5 Great Tool Storage Ideas for Small Spaces

tiny house

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 five effective tool storage ideas for small spaces.

1. 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.

2. 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.

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 (see a choice on Amazon by clicking here).

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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 (here are some on Amazon) 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.

Small spaces can be utilized for storage with the right kinds of solutions. All you need is a little imagination. Hopefully these five tool storage ideas for small spaces have inspired you to get busy about organizing your tools. The more organized your storage, the easier it will be for you to find your tools when you need them.


I am a content creator by profession but I love tools. Merging the two created this website...

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