against each other and keeping them organized.

Power Tools

For larger power tools, wall-mounted shelves or cabinets could be the solution. Since power tools tend to be heavier, ensure that your shelving is sturdy and securely fastened. You might want to store lighter power tools at a higher level, while heavier ones stay closer to the ground for safety. You can also utilize toolbox drawer organizers to compartmentalize and securely hold tools in place within a drawer.

Drill Bits

Finally, let’s consider drill bits. These small but essential tools need careful storage due to their size and sharpness. A drill bit case or holder is perfect for this task. These cases usually have slots for different sizes and types of drill bits, keeping them secure, organized, and easy to find.

In essence, specific tools may require specific storage solutions. However, with a little planning and creative thinking, you can keep your toolkit tidy, safe, and ready for use, no matter how small your space might be.

Door-Mounted Shoe Organizers

Your small space has a door, right? That door is yet another vehicle for storing your tools. All you need is a door-mounted shoe organizer and you’re all set. The best organizers for tool storage are those with pockets instead of hooks or shelves.

Pockets enable you to slide tools and accessories in and out with ease. Yet at the same time, each pocket keeps its contents safe and secure whenever you open the door. Your tools might fall on the floor if you were to use a shoe organizer with hooks or shelves instead.

You can buy door-mounted shoe organizers that cover the entire length of the door. There are also half, quarter, and three-quarter models. You could even build a custom unit yourself. The idea is to take advantage of that dead space on the door for additional storage.

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Tool Storage Maintenance and Upkeep

Proper maintenance and upkeep of your tool storage solutions are essential aspects to consider. Not only does it prolong their service life, but it also ensures they stay effective and functional, keeping your tools organized and ready for use.

Regular Cleaning

Firstly, regular cleaning is crucial. Dust and grime can accumulate over time, making your tool storage solution less efficient. Use a soft cloth or brush to remove dust and debris from shelves, boxes, and drawers. For stubborn grime, a mild soapy solution can be used. Ensure you dry all parts thoroughly after cleaning to prevent any rust or damage, particularly if your storage solution is made of metal.

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Check for Wear and Tear

Next, routinely check for signs of wear and tear. Are the hinges on your tool box still working smoothly? Are the shelves in your storage still sturdy? Regular inspections will allow you to address any issues before they become bigger problems. If any parts are worn out or damaged, replace them promptly to keep your storage solution safe and effective.

Reorganizing and Decluttering

Keeping your tool storage organized is another key aspect of maintenance. Over time, it’s easy for tools to be returned to the wrong spot or for clutter to build up. Regularly reorganize your tools, ensuring each one is in its designated place. This not only maintains the effectiveness of your storage solution but also helps you to easily locate any tool when you need it.

Protect Against Environmental Factors

Lastly, consider environmental factors that can impact your tool storage. If your tool storage is located in a damp or humid area, consider using dehumidifiers or silica gel packets to prevent moisture buildup which can lead to rust. If your tool storage is exposed to harsh weather conditions, ensure it’s adequately protected with the right covers or sealants.

Proper maintenance and upkeep of your tool storage solution will not only extend its life but also ensure your tools are well-organized, easy to find, and ready for use when you need them.

Ensuring Safety with Tool Storage

Safe Handling of Sharp Tools

When it comes to tool storage, it’s not just about organization and space utilization; safety plays an equally, if not more, vital role. Let’s start with sharp tools. Whether it’s a pair of scissors, a chisel, or a saw, the pointy and edged tools need special attention. Store them with their sharp ends pointing towards a wall or enclosed within a case or a sheath. This practice is crucial to avoid any inadvertent injuries while retrieving or returning the tools to their respective storage places.

Weight Distribution in Vertical Storage

Next up is the importance of weight distribution. When you’re storing tools vertically, such as on shelves or pegboards, it’s essential to be mindful of where you’re placing your heaviest items. Ideally, these should be stored at the bottom or closer to the support structure. If the heavy tools are kept higher up, not only does it increase the risk of injury if they fall, but it also destabilizes your storage setup and may cause it to topple over. This point is particularly crucial if you’re employing any freestanding storage solutions.

