Drills, nails, screws, mallets…these things make things happen around the home. Even if you are not into DIY, you’ll need a screwdriver or hammer from time to time for various needs around the house. While hardware supplies are extremely useful, storing them appropriately can be a real challenge. If you have curious little minds running around all day, the stakes are even higher for you.
So how do you store hardware supplies at home? The most important secret of all time is to de-clutter. Next, build some storage – either a cabinet or open shelving (pegboard or wall panel). Finally, store your nuts and bolts on mason jars then get totes for miscellaneous items.
Virtually all organizing projects begin at the de-cluttering stage. If you want a chance at keeping a clean and tidy space, the secret lies here. It is half the battle, to be honest. Before you decide where everything will go, gather all your supplies into one designated area.
Walk around the entire house and pick every last item you bought from the hardware store. Enlist the help of your family members for maximum efficiency. Please bear in mind that most of the items will be sharp and rusty. Be careful when handling them, or better still, wear a pair of fabric gloves to protect yourself. Throw everything in a toolbox or junk drawer.
Once you have gathered all the supplies, begin the task of de-cluttering. Check for broken, unnecessary, and rusted items. These will go away to the trash or donation pile. If you have no idea what’s useful and what’s not, here’s a list of basic supplies you need:
- Adjustable wrench
- Utility knife
- Glasses repair kit
- Cordless drill and a set of drill bits
- Staple gun
- Screws of various sizes
- Nails of various sizes
- Nuts and bolts
- Cup hooks
- Plastic anchors
- Command hooks
- Screw eyes
- Plastic anchors
- Tape measure
- Stud finder
- Metal inch ruler
- Stud finder
- Safety equipment
Now that you know what you will require, you can begin the actual task of organizing. Ideally, you want to put away any item that doesn’t fit the category. Additionally, if it hasn’t been touched in the last 10 sessions, it’s better off away from any living space.
Don’t worry, you can neatly organize some of the supplies in your garage or storage area and only keep a few in easily-accessible areas. Once you have put away the unnecessary and broken stuff, it’s time to sort them out. Group the power tools in one place and the small ones in another.
2. Store items in a cabinet
Although the trick of using cabinets to store hardware supplies is not as common as it was before, it still works. It is best suited for people who don’t have a knack for displaying their items in completely in the open. Cabinets can be locked which increases security and safety. If you have kids who tend to explore their surroundings more than they should, storage cabinetry can be a solution to your problem. Plus, you can get really neat and tidy in there. Don’t cram things in one space just because the cabinet is locked from prying eyes.
3. Build shelving units
Having sorted your items into categories, the next thing to do is determine where each item will be placed. An open shelving unit is necessary to safely and effectively organize your supplies. It is also an ingenious way of utilizing vertical space.
Here, you can build a traditional pegboard or go for advanced versions such as utility boards. The idea is to create a shelving unit from where you can hook or place your organized supplies. It doesn’t have to be complicated. A pegboard backing is especially great because you can hang a plethora of tools on it (wrenches, saws, and drills). Hardware stores have a variety of shelves. You’ll find different sizes and varieties to accommodate a number of bins and tools. Many come with hooks for storing cords, saw, levels, and more. While buying shelves, go for adjustable ones for flexibility.
A wall panel is also a great alternative for a pegboard. You’ll find this trend common with basements. Ideally, this concept is more open than other wall storage strategies. If you don’t like the idea of storing your supplies in a cabinet, this idea is certainly for you. All you need is a bank wall from where a large slat is installed. Picture the one you saw in your favorite retail store. Tools can be hung on hooks. Mesh bins accommodate containers.
4. Use clear mason jars for nuts and bolts
Let’s begin with the easiest hardware tools to store – nuts and bolts. These ones do well inside clear mason jars. Not only is this trick great for aesthetic purposes but it also makes it easy to know what every jar contains. If you have plenty of nuts and bolts, you will need a number of mason jars. Else, if you are like an average homeowner who seldom does DIY projects, you’ll need 2-3 average-sized jars for a start. After placing your items in there, consider storing them away from counter space. If you can, build open shelves and line them up neatly.
5. Leverage totes for miscellaneous items
As you sort through your supplies, you will come across those that don’t belong anywhere. These are sized inappropriately and don’t have a real category to belong in. Some cannot be hung on the pegboard. Others just look weird without being contained somewhere. Totes were made with those items in mind.
Order a couple of differently-sized totes and use those optimally. You might want to label the totes for clarity and convenience. Like mason jars, totes look great on open shelves. Some of the tools that are excellent for bins include gardening supplies (pans, rollers, and painter’s tape).
By now, you have a rough idea of how to store hardware supplies at home. If you follow the guideline, you will fulfill your dream of maintaining an organized home. However, to make things even better, here are a few bonus tips.
- Make frequently used tools accessible: like any other items at home, it makes sense to store tools that are used the most at hand. These include flashlights, screwdrivers, hammers, and tape measures. Apart from saving time, doing this will make your work much more fun.
- Buy stackable bins if you have space limitations: at the hardware store, you will find all kinds of bins. If space is no issue for you, go ahead and purchase separate bins. When maximizing space, however, consider the stackable options.
- Start small: sorting items, arranging them in totes and mason jars, and establishing where each one goes is no small task. Thinking about it alone can demotivate you big time. Rather than allocating the whole weekend to organize your hardware supplies, consider setting small goals instead. Set short deadlines and commit to getting something done within the period. Keep at it until you’ve crashed your goals.
When doing repair projects at home, gardening at the backyard, or taking on DIY projects, hardware supplies are necessary. The problem is they are pretty hard to organize and store at home. If you are struggling in this area, the tips suggested here will definitely come in handy. Enlist help if you must, especially when building shelves and buying the right storage equipment.