Most of us look on our storage spaces with a mixture of guilt and dread.
Of course we want to properly store and organize our tools and various necessities, but all too often such things join the ubiquitous clutter we bravely forage through whenever a task demands our attention.
Fortunately, the homes of today take into account the necessity of proper utility units, and what’s more, seek to incorporate those units into the overall appeal of one’s home and greater landscape.
From rolling toolboxes to more DIY options, there is no shortage of ways in which you can save yourself time, stress, and space with a little creative elbow grease. Wall-mounted mason jars and wooden crate shelves, hook-and-nail hangings and tower racks; these are readily accessible and easily installed, right up to ceiling-mounted storage containers. Even inlaid cabinets and magnetic tool bars can be implemented with relative ease and at next to no expense, and offer years of use and ample storage capacity.
Let’s face it, it’s tough to romanticize a home’s need for adequate storage, especially when it comes to tools and garage appliances. While there are certainly more attractive spaces to set your sights on, there’s no denying the transformative effect of these good tool storage ideas and setup designs. Your garage or workroom doesn’t need to be a haphazard place of abandoned projects and a laundry list of chores you’ve been putting off; with the proper storage kits in place you can all but tackle those to-dos with a newfound gusto.
Best Tool Storage Ideas
If you’ve got a long work table in your shop, chances are there’s some unused space underneath it. Make the best of that wasted space by building a set of cubbies that will organize all of your power tools.
This power tool cabinet is all about function, not form. It’s built from ¾-inch plywood, making it a simple and affordable build. To build it, find your largest power tools and design their cubbies first. Once you’ve got the largest dimensions figured out, continue filling in space with dividers, nailing or screwing through the top, bottom, and middle boards.
Sometimes the simplest builds are the most functional. This tool wall makes excellent use of a sheet of plywood, some scrap lumber, and a few strategically placed nails.
To minimize frustration, lay the plywood flat and start laying the tools out on it. It’ll be much easier to position them and see what fits where without having to nail them to keep them in place. Once you’re satisfied, mark the plywood where hooks or nails need to be and take a picture. Once you hang the board, you’ll know exactly where everything belongs.
This french-cleat tool wall is a great way to organize a few power tools and the accessories they require. The cleat system is very strong and easy to customize.
Cut strips of lumber or plywood on a table saw with the blade tilted to 45 degrees. Hang these strips from the wall studs with the face of the bevel pointing up and facing the wall. Attaching a matching beveled strip to the tool caddies and cabinets allows them to “hook” onto the wall strips. You can then lift, slide, move, and replace them easily as your needs change.
If you’re using caulking guns often enough in your shop, these holsters will come in handy. It will eventually become second nature to reach over for one and replace it when you’re done.
Make these holsters out of 3-inch PVC pipe. Drill a hole at each end through both sides of the pipe using a long drill bit. Use a long driver bit to run a screw into your mounting surface from the inside of the pipe. Depending on the diameter of the hole you drilled, you may need to fit a washer over the screw head first. These holsters won’t go anywhere and they’ll last you a long time.
This storage system for glues and adhesives is brilliant, especially in a work van or trailer. This system will keep the tubes from rolling all over and making a mess or getting lost.
Cut lengths of 2-inch and 3-inch PVC with one beveled end. You can drill and screw through the beveled end into your backer. Drill a hole through both sides of the pipe near its bottom end, but don’t sink the screw all the way in. Leave it proud by at least ½-inch. That should give the tubes something to sit on without falling through the pipe. You can also buy and glue the properly sized PVC caps to close the bottoms of the tube off.
Chainsaw storage can be a hassle. If you put them on a shelf, they’ll either take up the entire thing or you’ll knock other items off everytime you go to grab it.. This vertical storage shelf is a great option that takes up very little space and keeps them out of the way.
This shelf is constructed with scrap lumber and simply screwed to a panel wall. After you build the shelf, the easiest way to cut the grooves for the bars is to just fire up the saw and make a few careful runs through the shelf board. You’ll probably want to have the shelf fixed to the wall first. This way you’re safe and it won’t kick back at you. Also, if you’re storing your saws vertically, it’s suggested that you drain all the fluids first.
A good set of chisels can be a woodworker’s best friend. Having them on display is not only convenient but it also looks great in an organized shop.
This chisel shelf is constructed of ¾-inch plywood. First, lay your chisels out so you know how much space you’ll have between the handles. Keep in mind that they need to be easy to grab and replace. Then drill a ¾-inch hole for each chisel at the proper spacing. The easiest way to cut the grooves is on a table saw, but if you don’t have one, you can use a hand or jigsaw to make the cuts.
This tool storage solution is a functional ode to hand tools. There are tool-specific storage shelves on each tier, making this an easy-to-assemble design.