Securing Tool Storage Solutions

Finally, we cannot stress enough the significance of securing your tool storage solutions. Any storage unit, be it shelves, cabinets, or drawers, should be firmly affixed to a solid structure, such as a wall or floor. This practice dramatically reduces the chances of the unit tipping over due to an uneven weight distribution or accidental nudges. For those with children at home, securing your tool storage also means using childproof locks on drawers or cabinets that store potentially dangerous tools.

Tool Storage Ideas for Small Spaces – Conclusion

When it comes to tool storage ideas for small spaces, maximizing vertical space, organizing items by size, accounting for frequency of use, tool care and safety, and controlling tool access are key principles to keep in mind. The five effective tool storage ideas discussed in this article, including compact vertical shelves, track shelves, pegboards, recycled storage solutions, and mobile tool storage solutions, offer practical and innovative ways to optimize storage in small spaces. Additionally, utilizing dressers and chests of drawers can provide temporary storage solutions, while specific storage techniques for wrenches and considerations for maintenance and security enhance the functionality and longevity of your tool storage. By implementing these ideas, you can create an organized and efficient workspace, regardless of the size limitations of your storage area.

FAQs

Q: What are some tool storage ideas for small spaces?
A: There are many creative ways to store tools in small spaces, including using vertical shelves, stackable storage bins, hooks and rope, repurposed dressers or chests of drawers, and door-mounted shoe organizers.
Q: Can I store power tools in small spaces?
A: Absolutely! With the right storage solution like stackable bins or repurposed dressers, you can easily store power tools in small spaces. Just remember to consider the weight and size of the power tools when deciding on a storage method.
Q: How can I maximize vertical space for tool storage?
A: You can utilize compact vertical shelves, track shelves, or floating shelves. Additionally, you can use hooks and ropes to hang tools from walls or even from the ceiling.
Q: Can I use DIY solutions for tool storage in small spaces?
A: Definitely. You can build your own shelves, reuse old furniture like dressers or chests of drawers, or even convert a door-mounted shoe organizer into a handy tool storage solution.
Q: How do I ensure safe tool storage in small spaces?
A: Safety is crucial. Store sharp tools with their ends pointing towards a wall or enclosed in a case, ensure weight is distributed properly in vertical storage solutions, and secure your tool storage units to prevent them from tipping over.
Q: Can mobile storage solutions be used in small spaces?
A: Yes, mobile storage solutions like carts, rolling toolboxes, or tool bags can be a great choice, especially if you need to move your tools around within your space frequently.
Q: How can I organize tools of different sizes effectively in a small space?
A: Use a combination of storage solutions tailored for different tool sizes. For instance, smaller tools can fit in door-mounted shoe organizers or on compact shelves, while larger tools can be stored in stackable bins or old dressers.
Q: How should I store tools that I use frequently?
A: Tools that you use often should be stored in easily accessible locations. You could hang them on hooks or place them on open shelves for easy reach.
Q: What type of bins should I use for tool storage?
A: Go for heavy-duty, stackable storage bins. These are durable, maximize vertical space, and often come with lids that offer protection against dust and moisture.
Q: How do I maintain and clean my tool storage solutions?
A: Regularly check your storage solutions for wear and tear. Clean them as needed, and ensure they’re dry to prevent rusting of tools. Also, ensure that all hinges, locks, and screws are in good working order.
Q: Can I repurpose household items for tool storage?
A: Absolutely. Many household items can be repurposed for tool storage, such as old dressers, chests of drawers, or door-mounted shoe organizers.
Q: How do I keep my tools rust-free in storage?
A: To keep your tools rust-free, ensure they are clean and dry before storing. Use watertight storage bins and periodically apply a thin layer of oil to tools that are prone to rusting.
Q: Should I store heavy tools in the upper part of vertical storage?
A: No, heavy tools should ideally be stored lower down to maintain stability and prevent accidents.
Q: Can I use my small tool storage area for other purposes as well?
A: While it’s possible, it’s better to dedicate the space for tool storage only to maintain organization and safety. Mixing different items can lead to clutter and potentially dangerous situations.
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