This unit can be built with scrap dimensional lumber, plywood, or pallet wood. The shelves are specifically built for each set of tools and attached through the rear of a slat. The slats are then screwed into the framework, creating one unit with solid shelves for tool storage and display.
There are many reasons pegboard has been around for so long: It’s inexpensive, highly functional, and extremely customizable. This tool storage idea is a great way to get a lot of storage out of a small space.
Instead of hinged doors, this cabinet has sliding doors with pegboard inner panels. This effectively doubles the amount of pegboard surface available for storage and provides some organization in the garage. The shelf underneath the cabinet is perfect for holding bins full of nuts, bolts, screws, and other bits that normally scatter themselves across the shop floor.
This cleat system is an attractive and useful hand tool storage solution. Each shelf is designed to fit a specific tool and then sits between boards that are screwed horizontally to the framework.
This system is highly customizable and looks amazing. You can build it from any material but solid wood boards are the easiest since you probably won’t have to rip them to width. Take your time and build each shelf carefully for its intended use. This is the type of project that you can really display your craftsmanship and attention to detail with.
Miter saw stations can be a back-saver and increase production and workflow. Having a dedicated space for your heavy saw keeps you from hauling it from one corner of your shop to the other.
This relatively simple miter saw station offers a ton of storage in its three cabinets. Power tool storage ideas like this give homes to your most important and frequently used power tools. Attaching the shelves to drawer slides make it easy to find the tool you need and put it away when you’re done.
This drill bit caddy is the perfect accessory for the wall behind your drill press. You’ll always have the bit you need on hand and within arms reach. It will increase your workflow and save your sanity.
This storage option is easy to replicate. This particular unit is built with red and white oak. It consists of easy-to-build shelves that are face-screwed to a solid wood backer. Take care to keep everything level and square so it looks nice and doesn’t distract you from the work at hand.
This workbench might as well be the Mecca of hand tool storage. There are individual shelves and cabinets for each set of tools, yet nothing is stored away or hidden. Not only is this workshop well-stocked, but it’s so well organized that it’s almost a work of art.
Replicating this look will take a lot of time, design, and planning. The end result will be worth the effort, as you’ll find having all your tools at arms-length will increase your workflow tenfold.
You can never have enough hammers, but the issue comes when you run out of room to store them. This is an easy way to make quick work of hammer storage.
Two wood brackets are attached to the ends of a board that spans the appropriate distance. Two half-circles are then cut to cradle the 3/4-inch conduit pipe. This provides a sturdy shelf to slide hammers into instead of piling them in the bottom of a drawer.
Pegboard caddies make excellent additions to a garage shop. They provide a lot of storage in spaces that are typically barely used. These caddies stand vertically when stored away and are easily removed when you need the tools that they store.
The key to making this design works is to cut grooves into the top and bottom boards in the cabinet frame to receive the pegboard and keep it in place. Without the grooves, the pegboard will simply tip over, and most of the tools you so-carefully laid out will be strewn across your shop floor.
This wrench storage idea is a far better way to organize your wrenches than piling them into a toolbox drawer. You’ll be able to find the wrench you need in a fraction of the time. You’ll also be able to tell when one is missing.
This is a simple design and it can be accomplished on a table saw with a crosscut sled. It’s helpful to maintain equal spacing between grooves, so mark your board where you want the grooves, and make a corresponding mark on your crosscut sled. Register the two marks before passing the workpiece over the blade. You’ll have to make a few passes, but with carefully laid out marks, you’ll be able to achieve a consistent and good-looking wrench rack.
This plier-storage box on a french-cleat system is an ideal way to store awkward tools without putting them in a drawer. The plywood box hangs on the cleat system, so you can pull the box down when you need it and put it back in place when you’re done.
The construction is made with ¾-inch pine plywood so it will be inexpensive to build. Pliers are held upright by a steel rod that has been installed in the middle of each tier. The easiest way to replicate that is to cut both ends of your box, clamp them together, and drill through both ends at the same time. The rod will sit evenly and keep your pliers from tipping over.
Leatherworking stamps like the ones above are a challenge to identify even when they’re in an attractive display like this. This particular rack consists of three tiers of shelves on legs.
Replicate these shelves by using dimensional lumber and a drill press. Set the depth so you don’t drill all the way through the shelves. This will give the stamps something to bottom out on while still holding them upright for easier identification.
Garden tool storage ideas like the one pictured make storing your awkward tools a non-issue. This rack holds each tool up off the ground, keeping them from falling and you from tripping over them.
Dimensional lumber is the perfect material for a job like this. You may find cutting the slots will be easier by starting with a large spade or Forstner bit and then finishing the cuts with a jigsaw. This should give you a serviceable result while not taking the whole day to accomplish.